Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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March 19, 2014

Review: Laptop features costly in Samsung tablet

(Continued)

The Note Pro lets you run up to four apps that way. That means having Gmail on the upper left portion of the screen, while YouTube video plays on the upper right, a Web browser opens on the lower right and a chat app runs on the lower left. You can change how much space each app takes and save configurations so that you don't have to open the four apps individually each time.

If you want to run more than four, you can activate Pen Window. Apps open in a window that floats over the main app on the screen. You can have several apps open at once, and you can temporarily set an app aside by minimizing it into a small dot.

However, the multitasking capabilities work only with selected apps. That includes more than two dozen of the common ones, but not Netflix or Hulu. I wish I could have streaming video going while I do other stuff on the side.

On Windows 8 tablets, you can run up to four apps side by side, depending on the size of the screen, and there are no restrictions on which ones. You also get access to a wider range of software designed for traditional computers, including Microsoft's Office. The Note Pro is fundamentally an Android tablet with some interface changes and apps to give it a laptop feel.

What's nice about the Note Pro is its compatibility with Android phones and Google services. You'll have to weigh whether that's more important than running Windows software and whether all that is worth the $750 price. And keep in mind that compared with Apple's iOS system, Android still doesn't have as many apps specifically designed for the tablet's screen size. Many tablet apps are simply larger versions of phone apps. The iPad is also cheaper, starting at $499, though the base model comes with half the storage available in the Note Pro's $750 model.

If you've settled on an Android tablet, the Note Pro is a decent device, albeit a pricey one. Although it isn't quite ready to replace your laptop, it gets you closer to that experience than any other Android tablet I've tried.

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