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1,123 of 1,167 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost the perfect tablet
---Update 12/18/2013 - I've moved all "updates" to the end of this review for easier reading---

My main reason for buying this tablet was/is to use it for taking lecture notes and reading books (college/work/technical books). I wanted something more portable than the Note 10.1 and this seemed to fill the void.

Since this product has only been out for...
Published 22 months ago by Justin J

versus
255 of 284 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read this comment before you make your decision
I am a Samsung lover; purchased Omnia, Galaxy S, S2, Tab 7, Note 2, Galaxy note 10.1 and Galaxy 8.0. I purchased this device on August 15 and used for 3 weeks now. There is one thing that I want to inform you before you purchase this device.

If you want to purchase this device, DO NOT update your firmware until Samsung releases firmware update 4.2.2, meaning...
Published 18 months ago by Sean H.


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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have replaced paper!, June 5, 2013
By 
Infectious (Loma Linda, CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (16GB, White) 2013 Model (Personal Computers)
I am a medical student. I got this to make my life as mobile as possible and cut down on the insane amount of paper that I use.

Frankly, there are no capacitive stylus that can equal Wacom digital stylus technology. I agree that the price is way steeper than the Nexus 7, but remember that the Nexus 7 is subsidized by Google. Compared to the Ipad mini, which sells for about $70 less, this tablet is way worth the money. Never mind the specs being better on this than the Ipad mini. I am talking about the cost of getting a Wacom digital pen and tablet for the price of $70.

With this I am able to use Epic effortlessly. I can take notes as I talk to patients, take handwritten notes when I am in class, sync it to every cloud service you can think of, record lectures as I take the notes and play it back, convert handwritten notes to typed notes (need to have good handwriting) etc etc.

Really, the S pen has sooo many uses. The ability to take a screenshot and edit it on the fly is something I use nearly everyday. This tablet may not completely please artists but for everyone else, there is no equal.

As for build and design, I have no problems with Samsung's plastic build. Nearly everyone throws on a case for their tablets (or phones) now a days. You DON'T even feel the plastic back that everyone whines about. Glass back breaks. Aluminum or polycarbonate backs glaringly highlights every scratch or defect. All adds to the weight. Plastic backs hides scratches and as I said, when you put a case on, you never even touch the plastic back again.

Battery life lasts me the whole day. On average I get about 15 hours with about 3-4 hours of on screen time before I get down to about 20%. Probably could be better battery life, but since it lasts me the whole day without needing to find a charger, I am ok with it.

Still runs 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. I hope they upgrade it soon, but no rumors as to when.

Conclusion: Buy this tablet if you have any interest in replacing paper in your daily life.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good. No. Great, April 26, 2013
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (16GB, White) 2013 Model (Personal Computers)
It's absolutely a great product. It will set the example for future technology to come.

The productivity on this is incredible. I use it for note taking. The cameras just suck. Pretty soon there will be tablets just like this with S-Pens, HD screen resolution, 8 megapixel and 3 megapixel cameras, and probably some 3D features. The screen resolution on this is absolutely great and handwriting is very natural, though. Ignore the complaints.

Trying it first at Best Buy is what I recommend. I decided to buy from Best Buy, & no Play Store credit was included as promotion from Amazon might suggest, but I still got the DropBox credit and around 5 dollar in store credit with new BB card).

I Highly recommend the MoKo Slim Cover Case for Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 inch GT - N5100 Android Tablet, Black (with lip Stand, Integrated Elastic Hand Strap, and Stylus Loop
(Payed $5.99 and it's definitely a 5 star product!)

Hope I helped :)
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43 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tablet for those who have use for the stylus, April 19, 2013
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (16GB, White) 2013 Model (Personal Computers)
Let me start off by saying that I did not buy this tablet at Amazon. Having said that, after using it for about a week, it has proved to be an excellent tablet and comes with features that you don't find in the competition.

Most people who have an issue with this tablet are concerned about the price. While that concern is legitimate, it is misguided due to the fact that it compares this tablet to the iPad mini. To start, the iPad Mini is exactly the iPad 2, except with a smaller display, which makes it two year old technology. It is powered by an anemic (by today's standards) dual-core 1 Ghz A5 CPU and a paltry 512 MB of RAM. By contrast, the Note 8.0 is powered by a quad-core 1.6 Ghz CPU and 2 GB of RAM. It is not the fastest CPU currently out there, but it is miles ahead of the A5. I am fairly on top of current technology, and I can't think of a single tablet in any form factor that has more powerful hardware. Absolutely not the iPad Mini or the iPad 4. And the obvious difference is that the Note 8 has a pen-capable display, which is not found on any competing 8" tablet. Now, I am not trying to claim that either the iPad mini or the Note 8 are overpriced/underpriced because I simply don't know, but I am trying to point out why the higher price of the Note 8 is justified.

