Samsung has taken the wraps off its Galaxy Note 8 tablet over at Mobile World Congress (MWC).
As the name suggests, this is a mid-size 8 inch tablet, which is the same size as the iPad mini (you can hear the sound of legal papers rustling over at Cupertino as we type).
So, what are the key points of the Note? It’s a “Goldilocks” tablet – not too big, not too small – designed to fit in one hand, and it supports multiple (split) windows, plus it comes with a pen (the S Pen stylus).
To quote Samsung mobile President JK Shin: “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.”
(Almost sounds like a Mars bar).
The S Pen has been improved, Samsung promises, with intelligent features such as detection of S Pen usage, and auto-switching to menus which are more usable with the stylus.
Air View tech means the tablet can now detect the S Pen hovering over the display, to open previews of emails, videos, and the like, without actually opening the file or an application fully. That does sound quite neat.
The S Pen can now also operate the physical menu and back buttons on the slate (using WACOM tech).
Dual View is the name for the multi-window options, and this splits the screen allowing you to multi-task, as you would expect.
As for the hardware, the specs include an 8 inch WXGA 1280 x 800 display, a 1.6GHz A9 quad-core CPU, twin cameras (5 megapixel, and 1.3 megapixel front-facer), 2GB of RAM, and 16 or 32GB of storage (with microSD for further expansion).
Dual-band Wi-Fi is supported, and HSPA+ 21Mbps (but not LTE). Jelly Bean 4.1.2 will be on board.
The hardware might not be hugely thrilling, but it’s certainly solid, and some of the new features do sound pretty smart.
Pricing hasn’t yet been revealed, predictably – and will be key to how this Samsung slate sits in relation to the iPad mini. The Galaxy Note 8 should be out some time in the second quarter.