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Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2: Screen and Multi-tasking

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams



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Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 – Screen & Sound Quality

The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 has a 12.2-inch screen, as its name suggests. It’s a big, bright, widescreen display that offers a much larger video-watching, reading and drawing space than any previous Note tablet or phone.

On paper it's very strong. This is a 2560 x 1600 pixel display – the same resolution as the 10.1-inch Note 2014 edition. And it is an LCD-type screen, rather than the AMOLED type used in Samsung’s Note phones.

Despite a solid screen resolution, the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 doesn’t offer that strong an impression of sharpness. It’s because of the kind of subpixel array used in the screen.

Rather than using uniform rows of red, green and blue pixels, the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 has rows of red, green, blue and white pixels. It increases power efficiency, but dramatically decreases how sharp a screen appears. It’s down to the uniformity of the rows of pixels – consecutive rows are shunted by a subpixel, causing straight lines to look fuzzy. It also has a patterning effect on block colour/white areas.

This pixel arrangement is part of the PenTile family, and it lets the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 increase brightness with less power consumption than rival RGB screens. And top brightness is indeed pretty searing. Whether you prefer the pure image quality of RGB (as seen in the iPad Air) or better efficiency is down to your own taste. But we’d opt for image quality every time – especially in a tablet with design/arty potential like this.

We saw this symptom in the Note 10.1 2014 Edition and didn’t see it as a big problem, but here the lower pixel density makes it more apparent.

The backlight in our review sample is also inconsistent. In a darkened room it’s extremely clear where the side-firing LEDs that light the screen live, and when viewed from certain angles, the screen greys as the backlight’s 'separate' presence becomes all too obvious.

This is a good screen, but ultimately we’re a little disappointed. We wanted a great one - and we deserve one for £650.

Another important feature for the home tablet is speakers. The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 makes a good start with stereo speakers – there’s a driver on each end.

Side-firing drivers give a distinct stereo image when the tablet is held out in front of you. However, the sound quality isn’t particularly remarkable. Like most tablet speakers that haven’t had some serious work put into them, they sound a little thin and lacks the lower-end warmth and power that makes a speaker more enjoyable to listen to.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 – Screen Multi-tasking

As well as having a larger screen than any other Note tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 tries harder to make its screen inches work for you.

Some of basic interface tweaks include reworking the Android home screens layout in order to make better use of space. The Google Search bar is sensibly relegated to a small corner of the bottom-left rather than taking up the whole length of the screen, and there’s no persistent app shortcut bar. Samsung has made the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2’s home screens into zones that are as customisable as possible, rather than plastering each with everyday ‘essentials’. It’s a sensible choice.

Note Pro 12.2

The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2’s multi-tasking skills are more attention-grabbing, though. In the other Note phones and tablets, a feature called Multi Window lets you open two apps at once on-screen. With this tablet you can open four.

Not all apps can be opened in Multi Window, but most the basics can - the browser, email, YouTube, S Note and more. Some third-party apps work, but it is a case of hit and miss.

These apps are then scaled to the size of the window, and you can also choose how much room each gets. It works remarkably well – and is very usable. Forgetting the coding wizardry needed to make this work for a second, it’s not that surprising. Each quarter of the display is roughly equivalent to a 720p display in resolution, and the 12.2-inch work surface offers plenty of space.

The only issue is finding a use for this sort of multitasking. A classic quartet might be the browser, a video player (MX Player works with Multi Window as well as the default player), your Gmail and S Note, a note-taking app. Why? Use your imagination.

This sort of intensive use is a bit at odds with the more relaxed way most of us use our tablets. But Samsung has successfully taken tablet use to the next level with the Note 12.2, if that’s what you’re after.

The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 also offers a slightly more casual way to use multi-tasking. Using the stylus and a feature called Pen Window, you can draw a box on the screen and load up most Multi Window-compatible app in it. This has uses that are a little less of a tablet stretch than quad-add multitasking. You could, for example, look up a game walkthrough online while playing a game or bring up your email while watching a video.

Like other Samsung tablets, there’s also a more traditional app switching menu, accessed using the left soft key.


February 14, 2014, 12:28 am

Thank you for pointing out the pentile screen. Makes me feel so much better I have the higher DPI pentile with the 10.1. I thought on the off chance Samsung might not go pentile because it was going to be so much more apparent. I guess not.


