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Samsung Galaxy Note Pro vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 2

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January 30, 2014

Gizmag compares the features and specs of Samsung's Galaxy Note Pro and Microsoft's Surfac...

Gizmag compares the features and specs of Samsung's Galaxy Note Pro and Microsoft's Surface Pro 2

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Samsung's gigantic Galaxy Note Pro is a tablet unlike any other. As an Android slate with a 12.2-in screen, it doesn't exactly have a lot of obvious competition. So why not compare it to the Microsoft Surface Pro 2, another popular tablet that uses a stylus? Join Gizmag, as we break down their features and specs.

Size

The Note Pro is 8 percent longer and 18 percent wider

The Galaxy Note Pro is enormous. The Surface Pro 2 is already a fairly large tablet, but Samsung's Note is eight percent longer and 18 percent wider. The one dimension where the Note Pro isn't big is depth, coming in 41 percent thinner than the beefy Surface.

Weight

Despite being much smaller, the Surface is 21 percent heavier than the Note Pro

That thick build in the Surface also helps to make it much heavier. The Galaxy Note Pro is 17 percent lighter than Microsoft's tablet/PC hybrid.

Build

Samsung has been smitten with pleather of late

Samsung loves it some pleather. All of the company's recently-announced mobile devices have the soft-touch plastic build that we first saw on the Galaxy Note 3.

Neither tablet includes a keyboard accessory, but you can buy compatible keyboard covers for both. Microsoft's Touch Cover and Type Cover are integral parts of the Surface experience, while Logitech has already announced its own keyboard cover for the Note Pro.

Display

The Surface gives you 72 percent as much screen real estate

The Note's screen is much bigger, as the Surface only gives you 72 percent as much display area. The Note's resolution is also sharper, with a solid 248 pixels per inch.

Stylus

Each device ships with an included stylus

Both devices are marketed for productivity and, at least in theory, their included styluses help out with that. We think the stylus makes a lot of sense on Surface when navigating legacy desktop apps. We haven't spent enough time with the Note Pro to have a lot to say about its stylus integration, but it's very similar to that of the Note 3, with TouchWiz's Air Command window at the center of things.

Processor

It's one of two mobile processors for the Note Pro vs. an Intel desktop CPU for the Surfac...

Both devices may look like tablets, but we're looking at mobile (Note) and desktop (Surface) processors on the inside. On the user end, both tablets should deliver zippy performance.

RAM

RAM totals for each device

The Note Pro's 3 GB of RAM is a lot for a mobile device. Microsoft, though, sells the Surface Pro 2 in two higher memory configurations that also reflect its laptop guts.

Storage

Storage options for both tablets

There's a bit of overlap at the 64 GB point, but otherwise storage options also reflect the tablets' different mobile and PC roots. Also keep in mind that your storage choices for the Surface will depend on which RAM configuration you choose.

Ports

The Surface's USB port gives it a bit of accessory versatility that the Note's microUSB po...

The Surface Pro 2 also has PC-like ports, including one USB 3.0 and a Mini DisplayPort. Both tablets have microSD card slots to augment that internal storage.

Wireless

The Note Pro will be sold in Wi-Fi + 3G/LTE models in addition to Wi-Fi only

Samsung is going to offer the Note Pro in both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi with cellular data models. Don't hold your breath for a mobile data-enabled Surface Pro 2 anytime soon.

Battery

The Galaxy Note Pro has an enormous battery inside

One advantage of making a gigantic tablet like the Note Pro is that you can squeeze an enormous battery inside. We can't jump to any conclusions about the Note's battery life yet, but it's hard to see this 9,500 mAh sucker not providing at least good uptimes.

Battery life was a concern in the original Surface Pro, but the Surface Pro 2's Haswell chip helps it to last much longer than that first model did.

Cameras

Cameras look like a big advantage for the Note Pro

Cameras look to be a huge advantage for the Note Pro ... not that we'd recommend hoisting this unwieldy glass and plastic slab for any serious photography.

Software

The Note Pro ships with the latest version of Android, though it has Samsung's TouchWiz UI...

The Note Pro ships with the latest version of Android (4.4 KitKat) but it has a very thick layer of Samsung software goop slapped on top of it. There's the standard TouchWiz, but also a new Magazine UX that lives on the home screen. It's a series of permanent widgets that bears more than a passing resemblance to the Modern ("don't call me Metro") UI that you'll find in Windows 8.1.

Desktop apps

The Surface Pro 2 runs traditional Windows desktop apps

Samsung may be marketing the Note Pro as a professional productivity-oriented tablet, but don't expect it to run any desktop apps. That's the Surface Pro's killer feature, as you'll be able to run older Windows apps. That also means you can run Microsoft Office on it, though the expensive suite isn't included with your purchase.

