Samsung Galaxy Word Professional 12.2 assessment: a pill that proves greater isn't all the time higher

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review: a tablet that proves bigger isn't always better

How do you match 12.2 inches of pill into your life? That is a query I am positive Samsung should have contemplated sooner or later earlier than greenlighting its Galaxy Word Professional 12.2, a tool that stretches the higher limits of what we will simply name a pill. It is also one thing I’ve questioned myself, provided that its measurement places it inside uncomfortably shut competitors with eleven- and thirteen-inch laptops. That improve in display actual property comes at a excessive worth, too: $750 for a 32GB mannequin and $850 for 64GB, each WiFi-solely. LTE-succesful fashions are coming quickly, however Samsung hasn’t introduced pricing but. As you may think, then, the Observe Professional 12.2 is not meant in your common shopper. No, the Galaxy Notice Professional 12.2 is aimed on the prosumer area of interest of the market — whoever and no matter that really means.

The Galaxy Word Professional 12.2 is not an entire departure for Samsung, although. Cosmetically, it is close to- similar to the Word 10.1 2014 Version, besides bigger. There’s that very same fake-leather-based again replete with “stitching,” and a couple of,560 x 1,600 show. What, then, apart from an enormous display, makes the Word Professional 12.2 totally different sufficient to justify the worth? On paper, the reply to that may middle on the model of Android it ships with (four.four.2 KitKat) and its capacity to attach remotely to your PC, in addition to Samsung’s Flipboard-like Journal interface. Let’s be actual, although. With regards to the Observe Professional 12.2, measurement clearly issues most. However that begs the query: Are you able to and your prosumptive tendencies deal with it?

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Samsung

Notice Professional 12.2

Execs

  • Nice measurement for consuming media
  • Comparatively skinny and lightweight, given the massive display measurement
  • Distant PC function works properly and is straightforward to arrange

Cons

  • Too just like the Galaxy Notice 10.1 2014 Version, which prices $one hundred fifty much less
  • Middling battery life
  • Sluggish actual-world efficiency on the WiFi-solely mannequin (the LTE model will use a unique processor)

Abstract

Until you completely want the Notice 12.2’s additional display actual property and Distant PC function, you are higher off getting the Samsung Notice 10.1 2014 Version as an alternative, which gives an analogous expertise for $one hundred fifty much less. 

Hardware

I am going to admit I used to be initially skeptical of Samsung’s determination to counter complaints about its low cost-feeling, plastic design with — anticipate it — cleverly disguised plastic. Extra particularly, I am referring to that fake-leather-based again we first encountered on the Galaxy Observe three, which seems to be the brand new construct normal for Samsung’s flagship cellular merchandise. It is one thing that sounds terrible in writing, and seeing it in photographs does not do it far more justice.

And but, my misgivings have been unfounded. What I assumed can be a cheesy design workaround is definitely a sly coup on Samsung’s half. By some means, with that one change, Samsung’s managed to make this 12.2-inch pill look skilled; a tool befitting that “Professional” moniker. The black, textured matte again feels snug in-hand and appears like one thing you’d pull out of your connecté case. It elevates the Observe Professional 12.2 to a premium perch different Observe tablets fell in need of — a spot the place you might virtually forgive its exorbitant price ticket. Virtually.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review: a tablet that proves bigger isn't always better

As I’ve talked about earlier than, the Observe Professional 12.2 might simply be mistaken for a stretched-out Notice 10.1 2014 Version. It bears an uncanny resemblance that extends even to the port format. The twin-speaker setup occupies each edges of the system, excessive up sufficient that your palms will not muffle the sound. A redesigned, extra trendy S Pen (denoted by its grooved, fake-metallic cap) stays holstered within the higher-proper fringe of the system. Under that’s the place we discover the one vital change. Whereas this spot used to deal with only a coated microSD slot, it now additionally homes a USB three.zero port for quick knowledge switch and charging, although you’ll be able to nonetheless join by way of micro-USB should you like. Aside from that, you’ve got received a three.5mm headphone jack on the higher-left edge, plus energy and quantity up prime alongside an IR blaster.