The other issues that people seem to have with this device is the plastic housing and the screen resolution. While it would certainly be nice to have full 1080p, I can say that the screen on this tablet is excellent. I would not consider the screen resolution to be a drawback in this device. To give you a comparison, the 13.3" display in my MacBook Pro has the exact same resolution as the 8" display in the Note 8. It is very sharp. As far as the plastic vs aluminum housing goes, let's put it this way; every iPad or iPhone I've seen in use was shrouded in a thick layer of plastic, rubber, or leather, and chances are good that you'll be buying a case for this tablet as well. The housing should make no difference to most people, and arguably plastic is more durable. You drop a metal tablet, you'll either dent it or bend it. It's permanent damage. You drop a plastic tablet and it may just absorb the impact better, w/o significant cosmetic defects.

As far as my experiences with it go, I have had absolutely no problems. The tablet is very fast and fluid, screen is plenty bright to even use in direct sunlight, and battery life is adequate. I can't give specific details on battery life yet, but from what I can tell so far, I should be able to get around 8 hours of screen time and maybe more. It of course depends on a lot of things. Browsing for example will use more battery than reading an ebook, likewise watching videos will use more battery. The biggest battery drain is the screen, so if you are using it at max brightness, expect significant battery drain. That goes for any tablet.

So, should you buy this tablet over the iPad mini or the Nexus 7. Well, they are both cheaper, and if you are already invested in the Apple ecosystem, it may make more sense for you to go for the iPad. The Nexus 7 is very cheap by comparison, and rightfully so. Despite being powered by a quad-core CPU, the Tegra 3 is not anywhere near the speed of the Exynos chip in this device. You can look at benchmarks online if you want, but I have another tablet with the Tegra 3, and the Exynos CPU in the Note 8 blows it away, benchmarking nearly twice as fast. And you can really tell the difference in regular use. Of course the Nexus 7 is also a 7" tablet. The only way I'd recommend the Nexus 7 over the iPad mini or the Note 8 is if you're going strictly by price. Otherwise, you really have to decide whether or not you need the stylus. If all you want is to watch movies, read news, and play games, you have no use for the stylus. If you need note-taking capability or precision touch capability, this is the tablet to get. The Wacom stylus is not simply a finger replacement, it is a precision tool for handwriting, drawing, or designing, and it works extremely well.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The APPS You Need and Why My Desktop is Dusty, January 6, 2014
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (16GB, White) 2013 Model (Personal Computers)
This highlights some of the Apps that are "NEED TO HAVES" if you make the wise choice of buying this tablet. With the Note 8 and these Apps, I haven't used my Desktop since.

NEED TO HAVE Apps for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8

mazec3**

This App replaces your keyboard and enables you to hand write in every App, email and on the internet using the S/Pen. Most people have difficulty reading my hand writing and yet this App is able to consistently convert it into text. I find that hand writing with mazec3 on the Note 8 is noticeably faster than tapping or swipping on a keyboard. With this App and the Note 8, you'll get more done than you could on any other tablet.

**It is worth noting that the Samsung keyboard does have a native handwriting recognition mode built in (you can find it in the keyboard's settings). However, instead of writing continuously, you can only input a couple words at a time. It's reliable - but it will slow you down.

Polaris Office

This App comes pre loaded on the Note 8 but I am highlighting it to urge you to use it...because it is so amazing. I have tried several Apps to create and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents-nothing comes close to Polaris Office. It is extremely easy to use and the editing tools closely mirror the Office Desktop Software. So far, I haven't found anything that I used to do on my desktop that I haven't been able to do with Polaris Office. In fact, when combined with mazec3, I prefer Polaris Office to the desktop.

G Cloud

This App backs up all of your files including documents, music, contacts etc... Just install it on all your devices - including your old tablet, then back-up all your files and you can easily download any of the files on the Note 8. I also use Drop Box, but the reason I love this App is because I can easily get my music from my past and present devices onto my Note 8 and my documents are backed up daily so I can't lose anything.

mSecure

This App stores all your passwords and log in information. What makes this App stand out from the pack (and will save you time) is that from mSecure in a click or two you can instantly login to your favorite Websites-without having to open your browser, type in the URL, and type in your login info... mSecure does all the work for you. I also used to use the same 2-3 passwords over and over. With mSecure, I now have unique passwords for all my logins using their password generator. I no longer use my desktop to login to online banking or web applications... it's faster and easier on the Note 8.