Release cycle

The Surface released in October, and the Note Pro is set to launch before long

The Surface Pro 2 has been on store shelves for several months now, and the Note Pro is still getting ready to launch.

Pricing

That's the pre-order price for the Note Pro in the UK, so take the USD conversion with man...

In most regions, pricing is still a question mark for the Note Pro. But Samsung does have it up for pre-order in the UK for a hefty £649. That translates to around US$1,070, which would have it starting at even more than the Surface Pro 2. Just know that different tax systems can have those direct conversions flying a bit off the mark. Either way, though, we wouldn't bet on the Note Pro's official pricing dropping too far below US$1,000 (if not coming in above).

For more on the new Galaxy Note Pro, you can check out our hands-on from CES.

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About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
  All articles by Will Shanklin
15 Comments

My enterprise has both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 but frankly I do not see a compelling reason for the Pro 2. Its powerful, more so then, say, a Dell Venue 11 Pro but all that power is behind such a small screen. And as far as a tablet it just stinks with its weight, thickness, etc.

If the Pro had everything that made the Pro great and then also had a 12" screen and the same thinness, weight, battery, etc of the S-GNP it would be just right.

Rann Xeroxx
31st January, 2014 @ 05:56 am PST

This device seems pretty good. In order for Apple to compete they must come up with the multitasking and some sort of iStyle (stylus) that makes iOS a better experience than just IOS7. I commend Samsung for trying something different. and yes i will also want to say that both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro to and I did not seen a compelling reason for the Pro 2.

Alicelewis
31st January, 2014 @ 06:36 am PST

I think that is a very good comparison. It was very informative and fair; IMO.

BigGoofyGuy
31st January, 2014 @ 06:45 am PST

Comparing the diagonal measurements doesn't do justice to the Samsung's size. In display area, the Samsung is larger by 39 percent. From http://www.sven.de/dpi/ :

Pro 2: Display size: 10.35" × 6.47" = 66.89in² (26.28cm × 16.42cm = 431.58cm²) at 247.45 PPI, 0.1026mm dot pitch, 61231 PPI²

Surface: Display size: 9.24" × 5.2" = 48.01in² (23.47cm × 13.2cm = 309.75cm²) at 207.82 PPI, 0.1222mm dot pitch, 43190 PPI²

Paul Stregevsky
31st January, 2014 @ 08:56 am PST

I have a dell venue pro 11. I bought a keyboard dock and I have 17 hours of battery life. I didn't have to pay for Microsoft office. Including the Keyboard it was $624 and it would have been $499 without it. It is hard to imagine I would be any happier with either of the above.

Mitko Ian
31st January, 2014 @ 12:01 pm PST

I went to Best Buy with the intent to buy that Samsung Note Pro but esthetics matter to me and, with hands on, the edge treatment of this and other Samsung devices is so butt ugly retro and poorly finished that it completely put me off and I left without it. I want to use my next device a lot and seeing that design abomination a lot on something I want to use for pleasure just won't work for me. Their excellent specs will be matched soon enough for me by someone who understands design and the importance of it. I'll wait.

DonGateley
31st January, 2014 @ 12:51 pm PST

Comments about "trying out the note pro" at Best Buy piss me off. I'm a Samsung Experience Consultant in the US and I know FOR A FACT that Best Buy does not carry this product in stores OR online for that matter. Don't dis a product before you actually use it, jackass.

Vince Moretto
31st January, 2014 @ 06:33 pm PST

@DonGateley,

LOL, as Vince stated, the Samsung Note Pro is not even available in US stores yet. Yet another Apple fanboy using the old material-not-up-to-standard rubbish and the supposed lack of design. What's funny is that I see wonderful designs everyday for products that top Apple styling/design. People really need to wakeup and look around at the world's designers have to offer.

Back to the subject of this article, both my wife and I are very interested in the Note Pro 12.2 and will likely purchase at least one. Why? For me, the stylus; for my wife, the screen size.

Fahrenheit 451
1st February, 2014 @ 03:37 pm PST

Indeed I confused it with the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition that Best Buy does carry. Honest error. Does this one look any better than that one Mr. Samsung?

FWIW, fanboy, I've got exactly one Apple anything, a used iPod Touch 4G to run a single app. Gotta say, however, that it makes a remarkable professional quality multi-track stereo recorder with the right add-on hardware/software and microphone(s). Battery runs down way too fast though.

