Sunday, May 12, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR Review



The Galaxy Note 8.0 is Samsung's latest tablet addition to their Galaxy Note series. The new 8-inch tablet is something of a mixture of Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet and the Galaxy Note smartphones, combining features from both. Definitely not your average tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR offers some exclusive features that you can only find with Galaxy Note devices, such as the S-Pen stylus with drawing and note taking functionality as well as the plethora of Samsung's customized software.

Design

The shell of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR is made of a hard white plastic material that feels smooth and seems to lack any texturing which some may find a little troublesome when it comes to gripping the tablet. However, the plastic casing does help keep the weight of the tablet down, which keeps the overall feel of the tablet very light. The front side of the Galaxy Note is constructed of reinforced scratch-resistant Gorilla glass and a chrome colored trim runs along the side contributing an attractive sleek look to the tablets design.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR dimensions.

The Galaxy Note 8.0 is only a little larger and slightly thicker than the iPad mini and measures in at 210mm long, 136mm wide, and 8mm thick. The 8-inch tablet is also very light weighing only around 340 grams. The bezels of the Galaxy Note are a little thicker than what you find on the iPad mini and have a rounded appearance. For the most part the Galaxy Note 8 is fairly easy to hold in one hand, even if you are not able to completely wrap your fingers around each side. The thicker bezels give a little something more to hold on to and provide enough room for gripping with the thumb allowing the tablet to rest easily in your hand.

Display

Essentially the same 1280x800 resolution WXGA TFT display that featured on 2012's Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet is what you also get with Samsung's Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR. One major difference though is a much higher 189 pixel density due to the smaller tablet's 8-inch display size. When comparing the Galaxy Note 8's display to the iPad mini's - 1024x768 resolution with 163 ppi - it's plain to see that the Galaxy Note features a better display with a higher resolution and pixel density. However, compared with Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire HD the resolutions are the same as the Galaxy Note but both have slightly higher pixel density due to the difference in screen sizes.

Despite the lack of a super high res screen, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR features a quality display which delivers some nice and vivid colors with vibrant contrast. Viewing angles are wide and the display also provides enough brightness to do well in any setting. Graphical content and text also appear sharp, crisp, and clear with little in the way of blurriness or the pixelation issues that you get with lower quality displays.

Hardware

When it comes to hardware, the Galaxy Note 8 isn't lacking. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR features hardware specs that are identical to Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 smartphone. A Samsung Exynos 1.6 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor along with the Mali-400MP4 graphics chip provides a nice amount of raw power for an 8-inch slate. Add to that the Note's 2 GB of RAM and you have a suprisingly quick and powerful tablet.

Comparing the hardware specs of other similar tablets, the Note manages to outspec and outperform many of the currently popular 7 and 8-inch devices. The Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR has four times the memory of Apple's iPad mini, and twice the memory of Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. The Note's quad-core Exynos processor is also faster than the processing specs that either of these tablets have to offer.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR Specs
 
Brand: Samsung
Series: Galaxy Note
Model: GT-N5110ZWYXAR
Display: 8" Multi-Touch WXGA TFT Display
Resolution: 1280x800, 189ppi
Processor: Exynos Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A9 1.6 GHz
Graphics: Mali-400MP4
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Storage Capacity: 16 GB Flash, 64 GB MicroSD Slot
Camera: 1.3 MP (Front), 5 MP (Rear)
Wireless: Dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
Operating System: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Battery Life: 7 Hours

S-Pen Stylus

The S Pen with virtual drawing functionality is a core component and feature of Samsung's Galaxy Note series of tablets and smartphones - it is also what really sets the Galaxy Note 8.0 apart from most other tablets on the market. The Note includes a Wacom digitizer layer as part of the tablet's touchscreen which allows for accurate pressure sensitivity when drawing or writing with the S Pen stylus. You will also find a range of S Pen optimized applications come packaged with the Note. So, if you are an artist, or even if you just occasionally like to paint, draw, or doodle, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR  provides many tools and features that you'll enjoy.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR with S-Pen stylus.

