When I first saw the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 at the CES trade show last month, two things hit me hard: I wanted one badly and the price was frightening. Now we have the release version in hand, I still feel that way. This 12.2" tablet manages to be as light as many 10" tablets, and it's one of the thinnest. It comes with Samsung's S Pen that uses Wacom technology for fluid, precise and pressure sensitive pen input. The high resolution Super Clear LCD running at 2560 x 1600 is superb, with rich colors, good contrast and brightness. Samsung's new Magazine UX is a welcome update to TouchWiz, and the icons and window treatment are more mature. With a fast quad core CPU, 3 gigs of DDR3 RAM and expandable storage via microSD card and USB, it's powerful. But the price, $750 for the 32 gig model and $850 for the 64 gig model rivals that of fairly competent Windows Ultrabooks. Those are the WiFi model prices; we don't yet know how much LTE 4G equipped models will sell for.
The 1.65 pound, 0.32" thick tablet is clearly superbly thin and not terribly heavy for a big tablet. The footprint is certainly larger than the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition or the 9.7" iPad Air, and it's less maneuverable. That said, it offers more screen real estate, which makes web browsing, watching videos or using the included PC Remote Access app much more compelling. Size vs. screen real estate: the choice is yours. The pleather or plastic faux leather back is here again, in your choice of black or white. It's grippy and it looks good--it's an excellent compromise to bring a quality look and feel to something made of plastic. Sure, we'd like metal, but that would add weight. The tablet is rigid with no flex and it looks and feels like a quality piece.
The 12.2", 2560 x 1600 display is the star of the show: to look at it is to want it. Unlike Windows 8 that handles display scaling erratically, Android and iOS keep everything readable. Some UI elements like the swipe-down notifications actually seem a bit too large, but we'll take that over tiny text or targets that are too small to tap. Just in case you need precision, there's the S Pen. But you won't need it to navigate Android; it's here for note taking, diagramming and drawing. It's a precise digital pen that puts capacitive pens to shame. Samsung includes their usual S Note app and Autodesk's excellent Sketchbook Pro, branded as Sketchbook for Galaxy.
The tablet runs on the 1.9GHz Exynos 5 Octa 5420 CPU, which has 4 high power 1.9GHz cores and 4 companion low power cores when serious processing power isn't needed. It's a strong CPU with MALI-T628 graphics, though it falls slightly shy of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 that will be in LTE models. The tablet runs Android 4.4 KitKat and it has dual band WIFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, a GPS with GLONASS, a 2MP front camera, 8MP rear camera and a 9500 mAh battery that's sealed inside.