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Clearly, part of the Note's appeal, whether earlier versions or the 8-inch full-size tablet option, is the ability to use the S Pen for handwriting and drawing.
The Note 8.0 character recognition is pretty decent, accurately picking up most of my scrawling that passes for handwriting (pictured).
Samsung's core apps designed around use of the S Pen are also present on the device, along with other features like multi-tasking apps such as Popup Note and Popup Video.
On the rear of the tablet there is a 5-megapixel camera, coupled with a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video calling. Picture quality isn't at the top end of the spectrum but it is at least passable. Although quite why 8-inch tablets are used to take photos (or make phone calls, as you can also do with the Note 8 in some markets thanks to the ability to pop in a SIM card) is quite beyond me.
It might come as a surprise, but while the Note 8.0 is a lot bigger and heavier than the Note II it feels a little more manageable in the hands and certainly isn't likely to get too heavy too quickly. The official weight of the 3G-equipped version is 338g, making it 26g heavier than an iPad Mini at 312g.
Essentially, the Note 8.0 is a tablet version of its other category-spanning Note devices and continues the user experience well, feeling less awkward in the hands than the oversize chassis of its smaller siblings.
All images: Ben Woods/ZDNet