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By 22 April 2013 | Categories: gizmos

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Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 impressed us when we first saw it at the Samsung Africa Forum earlier this year, and it has only done more so now that we have it in hand to play with.
 
To begin with the device has a familiar Samsung, smooth plastic feel, but feels a bit better built than its larger brother, the Galaxy Note 10.1. Additionally, the 8” size feels both more portable than the larger iteration, and more spacious than the 7” Galaxy Tab, slotting nicely between the two.
 
Additionally, activities such as web browsing and movie watching were a joy due to the larger screen size, while the latter was aided by some impressively loud sound.
 
The screen itself has a 1280 x 800 resolution (189 ppi), which slightly bests the iPad Mini’s 1024 x 768, and certainly left us happy with regards to how images, movies and web pages rendered on the device.
 
At 8", the Galaxy Note 8 balances portability, usefulness (thanks to the S-pen and its features) and screen real estate most adeptly amongst the Galaxy range. 
 
Quick on the draw
 
We were similarly impressed by the quick performance afforded by the combination of the 1.6 GHz A9 quad-core processor, 2 GB of memory and Android Jelly Bean (4.1.2). Its onboard storage of 16 GB or 32 GB can be further augmented by an additional 64 GB microSD card.
 
However, it was the Galaxy Note 8’s ability to accommodate handwritten notes using the S-pen that had us reaching for it time and again. The stylus, when paired with S Note applications, performed beautifully when it came to quickly jotting down notes.
 
The very good included digital diary app, aNotes, takes this a step further.  It enabled us to keep more comprehensive notebooks on a variety of topics, complete with typed and/or handwritten text, imbedded images and hand-drawn diagrams and mind-maps.
 
Also worth mentioning was the ability to open two apps side by side, and Reading Mode, which turned the device into a capable ereader, with side-lighting, for a more restive reading experience.
 
To the point

In essence, we found the Galaxy Note 8 to be the most enjoyable and useful Note tablet we have come across yet, more portable than the Note 10.1 and yet more spacious and full featured than its phablet counterparts. RRP: R7 200 

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