Today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung unveiled their worst kept secret, the Galaxy Note 8.0. This small tablet will be Samsung’s newest answer to the space that has exploded with the popular iPad Mini and the also popular Nexus 7.
Looking at the Galaxy Note 8.0, the family resemblance to the Galaxy S III smartphone and the Note II phablet (sorry Cali) is immediately apparent. In fact, if you saw it from afar, you could very much mistake it for its smaller brethren, right down to placement of the front camera and the large center button at the bottom. With its vertical rather horizontal design, It looks a lot more like a smartphone than a tablet.
For Specs you’re looking at:
On the software side, it’s running Android 4.1.2 skinned with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. Why they went with the first iteration of Jelly Bean over the newer 4.2 is a bit puzzling. The new tablet makes use of technologies from the Note II. Among those is the Dual View multi-tasking feature which will no doubt benefit from the 3.5 inches of added screen real estate. Since this is a note you also get the S Pen Stylus and the full suite of connected apps and according to Samsung, there’s a bit of WACOM technology built in.
With the 7 – 8-inch tablet market, media consumption is key and Samsung has recognized this. An app, called Smart Remote allows you use your Note 8.0 as a universal remote for your TVs, set-top boxes, and for those still using them you optical disc players as well. I’m hoping there’s an IR sensor for this built into the tablet rather than a network or bluetooth solution. The Note 8.0 also has a specific mode for reading that Samsung claims turns the Note into an E-reader. If it automatically adjusts the screen to behave more like e-paper, I might be very impressed.
The Note 8.0 will be out sometime in Q2 2013. Pricing has not been announced.
The new Note tablet wasn’t the only thing introduced. Samsung also debuted a set-top box called Home Sync. This one isn’t running GoogleTV, it’s running full Android.
Looking at the spec release, the Home Sync could be a winner. Like the AppleTV, it’s based on smartphone hardware and can stream your Galaxy Smartphone or tablet to your big screen. Then it goes beyond. Like I said before, it runs Android. You have full access to the play store media and even all of your applications. For families, it can handle 8 separate user accounts. Did I forget to mention, it has a 1TB hard drive for storing all your media?
The UI has not been shown off yet, as far as I’ve seen, but this could be a very big product for Samsung if it lives up to the specs. The HomeSync will coming in April at a price to be determined.