Samsung rolls out Galaxy Note II smartphone, Windows 8 tablets

By David Flynn, November 15 2012
Samsung rolls out Galaxy Note II smartphone, Windows 8 tablets

Samsung is set to roll out its strongest play yet to woo the heart, mind and wallet of business travellers looking for some 'tech to go' in both the smartphone and tablet/ultrabook 'hybrid' space. Here's what you ned to know.

Samsung GALAXY Note II

Take the highly-regarded and Android-powered Samsung Galaxy SIII, supersize the screen to 5.5 inches and add a stylus so you can scribble on the touchscreen: that's pretty much the Note II in a nutshell.

Happily, this is a 4G nutshell so you can enjoy the uber-networks of Telstra and Optus.

There's also some silicon tweakery under the hood, if specs are what floats your boat: the quad-core processor has been bumped up to 1.6 GHz, which is backed by a meaty 2GB of RAM.

The GALAXY Note II will be available through Optus, Telstra and Vodafone from next week for $899 (with 16GB of storage), and you can also get your mitts on it at the Samsung Experience Store in Sydney.

Unless you're already sold on the pen and the large-sized phone/tablet or 'phablet' mashup, we suggest going hands-on with the device is a must.

As compelling as the Note II is, the size and real-world practicality of the pen are key factors here, especially in knocking over the immediate 'cool' factor of the pen and determining if it and the bundled pen-friendly apps are something you'll actually use.

Samsung ATIV Smart PC 

Also coming later this month are the new Windows 8-based ATIV Smart PC and Smart PC Pro devices.

Both start off as 11.6 inch tablets designed to make the most of the finger-friendly Windows 8, which includes a full gamut of multi-touch gestures, as well as including a similar stylus as the Note II smartphone.

Each can dock into a portable full-sized keyboard when it's time to get some solid work done.

Impressivle, this keyboard is included in the price – it's not some dig-deeper option.

Where the Smart PC and Smart PC Pro differ is in their 'out of the box' capabilities, and as a reflection on that, their price tag.

The $899 ATIV Smart PC runs on a more humble Intel Atom processor compared to the Intel Core i5 of the $1,349 Smart PC Pro, so while the cheaper device is fine for  day to day tasks – Web, email, Word and Excel – there's less muscle for heavier-duty apps, or even cooking up a multimedia-laden PowerPoint preso.

There's also only 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage on tap, against the 4GB and 'up to 256GB' for the Smart PC Pro. The Pro variant also puts 3G wireless broadband on the list of tick-a-box options.

On the plus side, Samsung claims the Smart PC to have almost twice the battery life of the Pro, with 9.4 hours of video playback against 5 hours. 

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


22 Mar 2012

Total posts 200

Now thats a nice processor on the Note II...


04 Nov 2010

Total posts 670

Very nice! Not sure I need the pen but love the screen size, five and a half inches! I have seen a lot of Samsung Galaxys in use around Singapore, many are just the normal (4.5 inch?) SIII but also a lot of the Notes. I thought that size would be just way too big in the hand but it actually seems okay.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 116

I have the current Galaxy Note and it is an awesome phone. I moved away from the iPhone 4 as I felt Apple weren't innovating enough and moving too slowly. Even the iPhone 5 could and should do more..... but back to the Note - I don't really use the stylus but the bigger screen is fantastic, and once you get used to it, anything smaller seems, well, small. And if you were wondering, it does fit into my pockets - be it jeans, chinos, suit pants, shorts etc. Never had an issue.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Jun 2012

Total posts 54

The all-in-one is a great concept and bought the first Note in Korea 6 months ago. Had the SGS2 before that. Like most people thinking that I'd the screen real estate would be worth the awkwardness of having a phone that big against my ear. In the end - the additional screen size was fun but I the smaller iphone was more convenient.

I skipped the whole iphone 4 & 4S saga

But switching back to iPhone 5 now. Pair this with the Macbook Air it does what I need. 

16 Nov 2012

Total posts 2

I hate to be one of those people, but actually both the Smart PC and Smart PC Pro will run the full version of Windows 8! The difference is that the Smart PC uses the Atom processor, compared to the Core i5 used in the Smart PC Pro. It is actually the ARM-based Samsung ATIV Tab that will run Windows 8 RT instead of the full version.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2561

Rudiger - ah, you got us there - sorry, we were writing up the ATIV Tab as well, then folded that into this article but had a slip up in juggling all those ATIVs! Fixed now, and holding fire on the ATIV until a later RT roundup! FWIW, I had a play with the Asus RT tablet a few days back, quite impressed with the UI and how capable the bundled Office 2012 (preview) is.

16 Nov 2012

Total posts 2

Although I am probably going to splash out on the Smart PC Pro, I'm impressed with the idea of a sub-$1000 tablet being able to run all of the same software as a PC. From what I've heard, it runs it surprisingly well too, as long as you don't try and overload it with running too many tasks at once.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2561

Yeah, the Atom chip and 2GB of RAM definitely limit your headroom for multitasking. That said, I am also pleased at how much faster Win8 is compared to 7... I think the Smart PC will be ideal for a large slice of the market.

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