I hope this gives you a better idea of what is possible with the Note 8. You are going to love it!

Other Apps to Consider if the Note 8 is your First Tablet:
-Google Voice Search
-Drop Box
-Dolphin Browser
-EverNote
-CalenGoo
-Glympse
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best tablet that I have used!, June 16, 2013
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (16GB, White) 2013 Model (Personal Computers)
I have owned the Galaxy Note 8 for a few days and it is the best tablet that I have ever used. I purchased the International version which also works as a cell phone. I inserted my AT&T sim and it works perfectly! It has all the same features that a smart phone has and more. I currently also own an iPad 3, and an Iphone 4s. I have owned an iPhone ever since it first came out and always upgraded but this time I held out and didn't upgrade to the 5 because I wanted a bigger screen. I was also waiting to buy the new Ipad mini with the retina display when it comes out because the current Ipad is just to big and uncomfortable to use. When this Galaxy note 8 came out I tried it and loved it. It is going to replace my iPhone and my iPad, its perfect. I never thought that I would switch to an Android device, I have always owned apple products. All my computers are Macs. I thought people were crazy to buy Android devices over the Apple IOS devices, but I was wrong. This Galaxy Note 8 blows my iPad and iPhone out of the water. Its Awesome! I can't recommend it enough.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best extra money I almost didn’t spend for a refurbished item., September 2, 2013
By 
KO (Valencia, CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (16GB, White) 2013 Model (Personal Computers)
The best extra money I almost didn’t spend for a refurbished item.
• The Bad:
o Touch Wiz
o S-voice
o Potentially damaging magnetic interference
 NOTE: none of these negatives impacted the overall score of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 because all of them have simple
solutions.

• The Mediocre:
o Price
 NOTE: This caused no negative impact on the overall score because there are plenty of solutions to this problem (as follows).

• The Good:
o The next few thousand words.

SUMMARY: The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (GN8) is to multimedia professionals what a Swiss Army knife is to MacGyver.
Bonus Edition Material: All the applications and accessories you need to kick some serious multi-media tail in the field with the GN8 for next to nothing.

Before I start swooning over this tablet like Tony did Maria in West Side Story, I’m going to get started with the things I don’t like (AT ALL) about the GN8:

THE BAD:

TouchWiz is a problem. It’s a bloated and unnecessary launcher. While Samsung has toned down some of the Fischer-Price “my first tablet” icons a bit, I still don’t like manufacturer launchers of any kind… nor do most users. Optimize the standard Android OS for your hardware, allow for direct updates and let the user tailor their experience to their liking!!! HINT: That’s why people buy Android.

I’ve installed Nova Launcher Prime because it’s fast, highly customizable, can use most icon packs from ADW and Go (if you’re into that sort of thing) and allows me to run my entire tablet from a single home screen and well-organized app drawer.[...]

S-Voice is a problem. It’s not SIRI. It’s not Vlingo. It’s not Google Now. It’s not as integrated as Samsung thinks and it’s not good. The solution is simple as all you have to do is use Google Now. While S-Voice does plug in to the Samsung apps very well, the problem is that the Samsung apps aren’t as good as what they’re designed to replace.

The words of Jesse Pinkman allude to a serious problem: “MAGNETS, BITCHES!” Often found in “smart covers” that automatically wake up your tablet, they automatically destroy the GN8’s magnetically-driven hardware that allow the S-Pen to work so well. They create dead-spots in the screen.

The solutions are many: find a cover that uses weak magnets, which is to say: spend the extra money on the OEM cover; for the same price as the OEM cover, purchase the protection overkill of the Otterbox Defender case made for the GN8; hunt for a case that doesn’t use magnets and still offers good protection.

THE MEDIOCRE:

The price is another problem: at $399, it’s pretty steep for a small tablet not running iOS or Windows 8RT, both of which are much more integrated into the professional environment the GN8 is designed to serve. While the S-Pen is incredible, and its integration makes it a steal when compared to the thousand dollars you have to shell out for a Surface Pro, most people aren’t the kind of users that will actually get a value-added experience with it. My suggestion is to go with the N7.2… or Galaxy 3 Tab 8.0”, which still comes with great perks and allows you to control your TV (more on this later).