The Observe Professional 12.2’s entrance face is equally unchanged. Samsung’s emblem seems within the higher portion of the bezel, whereas the bodily house button resides under and is flanked by smooth keys for process administration and navigating backward. Talking of bezels, Samsung seems to have discovered a candy spot measurement-clever that leaves simply sufficient area for customers’ thumbs to relaxation with out overtaking the sides of the display. It is a determination made out of necessity, as properly. At 295.6 x 203.9mm (eleven.6 x eight inches), the Observe Professional 12.2 is large enough that Samsung did not have the posh of including to its dimensions. That stated, at 750g (1.sixty five kilos) and seven.95mm (zero.31 inch) thick, it is surprisingly mild and skinny — two buzzwords which are virtually a should for outsized cellular merchandise.

Totally different connectivity choices imply totally different processors for the Word Professional 12.2 line and since this specific mannequin is of the WiFi-solely selection, it is imbued with an octa-core Exynos 5 SoC. The LTE mannequin, however, will ship with a Snapdragon 800 chip inside. Regardless, each are paired with a wholesome 3GB of RAM, and embrace radios for Bluetooth four.zero and twin-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac MIMO. Moreover, each include both 32GB or 64GB of constructed-in storage. It is value noting that, out of the field, solely 25GB of the 32GB of storage on our unit was out there for private use. Fortunately, you possibly can increase that capability by way of microSD, in order that inner storage constraint should not trigger a lot concern. There’s additionally an enormous, non-detachable 9,500mAh battery to energy that equally large 12.2-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 show.

Show

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review: a tablet that proves bigger isn't always better

For the Observe Professional 12.2 and the Observe 10.1 2014 Version earlier than it, Samsung used a TFT LCD, abandoning the hyper-saturated Tremendous AMOLED panels which have all the time been an indicator of Galaxy merchandise. The commerce-off here’s a set of comparatively muted colours that makes gazing upon the 12.2-inch panel extra enjoyable on the eyes. That 2,560 x 1,600 decision additionally interprets to a excessive pixel density of 247 ppi, which suggests higher element in every little thing from icons to movies. There’s not a visual pixel in sight, nor ought to there be. Viewing angles are unbelievable, as properly, however contemplating the dimensions of the Observe Professional 12.2, I do not anticipate you will have a lot have to view it on a slant when you’re mendacity in mattress. Oh, and when you take this factor outdoors, I might advise you to hunt out shade — even at full brightness, it was very troublesome to make out the display in direct daylight.

Software program

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review: a tablet that proves bigger isn't always better

There is a good quantity of third-get together software program pre-put in on the Galaxy Word Professional 12.2 — about 27 apps, in complete — however because of some deft group on Samsung’s half, you do not actually discover it. You want solely entry the app drawer for proof of this tidy housekeeping. The primary two icons displayed on the grid are devoted folders for Google and Samsung apps. Though, within the latter case, there’s a mixture of non-Samsung-related third-celebration apps included, like Evernote and Flipboard. Due to this streamlining, the Word Professional 12.2’s app format takes up simply over two screens. Even the default house display format appears a bit cleared up: Just one row of apps and two widgets occupy the 2 default house screens.

The Notice Professional 12.2’s bloat might appear to be overkill on Samsung’s half, however the overwhelming majority of it’s helpful and consists of widespread apps most customers would have downloaded anyway. Issues like Twitter, NYTimes, Evernote, Dropbox and Netflix, to call just some examples. The identical goes for productiveness software program like Hancom Viewer (for doc viewing/modifying), e-Assembly (a convention app) and Distant PC, which permits customers to reflect and remotely management their PC or Mac. Samsung’s Sensible Display eye-monitoring options (i.e., Keep, Pause and Rotation) additionally make an look on the Notice Professional 12.2, however they’re disabled by default; you will have to dive into the settings to show them on.

In fact, this being a Observe, Samsung’s additionally bundled in its requisite suite of S Pen apps. The standard gang’s all right here: Motion Memo (a rebranded S Memo) for fast notice-taking; Scrapbook, which collects articles, pictures or movies you spotlight from the online; Sketchbook; and eventually, S Notice, which integrates immediately with Evernote or Samsung accounts. In fact, this assortment of apps serves extra as a neat demo of what the S Pen can do, than as helpful justifications for having the stylus.

The S Pen’s performance hasn’t modified from once we final noticed it on the Notice 10.1 2014 Version. Eradicating it from its holster instantly triggers the onscreen Air Command show, a palette-like management for fast entry to Motion Memo, Scrapbooker, Display Write, S Finder and Pen Window. You can too allow the Air Command show by miserable the S Pen’s constructed-in button when hovering over the display. Of the lot, solely Pen Window and Scrapbooker require the consumer to attract onscreen to impact the specified motion. For instance, after choosing Scrapbooker, customers might want to draw a circle round any gadgets of curiosity so as to add to a private assortment. The identical goes for Pen Window, which launches a pop-up software when a sq. is drawn onscreen.

