We knew another Note was coming. After all, Samsung Mobile head JK Shin confirmed the news back in January. But here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the tablet's finally been made official. If you haven't already inferred from its name, Samsung's latest S Pen entry boasts an 8-inch 1,280 x 800 TFT display. That puts it on par with the Note 10.1's resolution, although here users will obviously benefit from a more eye-pleasing pixel density (189ppi) and smaller 210.8mm x 135.9mm x 7.95mm (8.3 x 5.4 x 0.31 inches) footprint. Beneath that love it or hate it sealed plastic chassis, lies the company's Exynos 4 Quad processor clocked at 1.6GHz and paired with 2GB RAM, radios for WiFi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, GLONASS and HSPA+ 21 (850/900/1900/2100MHz), up to 32GB of internal storage (microSD expansion available), in addition to a 4,600mAh battery. And, as with most Android products rolling out as of late, the Note 8.0 will ship with version 4.1.2 of Jelly Bean onboard -- skinned with the requisite TouchWiz UX.
Gallery: Hands-on with Emtrace Photoskins and WidgetStation | 8 Photos
Gallery: Hands-on with Emtrace Photoskins and WidgetStation | 8 Photos
Consider the Note 8.0 a hybridized offering of the GS III, Note II and Note 10.1's software innovations. Along with the familiar suite of S Pen apps (S Note and S Planner), Samsung's new tab also includes support for Smart Stay, Multi-Window and Air View functionality, Popup video and note, as well as AllShare Play and Cast. Also of note (sorry) are two third-party apps that Samsung's pre-loaded onto the tab: Flipboard (customized to take advantage of the S Pen's hover and preview capabilities for headlines) and Awesome Note, which is debuting as a one-year exclusive. And, in a major first for the Note line, users will finally have the ability to control those Android navigation keys (back and menu) with the S Pen.
Because this is a mid-sized tablet, Samsung's positioning the Note 8.0 to double as an e-reader and living room companion. To that end, the Note 8.0 includes "reading mode," which adjusts the LCD display for an easier on the eyes prolonged reading experience (compatible with third-party ereader apps) and Smart Remote, a Peel-powered application that's part visual program guide and part remote control (using the inbuilt IR blaster). Oh, and did we mention the Note 8.0's also a phone? Well, the HSPA+ global model is, anyway. LTE and WiFi-only models are currently in the works, with that latter variant headed to US shores.
Outside of a Q2 global launch, Samsung hasn't yet shared any concrete info around the Galaxy Note 8.0's pricing and availability. Details on that end should be forthcoming, though we don't expect the company to share that information this week in Barcelona. In the meanwhile, check out our full hands-on for a more intimate look.
INTRODUCING THE GALAXY NOTE 8.0,
A NEW ERA OF PORTABILITY AND EVERYDAY PRODUCTIVITY
SEOUL, Korea [February 24, 2011] – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, today announced the launch of the 8 inch tablet, the GALAXY Note 8.0; a new era of intelligent Note technology set to re-ignite the mid-size tablet category that Samsung established in 2010. Providing unrivalled multimedia performance within a compact one-hand-grip screen, the GALAXY Note 8.0 has the power and advanced technology to evolve the tablet experience and ensure you achieve new levels of efficient multi-tasking while benefitting from superb voice call functionality*. Furthermore, the intelligent S Pen brings together the latest innovation and the ease of using a traditional pen and paper; creating a sophisticated mobile experience that will enhance life on the go.
"Back in 2010 the launch of the first Samsung GALAXY Tab with 7 inch screen opened a new chapter in the mobile industry. Now almost three years later, Samsung continues to evolve the sector that meets the demands of modern life." said JK Shin, President of the IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics.
"The GALAXY Note 8.0 breaths fresh life into the category as it delivers the perfect fusion of portability and everyday productivity - the result is a pioneering, pocket-sized solution that enhances and enriches our everyday lives, whether at work or play," added Shin.
