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Summary:

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.0 Android tablet arrives in the US on April 11. The slate is poised to compete against Apple’s iPad mini and includes Samsung’s digital S-Pen. Early reviews suggest, however, that $399 is too much, even with the note-taking feature.

Galaxy Note 8 featured

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.0 arrives in the U.S. later this week the company announced on Tuesday. Starting April 11, the 8-inch Android tablet with digital ink support arrives on retail shelves and on the web for ordering at $399.99. Amazon, Best Buy & Best Buy Mobile, h.h. gregg, Newegg, P.C. Richard & Son, Staples and TigerDirect.com are Samsung’s retail partners for the new slate.

Most of the hardware specifications and pictures line up with what we saw back in January:

  • 8-inch LCD with 1280 x 800 resolution
  • 5 megapixel rear camera, 1.3 megapixel front camera
  • 2 GB of memory, 16 GB of storage (up to 64 GB microSD expansion supported)
  • Android 4.1.2 with Samsung TouchWiz
  • A 1.6 GHz quad-core processor
  • S-Pen and supporting software

The 8-inch tablet is basically a super-sized version of the Galaxy Note 2 smartphone, owing largely to its digitizer support for the S-Pen and similar features. Like the Note 2, the new Note 8.0 supports hovering with the pen for drill-down information in many apps and the ability to run two applications on the screen at one time. I love this feature on my Note 2, but I can see even more value on the larger display of Samsung’s new tablet. Of course, the Note 2 works with cellular voice calls; the same can’t be said of the Note 8.0.

Browser and Twitter on Galaxy Note 2

Surely the $399 Galaxy Note 8.0 will be compared heavily to Apple’s $329 iPad mini. I’ve already seen comments and reviews that the Note 8.0 is too expensive by comparison. Even without getting my hands on Samsung’s new slate, however, I find that to be a short-sighted viewpoint.

Yes, the tablet is $70 more. For that premium, you’re getting a slightly higher pixel density, digital pen support, ability to upgrade the memory with a microSD card. Are those features worth the $70? That’s up to you and how you use your mobile devices, of course.

  1. eddiewhetzel Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Too bad the phone piece isn’t enabled (yet to happen?). Really want that combined experience. Passing for now…..

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    1. Highly doubtful the cellular voice support will ever be officially enabled on the U.S. models, Eddie. In fact, the traditional phone speaker atop the display is gone…. not that folks would likely use it, but it tells you that this a tablet for sure, not a phone.

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      1. eddiewhetzel Tuesday, April 9, 2013

        Oh Boohoo. That’s pretty annoying, for me anyway! What about a future cell version where I can use my Line2?

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      2. eddiewhetzel Tuesday, April 9, 2013

        Oh duh. My comment was goofy. Never mind!

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  2. dennisvjames Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Yes it’s worth it to be people who tablet. I am using Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with LectureNotes (a little rough but powerful handwriting tool), Office Suite Pro, Dropbox, LastPass, Xmarks, Dolphin/Firefox, Pocket, LinkedIn, Evernote, and Touchdraw. In heaven, yes I am.

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  3. Craig Campbell Wednesday, April 10, 2013

    I’m certainly tempted (but then again, every gadget tempts me – it’s a curse) and I really liked the Note 10.1. I think this could be the perfect size for digital note taking. I do think it’s a shame that Samsung have made it so plasticky though – something more like the Galaxy Tab 7.7 would be very much welcomed (without the disgraceful abandonment by Samsung of that excellent hardware).

    Even something in-between, like the original Galaxy Tab, and first Galaxy Tab 7.0, which were considerably more solid feeling than Samsung’s tablets and phones since.

    All that being said, I’m eagerly awaiting my local Best Buy having one of these for me to try.

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  4. Would buy the Phone version in a heart beat!

    No Phablit.
    TMo say it ain’t so.

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