Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

The contender

This is the first Samsung tablet we’ve been excited about for a while. It’s a shrunk-down Note 10.1; an iPad Mini rival with a quad-core processor and a handy stylus. But it’s also a sized-up Note II, as the 3G/4G version can make voice calls. Plus, the Note 8.0 has a much improved Multi-Window split screen feature, which now handily supports Google apps such as Chrome. Maps and YouTube. A microSD slot for adding up to an extra 64GB and a huge 4600mAh battery complete the geek’s wishlist, but style gurus might be disappointed by the Note’s cheap-feeling fit and finish.

Eight and great?

Ignore the slightly creaky plastic and the Note 8.0 puts in a brilliant performance. It’s as light as the Mini and, thanks to its wide screen form, is the easiest of the current crop of Bin tablets to clasp, making two-thumbed email messaging in portrait mode speedy. It’s smooth and responsive, packs a solid 8-9hr battery life and its 1280×800 screen is vibrant, albeit with a tendency to over amp colours.Oh, and the Google Play store: it’ still the case that no Android tablet can touch Apple for quality and variety of apps.

Tech

Android 4.1.2 quad-core 1.6GHz Exynos A9 2GB RAM 16/32GB(+up to 64GB microSD) Up to 9hrs battery 8in, 1280×800,189ppi 5MP rear, 1.3MP front 211x136x8mm 340g Price from £360 (Wi-Fi), £465 (3G/4G) / samsung.co.uk

★★★★*

A multi-tasking and note-taking powerhouse, but a tad pricey

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