Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Sam­sung throws ev­ery­thing it’s got into the fledg­ling maxi-tablet cat­e­gory. But will it suc­ceed?

ImagineFX - - Reviews - Price £649 Com­pany Sam­sung Web www.sam­ Con­tact 01932 455 000

Wa­com’s Cin­tiq Com­pan­ion – re­viewed in our Jan­uary is­sue – has a lot go­ing for it. As well as func­tion­ing as a ded­i­cated digi­tiser, it can be un­plugged from your com­puter and used as a stand­alone An­droid de­vice. How­ever, its big­gest draw­back is its ridicu­lous price tag: a wal­letemp­ty­ing £1,200. Sam­sung’s Galaxy Note could be the next best thing – and it’s half the price.

At 12.2-inches it’s smaller than Wa­com’s 13.3-inch tablet, but its screen is of a far higher res­o­lu­tion; Ul­tra HD (2,560x1,600 pix­els) in­stead of nor­mal HD (1,920x1,080 pix­els). We’ve seen Ul­tra HD res­o­lu­tions on lap­tops and mon­i­tors, but hav­ing it packed into a tablet is an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence.

Load up an im­age and you see ev­ery brush stroke in fine de­tail, and you no­tice minute de­tails in even the hum­blest of cam­er­a­phone pics. The Galaxy Note Pro runs the lat­est ver­sion of Google’s An­droid op­er­at­ing sys­tem, which is the one that fi­nally catches up with Ap­ple’s iOS in terms of ease-ofuse and slick aes­thet­ics. Sam­sung then over­lays An­droid with its TouchWiz in­ter­face, which fluc­tu­ates be­tween be­ing use­ful and be­ing an­noy­ing. If we’re hon­est, we pre­fer the stock An­droid in­stal­la­tion on Wa­com’s tablet.

Sam­sung’s sty­luses are code­vel­oped with Wa­com, and the lat­ter

Load up an im­age and you see ev­ery brush stroke in fine de­tail – in even the hum­blest of cam­er­a­phone pics

be­lieves the magic pen sup­plied with the Cin­tiq Com­pan­ion is far bet­ter than any­thing Sam­sung does. We’re in­clined to agree, but we still find Sam­sung’s sty­luses pretty darn good. They use clever mag­netic fields, so they can run with­out bat­ter­ies and still have a us­able but­ton. They also fea­ture pres­sure-sen­si­tiv­ity, en­abling you to subtly ad­just the flow of vir­tual ink or paint.

While Sam­sung’s S Note soft­ware in­cludes a va­ri­ety of brushes and pen­cils, it’s a bit too much of a gen­eral note-tak­ing app to be suit­able for dig­i­tal art. Au­todesk’s Sketch­Book hasn’t been up­dated for a while, and it lacks the pres­sure-sen­si­tiv­ity of other apps. ArtFlow, an art app that’s unique to the An­droid plat­form, un­sur­pris­ingly works re­ally well, with a de­cent grasp of pres­sure lev­els, in­stan­ta­neous re­sponses and ef­fec­tive use of the large screen.

The prob­lem Sam­sung’s got is that the Galaxy Note Pro is sim­ply too broad in its uses to be as good as Wa­com’s ded­i­cated art tablet. An­droid’s art soft­ware is catch­ing up, too, but we still pre­fer ArtRage and Pro­cre­ate on the iPad to ArtFlow with a pres­sure-sen­si­tive sty­lus. The Note Pro may be great for look­ing at im­ages, then, but it’s not so good for mak­ing them.

The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2’s large size makes it slightly im­prac­ti­cal, but that’s the price you pay for so much screen real es­tate.

Sam­sung’s sty­luses are co-cre­ated by Wa­com, which can be a lit­tle dis­mis­sive about the stan­dard of its ri­val’s draw­ing in­stru­ments.

Slide the sty­lus out and the tablet au­to­mat­i­cally launches a lit­tle menu to choose com­mon

sty­lus ac­tiv­i­ties, such as cap­tur­ing a por­tion of the screen or mak­ing quick notes.

New to the Galaxy Tab Pro is a faux-leather plas­tic case. We like the feel of it, but the fake stitch­ing is a bit cheesy.

As well as pack­ing 32GB of in­ter­nal stor­age, there’s a mi­cro-SD slot, so you could po­ten­tially add an­other 64GB.

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