Samsung has never kept it a secret that it wants to be the number one tablet maker in the world, and especially in the U.S. where it is constantly in a battle with Apple's iPad series of tablets. In the U.S., saying iPad for a tablet is like calling every tissue a Kleenex – people just assume you have an iPad…which is nothing more than "brand" of tablet. Samsung was all over the place with their tablet names, specifications, and prices, and it was confusing to the tech people, let alone the general consumer – it was very hard to compare specs and pricing. With Samsung's latest release of tablets, it seems that they may have nailed down a pattern and pricing structure that will be a little easier to follow with the release of the Galaxy NotePRO and Galaxy TabPRO series of tablets.
At CES 2014, Samsung announced four new Galaxy tablets that range in size from the favorite 8.4-inch to the 10.1-inch to the largest at 12.2-inch. This gives Samsung a size and price range for just about everybody, and that is what they like to do – be all things to all people – and sometimes it gets them in trouble. However, this new tablet lineup makes a lot of sense with the Galaxy TabPRO series and the Galaxy NotePRO series – very similar in size and design, with only the specifications differing slightly and the Note series gets the usual S-Pen.
With Samsung's new home screen built into each of the tablets, Magazine UX, when the device launches, you are greeted with a grid of large widgets that can be seen in either the portrait or the landscape views. Some are apps specifically designed for the Galaxy PRO series of tablets and others offer a free trial subscription, such as a year of Evernote Premium or a 3-month subscription to NextIssue, a Netflix-like service involving magazines rather than videos.
Both series offer the customer extremely capable specifications and the screens are beautiful with resolutions topping 2560×1600 pixels on both the 8.4-inch and 12.2-inch tablets – the 8.4-inch carries an outrageous 368ppi and the 12.2-inch is still a very respectable 247ppi. The TabPRO and NotePRO 12.2-inch models carry 3GB of RAM rather than the 2GB of the 8.4-inch or 10.1-inch, but performance should be very similar across all devices.
In the past, there were distinct advantages in the 8.4-inch version over the 10.1-inch tablet in as far as usability may have been involved, however, TouchWiz was tweaked for the 10.1 and 12.2-inch versions that definitely offer an advantage over their smaller sibling. One of the greatest advantages has to be in the multifunctionality of the larger tablets – while both offer the capability of opening and running four applications simultaneously, and here is where the 12.2 inch display really shines. It offers so much screen real estate that running four programs at a time does not feel cramped or uncomfortable at all. Yes it is expensive, but also a real workhorse and probably the closest desktop experience you can get on a tablet – you add a keyboard dock and a Bluetooth mouse, which I know adds even more to the cost, and you have yourself a desktop and tablet all-in-one.
Certainly, Samsung is not going after the Consumer-only market with the 12.2 Galaxy NotePRO model – it comes with Hancom Office Suite that, according to Samsung, offers "85-90-percent of Microsoft's Office Suite," e-Meeting, and Cisco's WebEx, as well as some other "cubicle-friendly" applications. At $419, the Galaxy TabPRO 8.4 will be the most popular among consumers, and the $769 Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 with S-Pen will be looked at more at a corporate level, however, if you keep your tablet at home, the size would be great for an artist, photographers, gamers, or Movie/Video buffs. The 10.1 Galaxy TabPRO, at $519, will be the true sweet-spot – portable enough to still carry in a bag and still large and powerful enough to satisfy a lot of appetites.
Please let us know on our Google+ Page if you are looking forward to the new Galaxy TabPros and NotePros from Samsung and why – or are they too expensive or large for your liking.