Swiping left from the bezel, both with the S Pen or your finger, will slide out an app panel for Multi Window shortcuts. To start out filling the obtainable 4 quadrants of the Word Professional 12.2’s display, you want solely drag and drop the app of your selecting. These home windows might be resized nevertheless you want, granting different onscreen apps kind of area, relying in your wants. On prime of this, you possibly can even choose apps from the slide-out panel to seem as pop-up home windows over your Multi Window alternatives. And in a neat UI flourish, Samsung’s made it in order that minimized pop-up home windows seem as floating circles, not in contrast to Fb’s Chat Heads.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review: a tablet that proves bigger isn't always better

Let’s speak about Journal UX, the Flipboard-like residence display/information feed that Samsung designed in collaboration with Flipboard for the Observe Professional 12.2. It is almost equivalent to Flipboard, however is not formally Flipboard. And it is made all of the extra complicated by the truth that particular matter feeds (e.g., Science and Know-how, Arts and Tradition, Sports activities, and so forth.) usually are not solely navigated utilizing the identical web page-flip animation, but in addition supply Flipboard as a curated information supply. So, it is Flipboard… kinda.

Whether or not or not you will recognize this addition to the Word Professional 12.2 depends upon how a lot you employ Flipboard to start with. Do not despair if it isn’t your cup of tea, although. In contrast to on the demo mannequin we previewed at CES, Journal UX just isn’t set because the default residence display and can also be not mapped to the bodily residence button. So you’ll be able to successfully ignore it should you like, however be warned: There isn’t any method to utterly disable it.

Distant PC

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review: a tablet that proves bigger isn't always better

Maybe the smartest function Samsung’s debuting right here is Distant PC, which, because the identify suggests, lets you remotely entry your PC or Mac. The setup course of is pretty simple, and Samsung’s step-by-step onscreen information ought to take all of 5 minutes to finish. To get began, you will have to obtain and set up Samsung’s devoted distant entry software program to your pc, launch the corresponding app on the Word Professional 12.2 and enter an authentication key, which can seem in your PC’s display.

After that, mirroring your PC on the Word Professional 12.2 is as straightforward as choosing your pc icon from inside the app. Distant PC does offer you full entry to your PC, however it’s not with out its quirks. Navigation is cut up up between a mouse-and-pointer setup, accessible from a submenu, or the default gesture controls. When you’d assume it would be extra pure to make use of the contact inputs for management, I discovered the normal pointer management scheme to be extra exact. There’s additionally an comprehensible little bit of lag between what’s being mirrored in your Observe Professional 12.2 and the pc. Relying in your wi-fi connection, although, your expertise might range.

Whereas Distant PC does have its benefits, there’s one facet of it customers will discover irritating, and that is textual content enter. Because the Word Professional 12.2 is a pill, its onscreen keyboard will take up a good portion of the decrease half of the display — the precise place the place most dialog bins for textual content entry would seem. The unlucky result’s you can’t truly see what you are typing, which made for some unintentionally amusing messages on my half. It is certainly not a dealbreaker — distant entry to your PC is an unimaginable boon in and of itself — however you do have to adapt to its quirks.

Efficiency

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review: a tablet that proves bigger isn't always better

When a reviewer forgets to note a brand new product’s efficiency shortcomings, you understand it is a going to be a strong workhorse. And that is precisely the expertise I had throughout my preliminary honeymoon part with the Observe Professional 12.2. Apps loaded shortly, and display transitions have been clean and stutter-free. Every thing labored as gracefully as I anticipated it to with an octa-core Exynos 5 chip and 3GB of RAM.

That’s, till I started pushing the Observe Professional 12.2 to its average limits. I say “average” as a result of I do not assume enabling one occasion of Multi Window on this system ought to trigger it to considerably decelerate. It is a efficiency hiccup that solely grew worse with the addition of extra home windows. Sure, the Observe Professional 12.2 is technically able to displaying 4 open apps plus floating pop-ups on prime of that, however there isn’t any actual profit for the consumer. How might there be when the expertise is marred by a noticeable lag? The truth is, there is a pervasive slowness to the Observe Professional 12.2 that ruins any sense of speedy-hearth multitasking. It is the other of what the gadget’s prosumer buyer would need.