DonGateley
3rd February, 2014 @ 10:48 am PST

Surface Pro blows Samsung Galaxy Note Pro away. Surface Pro runs a full blown x86_64 system with an intel chip whereas The Samsung Galaxy Note is running a mobile system with a Mobile processor. The x86_64 i5 architecture is way more powerful than any ARM processor, which is in the Galaxy Note Pro. I can do everything in the world on a Surface Pro, that includes building apps for the Galaxy Note Pro and building apps for Surface and Windows Desktops. I can even create programs for Linux. Yep, I can even use Visual Studio. Also I can program for embedded systems like Arduino boards. With the Surface Pro, the only limitation is your imagination but with the Galaxy Note a user is limited and there are all types of obstacles in your way compared to the Surface Pro. On that note, since I am an advanced user, I would chose Surface Pro all day long.

Now that is out the way, these two system should not even be compared. One is mobile(Samsung Galaxy Note) and the other is meant to be mobile but to replace your laptop or desktop at home and to be able to do everything a person can imagine, which that is the Surface Pro.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro vs Surface RT 2

is a better comparison.

Benny Singh
5th February, 2014 @ 07:50 am PST

This is a comparison of "Apples vs. Oranges". To a significant degree these are dissimilar devices intended for different purposes For example, if you want to run Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Office Professional, the Surface Pro is your only choice irrespective of the screen size, display, battery life, weight etc. etc. On the other hand if you want to run Android apps, the Galaxy Note Pro is your only choice. Of course there is some overlap in what these devices do, but then again there is also some overlap between these devices and an IPhone or a Samsung Galaxy S4.

stl4565
5th February, 2014 @ 05:32 pm PST

My problem here is that the Galaxy Note Pro is limited to Android. Don't get me wrong, I love Android. I own the new nexus 7 and it is a phenomenal tablet. HOWEVER, I can't replace my Laptop with it because Android just isn't as productive. The Note Pro does come preloaded with Samsung's TouchWiz, which helps, but the Surface Pro was built for productivity. It can run any application that you install on it, and with BlueStacks, it can also run any app in the Google Play Store via an Android emulator. I can install iTunes on it and have access to my entire Apple library, as well as the Kindle and nook apps to have access to my libraries there as well. Not to mention the desktop versions of Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive which sync automatically. IMHO there is no comparison between a tablet running Android/iOS and one running a full Windows 8.1 OS. 50 years from now when the Galaxy Note Pro 157.1 comes out running a full Linux OS or the iPad 42 comes out with full blown OSX I may buy something different. Until then I'll stick with the Surface Pro.

Joshua Kesler
13th February, 2014 @ 01:58 pm PST

Once again Samsung beats Apple to the punch. And they say Apple is the innovative company. Once rumors of an Apple TV set was in the works, Samsung releases their smart TV lineup. Once Apple smart watch was in the rumors, Samsung releases their Galaxy Gear watches. Once the large size pro iPad was rumored, Samsung releases their Galaxy Note Pro.

Aldwin Chan
20th February, 2014 @ 06:10 pm PST

I am in a situation where I just can't decide between these two devices. I have used both the Samsung Galaxy Note 2014 and a MS Surface Pro 2 and I need to decide which one to buy for myself.

What a lot of people forget is some very basic negatives about the Surface Pro 2:

- The stylus only clips on the side and not inserted into the device...you WILL lose it with it flicking off when you are not aware...expensive!

- The SP2 does not have SIM card capability so you are only good to go where there is WiFi or you have to carry around a dongle...I found having this far more expensive and a huge hindrance

- A very big positive of the SP2 is the Windows OS however this I found became a huge negative as well. On a 10" screen using your finger with Windows Explorer became so so frustrating trying to tap the right file or do something in Word or Excel etc. After a while every time I used it my eyes began to hurt which limited my use of it

Sure you can go on about looks and everything else but just 1 negative is worth 5 positives.

I really like the idea of a Win OS but that means you are going to use it as a pseudo PC and 10" is no good, no easy on the go connectivity is no good, eye strain is no good, and lack of ability to use it for work like multiple USB (Dongle, Mouse, Keyboard) and no standard screen HDMI etc is all no good so to me the SP2 can't decide what it wants to be.

On the other hand if I could get the Galaxy Note Pro to be more of a business device (like having Win OS) then I would buy heaps of them for the office

Ian Baker
27th March, 2014 @ 03:26 pm PDT

i love the galaxy tab pro 12.2 and use it far more than my desktop now... and for the surface pro users... you stay with a microshit stuff that we all hate for their their monopol. At last we see see something different than those shitty buggy microshit things...

Adhémord Pion
12th September, 2014 @ 12:53 pm PDT
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