The Galaxy Note 8.0 is Samsung’s 4th device to support the active S-pen, after the original Note, the Galaxy Note 10.1, and Note 2. As the name implies, it will be a 8″ tablet, and from the leaks we’ve seen its design was heavily inspired by the Galaxy S3, just like all of Samsung’s latest devices.
One worrying thing about this tablet has always been the price, because besides adding the S-pen, which is probably not very cheap, the rest of the specs are not very impressive at all, especially for a 2013 launch. So pricing it right would be vital for this tablet’s success. If it would’ve been $200, or even $250, then that would be a pretty fair price. But it looks like the tablet will cost 391 euro in Europe, which could translate to a $400 or so price in US. The normal conversion actually gives us around $525, but they never use the European prices in US, because in Europe taxes are a lot higher. Usually there’s about a 1:1 conversion when it comes to US.
That doesn’t make me feel any better about this price, though, because it still seems very expensive to me, for what it offers. I don’t think pricing it significantly higher than an iPad Mini would be smart at all, even with an S-pen and Super AMOLED screen. While the Super AMOLED screen is nice, it’s far from perfect, and it doesn’t offer that much more value to a consumer compared to a high-quality IPS LCD (like the one they used in Nexus 10), which would make the device cheaper. Perhaps Super AMOLED is worth say $10 more for a consumer, but not something like $50. I think most people would prefer either a cheaper IPS device, or an IPS with a higher resolution than the Super AMOLED one.
And that brings me to my next point. After all the negative feedback Apple got for the iPad Mini for not having a “retina” display, Apple is very likely to launch an iPad Mini with a retina display this spring. That would make the Note 8.0 obsolete almost straight out of the gate. This is why pricing is so important. Even if the specs themselves are not that exciting, for a $200, or even $250 price, they could be. But at $350-$400, and with a lower resolution than the next iPad Mini, it doesn’t seem like it will be a very exciting device. Plus at that kind of price there’s no question that at least a 1920×1200 resolution would be mandatory, Super AMOLED or no Super AMOLED.
So we’ll see how it all plays out soon, but as we get closer to the launch and we find out more about it, I’m not very optimistic about the Galaxy Note 8.0’s potential in the market.