As a media viewer, nevertheless, you possibly can’t actually go flawed with the Observe Professional’s appreciable display measurement. That 12.2-inch display’s a really perfect venue for displaying off shows and excessive-res pictures. It is equally unbelievable for watching Netflix or some other streaming media, as long as you will discover a cushty solution to place it. If you’ll find an appropriate option to prop it up, the Notice Professional 12.2 may even function a strong alternative for viewing media in your laptop computer. The twin audio system are highly effective sufficient that you must be capable of comfortably watch with chatty buddies and even in a reasonably noisy surroundings. As a bonus, there’s additionally no distortion when the quantity is pushed to the max.

And now, again to that Exynos 5 chip. As famous earlier, this WiFi-solely mannequin comes outfitted with 3GB of RAM and Samsung’s octa-core processor inside; that of the large.LITTLE structure. So you are not precisely getting all eight cores firing concurrently, however a setup whereby one of the best-suited set of 4 cores, be it for mild duties or heavy processing, takes over. It is probably the rationale the Notice Professional 12.2 appears to take its time biking via duties when exercise ramps up.

From the desk under, you possibly can see that the Observe Professional 12.2 stands up nicely in benchmark exams in comparison with its smaller sibling, the Observe 10.1 2014 Version, or the Tegra-four powered HP SlateBook x2. And actually, these are the one truthful comparisons we will make as there aren’t many different tablets that push previous the ten-inch mark. What’s curious is that, regardless of each Galaxy Word units sharing the very same processor and RAM allotment, the Notice Professional 12.2 underperformed in two areas the place it ought to’ve achieved parity. Then once more, even the stronger benchmark outcomes do not really mirror our actual-world expertise with the Word Professional 12.2 and its tortoise-like tempo.

Galaxy Word Professional 12.2 Galaxy Notice 10.1 2014 HP SlateBook x2 Nexus 10 Quadrant 2.zero sixteen,639 19,530 thirteen,660 5,363 Vellamo 2.zero 1,786 2,735 three,237 1,854 AnTuTu four 33,967 31,859 N/A 19,253 SunSpider zero.9.1* (ms) 1,044 1,069 654 989 GFXBench 2.7 HD Offscreen (fps) N/A 22 N/A 12 CF-Bench 33,250 31,567 32,725 10,096 *SunSpider: Decrease scores are higher. Scores have been run on Chrome utilizing v0.9.1 for consistency. Word 10.1 scored 1,063 on v1.zero.1. Nexus 10 scores have been run on 10/1/thirteen utilizing Android four.three.

The Observe Professional 12.2’s 9,500mAh battery is a big bump over the eight,220mAh one used within the Observe 10.1 2014 Version. Which is sensible, because it wants extra juice to energy all of the pixels on that 2,560 x 1,600 show. In case you’ve ever taken a take a look at your energy administration tab in Android’s settings, you understand that the show is the most important drain on battery life. Figuring out that, it is best to mood your expectations for longevity. Throughout a traditional eight-hour workday, the Notice Professional 12.2 misplaced slightly below 50 % of its cost and that was with what I might think about regular utilization — some mild shopping, emailing and monitoring of my Twitter feed. I am positive it’d retain that cost even longer, maybe for 2 days, if energy-saving have been enabled and it was left to principally idle beneath mild use.

In comparison with the Word 10.1 2014 Version, the Observe Professional 12.2’s formal battery end result is a bit more promising, however nowhere close to spectacular. With a regionally saved video operating on a loop, Twitter set to sync at 10 minutes and one push e-mail account lively, in addition to WiFi and GPS enabled, the Word Professional 12.2 lasted 10 hours and 4 minutes. That is about two and a half hours longer than the Word 10.1 2014 Version. It is an enchancment, for positive, however as with all formalized check, it is not likely reflective of precise shopper utilization. Your private consumption habits and dedication to energy administration will dictate simply how lengthy you’ll be able to hold the Notice Professional 12.2 powered up.

Digital camera

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review: a tablet that proves bigger isn't always better By no means earlier than in my historical past of product evaluations have I felt sillier than once I walked round Brooklyn taking photographs and video with a 12.2-inch pill. Individuals stared. I might really feel them judging me, and rightly so. Not solely does it really feel ridiculous to take photographs with the Notice Professional 12.2’s eight-megapixel rear digital camera, nevertheless it’s additionally actually troublesome. As I discussed earlier, it is arduous to see the display in brilliant daylight, so oftentimes I wasn’t absolutely conscious of how my shot was framed or if it was in focus. Then there’s the straightforward matter of maneuvering the Word Professional 12.2 so you possibly can entry the digital camera settings menu or scroll by way of the mode-choose wheel. It will make you are feeling clumsy and corny, and do not you’ve a smartphone for this function anyway?