Granted, the GN8 comes with a ton of perks as long as you buy it by 30 September 2013 [...] and it is on sale at Staples for $329.99 (at least it was when I wrote this review).
There is also another price work-around to be considered: buying refurbished. At $299.99, you get all the perks of the special promotion and you don’t have to pay sales tax (it’s used). By the time I factored in all the tax savings and perks, I paid a bit less for a GN8 than I would have for the only other affordable tablet that could meet my needs: the second-generation Asus Nexus 7 (N7.2).

This isn’t your typical “used car” version of a refurbished item. The packaging is complete, the device looks great and honestly… in my experience, the failure rate for factory-refurbished equipment has been lower than that of new equipment.
Not to mention it’s better for the environment AND the domestic economy when you consider Samsung does their refurbishing right here in the United States.

You get a decent 90-day warranty you can extend if you want to. I root every Android device I buy, which voids most warranties, so this isn’t a major concern for me: you pay your pennies and you take your chances.

By the time everything was tallied up, I purchased a refurbished GN8, spare chargers (both for a car and AC wall charging), an OTG micro USB to USB adapter (more on that later), a folding Bluetooth keyboard, a case and ChromeCast for only $15 more than I would have paid for the GN8 alone, with California sales tax at my local Staples.

In-Depth: The 96hr Immersion

The last four days have seen my experience evolve from fascination to ham-fisted frustration to my girlfriend literally being pulling me away from the tablet by my ear because of blood-blasted (“blood-shot doesn’t begin to describe it) eyes to now, at this present time, actually feeling an emotional connection similar to the one I feel with my lovely and well-trained dogs.
Samsung has come a long way with their packaging over the last decade, coming close to the unboxing experience Apple products have soiled the electronics market with. I know that the “recycled” materials a bit of propaganda, but I like the message the propaganda sends.

The first thing I noticed is that the GN8 feels as good in the hand as it looks in the box. It really is a beautiful device, taking full advantage of the slick design that has made Samsung’s Galaxy line so successful. It is much lighter than the solid feeling tells the sense of touch it should be and is a very high-quality product when it comes to materials and finish. However, the back is a little too slick to use without having anxiety over dropping it, but a person that uses a tablet without a case probably has advanced-stage syphilis as well… and aren’t worth knowing.

I’ve read some reviews that have attacked the use of polycarbonate for the body, saying it feels cheap. There are no signs of poor build quality in this tablet. The same can be said for the GN8’s most significant competitor: the N7.2. Both feel solid without feeling chunky.

As far as durability is concerned, it should be noted that polycarbonate is used in things like safety glasses and bullet-proof windows for a reason: it’s strong and can take a beating. Metal is cool and feels good, but it also dents and arcs, destroying delicate electronics. The GN8 is also built with the second generation of Corning’s Gorilla Glass, so durability of the device itself should be excellent.

The same can’t be said for the metal foil laminate of the bezel around the GN8s camera in back, which is already starting to chip a bit from setting it on my desk when charging. Samsung should have used the same material they did around the perimeter of the GN8’s shell.

When combined with a portable Bluetooth keyboard (a must if you’re serious about getting the most out of your tablet purchase), the entire package comes in at roughly a pound.

This has been a blessing, because my typical load for a day in the field includes the following: a DSLR with two lenses, assorted filters, an extra battery and USB, HDMI and component cables; a prosumer point and shoot with an extra battery; a stereo microphone with pop filter and table-top tripod, USB cable; a portable solar panel; eight rechargeable AA batteries (to run my mic, mobile phone, flashlights, a portable scanner, the GN8 should it actually run out of power, and a STERIpen water purifier- sometimes when I write that I “work in the field,” I’m being literal); assorted equipment to clean and maintain my camera equipment; pens, markers, highlighters and a notepad; a simple grooming and first/last aid kit (it’s important to make sure fingernails and calluses are taken care of when meeting clients); a waiter’s wine opener, Chapstick, gum (because it’s important to be able to celebrate a new acquaintance whenever you meet her); condoms (because I’m an optimist); a cigarette lighter (for what comes after the bottle of wine); a flashlight; a head light; the aforementioned scanner and water purifier; my glasses; cables and power adapters for my phone and GN8; Bluetooth headsets; a Kobo Glo with a few hundred books on it (nothing will ever replace e-ink); a pair of gloves; a small knife; a pair of gloves; a small tripod; two liters of water; and before getting the GN8: a bit seven pound laptop, 1.5 pound spare battery and a one-pound charging brick… all packed into a strained assembly of water-resistant fabric that is considered a “personal carry-on item”!

