Samsung’s new Galaxy TabPro line makes a significant step toward the company leaving behind the traditional Android interface in favor of something more graphical and immediate. The tablet comes in three sizes: 12.2-inch, 10.1-inch, and 8.4-inch. Look for Wi-Fi and LTE versions — as well as a 3G variant in international markets — in the first quarter of 2014. Samsung however has yet to divulge any official pricing details.
The Galaxy TabPro 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
Each widget is completely interactive — for example, swiping down on Flipboard cycles through different news stories — and widget selection, size, placement, and orientation are all customizable. You can create several widget-filled screens like this each with its own widgets and design.
The interface isn’t the most intuitive — I had trouble figuring out why I couldn’t make certain widgets as small or as large as I wanted — but once I learned how to do things, it all started to fall into place for me. Thankfully, Samsung was smart not to upset the apple cart too much, as you can still access apps the traditional way if widgets just aren’t working for you.