What is the Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4?
The Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4 is a part of Samsung’s new business-orientated tablet line and a direct rival to the iPad mini 2. With a stunning 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution display, the smallest of the three new Tab PRO models pairs its premium specs sheet with the company’s new Magazine UX interface. The tablet is also available in 10.1 and 12.2-inch forms. Finalised pricing is yet to be announced, but a Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4 release date has been set for the latter part of Q1 2014.
Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4: Design
Cut from the same mould as Samsung’s recent tablet efforts, the Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4 is a plastic clad unit, with the cheaper construction materials again giving the device a less premium feel and appearance than some of its rivals.
The 8.4-inch body measures in at just 7.2mm thick and 21.9cm wide, meaning it is slim enough to be held, comfortably, in a single hand. What’s more, the streamlined 336g weight is evenly distributed across the tablet’s full form, giving it a comfortably balance when held single-handed.
Although the leather-effect rear, similar to that found on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, is again a disappointingly tacky addition, the tablet’s plastic body is less flimsy than its larger siblings. Thanks to its compact nature the Tab PRO 8.4 suffers from only minor bending when put under pressure. In contrast, the 12.2-inch model suffers from frankly ridiculous levels of unwanted flexing.
Set to be made available in both black and white colour schemes, the Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4 features the usual Android touch buttons and benefits from a relatively streamlined bezel that further enhances the already impressive display.
Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4: Screen
Undoubtedly, the tablet’s biggest talking point, the Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4 screen is, in short, stunning. With a 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution, the WXQGA LCD panel offers beautifully sharp, vibrant images that suffer from no pixilation or graining issues.
As tends to be the case on Samsung’s mobile products, the Tab PRO 8.4’s colour gamut, on first impressions at least, appeared a little warm and over saturated. Text is pin-sharp, however, and images impressively detailed and immersive.
The tablet’s 16:9 aspect ratio makes it ideal for multimedia consumption, with early video playback tests blowing us away thanks to smooth flowing, crisp visual content and half-decent inbuilt audio.
Responsive to the touch, the Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4’s screen was able to tackle all manner of multi-finger gesture controls without the slightest hint of fuss. Strangely, for such a business-themed tablet, Samsung has not bestowed the Tab PRO 8.4 with an integrated stylus, instead saving its S-Pen add-on for the larger Note PRO 12.2 offering.
Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4:Software and Performance
The new Magazine UX is one of the Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 8.4’s main talking points and one which, based on first impressions, looks set to make the tablet a far more engaging device than past Samsung offerings.
Gone is the traditional point-and-shoot icon-based TouchWiz UI, in is a more immersive software overlay, bringing more detail direct to the user. Removing the need to jump in and out of multiple applications to get to desired information, the Magazine UX is something of a halfway house between Android and Windows 8.
Powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM, the tablet is speedy from the off, showing no signs of lagging or slow boot times during early use. Further testing will be required before final judgement can be passed on the tablet’s performance.
Aiding its business ilk, the Tab PRO 8.4 comes with a range of software pre-installed, from Samsung’s own word processing and presentation software to Easilydo Pro and Remote PC capabilities.
Sadly, due to the tablet’s compact size, the Tab PRO 8.4 does not offer enough on-screen real estate to display a full digital keyboard such as that introduced on the Samsung Galaxy Note PRO 12.2. Instead the standard, reduced tablet offering is present, limiting the device’s laptop-replacing credentials.
Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4: Features
As you would expect from a modern tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4 throws its business credentials up in the air to make room for integrated cameras front and rear. While the 2-megapixel forward-facing snapper can be utilised for video calls, the 8-megapixel camera is more for entertainment purposes.
Based on early use in less than ideal lighting conditions, this camera collection is distinctly average, offering largely flat, stilted images that failed to capture the atmosphere of the pictures. Although colours were washy and shots grainy, we will need to further test the cameras in our upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4 review before damming them completely.
Set to launch in both 16GB and 32GB storage options, the Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4’s capacity can be expanded by microSD up to 64GB.
With a 4800mAh Lithium-Ion battery under the hood, a full day’s use should be within reach, although further testing is required in this area.
While Samsung’s current trend is to make things bigger, the peewee Samsung Galaxy Tab PRO 8.4 is the most enticing of the company’s new ‘PRO’ branded tablets. With a more solid feel and slightly more appealing aesthetics than the larger options, the Tab PRO 8.4 is the closest the manufacturer has come to a true iPad rival.