Android tablets from most manufacturers tend to hover at the 10.1in mark. Samsung is now going even bigger with a 12.2 inch variant of its upcoming NotePro (12.2) tablet. We have been using a pre-release version of the tablet for roughly a week now, and we have to say, Samsung could be onto something with the extra two inches.
Upping the size of a Galaxy device is typical of Samsung. Before all flagship smartphones were pushing 'phablet' proportions, the company launched the original Galaxy Note. It had a 5.3in screen at a time when 4.3in screens were the norm. The Note was a surprise hit and smartphone screens have been steadily growing ever since.
There is reason behind the larger form factor of the flagship NotePro (12.2). Place an A4 page on top of its 12.2in screen, and you'll notice that the two line up almost perfectly. The fact is the NotePro's size isn't intimidating because we've been carrying A4 papers and books for longer than most of us can remember.
The NotePro (12.2) is a lot more than two additional inches. The entire series uses a 2560x1600 resolution screen, and its 4 million pixels deliver a healthy mix of vibrant colour and clarity. For the sake of perspective, an Ultra HD television features roughly 8 million pixels, but you can't hold that in your hand.
Larger smartphones and tablets tend to be thinner, and the 12.2in NotePro is no different. It is a whisker less than 8mm thick, and although it weighs a hefty 750g, the solid construction gives it an overall good feel. A faux leather back also adds to the experience by bringing to mind the leather of bound books.
Samsung hasn't revealed which CPU the NotePro (12.2) will feature when it comes to Australia. The pre-release unit on-hand features a Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.3GHz CPU. Alternatively, Australian NotePro (12.2) units could come with an eight core Exynos 5 Octa CPU, using the big-LITTLE architecture: a quad-core 1.9GHz CPU, along with a more efficient quad-core 1.3 GHz CPU. Either way, this is good news.
The Android 4.4 KitKat tablet will also come with 3GB of RAM, up to 64GB of internal storage, and the option of adding another 64GB with the use of a microSD memory card. It has a large 9500 milliamp-hour (mAh) battery, and Samsung will produce 4G-capable variants of the tablet.
The NotePro (12.2) has a reputable 8MP rear camera that will record videos in Full HD resolution. Resting near the camera is a LED flash; a nice treat considering most tablets tend to omit flashes. A secondary 2MP camera can be found on its front, and it, too, is fluent in high-definition video recording.
Most of the connections featured on the NotePro (12.2) can be found on its left side. These include a micro-USB 3.0 port, a concealed microSD slot, and the S-Pen stylus that distinguishes Note devices from 'me too' imitations.
The only other peculiar connection can be found centred at the top, and it is an infrared (IR) emitter. The IR emitter makes it possible to use the NotePro at the centre of your home entertainment system as a universal remote control. Our initial impression is that the NotePro will make one impressive universal remote.
Samsung hasn't officially announced the Australian pricing or availability of the Galaxy NotPro series. The new range of tablets hold a lot of promise and we hope they'll land on Aussie shores soon. Good Gear Guide will keep posting updates as more information becomes available.