At CES 2014, Samsung unveiled a business-centered version of its Galaxy Tabs, the Galaxy TabPRO, which is available in three sizes. But the new slate the company seemed most amped to promote is the companion Galaxy NotePRO, which comes only with a 12.2-inch display. The Samsung S Pen stylus is also included, along with a suite of productivity apps and features designed to take advantage of the combination of a stylus and the NotePRO's 2560 x 1600 resolution screen.
I spent some hands-on time with the TabPRO and NotePRO on the CES floor, and both certainly pack a pixel density on the screen that is of noticeable quality. Samsung's new "Magazine UX" design for the home screen bears a resemblance to a combination of the Windows 8 home screen with a little bit of Google Now thrown in.
12.2-inches is big for a tablet, and I found it easy to use the stylus when the tablet was mounted on its display pedestal, but it seems awkward to me to hold this large of a device in one hand and use the S Pen on it using the other. It works just fine when it's on a table or counter top, but then, so does a laptop.
Nonetheless, for uses suited to a large touch screen and a stylus, the NotePRO could be the best thing going. It also has the ability to split the screen between four apps at once for serious multitasking. This feature is also part of the TabPRO, but the NotePRO with its S Pen seems much better suited to take advantage of this feature.
Other S Pen features provide handy shortcuts, like the ability to take notes on the fly, write on screenshots, and quickly save content in a scrapbook.
Also included in the package are pre-loaded meeting apps like WebEx and prepaid subscriptions to premium business apps like Bloomberg BusinessWeek+ and NY Times.
No word yet on how much the NotePRO will cost, but Samsung says to expect it sometime this quarter.
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