Price: From £340
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 runs Android Jelly Bean, but looks and feels totally different to the Nexus 7, thanks to Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface. But what differentiates the Note from the Nexus 7 and iPad mini is the stylus or S-Pen which is stored in a corner of the tablet. Pop it out and relevant apps launch, such as a notepad which is clever enough to recognise the stylus’s scribblings but ignore your hand resting on the screen. You can also have two apps open on screen at the same time such as a web browser and email.
Though the screen is fractionally bigger than the iPad mini’s – this one measures 8-inches – the wide bezel means it’s significantly bigger and a little heavier. Still, the screen is higher-resolution, and it shows.
The Note’s design is defiantly glossy and plasticky, in contrast to Apple’s metallic finishes. Unlike the iPads, this tablet has a card slot so you can expand the 16GB or 32GB internal memory – handy if you discover you do want lots of apps after all. There’s also a 3G SIM-card slot should you want to get onine.
The quad-core processor ensures it’s fast, slick and smooth in operation, though battery life doesn’t quite match the nine hours you can expect from other tablets here – expect around seven to eight hours between charges.
Like the iPad mini the Note 8.0 has a 5-megapixel primary and 1.3-megapixel secondary camera, again with no flash.
Overall the Note 8.0 is a neat and effective tablet, especially for doing work and drawing, but the iPad mini beats it for style and app choice, and it’s simply too expensive to appeal to a wide range of people.