February 15, 2014, 2:12 am

The problem with Samsung is their non friendly user interface. They add so much useless staff and the real staff we need are almost hidden. Example, I bought the Samsung galaxy note 2014 edition for the pen. When using it I couldn't just open a new page on the software to draw something new. It took me hours to figure it out. It is common sense to have a, new page, or save and delete on the main screen, but unfortunately not on their device. A real shame, I love their device for price, style and components but they really have to work on user friendly interface and remove all the unnecessary tools that probably just a small fraction of us uses.
Samsung, please make things simpler, and make all these add up tools as extra for people who wants them, not as the main features.
I would buy this new cool 12.inch tablet but I'm afraid it's going to be just an other nightmare to use as the 2014 tablet edition.
I will have to wait for Android to make one. I now use the LG Nexus 5 and I must admit the best in the market so far. I can't wait for them to make a 12 inch tablet. You really feel in control with the 100% Android interface. I want it, I keep it. I don't want I, I remove. Not like Samsung.


February 15, 2014, 8:05 am

Why not compare this tablet to Surface Pro 2? It looks like they are both aimed at the same market.

Alcino Major

February 17, 2014, 10:54 pm

Sorry but you have calculated wrong the overall score
if the final score is based on the average scores then the result of the final score is: 7.5/10 and not 8/10 (60/8=7.5)


February 18, 2014, 7:46 am

I doubt it... These are more the type of people looking to replace iPads at work. Where the Surface Pro 2 is more of a laptop/desktop replacement with excellent touch and stylus input.


February 22, 2014, 2:36 pm

If you hate it, root it and get rid of all the feature you dont like. Then you dont have those extra stuff anymore.

I dont understand what you mean by saying "... waiting Android to make one." The tablet is an android device with Android KitKat.


February 23, 2014, 12:21 pm

Is there a phone model too? As far as I know, I read it that you can make phone calls too (gsm) but then, I asked about it from a retailer because they had wifi and 4g/lte models but they hadnt gsm networking on the specs, and they said that this is only a tablet. Well, 4G/LTE model is just a tablet without gsm handling? Gsmarena-site says that it has also gsm networking. What is true?

My Note 10.1 can handle gsm calls too - and if this is true that the notepro is just a tablet, Im not going to upgrade my present tablet to be forced to buy a separate phone too... But Im not sure will I even upgrade my beast at all. Notepro 12.2 sounds a perfect device but if it is just a tablet, then I have to say, no thanks...

Sounds 6/10 - compared to what?
So bad sound quality, much worse than other tablets?

Lisa has made, again, a nice vid review about this tablet. Check it (youtube, mobiletech...)


February 23, 2014, 12:27 pm

Maybe they use whole numbers and 0,5 is rounded up...


February 28, 2014, 1:49 am

Still dreaming of a new line of tablets.. If Notes are aimed at writing down notes with stylus, they could call new line Art and aim it for - guess who - artists. I already use my Note 10.1 as a digital sketch pad&light digital painting pad. Sure it ain't good as full weight photoshop with 1000€+ Wacom Cintiq, but it's still far easier to carry around. I even used to doodle with a 4" PDA some 10+ years ago..

Heck, make them at sizes of 10/12/14" at 16:10 ratio.. I'd buy the 14" in instant. Weight isn't a concern, it's not like I'd stretch arm out to hold a sketch pad in air with one hand while drawing on it with another. 14" would be roughly A4 worth of screenspace to work with. I'd toss out those under-screen buttons, add couple of physical sliders on the outer rim, such as disable touch (since you got stylus to work with) that'd work better than "palm-rejection".. Toss the fake leather crap out as well and cover the whole thing with rough textured rubber or silicon for better grab - be that from holding or stop it from sliding on table - as well as more scratch resistance. I cringe everytime I look at the scratches on my 10.1 it gets from attempts to draw on table. Sometimes carrying a wet towel around to clean surface first just doesn't work, and the hard plastic just loves to slide around.

Didn't Qualcomm reveal Snapdragon 805 a while ago? One of those, please. 4gb+ ram, 2560x1600 for the smaller pads. 4096x2160 for the 14", since Snapdragon 805 is meant for 4k displays, that shouldn't be much of an issue. Might as well add a docking port too, so that'd make quite interesting "laptop" with a keyboard attached. Maybe even fit some proper USBs and other connectors to it. Hm. Keyboard dock with charger, that'd be actually interesting..

