Introducing the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro Lineup

Samsung Galaxy series of tablets and smartphones have been well received since they first started appearing on store shelves, and with good reason. Not all manufacturers really get industrial design, aesthetics, and the goal of building a cohesive whole that doesn’t cut corners. With the latest Pro series of tablets, Samsung looks to improve on their existing devices, with better performance, some tuning of the industrial design, and some software updates as well. We have the 8.4” and 10.1” Galaxy Tab Pro models in house, though there’s also a larger 12.2” model and a Note version of the 12.2” model that includes a Stylus as well as some other tweaks. Also worth mentioning is the that the Note 10.1” 2014 model appears to be nearly identical to the 10.1” Tab Pro, other than the fact that it has a stylus (S Pen). Here’s the short overview of the current Galaxy Pro product stack:

Overview of Samsung Galaxy Tab/Note Pro/2014 Models
  Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
Dimensions 128x219x7.1mm
(5.1"x8.6"x0.28")
243x171x7.3mm
(9.6"x6.7"x0.29")
244x173x7.6mm
(9.6"x6.8"x0.31")
296x204x8mm
(11.6"x8.0"x0.31")
295x204x7.9mm
(11.6"x8.0"x0.31")
Display 8.4” WQXGA
(1600x2560)
10.1” WQXGA
(2560x1600)
10.1” WQXGA
(2560x1600)
12.2” WQXGA
(2560x1600)
12.2” WQXGA
(2560x1600)
Weight 332g (WiFi)
(0.73 lbs.)
470g (WiFi)
(1.03 lbs.)
541g (WiFi)
(1.19 lbs.)
751g (WiFi)
(1.65 lbs.)
732g (WiFi)
(1.61 lbs.)
SoC (CPU) Snapdragon 800
(Qualcomm MSM8974)
(4 x Krait 400 @ 2.3GHz)
Exynos Octa 5420
(big.LITTLE up to 1.9GHz,
4+4 Cortex-A15+A7)
Exynos Octa 5420
(big.LITTLE up to 1.9GHz,
4+4 Cortex-A15+A7)
Exynos Octa 5420
(big.LITTLE up to 1.9GHz,
4+4 Cortex-A15+A7)
Exynos Octa 5420
(big.LITTLE up to 1.9GHz,
4+4 Cortex-A15+A7)
SoC (GPU) Adreno 330 Mali-T628 Mali-T628 Mali-T628 Mali-T628
Connectivity 802.11ac WiFi 802.11ac WiFi 802.11ac WiFi 802.11ac WiFi 802.11ac WiFi
Memory 2GB 2GB 3GB 3GB 3GB
Storage 16GB 16GB 16GB/32GB 32GB 32GB/64GB
Battery 25.4Wh (~10 hours) 31.2Wh (~10 hours) 31.2Wh (~9 hours) 36.1Wh (~13 hours) 36.1Wh (~13 hours)
Online Price $399 $499 $549/$599 $649 $749/$849

Many of the core elements in the new line of Galaxy Pro offerings are similar –the displays for example are all WQXGA, and frankly that’s probably the biggest selling point right there. Coming from the world of laptop reviews, it’s awesome – and a little disheartening – to see such great displays on tablets. I’ve been asking for good laptop displays for years, and while we are starting to see a shift in the marketplace, most budget laptops still have lousy displays. Not all tablets come with awesome displays, but just about every tablet out there right now at least uses an IPS panel, and more and more we’re seeing high resolution displays as an added bonus. Worth note is that the 10.1 and 12.2 models are available in either black or white versions, but the 8.4 only comes in white (for now?); I actually prefer the white version, though, so that’s not a problem.

Obviously the size and weight of the three core models differs, and the Note versions with their S Pen weigh a bit more, but somewhat surprisingly the SoCs aren’t all the same. The odd man out here is the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, which uses a Snapdragon 800 processor whereas the other four all use the Exynos 5 Octa 5420. (Reportedly the LTE versions of the Pro 10.1 models appear to also use the Snapdragon 800.) What’s ironic about this bifurcation is that in most of our benchmarks the Snapdragon 800 and up being faster than the Exynos 5420. It’s not a major difference in performance, but it is measurable. Battery life on the other hand appears to be better on the Exynos SoC, so it’s not a clear victory regardless. Basically, not all SoCs are created equal in every area.

Wrapping up our quick overview, the amount of RAM varies slightly; the 8.4 and 10.1 "Tab Pro" models come with 2GB, but the 10.1 Note and 12.2 models come with 3GB memory. Battery capacity also varies, with the larger devices having larger batteries – presumably to help power the larger displays, though in practice it often means the larger tablets also get better battery life. The cameras are the same 8MP rear/2MP front, with a flash on the rear camera as well. There are of course different storage capacities available, though they’re more limited than what you might see with, e.g. Apple, as some of the devices only have one eMMC size. The 8.4 and 10.1 Tab Pro models we received have 16GB, with the 10.1 Note 2014 having 16/32GB options; the 12.2 Tab Pro gets bumped to 32GB (only) while the 12.2 Note has 32/64GB options. At least all the models come with an SD card slot (up to 64GB SDXC supported), though that doesn’t necessarily help with (all) applications.