At the core of the GALAXY Note 8.0's innovative solutions are beneficial functions, including multi-window options to split the portable 8inch screen and allow optimal access to a number of live applications; a new generation of Samsung's intelligent S Pen with advanced usability; access to a suite of S Note templates and tools that allow you to create, edit, manage and share everyday documents; the Samsung "reading mode" technology to enjoy e books with optimized resolution, video and voice calls*. In addition, a suite of exciting new content and services are pre-loaded for users at no additional cost including, for the very first time on Samsung GALAXY tablet, the innovative Flipboard, and Awesome Note.
A smart diary for life on the go
Slim and compact enough to become the perfect on-the-go work and play companion, the GALAXY Note 8.0 brings powerful performance and functionality to support even the most demanding of lifestyles. Designed to store and manage your personal and professional data efficiently, the new era device gives users the perfect pocket-sized hands-on organizational tool. Practical S Note templates and S Planner feature help to manage everyday tasks, including meeting notes, to-do lists and even personal diary entries. All content can be entered and updated with the finest of detail thanks to the evolution of the intelligent Samsung S Pen. Enhanced precision is offered with Handwriting-to-Text conversion and advanced Productivity Tools that support formula and shape recognition are now available at the touch of your S Pen.
New content and services
GALAXY Note 8.0 is packed with pre-loaded content and apps specifically for the value maximizing, mass multimedia consumer. Upgraded Chat-On provides easy instant messaging and group chatting in multiple formats – images, video, voice, contacts – for simple, enjoyable communication. Awesome Note, an integrated application that is introduced in android tablet for the first time with NOTE 8.0, is capable of unlimited note-taking uses including Memo, Diary and Must-remember lists. With Flipboard, your news, social network and other feeds come together in one stylish, flippable format so you can enjoy all your news and life's great moments in one place. Flipboard developed a customized version of its application exclusively for Samsung that allows users to take the S Pen's hover feature and preview article headers beneath Flipboard's main screen tiles. Finally, Smart Remote, gives you a universal remote control and electronic programming guide allowing you to manage TV and video watching seamlessly.
A new age of S Pen intelligence
Optimized to aid personalized creativity, the Samsung S Pen has evolved to increase everyday usability and enhance creation expression. Embedded within the tablet, the S Pen is an extension of the GALAXY Note 8.0. Removing the S Pen from the device will automatically launch innovative features such as Pen Detection that will suggest adapted menus that it thinks you'll need and Page Buddy, a feature that will intuitively activate your most recently adapted S Note home screen.
S Pen technology is now so advanced that it doesn't even have to touch the screen. With Air View, the S Pen needs only to hover over the screen to see previews of videos, emails, photos and appointments on SPlanner without opening the file or application in full. S Pen Gesture allows images and content to be easily edited and cropped, whilst Paper Artist and Photo Note allow photos to be artistically personalized.
In addition, for the very first time in GALAXY NOTE category, you can use S Pen to control the physical menu/back buttons on the device with WACOM technology.
Maximizing mass multimedia consumption
Creative multi-tasking with the GALAXY Note 8.0 is effortless due to innovative Dual View feature, two multi window options that seamlessly allow you to facilitate multi-screen usage. Dual View's split screen accommodates optimal operation of different apps, such as launching the S Note on the web browser screen and allowing content to be resized, dragged and dropped as required.
Multi-tasking is extended to phone calls*. Pop Up Note allows you to access S Note at any time to keep track of key actions and Pop Up Video ensures you can keep surfing the web whilst chatting – content windows can be easily resized by pinching to enlarge or reduce.
Perfect info-tainment partner
Packed with features to engage, entertain and excite, the GALAXY Note 8.0 supports your practical everyday needs. Reading Mode transforms the GALAXY Note 8.0 into an e-Book reader, provides the optimal reading conditions to ensure you can curl up and enjoy a good book. You can even turn it into a universal remote control with Smart Remote, to seamlessly manage TVs, set-up boxes, DVD & Blu-ray players.