Galaxy Note 8- Initial Thoughts and Inking Review

Discussion in 'Samsung Galaxy Note and Tab' started by jl199954, Apr 11, 2013.

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  1. jl199954

    jl199954 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Picked an 8 up today. Looks like Best Buy has ample supply- my local had at least 50+ up in their rack.

    I have not used Android before so I'll not comment on the operating system yet.

    Build:
    The tablet is pretty sturdy I feel, none of the "creak" you hear about in some reviews. I would even say it's ipad solid, but still a plastic back. I haven't taken the plastic film off the back yet, but the back seems ever so slightly textured. The camera lens bump mentioned in many reviews isn't so deep, but I agree it's stupid- there's the slightest rock the device when it's flat on a desk. Then pen seems to be made of a slightly more dense plastic than the Note 1 or II pens. Also verified a Surface Pro stylus works fine with eraser...I'm sure other Wacom will be fine.
    It's quite thin, and easy to hold in a single hand.

    Pen Performance:
    I am impressed with the pen's latency/ performance. It's almost on par quickness wise with the Surface Pro and noticeably quicker than the Galaxy Note 10.1. I tested in the S Note app. The pen tip has a suspension/give to it much moreso than the Surface Pro- (I know these aren't necessarily comparative devices, but are what I have experience with)
    The more forgiving tip with a slightly softer plastic than the Surface Pro lead to my handwriting being better, which surprised me. Of course the pen is too small for much longer note taking sessions, but having one on board in it's slot can only be helpful. I can see using this as my companion device to truly replace my paper notebooks. We'll give it a try over the next week. The real estate seems okay for my rather small chicken scratch. Any suggestions for good Android inking apps are welcome!

    Touch Performance:
    My comparisons here are the Surface Pro and an Ipad 3. Touch is very good on the Galaxy Note 8. Tracking/ latency is not as quick as on the Surface, but is better than the Ipad. Since touch doesn't need quite the accuracy as the pen though- it's certainly okay and not so noticeable.

    Web Performance:
    Here the Galaxy 8 stumbles a bit. Loading a good size page took a moment. I tested theVerge.com homepage with all it's pictures and video links and there was a 3 second delay. Not unwieldy...but substantially lower than both the SP and iPad 3.

    Keyboard/ Ink Panel
    The on screen keyboard feels a bit tight..but I have fat fingers and didn't actually have a problem typing. The pen input panel works great and as far as I can tell can come up anywhere the keyboard will, allowing quite extensive use of the pen. Writing a note and then launching a new contact or appointment all with the pen seems like a nice ability from daily workflow.

    So- more to come- but so far so good. Battery life, dealing with a file as it gets bigger, and filing/ searching overall of old notes are areas I look to tackle next.

    ***Also- Admin- why not create a top level folder under your Android device for Samsung? They've probably sold more now than all the other Android tablets combined, yet no individual folder. ***
     
  2. BigNerd

    BigNerd Pen Pal - Newbie

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    What browser were you using to test Web Performance?
     
  3. barnesgj

    barnesgj Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Thanks for the review. It's what I was hoping this little Goldilocks device would be. Just the right size between the Note II and 10.1. Does the 8 come with Polaris Office? Have you tried Lecture Notes?
     
  4. jl199954

    jl199954 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I tried both Chrome and the stock browser. Both seemed about the same. My very unofficial count test has a page like the Verge loading in 4 sec average vs. 1-2 on my i5 laptop, and about 3 sec on my ipad3. Other pages like microsoft.com, apple.com, engadget.com loaded quite quickly, in about 1 second.

    I have noticed that the google results pages come quite quickly. If you type a search term rather than a URL in the in the address bar the google results come up quite quickly. So maybe it's graphics related rather than speed.

    Polaris Office comes installed and was simple to register. I haven't played around with it, but it seems very good. The inking panel on the keyboard again shows up everywhere might need input text, even spreadsheet cells, etc. I looked at the lecture notes app, but did not install yet.

    barnesgj- Thanks for the Lecturenotes tip. Looks like a good app. I'm giving S Note a try for a bit to see. The pop up note when you you pull the pen out seems to be a nice feature. I am hopeful about using the 8 as a true PDA finally with useful handwriting input for both copius notes, but also the small appointments, tasks & contacts and such as you take notes. How well I get all that to sync with the mothership will be critical too.
     
  5. jl199954

    jl199954 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Quick thoughts, although this may be old news to Note users.

    SNote has Evernote sync & Google Docs sync. YES!

    The automatic launch of a pop-up note when you pull the pen out is great. I wish you could choose which template or size (I would like full screen) comes up first. The smaller post-it size has a full screen button, but it saves and then relaunches...which in 2013 impatient gadget user seconds takes ten years.

    Again- I am used to OneNote and using a finger while pen in hand to scroll the screen up as I need more space. I can't decide whether I miss this or simply am used to it. I think I'll miss it. Yes- I'm too lazy to turn the page.

    Ink searching: Evernote will do it for me for archive stuff, and I'm not sure it's reasonable to expect the 8 to do it-searching unconverted text like in Evernote or OneNote would be a great addition.

    Some items like sharing a note via e-mail or .pdf seem to take a few steps and clicks. Any tips from experienced Android users? A common case would be to whip off a couple pages of notes and then launch an e-mail to the same person every time. Again... a bit spoiled lately.
     
  6. jl199954

    jl199954 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    html5test.com score results:

    Galaxy 8
    stock browser gets 434 points.
    Chrome gets 390 points.

    Safari on my 2011 MacAir gets 368 points.
    Ios Safari -iphone 5 386 points
     
  7. barnesgj

    barnesgj Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Picked one up at BestBuy today. Sales clerk said they hadn't come in but I asked her to check and sure enough they had 5 in stock. I was going to wait but after 5 minutes of playing with the demo I was hooked. It truly is a great size and as was pointed out in the previous review the inking is very good. Handwriting recognition is excellent. I'm writing this on it now, I have small hands and holding it in portrait mode is manageable. It feels sturdy and is light enough to carry in my bag. I think it's going to be my new 'go to' device.
     
  8. jl199954

    jl199954 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Nice! Good to know someone else to share with. I was busy presenting today, so did not get My typical amount of note taking in. Also inking this note in the input panel without much issue.

    Aha! just discovered Scrolling with the hover mode. Useful in landscape filling in this post box.

    Another discovery today was inking directly on to the Monthly view in S planner. Not sure the ink sticks. I am trying to figure out all the quickest ways to capture and then later organise and tidy up info,
     
  9. barnesgj

    barnesgj Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Have you used the aNote HD app yet?
     
  10. jl199954

    jl199954 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I've been playing it a bit. Been focusing on S Note/ S planner. I was a OneNote user with Outlook and don't expect (but secretly still hope to get most of the function) to replace all that. Awesome note seems slick. The ink is a little less "in line" for the notes. But the Samsung's ink input panel works well everyehere so far.
     
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