Of course, as an integral part of the whole Galaxy Note experience, you can also use the S Pen stylus for much more than art and note taking. Sliding the stylus out from it's storage area on the Note wakes the tablet up. Navigating the user interface or even performing the most basic file functions can all be done with the S Pen in hand. In fact, Samsung has even made many improvements above and beyond what was possible with past Note devices - including the ability to operate the capacitive buttons located below the display with the stylus.

Cameras

The Galaxy Note 8's cameras are pretty standard fare and similar to what you will find with most other miniature sized tablets. On the rear you'll find a 5 megapixel camera capable of shooting high definition 1080p video. The rear camera doesn't feature any flash which some may find dissapointing. On the front of the Note is a 1.3 MP cam with 720p video recording capability. The quality of both cameras is average, which is really good enough for most users who are interested in sharing thier photos through social media, or video chatting with friends and family.

Wireless & Internet

The Galaxy Note 8.0 supports dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n wifi with 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels. The Note also comes with Bluetooth 4.0 support and has satellite GPS. Currently, as of this review, only the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR wifi model is available in the U.S., with cellular models being available internationally. However, cellular models with 3G and/or 4G capabilities will eventually be available stateside.

Battery Life

Battery life on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR is pretty average for a tablet of this size - not phenomenal, yet not horrible either. While you may be able to get around 6 to 7 hours out of the tablet with heavy non-stop usage before draining the battery. You can realistically expect to get somewhere around two days or so of light regular use out of the Note 8 before having to recharge. The Note also comes with a power saving feature which does help to extend the battery life longer than the above mentioned spans, however, it also comes with a cost to overall peformance.

Software

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR features a modified version of Android's 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system. Samsung has cuztomized many aspects of Android including the TouchWiz styled interface that you can also find on a host of Samsung's smartphones, phablets, and tablets. The Galaxy Note comes with a lot of Samsung customized software as well, including many apps that have become common on Note brand devices. Some software functions as replacements or alternatives to obviously similar Google brand software, such as Samsung's app store, the Google Now/Siri clone app called S-voice, or Samsung's web browser application.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR Software.

Software on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR is somewhat of a mixed bag. Some Samsung apps are great, some very useful, and some are really fun to use, while others can be forgettable or annoying. Apps such as S-Note and the Samsung exclusive Awesome Note allow for note taking and planning, whereas Polaris Office 8 is a powerful office suite for creating and editing many types of documents. Paper Artist is an art app for drawing, painting, and illustrating with the S pen stylus. Samsung's built in IR-blaster along with the Watch-On software allows for remote control of your television as well as provides detailed television schedules and programming guides. Samsung also includes an exclusive reading mode that works in the web browser or ebook reading apps which formats the screen for easier reading on the tablet. You also get Group Play which allows you to share a screen with other Samsung devices in your network for playing games, sharing files, and listening to music with your friends.

Read more Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR reviews.

Easily one of the most useful software features of the Galaxy Note 8.0 is Samsung's Multi Window mode. A lot of other tablet brands boast of multitasking capabilities but it's really just glorified app-switching, however, on the Galaxy Note you can truly multitask with multiple windows open on your screen. So you can draw or paint with the S pen and listen to music at the same time, or browse the web and take notes, and a host of other useful things. Multitasking with the Note is also suprisingly quick and overall a very fluid experience.


Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR is a very solid and well rounded tablet with some great features - some of which you will be hard pressed to find elsewhere. Artists, designers, and students will really value the S Pen along with Samsung's many art and note taking applications, while others will really enjoy the Note's multimedia and multitasking features. Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR has a lot to offer and includes a little something for everyone.

Pros: Decent hardware and performance; thin and light design; art and note taking functionality; great multi-tasking features; and 64 GB MicroSD slot.

Cons: Premium pricing; average cameras; and an average battery life.

Click here to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 GT-N5110ZWYXAR on Amazon.com.

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