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James Norton

Samsung make reporting the announcement of new tablets slightly easier

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At CES in Las Vegas, Samsung announced four new tablets, but in a rare act of kindness, they have enough similarities to each other to make reporting on them slightly easier than it would otherwise be. To be precise, all four tablets have the same internal specifications and software.

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In fact, these devices are all quite interesting. First off, there is the Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 which as the name suggests, is a 12.2 inch screened device. Alongside that, there are also the Samsung Galaxy TabPro devices in 12.2, 10.1 and 8.4 inch screen sizes with names that match. See how they are keeping it simple?

The specs of all these devices include a screen at 2560x1600 pixel resolutions, even the 8.4 inch tablet. They all have 8mp rear facing cameras and 2mp front facing shooters. Each tablet comes with either a Snapdragon 800 with 4G LTE connectivity or a Samsung Exynos 5 octa core processor. All of these new tablets run Android 4.4.

There are some differences in the hardware, with the two 12.2 models packing 3Gb of RAM whilst the others have 2Gb. The 12.2's also have 32Gb of storage over the smaller tablets which have 16Gb though all have microSD expansion. The NotePro comes with an S-Pen as its name would suggest.

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The real news here though is in two unexpected places. First off and in very welcome news, the standard Samsung button layout has changed. They still have a hardware home button in the middle, but the button to the left is no longer the ancient Android menu button, but rather the multi-tasking button. The back button is still where it has always been. However big this news is though, more excitingly, Samsung have changed TouchWiz, their ever-present skin on top of Android.

Samsung call their new home screen Magazine UX and it features tiles of apps and information. This is not dissimilar to what Microsoft are doing with Windows live tiles, but it is great to see Samsung innovating and iterating on their software. The whole design is flatter and simpler which is a great change. The tablets are being pushed on their multi-tasking capabilities and you can now run four apps side-by-side on the 12.2's which is partly what gives them the "Pro" moniker. Samsung are suggesting that the new larger tablets in their range might replace both your tablet and your laptop.

In a final flourish, we can report that faux leather will be present across this entire new range.

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