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Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is pricey but has its charms

Nate Ralph | April 22, 2013
The Galaxy Note 8.0 will set you back $400, and I'll admit that I had some trouble figuring out why.

But I'm not sure it's worth all of the extra baggage. The S Pen stylus is a capable device, and plenty of apps take advantage of it, but Samsung's TouchWiz software largely consists of apps that replicate native Google functionality, and the sheer number of them is a bit overwhelming. You'll find a calendar app, voice control software, a number of options for playing or sharing media, Samsung's own app store, and more. When you first fire up the device, it prompts you to register for a Samsung account (it's optional) before you even enter your Google credentials, which can be incredibly confusing if this is your first experience with Samsung's wares.

Bottom line

The Galaxy Note 8.0 offers strong performance, neat features (especially if you like styluses), and most important, a great user experience. But it costs $400, and it offers only Wi-Fi connectivity and 16GB of storage. A cellular version is available outside of the United States, and the omission here is lamentable, since you can buy a 32GB Nexus 7 with cellular connectivity for $300. Sure, the Nexus 7 is getting a bit long in the tooth, but that's a $100 difference.

Are the S Pen, a faster processor, and an extra inch of screen real estate worth that much to you? If so, you won't be disappointed. But as fond as I am of the stylus--and honestly, the entire package--I'm hesitant to call the Note 8.0 a clear victory for Samsung.


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