Samsung is expanding its line of Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Note tablets with new Pro models focused on multitasking and productivity. The new Galaxy TabPro will be available in three sizes — 8.4-inch, 10.1-inch, and 12.2-inch — while the Galaxy NotePro will only be available in the 12.2-inch size. All four tablets have 2560 x 1600 pixel displays, Android 4.4 KitKat, Wi-Fi and LTE options, and 8-megapixel rear cameras as well as 2-megapixel front cameras.
Samsung's goal with the new tablets is to better straddle the gap between a normal tablet and a laptop computer. The Galaxy NotePro and 12.2-inch Galaxy TabPro feature new four-pane multiwindow multitasking, while all of the tablets offer multiple layered pop-up windows for multitasking. The panes in the multiwindow system can be resized freely, and it's possible to open two instances of the same app at once to compare them side by side.
The new tablets feature Samsung's new home screen layout called Magazine UX. The layout offers tiles of apps and information that users can customize and configure. Three preset pages are offered by default, though users can customize up to five pages with apps and news widgets. The whole system feels very similar to the LiveTile system in Windows 8.1 and is a bit more approachable for new users than the typical home screen. Ironically, the power users that Samsung is targeting with the Pro tablets will likely find the Magazine UX too constricting and limiting.
Design-wise, the Pro tablets are cut from the same cloth as the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Tab 10.1. They have grippy faux leather backs, plastic silver trim, a single home key, and are all under 8mm thick. The 12.2-inch models weigh about a pound and a half each, which does make them a bit cumbersome and unwieldy, especially when you hold them with one hand. Internally, the tablets are all very similar, with fast processors, lots of RAM, and up to 64GB of internal storage. The only difference between the NotePro and the TabPro is support for Samsung's S Pen stylus.
Samsung is offering a handful of accessories for the Pro tablets, including a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. But it is oddly not going to sell a keyboard dock for them, which would complement the "pro" aesthetic that Samsung seems to be going for. The new tablets will be available for sale this quarter, but Samsung did not reveal any pricing information.