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Preview: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 has an 8in screen, includes a Wacom-powered stylus and can make regular voice calls

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 has an 8in screen, includes a Wacom-powered stylus and can make regular voice calls.

The design of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 doesn't appear to break any new ground. It uses the same glossy, plastic finish already set by the company's Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II smartphones, and the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet.

The Galaxy Note 8.0 is lighter than Google's Nexus 7, but slightly heavier than the Apple iPad mini. It has rounded corners and a much thicker bezel than the iPad mini, most likely an attempt to distinguish it from that device.

The S Pen is integrated into the bottom right of the rear casing, the opposite side to its location on the Galaxy Note II.

Below the Galaxy Note 8.0's screen is a physical home button, in between a back button on the left and a multitasking button on the right. There's a 5-megapixel rear camera on the back that doesn't have a flash, while a front-facing 1.2-megapixel camera handles video calls.

The Galaxy Note 8.0 has an 8in screen with a resolution of 1280x800, giving it a pixel density of 189ppi. While this betters the iPad mini's 163ppi display, it's not the kind of impressive screen many were expecting. Larger tablets, like the 4th Generation iPad and the Google Nexus 10, have screens that immediately provide a wow factor thanks to a super high resolution.

There's a few new software features on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 including the ability to hover over selected third-party apps with the S Pen. One app to utilise this feature is popular media aggregator Flipboard, though it remains to be seen how many other developers will get on board considering the feature will only work on a single device.

The Galaxy Note 8.0 will initially ship with the 4.1.2 'Jelly Bean' version of Google's Android platform and comes skinned with Samsung's TouchWiz user interface.

The Galaxy Note 8.0 also allows users to use the S Pen on the capacitive "hardware" buttons for back and menu, comes preloaded with the Awesome Note app and includes an infrared port that allows it to act as a universal remote control for devices around the home.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos 4 processor, has 2GB of RAM and comes with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory. There's also a microSD card for extra memory expansion, along with a 4600mAh, non-removable battery.

The 3G/LTE capable version of the Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet will also allow users to make phone calls just like a regular smartphone. Samsung will also sell a Wi-Fi only model of the tablet, though it's not yet known what specific models will be available in Australia.

Specific pricing and availability details haven't been revealed but the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is expected to be available in Australia in the coming months.

More about: Apple, Flipboard, Galaxy, Google, Samsung, Wacom
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