Most of this equipment is used at least two or three times a week (even the water purifier when I’m hiking or don’t trust the tap water), and I only want to eat, shower and dress in the morning, so doing a different load-out every day is impractical.

What I’ve found over the last week is that I can do about 95% of what I need to do, when I need to do it, with the GN8… and it has taken my typical load-out from a shoulder and back abusing 28 pounds to a “ comfortably feather-weight” 17.5!

RELEVANT LUGGAGE TANGENT: While a backpack would carry my daily load more comfortably, satchels are mandatory for quickly accessing photography gear. Also, the FAA lists backpacks as “luggage,” whereas a satchel, as long as it fits within the maximum allowable size, is considered a personal item akin to a purse or briefcase regardless how much it weighs.

The display, which is slightly larger (by the ruler) than the N7.2’s, is wonderful once it’s been optimized for text and reading. Understand that it is a two-step process to make the GN8’s screen really earn its praise. First, turn on “reading mode” in the drop-down settings menu. Then, go into device settings under the display submenu and check the box that optimizes the display for text. It makes reading mode an enjoyable experience rather than a gimmick.

With those tweaks, the display is so good, I actually prefer the GN8 to the N7.2 when it comes to reading Flipbook and PDFs… but I’ll still be using my Kobo Glo for long periods of reading e-books.

For gamers, the GN8 may not have the pixel saturation of the N7.2’s tremendous display, but it isn’t lacking. About as heavy into gaming as I get is Bard’s Tale, and it looks and plays great on the GN8 with the high-definition graphics pack. More intense games will make the GN8 stutter a bit, as its graphics processor is a bit dated. However, you’re not going to be interested in the GN8 if you’re only looking to browse the internet, play games and stream movies: this is not your recreational user’s tablet.
There’s also a price to be paid for the N7.2’s cutting edge technology: glitches. Google it.

In addition to an enjoyable reading experience, the GN8 has something the N7.2 should: physical buttons that eliminate the need of assigning precious screen real-estate to navigation icons. These physical keys located away from the screen make the actual display area of the GN8 about 20% larger than the N7.2 with its virtual keys that take up a significant chunk of room on the display. Samsung, like Apple, gets why people instinctually enjoy having a dedicated home button: it makes life easier, even if some technophiles consider them the cumbersome tools of luddites. The dedicated keys make a lot of sense on the GN8: if you’re interested in a device that has been designed around a stylus, you appreciate the touch-feely attributes of the entire Galaxy line’s design.

That stylus is a major benefit for people like me: content publishers that need to be able to import, edit and publish multimedia from remote locations. While sketching is great for fun or to make mind maps of projects, the S-Pen isn’t just about Paper Artist. I’ve found very good uses for the S-Pen when paired with the GN8’s impressive hardware.

The S-Pen is a great device, and I understand why people justify the expense of the GN8 with the statement “it’s all about the S-Pen” after using the N7.2 with an aftermarket device. The S-Pen is a bit too thin for me to use for long periods, but I actually prefer navigating around the home screen and most applications with the S-Pen instead of my finger, especially Photoshop Touch (more on that later).

This isn’t a major problem because the Note is designed to take… notes. The S-Pen integrates well when digesting information-heavy PDFs, allowing the user to highlight section of text, make notes and quickly integrate and organize them within S-Note.
Making the process even more efficient is MultiWindow. The MultiWindow feature is one of the advantages unique to the Note line that Samsung has made better than in the last generation with smoother control and more available applications that support it. Of course, I would like to see even more applications support it because everyone uses multiple windows on their bigger computers, so everyone knows how much of a productivity advantage the capability is. It’s a no-brainer application designers need to integrate into their apps.

When a beautiful display optimized for reading and highly integrated to the S-Pen input and interface, then empowered with MultiWindow and gestures like swiping the screen with the flat of the hand to take a full screen shot (or circling text and images with the S-Pen’s button depressed to capture smaller items), I have a hard time believing that any other device could be better for the task of heavy research and study. The GN8 is the honors graduate student’s wet dream.

And there’s good news for GN8 users after grad school. To schedule life, S-Planner almost became what I use to work with my Google calendars. It’s a fluid and seamless way to do almost everything I need to do with my schedules, but it has one glaring fault because instead of being its own application, S-Planner is not much more than Google Calendar with S-Pen support and a new skin. Unfortunately, S-Planner has all the limitations of Google Calendar when it comes to scheduling.

