Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review

Samsung throws everything into the fledgling maxi-tablet category

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So influential and dominant has been the iPad range, that if you're considering the purchase of any kind of premium tablet, you have to take Apple's current model into serious consideration above all others.

That's especially so with the iPad Air, which is arguably the biggest step forward for the range since the launch of the original. It packs in class-leading design, with an impossibly slim and light chassis, a punchy 64-bit processor, and access to an unparalleled library of apps.

The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 can't compete on any of these grounds, and it's also a fair bit more expensive.

iPad Air

What you don't get with the iPad Air is such a large display, nor do you get a stylus. Sure, there are third party offerings, but they're not nearly as sophisticated or well integrated as the S Pen.

As an all-round tablet, the iPad Air is better than the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 by some margin. But if productivity is the name of the game, and you could see yourself benefiting from the precision and flexibility of a stylus, matters aren't quite so simple.

The one that means business

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is even more expensive than the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, and it's also considerably heavier at 900g. But then, it's technically in a completely different category.

For all its fancy features, the super-sized Samsung tablet is still decidedly a tablet. The Surface Pro 2 is a fully fledged laptop shrunken down into a decidedly bulky tablet form.

It's got specs that would make your three-year-old computer sweat, with an Intel Core i5 processor and a choice of 4GB or 8GB of RAM. Storage, meanwhile, starts at 64GB – although more than half of that is taken up by the Windows 8 OS.

Microsoft Surface 2

But then, it has Windows 8. Not the compromised RT version, you understand – I'm talking the full fat OS.

This means that any app or program you can install and run on your computer, you can run on the Surface Pro 2, while it looks at the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2's attempts at multitasking and split-screen apps with a bemused smirk.

Put simply, if extreme professional productivity is your primary requirement, the Surface Pro 2 is tough to beat. If you also want some of the intuitive simplicity of a tablet and the Android OS, then the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 might still get the nod.

The little brother

You might like the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2's features, its S Pen stylus with attendant apps, and its strong camera. Heck, you might even like its design. But that size… that size…

What you need, sir or madam, is the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014. It's effectively the little brother of the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, with the same processor, the same camera – the same everything except for the size of its screen, which is a more normal 10.1-inch example.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 1 2014

Did I say everything? The one snag here is that the Galaxy Note 10.1 runs on an older version of the Android OS and, more importantly, an older version of Samsung's TouchWiz UI. It's functionally similar, but not quite as nice to look at or use.

There's a good chance this will get an update to the latest version, but there's been no official announcement as yet.