The Word Professional 12.2 snaps pictures at a decision of as much as three,264 x 1,836 in sixteen:9 ratio or three,264 x 2,448 for four:three photographs. Samsung’s included menu choices for burst mode and picture stabilization — each of that are disabled by default — in addition to the power to customise the quantity key perform for video, photographs or zoom. That mode scroll I discussed earlier than provides up the identical suite of settings we noticed debut on the Galaxy S4: Magnificence face, Greatest face, Sound and Shot, Drama, Eraser, et cetera. Throughout my neighborhood walkabout, I caught to Auto mode as that is what most shoppers will in all probability resort to, anyway.

I haven’t got any actual complaints concerning the Observe Professional 12.2’s photograph-imaging efficiency, nor do I’ve any raves. My ultimate batch of photographs was above common. Colour copy was pretty correct, though photographs with a higher depth of subject tended to seem much less finely detailed. My pattern 1080p video, nevertheless, is unwatchable, even with picture stabilization enabled. As you will see under, the Word Professional 12.2 data ambient audio clearly, however completely fails to take care of a clean body fee when the digital camera or objects are in movement.

Configuration choices and the competitors

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review: a tablet that proves bigger isn't always better

First issues first: In terms of the Notice Professional 12.2, you could determine how a lot inner storage you require. In the event you do go down the upper-finish route, you then’ll be paying a $one hundred premium for 64GB of storage, totaling $850. Understand that there’s a microSD slot, so you’ll be able to cheaply increase that storage with as much as a 64GB card. As compared, the 32GB Word 10.1 2014 version, whose display is 2.1 inches smaller and bears the identical S Pen, Exynos 5 processor, display decision and performance, could be had for $600. That is a steep low cost of $one hundred fifty for what is actually an similar pill made by the identical firm.

You need not slender your decisions down to only Samsung’s Galaxy Word line for a excessive-res Android pill. There are options like Google’s Nexus 10, which will get you inventory Android, a 2,560 x 1,600 decision and 32GB of storage for $500. Or you’ll be able to discover one thing like HP’s Tegra-four powered SlateBook x2, a ten-inch full HD convertible pill that comes with a keyboard dock for $480. Though, take observe, the SlateBook x2 is just provided with 16GB of inner storage.

In terms of iOS choices, the 9.7-inch, WiFi-solely iPad Air seems like a relative steal subsequent to the Observe Professional 12.2. For $600, you are getting a touch decrease decision (2,048 x 1,536), 32GB of non-expandable storage and entry to Apple’s ecosystem. A $one hundred worth bump will get you all that and a roomier 64GB of inner storage. Then once more, it does not have lively digitizer pen enter, so there’s that. All advised, the iPad Air continues to be the costlier choice in comparison with the kitted-out Notice 10.1 2014 Version, nevertheless it presents a dependable consumer expertise. That is one thing neither the Notice Professional 12.2 nor Notice 10.1 2014 Version can assure.

Wrap-up

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review: a tablet that proves bigger isn't always better To me, the Galaxy Observe Professional 12.2 is quintessential Samsung. It is emblematic of that spaghetti-to-the-wall strategy we have seen the corporate bask in again and again. I do not know that the Word Professional 12.2 must exist as a result of I do not know that there is truly a distinct segment hungry sufficient for this product. With its similar-y internals and have load, the Word Professional 12.2 appears extra like an endorsement of the cheaper and smaller Notice 10.1 2014 Version. Overlook the Flipboard-ish Journal UX and Distant PC performance — its solely two standout options. The whole lot the Notice Professional 12.2 can do, the Word 10.1 can do exactly as nicely, and even higher if we’re taking benchmarks into consideration.

Then there’s that worth. An MSRP of $750 or $850 is tough to swallow contemplating you are primarily getting two extra inches of display area and a efficiency that tends towards a extra leisurely tempo. The Observe Professional 12.2 can also be too huge to carry comfortably. Sure, it is an amazing go-to for media consumption, however you both have to organize for wrist fatigue or MacGyver a rig to prop it up independently. It is simply not well worth the hassle. Prosumer or not, there are higher, cheaper methods to do what the Notice Professional 12.2 aspires to do.

Edgar Alvarez and Daniel Orren contributed to this evaluation.