Instead, I’m using another pre-loaded GN8 application for most of my scheduling needs: Awesome Note HD (though I still prefer the endless scrolling agenda list of Business Calendar’s widget, found here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=netgenius.bizcal&hl=en). Awesome Note HD, like the now-dead Astrid, allows me to set repeating events by the days that need to elapse. Granted, this is a feature I use to do things like remind myself to change the house’s HVAC filter, replace the head on my electric toothbrush and give my lovely dog her heartworm and tick medications. While pedestrian, all of those tasks are dependent on the amount of days lapsed and important to me.

Note to Samsung: form a partnership with Awesome Note by folding S-Planner and S-Note into a Note-tablet specific version of their application.

The GN8 is loaded with a 4,600mAH battery that keeps me moving and producing in the field for my entire day. In the week I’ve had it, I have never have to recharge the GN8 before bedtime, and I’m not a light user.

This is my GN8’s typical day: I start out by sending and responding to emails in the morning for about an hour during my commute, generally using a folding Bluetooth keyboard or Google’s voice recognition input through a Bluetooth headset. Once I get to where I’m going my day is spent capturing and creating content, editing content between meetings and giving presentations at my client’s offices. On my way home, I participate in social networking, play video games or try to get ahead on media projects that are either rushed, delayed or personal. After my commute, I’ll use the GN8 to manage shopping and errand lists on my way home, and once I get home I use the integrated Peel application to control my television and DirectTV!

Speaking of the IR blaster, it won’t allow you to “bump” files and contacts to other devices like the N7.2’s NFC feature. Some have listed this as a detriment, but NFC isn’t going to be used in the environment that the GN8 is designed to excel in. Professionals may bump contacts with their phones, but I’ve never seen anyone do it with their tablet… and I’ve seen A LOT of people use A LOT of tablets.

However, with the IR blaster found on the GN8 (and not the N7.2), it is a tremendous asset to be able to control monitors and most other devices with the same device you’re running a presentation from. With ChromeCast and the IR blaster found in the GN8, I’m ready to rock a presentation in most modern offices within a minute… and that makes a great impression when dealing with prospective clients that don’t have a lot of time to waste.

That’s not to say NFC isn’t good technology. It’s great on a phone, but I’m not going to dig out my tablet every time I want to purchase a latte and apple fritter…

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a “force multiplier” for media professionals because you buy a whole lot of bangs with the same buck. When the ability to set up and control presentation equipment in seconds instead of minutes (or even hours with older stuff) is combined with a massive fuel tank that supports a full work day of use without a recharge, outstanding performance, high-speed connectivity, better productivity, a wonderful display, light weight and a slick design, the GN8 becomes more than a really cool tablet. The GN8 does most of what any mobile professional needs it to do for as long as they need it to do it while saving weight, money, time and, with the S-Pen, it also saves my clients from the indignity of signing my invoices with their finger.

THE BONUS EDITION:

This is what you spend the $25 Google Play credit on if you want to get the most out of the GN8’s unique features that make this tablet the best small Android tablet on the market:

The S-Pen and Adobe’s $10 “limited” port of Photoshop [...] go together like peanut butter and jelly. I know that there are capable applications out there like Snapseed that will allow most people to do almost everything they need to make their photos pop for Facebook and Pinterest. But I’m not blogging about food trucks or touching up selfies: I do stuff with images, video and sound for a living. If I can have Photoshop and do the high quality creating and editing on the go, I’m buying it… and honestly, it’ll do at least 95% of what I need it to do, so when compared to the exponentially more expensive desktop application, Photoshop Touch is one of the century’s best deals.

In addition to that, a $4.99 license for Clesh [...] gives me the ability to edit videos on the go. It works well for most of my needs, though some more complicated projects still require my sedentary equipment because I don’t have much patience. I wouldn’t recommend Clesh for a smartphone, but on larger displays and the extremely fast WiFi radio built into the GN8, Clesh is a wonderful application that makes the most of the GN8’s hardware and S-Pen.

To round it all out, Audio Evolution Mobile is available for $6.99 [...] and allows me to connect my ZOOM audio recorder to the GN8 via an inexpensive OTG USB adapter. It captures much better audio than the microphones mounted on the GN8, and it allows me to capture, edit and package complete audio tracks while working from my couch or on the long Metro ride home. The S-Pen makes grabbing and piecing together tracks one of the easiest experiences I’ve had, and I have complete control over the entire capture process when doing podcasts outside my normal studio.

