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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 release date, price and specs

  • Galaxy Note 8
  • Galaxy Note 8
  • Galaxy Note 8
  • Galaxy Note 8
  • Galaxy Note 8

Samsung has surprised everyone at MWC in Barcelona by unveiling an eight-inch version of its stylus-equipped Galaxy Note tablet.

The new tablet is more than a smaller version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1; there's an uprated specification, and Samsung has also improved how the Note's built-in stylus works. In Europe the Note 8 will have built-in 3G.

Galaxy Note 8

The Note 8 has a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, up from the 1.4GHz model in the Galaxy Note 10.1. As you'd expect, it's significantly lighter, at 335g compared to 597g, so won't be as much of a strain to carry around.

Galaxy Note 8

As with the Note 10.1, the Note 8's S-Pen stylus is more than just a dumb pointing device. There are several stylus-specific functions built into the tablet's Android 4.1 OS, such as pressure-sensitivity and windows that pop up over whatever app you're currently using to help you take a quick note. Unlike on the Note 10.1, you can now use the S-Pen to tap the back and menu buttons under the Note 8's screen.

The Note 8 also improved on the Note 10.1's Multiscreen support, where two apps sit side-by-side, so you can watch a YouTube video while taking notes, for example. While the larger tablet only supported Multiscreen in six apps, there are now 20 apps that can sit side by side. It's a big step towards making a tablet as useful as a laptop for certain tasks.

Galaxy Note 8

There are no great surprises behind the Note 8's display. It's a 1,280x800-pixel model, which gives it a pixel density of 189ppi. This is nothing spectacular, but is slightly more than the iPad Mini's 163ppi.

The built-in 3G is a bonus for European users, especially for city dwellers with easy access to fast HSDPA networks. It also means it's possible to use the Note 8 as a phone, but we'd recommend using a headset of some description rather than holding it to your head.

Galaxy Note 8

We liked the Galaxy Note 10.1's stylus, but thought the tablet was overpriced compared to the competition. The Galaxy Note 8 is a useful smaller version, but, with no pricing information yet available, it remains to be seen whether Samsung will charge a large premium over the benchmark for tablets at this size: Google's £159 Nexus 7.

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