Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Galaxy Note Pro, Tab Pro series finally get release dates

On Tuesday, Samsung announced U.S availability dates for the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro and Tab Pro series of tablets. These four tablets, first introduced at CES, can be pre-ordered now and will begin arriving on Feb. 13, the company announced.

"Begin" is an important word to keep in mind, as the WiFi-enabled Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, Tab Pro 10.1 and Tab Pro 8.4 will hit on Feb. 13, but the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 isn’t expected to ship until March (no precise date is known, yet). Also vaguely stated was the release of the first 4G Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. The carrier will be Verizon Wireless; it will launch "later this quarter."

Pre-orders began at midnight ET, Feb. 4 from Samsung.com, Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon (Note Pro, Tab Pro), Tigerdirect.com, PC Richard and Sons, Fry’s, and Newegg.com.

You may have to look more than once. A quick peek at the sites shows that despite there being multiple devices available for pre-order, not all of them show up in a search.

These are not cheap 7-inch tablets by any means, showing that Samsung is not ready to cede high-end tablet sales to Apple's iconin iPad. Instead, the Galaxy Note Pro, for example, runs $749.99 in 32GB form. Full pricing structure:
  • Note Pro 12.2: $749.99 (32 GB), $849.99 (64 GB)
  • Tab Pro 12.1: $649.99 (32 GB)
  • Tab Pro 10.1: $499.99 (16 GB)
  • Tab Pro 8.4: $399.99 (16 GB)
We'd expect to see discounts in the future, but for now, even Tigerdirect.com and Amazon.com only have MSRP pricing.

Samsung is marketing these devices as enterprise productivity tablets. All of them sport 2,560 by 1,600 resolution touchscreens and come pre-loaded with such productivity apps as Hancom Office for Android and a Remote PC Client.

However, they also come with Samsung’s new Magazine UX, which caused Google to shudder when it saw it at CES. The modified tablet user interface diverges greatly from standard Android UI; it resembles a mix of Microsoft's Metro UI and Flipboard. Just how long Magazine UX will stay around is in question; recent reports said that Google and Samsung have agreed that the Korean giant will pull back on its customizations and home-grown apps.



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