MWC 2013: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 to take on Apple iPad mini

Samsung defined the multi-sized tablet market, and Apple decided 8 inches was better than 7. Samsung has now followed up with its own unique take on the 8-inch tablet.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

Samsung launched its first Android tablet in 2010, starting off with a 7-inch display. It then moved on to 10.1 inches, 7.7 inches, 8.9 inches, 5 inches, 5.5 inches with Galaxy Note II, and back to 10.1 inches with the Galaxy Note 10.1. At the Mobile World Conference (MWC) event in Spain, it revealed the Galaxy Note 8, which looks to take on Apple's new iPad mini.

Readers know I am a huge fan of the Galaxy Note II and find the unique Samsung features and functions such as the S Pen, multi-window view, and other TouchWiz enhancements to be worthwhile. CNET has a hands-on article showing off the new Galaxy Note 8 and the S Pen functions that really set it apart from the iPad mini.

The Note II looks like a large Samsung Galaxy S III, and now the Note 8.0 looks to be an even larger version of the GS III with the same overall design features and arrangement. There is nothing revolutionary with the design, but Samsung is successful with these tablets and large smartphones because of their enhanced features and inking capability. Specifications for the Galaxy Note 8.0 include:

  • 8-inch display with 1280x800 pixel resolution (ppi)

  • Quad-core 1.6 GHz Samsung Exynos processor

  • Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean OS

  • 2GB of RAM

  • 16GB and 32GB internal storage options

  • MicroSD card slot for memory expansion

  • IR port for TV control

  • 5-megapixel rear camera and 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera

  • Dimensions: 210.8x135.9x7.95 mm and 338 grams of weight.

It's interesting to see that Samsung added an infrared port back into the Note 8.0, along with a new Samsung TV Discovery app so you can control your TV and entertainment system. We just saw HTC announce its new HTC One with IR support and a media application too, so I suppose we will see Apple put this on a device in the future and tell us how it invented it.

The model coming to the US will be wi-fi only, so this is definitely not a device designed to challenge the Note II, but to fill in the gap between a large phone and a large tablet. The international 3G model will allow you to make and receive phone calls. Since I use my Note II primarily for data, the Note 8.0 with phone support could be useful. Then again, I still pocket my Note II and there is no pocket in my wardrobe that supports anything the size of the Note 8.0. There is not yet any pricing or availability information for the Galaxy Note 8.0.

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