Compared to the desktop interface, I prefer to edit my audio on the GN8 for a few reasons. First is the S-Pen interface because it makes clicking and scrolling and dragging so much more fluid than the mouse. The second reason has to do with quality. I can listen to it through my car’s audio jack or Bluetooth, through wired headphones, Bluetooth stereo and Bluetooth mono headsets. This allows me to make sure it sounds okay across all formats my audience is likely to use without having to suffer the indignity of Microsoft’s Bluetooth client.

Since I have an OTG cable, I need an app that will help me bring files to the GN8 from its native location, and that’s the excellent Nexus Media Importer available at the Play Market for $3.99 [...]. If I don’t have to hassle with swapping MicroSD, I don’t hassle with swapping MicroSD cards, and I’ve already paid myself back a few times with the amount of time and frustration this application saves me.

To get all those files organized and uploaded to where they need to go, I use the Total Commander file manager [...] and the FTP Plugin for Total Commander [...]. Both are available for free at the Android Market and are the best applications I’ve used for my needs.

For those not keeping track, the above applications cost a total of $25.96 and make the GN8 one of the best editing platforms I’ve ever used. So far, I haven’t witnessed the 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos processor struggle with the demands of editing or creating professional-level multimedia content. Even if it is slower than a high-quality desktop, I save more time with the S-Pen than I’ve wasted on rendering.

If I need to access a more powerful system, Samsung and Dropbox have teamed up to give GN8 purchasers a free 50GB upgrade. The WiFi radio that comes with the GN8 is one of the fastest I’ve used, and I’ve moved large files over both public and private hotspots in about the same amount of time my laptop takes. Granted, this is a snail’s pace when compared to a direct line into a cable network, but for WiFi performance, the GN8’s performance impresses.

Also, the GN8 has one of the best GPS radios I’ve used on ANY device! Navigating with GN8 and Google Now takes about 15 seconds less than trying to do the same thing through the dedicated navigation systems I’ve used in most cars! It is truly amazing how much work Samsung put into getting the GN8 to work well before releasing it to market.

You can’t say the same thing about the N7.2. Google it.

Combined with Splashtop, all I have to do is upload the media to my Dropbox account, log into the app, wait for my desktop to pop up and tell my hard-core unit at home what to do. While I’m meeting with clients, doing work or commuting, my bigger projects are rendering on their own. I can log back in to Splashtop to check the progress of the project from anywhere in the United States, and when it’s done I can use Splashtop to send it back to DropBox and have my client preview it.

TECHNO-TANGENT WARNING: Even though it’s more difficult to set up, I prefer the older Splashtop Remote Desktop HD on sale for $8.99 because I can use it any time I want on any network I want without having to “rent” it by the month. [...].pad. If programming settings is too difficult, or you find Google’s servers too slow for things like gaming, you can use the new and improved Splashtop2: [...]
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tablet, May 26, 2013
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (16GB, White) 2013 Model (Personal Computers)
I bought my Note 8 at Best Buy the day it came out. I have been very happy with it. I bought the additional stylus with a pen holder which works outstanding (you do have to remove the stylus that cam with the note to activate the microswitch. I also KHomo case which folds back and has a hand hold on the back. Perfect for holding in one hand a taking notes. I user the OfficeSuite 7 Pro App, for MS office compatibility, Evernote (which I use most often), and write, for jotting down quick notes. I have not been disappointed at all with the Note 8!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best note taking, scratch work, doodling, tablet there is. Tons of bloatware yes, but you can get rid of it., April 14, 2014
By 
I just love this tablet so much I have to write a review on it. Due to (and some provided by) my job, I have an ipod, ipad, a windows laptop, a macbook pro, and only recently I've gotten into android products, and I have to say that I love the openness of android.

First of all, when I got the note 8.0, I have to say I both loved and mostly hated it; hated it because of all the bloatware and useless (to me) apps that Samsung puts on the tablet; I loved it because of the wacom pen, which is very precise. Moreover, you can use ANY wacom tablet pen with the tablet, not just the small pen that comes with the note. I use a very nice wacom pen from an old Fujitsu tablet pc. I have the Wacom "Penabled Tablet Pc Eraser Pen" which is nice as well and is large almost like a regular pencil. The pen can easily be used to take notes in class, especially with LectureNotes (which I used on a daily basis).

To get rid of the bloatware, you can get an app called Clean Master from the android app store and if you open it up and go to app manager, you can disable (not uninstall) all the useless preinstalled apps (there is a category that says "completely safe to disable apps" and you just disable them, one after another). Of course, you can also go to app manager and do the same, but Clean Master makes it so easy. This is OK and it left a fairly nice tablet without a lot of the bloatware.

