Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 review

The Tab Pro 8.4 is one of Samsung's finest tablets.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
is this Samsung's best tablet to date?

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Lean and mean

Arguably, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4's defining feature is the way it crams a really sharp display into such a compact form factor.

As we've already mentioned, the tablet's display is an 8.4-inch Super clear LCD example, and it's a stunner. Its 2560 x 1600 (also known as WQXGA) resolution is exactly the same across the Tab Pro range, but because of the smaller size, it's the sharpest of the lot.

Not only that, but it offers the crispest and cleanest picture of any of Samsung's recent tablets. That's because it's the only one to feature an RGB matrix rather than a PenTile one.

This means that each pixel is made up of a red, a green, and a blue sub-pixel in a uniform configuration. The result is an even image with none of the grainy or fuzzy edges found on other Samsung tablets.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 Review

Perhaps more importantly, with a pixel density of 359ppi, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4's display is also sharper than the iPad mini 2's (which is 326ppi).

Another notable feature here is Samsung's choice of processor. As we mentioned in the intro, Samsung has gone with a Snapdragon 800 CPU, which continues to be the processor of choice for high-end Android devices such as the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.

However, this marks a change for the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro range - or a partial one at least. In certain territories, Samsung has installed its own Exynos 5 CPU in the Wi-Fi-only 10.1 and 12.2 editions.

This is a highly powerful custom processor that can switch between four low-power processors and four high-power ones, depending on the task, with the high-end ones packing quite a punch.

Here in the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, however, it's offering only the Snapdragon 800. I'll discuss performance in greater detail in the next section - suffice to say this is no great loss in real-world terms.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 Review

But it's worth noting that the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 is no more capable or special under the hood than its nearest Android rivals.

Of course, these two components - the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4's super-sharp display and its high-end processor - tie into the whole Pro branding. Samsung wants this range to be great for productivity, and there are a couple of notable tools that make use of the high-end hardware to that end.

Samsung's multi-window feature makes another showing here, allowing you to run multiple apps simultaneously. Drag from the far right-hand side of the screen at any time and you'll be greeted by a menu of compatible apps.

Tap these app icons and they'll open in their own separate window, similar to running multiple programs on a desktop computer.

You can bring each to the fore by tapping on them in the same way. You can only open three here, as opposed to the five on the Tab Pro 12.2 - likely down to the smaller device having 50 % less RAM.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 Review

No matter - it's a little fiddly in day to day usage, particularly on the Tab Pro 8.4's more compact screen. It's much easier to just use the regular multitasking mode for flipping between tasks.

More useful is the ability to split the screen between two apps and run them side by side simultaneously, which is done by dragging the app icons from the multi-window menu.

This is down from four apps on the 12.2, but that would be useless on the smaller screen here. As it is, you can read your email whilst checking Google Maps, or watch a YouTube video whilst skimming through your appointments.

It's potentially quite useful and, yes, 'Pro', and it's something that rival tablets just can't do.