In terms of pricing, the 8.4 is the least expensive of the devices, with an MSRP of $399. The 10.1 costs $499 ($50 extra for the S Pen in the Note, and another $50 to go to 32GB eMMC storage) and the Tab Pro 12.2 costs $649 while the Note Pro 12.2 costs $749 ($849 with 64GB eMMC). LTE versions of the 10.1 and 12.2 devices will typically add another $100 or so (off contract), but there’s no LTE 8.4 option. While none of these are inexpensive tablets, I do have to say that after using the 8.4 and 10.1-inch models, I find myself gravitating towards the 8.4-inch form factor. It’s small enough to be easily transportable and you can hold it with one hand, but it’s significantly larger than any smartphone so it doesn’t overlap that use case. I also generally like using the 8.4 in portrait mode, though some of that is certain personal preference. The fact that it also happens to be a bit faster in many cases doesn’t hurt either, though it would be nice to have a 32GB option.

Let’s move on to a subjective overview of the two devices we received for testing.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 Subjective Analysis
POST A COMMENT

125 Comments

View All Comments

  • Reflex - Sunday, March 23, 2014 - link

    1) Amazon is not in the business of selling a user to a third party, and in fact has strict internal policies for data use.

    2) Again, read the privacy policy. It is dramatically different from Google's. Amazon's goal is to sell you stuff directly, not to sell the customer as the product to third parties.
    Reply
  • realtanu - Sunday, March 23, 2014 - link

    +1 Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Sunday, March 23, 2014 - link

    "1) Amazon is not in the business of selling a user to a third party, and in fact has strict internal policies for data use."

    You could have fooled me with all of those 3rd party resellers using their portal. :)
    Amazon does sell your information to third parties, they just do it using a slightly different model than Google.
    Reply
  • Reflex - Sunday, March 23, 2014 - link

    They actually do not. Create your own reseller via Amazon, anyone can do it. There are no options to purchase information on users, only information on your own product performance. Please actually read the agreements or set up a merchant account(free) to see for yourself. I know its popular to dismiss Google, Facebook and others with "Well everyone else does it" but there are several companies that do not and it is not any part of their business model. Amazon is one. Apple is another (and I dislike Apple, but facts are facts). Reply
  • R0H1T - Monday, March 24, 2014 - link

    And you have definitive proof that Google sells your info to anyone else right ? AFAIK Google is known for targeted ads based on one's browsing history, through cookies which everyone else employs in the same way, or your gmail contents.

    Now the NSA/FBI/CIA et al have access to each of these firm's servers & data center residing in the US but that's the only thing(or entity) that has unrestricted access to your data, as for the rest I don't believe that Google shares everything they have on me & it's not like I have anything to hide nor have I put sensitive/personal info in public domain to begin with !

    The user tracking you're alluding to is done the same way whichever firm you look at, the sharing of sensitive or personal info to non govt organizations is hard for me to believe because only FB does it, again AFAIK, & there's literally no proof of Google doing it in the manner what you've suggested.
    Reply
  • grahaman27 - Saturday, March 22, 2014 - link

    Most would consider it a massive drawback. Reply
  • Reflex - Saturday, March 22, 2014 - link

    Given how well Amazon has done in the market I don't know that its 'most' actually. Some certainly do. Perhaps even many. But the Kindle devices are very large players in the space implying that for many it is not an issue.

    And again, better hardware, cheaper price, better security, better privacy, can sideload anything you need that isn't in the store.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, March 23, 2014 - link

    Better hardware? Or similar hardware? Better security? Doubtful -- different, yes, but not inherently better. Better privacy, perhaps. Sideloading is an option for all Android devices, so that's not really in the cards. Basically, it's as I said: if you can live without Google Play Services they're good devices. Reply
  • Reflex - Sunday, March 23, 2014 - link

    Similar but Samsung is six months late and just prior to a new generation that will be coming later this summer. Furthermore they are more expensive with no significant improvements over the older hardware. And I will say 'better' because of build quality, the KF8.9 construction quality is excellent, something I have yet to see in any Samsung phone or tablet.

    The security of a curated app store is inherently better than the free for all that is Play services. I did not say that sideloading did not exist on others, only that if there is a must have app, you can get it on the Fire via sideloading if you need to.

    And yes, if you need Google Play a KF is not a good device for you. But many people can live without it, as demonstrated by the KF marketshare.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, March 23, 2014 - link

    I'm like many in that I have purchased a number of apps via the Google Play Store over the past few years, which means shifting away from it I would lose over $100 worth of software. I suppose if I had started with the Amazon store I'd be in the reverse situation. I haven't spent time with the Kindle so I can't really say whether build quality is better, but I have no complaints with the Galaxy Pro offerings. Sure, the faux-leather plastic backing isn't the best thing ever, but it felt fine to hold and use on a regular basis. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now