However, I ended up voiding the warranty because I rooted the note 8.0, then I installed a custom recovery (Philz touch), then I installed cyanogenmod 11. Now I have to say that I absolutely love the note 8.0; it's my favorite computer. The wacom pen works perfectly, and the tablet is 100% pure with no traces of bloatware whatsoever and it runs smooth as silk. (The original Samsang had over 50% of the ram being used even without installed apps running, while with cyanogenmod 11, only 17% is used.)

I would have never written this review, except that I did install the custom ROM (cyanogenmod 11) and the Samsung works like the dream tablet I've always wanted. Without installing the custom rom, I would give the note 8.0 a 4/5 instead of a 5/5 because of the bloatware.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect size, May 12, 2013
By 
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (16GB, White) 2013 Model (Personal Computers)
This Note 8 is the perfect size tablet for me. I tried out the Kindle Fire 8.9, but because of the thick border around the screen it makes the device a little bit too big to fit comfortably in my hand. I felt like it was piveting in my hand. The Note 8 fits nicely in my handbag and it fits comfortably in one hand. A 7 inch tablet is a bit too small, but this 8 inch is perfect. I'm really glad I bought it and it was worth the extra cash.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nexus 7 2 vs Tab 3 8.0 vs Note 8.0!, August 21, 2013
By 
taka13 (Honolulu, HI) - See all my reviews
My OG 10.1" Asus Transformer TF101 was showing its age, and so it was time for a replacement. I was looking for a more portable tablet that I could take to school or anywhere without the bulk. After reading reviews and testing store demos, I narrowed it down to the Nexus 7 2013, Tab 3 8.0, and Note 8.0. I'm no fanboy to any OS, but the iPad mini was never in the equation simply because I was in the market for Android not iOS. The decision was tough, but for my needs the Note 8.0 edges them out.

With all the Nexus 7 2013's great price and high specs, I just couldn't get past the screen size. The high resolution display has sharp text, but a tad too small for my liking on full web pages and PDF's. In landscape mode text was comfortable, but viewing height felt narrow. Coming from rarely having to zoom on a 10" screen wasn't helping either. Even though the Nexus 7 is fast, sleek, and updates quickly I wasn't willing to give up 3" of screen.

So all that remained was the Samsung Tab 3 8.0 and Note 8.0. After comparing these further I decided to take the plunge on the pricier Note 8.0 for the increased horsepower and S-pen stylus. Overall I am very happy with it, despite my few gripes with it. Transitioning from 10" to 8" was painless and found that I wasn't missing the larger screen at all. The display is surprisingly vibrant and crisp considering it's not an Amoled or IPS tier screen. Like others mentioned 8" is the way to go for mobility, weight, comfort, while retaining a sizeable screen. Text size is better than the Nexus 7 in full web pages and PDF's requiring little to no zooming. I don't use the Wacom stylus as much as I thought, but it's amazingly handy when you need it. Performance is snappy and tackles everyday tasks to moderately intensive gaming with ease.

The only gripes I have, which I've learned to accept, are with Touchwiz, home buttons, and battery life. Samsung's interface is bloated and looks a little cartoonish to me. Without rooting I disabled the Samsung apps and features I didn't use, and added a launcher like Nova with minimalist icons for a better look and feel. Occasionally mine will freeze for a second and then keep going like nothing happened, which I blame on Touchwiz. It doesn't bother me much since it doesn't occur often, plus it's still ten times better than my old tablet. Handling the tablet in landscape took some getting used to since it's easy to hit the back and menu buttons on accident, but one benefit is that it doesn't take up any screen. Also battery life is acceptable not great; with moderate use, some tweaking, and its superior standby, it will get you easily over a day. Hopefully the 4.2 update will help the battery and performance like it did on the 3G/LTE variant.

Although the Tab 3 8.0 performs well in its own right in my opinion the only reason to get one is if you financially cannot or do not want to spend the difference for the Note 8.0. Even still with Amazon's pricing and $25 Google credit (till 9/30), that brings it down to about a $50 difference, plus you get a faster processor, more ram, and s-pen features.

If Google made a Nexus 8, I probably wouldn't be writing this review; however until then Samsung stands alone in the 8" Android category, not including cheap tablets.
In the end all three are great tablets, but the 8" screen, S-pen, and performance on the Note 8.0 fit my needs the best.
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