/// A Pen-Based Tablet With a Premium Price

April 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital


Shopping for a tablet with a stylus may stir up memories of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is nice, but too big to hold comfortably in one hand, and the Galaxy Note II is easier to hold, but has a display that’s too small for optimal use with its stylus. At long last, the Galaxy Note 8.0 is just the right size, except for one feature: Its not-so-fairy-tale-like price tag. [ See post to watch video ] Like the rest of the Samsung Galaxy Note series, this Android tablet features a built-in stylus and special apps and features that allow you to jot down handwritten notes and sketches, or use it like a mouse when browsing websites. It’s a handy productivity tool that does plenty of other things. Plus, the eight-inch screen is large enough for using the stylus comfortably, though it’s compact enough to hold in one hand. But, at $400, it’s pricey compared to other tablets in this size range. Apple’s iPad mini , which has a 7.9-inch screen, costs $329, and Google’s Nexus 7 , which has a seven-inch screen, is even cheaper at $200 (all prices are for the 16 gigabyte models). Both are solid tablets, though neither includes a stylus. If the Galaxy Note 8.0 were about $100 less, I’d recommend it without hesitation, but at its current price, only get it if you really want the stylus functionality. Otherwise, the iPad mini and Nexus 7 are better buys. The Galaxy Note 8.0 measures 8.3 inches tall by 5.3 inches wide and 0.3 inch thick in portrait mode. Constructed largely from plastic, it weighs less than a pound, but it doesn’t feel fragile or cheap. The back is slick, and I wish it had a textured surface like the Nexus 7. The eight-inch touchscreen has a resolution of 1,280 by 800 pixels. By comparison, the Nexus 7 has the same resolution, but the iPad mini’s display has a resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels. Looking at the same photos in a side-by-side comparison, I found that the Samsung showed the brightest colors, while the Nexus 7 had the sharpest image quality. The latter is due to the fact that the Nexus has a smaller seven-inch screen, so there is less space between its screen’s pixels

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A Pen-Based Tablet With a Premium Price


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