The S Pen returns with its useful cache of shortcut gestures, making tasks like screen capture, calling up an app’s menu, and going back to the previous screen a simple act of holding down the pen button and swiping or tapping the screen in the appropriate way. After using the Note 8 for a couple of days, I came to the conclusion that I’d much rather write on a tablet screen than attempt to type on one. A quick e-mail reply or entering a search query just feels much more natural to scribble than tab out. The interpretation software isn’t perfect so making an attempt to write legibly is a must, but it was usually able parse out the vast majority of my writings.
With the S Pen you can also take a screenshot of pretty much anything by holding down the button and circling whatever it is you want to capture. A menu of apps then pops up at the bottom of the screen, and choosing one drops your screenshot into the app where you can then edit it as you see fit. It’s in thoughtful moments like these — where the interaction feels natural and intuitive — that the S Pen really earns its keep.
The Note 8 houses a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos Dual (4410) CPU and 2GB of RAM, and includes support for 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz and 5GHz) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS, as well as gyroscope, accelerometer, a digital compass.