- Editor's Rating
- Excellent battery life
- Useful multitasking controls
- Stylus is very accurate and handy for note taking
- Very expensive compared to alternatives
- Poor camera quality
Quick TakeA very nice tablet, with a lot of features that set it apart from the pack -- and a pricetag which does too, although not in a good way.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is the newest tablet in Samsung’s pen-based tablet line and features a mid-size screen, placing it in-between the popular 5.5-inch Note 2 phablet and 10-inch tablet. The device is priced at $400 at the time of review, which is expensive compared with other tablets at its size. The Galaxy Note 8.0 has a white plastic casing with rounded corners and a large dedicated home button. It weighs 12 ounces, which is lighter than more 7-inch tablets, and its screen shrugs off fingerprints very well.
As indicated by its name, the Galaxy Note 8.0 features an 8-inch screen with 189 pixel-per-inch resolution. TabletPCReview said it’s a “nice screen that’s easy on the eyes,” but noted the default brightness is too low and most users will want to change the brightness settings. The tablet has a standard micro-USB plug, meaning it can be charged with any USB plug, which can come in handy when traveling. The only other buttons and ports on the device are a microSD card slot, power button, volume control and the home button.
The Galaxy Note 8.0 has a 1.6 GHz Exynos quad-core processor, 2 GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage, of which 8.5 GB is available out of the box. However, the microSD card slot allows for up to 64GB of additional storage. TPCR called the Galaxy Note 8.0 a “wonder to use” and noted the device is fast and reliable.
A key selling point for the Galaxy Note 8.0 is the Samsung user interface and S-Pen functionality. The device comes preloaded with a host of Samsung apps and the UI on top of the preloaded Google apps and Android 4.1. TPCR found Samsung’s multi-window viewing capability to be a great additional feature, noting it adds to the usability of the tablet by allowing users to view two apps at the same time to increase multitasking ability. Additionally, the S-Pen functionality is a unique feature. The S-Pen sets itself apart from other styluses by how the tablet recognizes it. The S-Pen can be sensed from a short distance away so users can scroll without actually touching the pen to the tablet, but it doesn’t write until it touches the tablet, which makes it more precise. The Galaxy Note 8.0 will also ignore other input when the S-Pen is being used so users can rest the side of their hand or their palm on the tablet when writing.
DropBox comes preloaded on the Galaxy Note 8.0 and users get 50GB of free space for buying the tablet, which can be added to a new or existing account. The tablet can also be used as a universal remote. TPCR was unimpressed with the tablet’s camera saying it was “more than a little disappointed” in the picture quality. The camera consistently produced grainy images with a lot of noise. However, the Galaxy Note 8.0’s battery life was a “definite highlight” for TPCR. The device lasted 9-10 hours with average use, which is less than the 14 advertised by Samsung, but still better than most comparable tablets. The device also has good standby time, which is Samsung advertises as a full battery lasting 30 days on stand-by mode.
Overall, TPCR found the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is a great tablet but is a bit pricey and noted users who aren’t interested in the extra features like the DropBox integration and S-Pen, will likely not find the tablet worth the price. Nevertheless, TPCR was impressed with the Galaxy Note 8.0’s battery life, multitasking controls and S-Pen, but was disappointed in the camera quality and price.