And then Samsung could cough up way to connect to PC* (bluetooth, wireless usb, maybe even WiFi, if latency doesn't kill it) to use stronger hardware&limitless choice of software. Stream clone of screen from PC to tablet - and stylus/touch/kb data from tablet to PC. Although I bet Wacom would have something to say about using their tech for making a what's practically a wireless Cintiq..

Eh, one of these days I'm going to practice my technical drawing&rendering skills and just send Samsung a design draft to consider. /industrial design student

*I know there are these things called "Mac"s, but as if anyone still uses them.


March 5, 2014, 7:33 am


Yet another typically uninformed reviewer! The comment...

"The obvious missing thing here is a way to turn the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 into a laptop. There are no docking points on its bottom or its sides that might open the doors to a keyboard accessory that would turn the Note into a Android laptop."

Does not even mention the Samsung accessory keyboard and mouse "designed" for this product. It does not mention the amazing Logitech keyboard/cover. It does not mention that the Galaxy Note pro will work with any BlueTooth accessory device. It does not mention that using an OTG cable with a USB hub you can connect a USB keyboard AND a USB mouse and OTHER USB devices.

Why does it HAVE to HAVE a dock - has this reviewer never heard of wireless communications?

It does not mention that it can power and use (directly from its own USB3 port, a TERRABYTE drive for file read write of ANY file TYPE (not limited to music and photos via iTunes). I already do exactly this on my Galaxy Note 3. Yes, a PHONE that can power and use ONE TERRABYTE of external storage plus 96 gb internal storage.

It does not mention that it works (via an OTG cable) with Logitech unifying receiver, to allow the use of a Logitech Keyboard and Darkfield Laser Tracking mouse.

It does not mention that (via an OTG cable) it recognises and operates with a Logitech Presenter for the provision of PowerPoint presentations. It can actually directly present PPT presentations (using Open Office or similar software) and these can be FULLY controlled by the Logitech Presenter. I already DO THIS on my Galaxy Note 3. In fact I have done this on my original Galaxy Note One!! Using the MHL to HDMI or VGA adapter you can connect the device to a projector for these presentations.

Of course if you use a USB hub, you can connect all these devices at the same time. With a USB hub you can connect multiple USB memory sticks and they are all treated as separate drives. You can read, write, delete or transfer files of ANY TYPE between them.

It does not mention that using an OTG cable attached to a card reader, you can read, write, delete or transfer files of ANY TYPE, to and from and between disparate memory cards, e.g. from SD to Sony Memory Stick, microsd and any other memory device for which you have a usb adaptor.

There are videos on YouTube showing the ORIGINAL Galaxy Note One as a gaming PC with its gaming output on a large tv screen. This Galaxy Note One has a mouse, keyboard and gaming controller attached to it.

This was available TWO YEARS AGO! The power and capability has only improved since then.

Come on reviewers, get your act together. Realise there is more to life than just an iPad. There is REAL power available if you choose the right product.

My best wishes to all future buyers of the Galaxy Note of your chosen size! Me, I'm waiting for the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 64gb. Oh, and don't forget, (with the GSM/LTE wireless models) these devices can also operate as a FULLY functional phone.

Meanwhile I can manage very well with my Galaxy Note 3 and its 96gb of memory.

Kind regards



March 10, 2014, 5:45 pm

It's an overall verdict, not an average. It doesn't really matter what the other categories say.


May 4, 2014, 12:10 am

what david means is he can't wait for samsung to pull their finger out and make a 100% Android interface which is designed and developed by google, sadly Samsung are a bunch of money grabbing thieves just like most of the mobile tech manufacturers and they are trying to push their dumbass stock software on customers because the phones on contract are usually "free". Not sure but I think the carriers must pay the manufacturers for their stock software as a tradeoff for supplying "free"
phone as far as I am aware these phones get manufactured in the millions and the components are actually a pittence, that together with the cheap labour in the east and they cost next to nothing to manufacture, then add the fact that android is essentially linux and we should all know by now that linux is opensource which means of course that it is freely available to joe blog to edit etc. however Samsung quite rightly does not want you to edit their product, hence the bloatware. If you want a 100% android phone you are going to have to buy it and then get a sim only contract or as you say root it if you are confident enough not to end up bricking the phone.

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