New Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 may be a tough sell at US$399

The Galaxy Note 8.0, which launches April 11, is Samsung's stylus-equipped answer to the iPad Mini, but it may be a tough sell at $399.

The Galaxy Note 8.0 is Samsung's stylus-equipped answer to the iPad Mini, but it'll be a tough sell when it launches April 11 for $399.

That's $50 more expensive than Apple's small tablet, at a time when most small tablets are trying to undercut the Mini. Samsung's hoping that the Galaxy Note 8.0's S Pen stylus and standout features will lure buyers.

The Galaxy Note 8.0 has an 8-inch display with a resolution of 1280-by-800 pixels, a quad-core Exynos processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a microSD card slot, a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front camera. The Note 8.0 runs the Android 4.1 operating system, with Samsung's TouchWiz interface on top.

The $399 price tag is attached to a Wi-Fi model, but a version with 4G is coming.

Just like the larger Note 10.1, the Note 8.0 is more about unique features than tech specs. MultiWindow view is supported for certain apps, letting you run two of them side-by-side.

The built-in S Pen is pressure-sensitive (with pretty good support among third-party apps) and allows users to quickly jot down notes or make annotations. The Note 8.0 also includes a built-in IR blaster, allowing it to serve as a remote control for your entertainment center.

But will it sell?

Note 8.0's market position

To Samsung's credit, the company has enjoyed more success than most other Android tablet makers, doubling its market share during the holiday season. It now has 15 percent of the tablet market, compared to 44 percent for Apple, according to IDC.

That's not bad considering the fierce competition from Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus tablets. Samsung must be feeling confident that it can stand toe-to-toe with Apple.

Still, at $400, the Note 8.0 sits in an awkward middle ground. It's $50 more expensive than an iPad Mini, and twice the price of other small tablets like the Nexus 7.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is only $50 more and, while the Note 8.0 is more portable, it's still going to be a bit wide for a coat pocket. The new tablet is interesting, in that it brings Samsung's S Pen and productivity software to yet another screen size but, until the price comes down, it's hard to see the Note 8.0 being a big hit.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags samsungAppleconsumer electronicsAndroidhardware systemsSamsung ElectronicssmartphonestabletsOffice Hardware

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?