Some analysts expect Apple to introduce a larger “iPad Pro” later this fall, but Samsung has beaten them to the punch. The Korean firm today announced a pair of 12.2″ Galaxy tablets running Android.
Engadget got a hands on with the 12.1-inch Galaxy NotePro, noting that it “simply isn’t designed for optimal portability” and that it is awkward to hold for long periods of time. Weighing in at 1.66 lbs with a 2560×1600 pixel display at 247 ppi, the device is significantly larger than the iPad Air.
First, let’s discuss the key specs. With a larger Note comes an even larger 9,500mAh battery, an 8MP rear camera paired with a 2MP front camera, “super clear” WQXGA LCD panel, IR support, dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac MIMO, USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 4.0. The LTE model promises support for 800/900/1800/2100/2600+850, while you’ll get quad-band HSPA+ (with a max of 21Mbps).
The Note Pro 12.2 runs Android 4.4 KitKat, but the user experience is drastically different than any Note we’ve played with before. Instead of being graced with a standard Android/TouchWiz home screen panel when pressing the home hardware button, you get whisked away to a new interface lovingly called Magazine UX. This experience consists of three separate customizeable screen panels: one for your office/workspace, another for personal use and a last one that handles your social networks and media.
The Verge also has a hands-on video with the new tablets:
There are two 12.2-inch variants — the GalaxyNotePro which includes Samsung’s S Pen functionality, and the Galaxy TabPro which does not — though both include custom Samsung software and firmware. It will come in LTE, 3G and Wi-Fi-only variants and is expected to launch later this quarter. Pricing is not yet available.
Along with the 12.2-inch devices, Samsung introduced several other new Galaxy TabPro tablets, in 10.1- and 8.4-inch variations.