Samsung’s new NotePro makes a significant step toward the company leaving behind the traditional Android interface in favor of something more graphical and immediate. Look for Wi-Fi and LTE versions — as well as a 3G variant in international markets — in the in the first quarter of 2014. Samsung, however, has yet to divulge any official pricing details.
The Galaxy NotePro ships with Android 4.4, but that actually may not be so apparent at first glance. The TouchWiz interface has been replaced with what the company has christened Magazine UX. It’s a much more graphical UI that uses widgets to make accessing information and apps much more immediate.
While app icons are still accessible, the default interface looks like something closer to Windows 8.1, with the screen segmented into tiles. For instance, the default home screen puts a weather widget along the left edge, while the right side is divided between a Flipboard widget at the top and an array of frequently used apps below it.
The NotePro will be powered by either the latest Exynos processor or a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, depending on the region in which it’s purchased. It includes 3GB of RAM, which allows it to run up to four simultaneous apps at once; the previous Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition could display only two concurrent apps.
The tablet delivers impressively sharp images with a 2,560×1,600 resolution screen. Front cameras are rated at 2 megapixels, while the rear camera delivers 8-megapixel images with LED flash.
As with all Samsung tablets, the NotePro features a microSD expansion port, an IR blaster, and a micro USB port for charging, and comes in both 32GB and 64GB configurations.
The NotePros all follow Samsung’s new house design for tablets first seen on the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition and Galaxy Note 3
. This includes the leather-like backing, faux stitching at the top, and a plastic spine that closely resembles some type of shiny silver metal.