Mobile Technology

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 2

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro vs. Mi...
Gizmag compares the features and specs of Samsung's Galaxy Note Pro and Microsoft's Surface Pro 2
Gizmag compares the features and specs of Samsung's Galaxy Note Pro and Microsoft's Surface Pro 2
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The Galaxy Note Pro has an enormous battery inside
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The Galaxy Note Pro has an enormous battery inside
Samsung has been smitten with pleather of late
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Samsung has been smitten with pleather of late
Cameras look like a big advantage for the Note Pro
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Cameras look like a big advantage for the Note Pro
It's one of two mobile processors for the Note Pro vs. an Intel desktop CPU for the Surface
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It's one of two mobile processors for the Note Pro vs. an Intel desktop CPU for the Surface
The Surface Pro 2 runs traditional Windows desktop apps
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The Surface Pro 2 runs traditional Windows desktop apps
The Note Pro is 8 percent longer and 18 percent wider
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The Note Pro is 8 percent longer and 18 percent wider
The Surface gives you 72 percent as much screen real estate
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The Surface gives you 72 percent as much screen real estate
Gizmag compares the features and specs of Samsung's Galaxy Note Pro and Microsoft's Surface Pro 2
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Gizmag compares the features and specs of Samsung's Galaxy Note Pro and Microsoft's Surface Pro 2
The Surface's USB port gives it a bit of accessory versatility that the Note's microUSB port can't
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The Surface's USB port gives it a bit of accessory versatility that the Note's microUSB port can't
That's the pre-order price for the Note Pro in the UK, so take the USD conversion with many grains of salt
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That's the pre-order price for the Note Pro in the UK, so take the USD conversion with many grains of salt
RAM totals for each device
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RAM totals for each device
The Surface released in October, and the Note Pro is set to launch before long
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The Surface released in October, and the Note Pro is set to launch before long
The Note Pro ships with the latest version of Android, though it has Samsung's TouchWiz UI and Magazine UX smothering most signs of Google's OS
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The Note Pro ships with the latest version of Android, though it has Samsung's TouchWiz UI and Magazine UX smothering most signs of Google's OS
Storage options for both tablets
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Storage options for both tablets
Each device ships with an included stylus
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Each device ships with an included stylus
Despite being much smaller, the Surface is 21 percent heavier than the Note Pro
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Despite being much smaller, the Surface is 21 percent heavier than the Note Pro
The Note Pro will be sold in Wi-Fi + 3G/LTE models in addition to Wi-Fi only
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The Note Pro will be sold in Wi-Fi + 3G/LTE models in addition to Wi-Fi only
View gallery - 17 images

Samsung's gigantic Galaxy Note Pro is a tablet unlike any other. As an Android slate with a 12.2-in screen, it doesn't exactly have a lot of obvious competition. So why not compare it to the Microsoft Surface Pro 2, another popular tablet that uses a stylus? Join Gizmag, as we break down their features and specs.

Size

The Note Pro is 8 percent longer and 18 percent wider
The Note Pro is 8 percent longer and 18 percent wider

The Galaxy Note Pro is enormous. The Surface Pro 2 is already a fairly large tablet, but Samsung's Note is eight percent longer and 18 percent wider. The one dimension where the Note Pro isn't big is depth, coming in 41 percent thinner than the beefy Surface.

Weight

Despite being much smaller, the Surface is 21 percent heavier than the Note Pro
Despite being much smaller, the Surface is 21 percent heavier than the Note Pro

That thick build in the Surface also helps to make it much heavier. The Galaxy Note Pro is 17 percent lighter than Microsoft's tablet/PC hybrid.

Build

Samsung has been smitten with pleather of late
Samsung has been smitten with pleather of late

Samsung loves it some pleather. All of the company's recently-announced mobile devices have the soft-touch plastic build that we first saw on the Galaxy Note 3.

Neither tablet includes a keyboard accessory, but you can buy compatible keyboard covers for both. Microsoft's Touch Cover and Type Cover are integral parts of the Surface experience, while Logitech has already announced its own keyboard cover for the Note Pro.

Display

The Surface gives you 72 percent as much screen real estate
The Surface gives you 72 percent as much screen real estate

The Note's screen is much bigger, as the Surface only gives you 72 percent as much display area. The Note's resolution is also sharper, with a solid 248 pixels per inch.

Stylus

Each device ships with an included stylus
Each device ships with an included stylus

Both devices are marketed for productivity and, at least in theory, their included styluses help out with that. We think the stylus makes a lot of sense on Surface when navigating legacy desktop apps. We haven't spent enough time with the Note Pro to have a lot to say about its stylus integration, but it's very similar to that of the Note 3, with TouchWiz's Air Command window at the center of things.

Processor

It's one of two mobile processors for the Note Pro vs. an Intel desktop CPU for the Surface
It's one of two mobile processors for the Note Pro vs. an Intel desktop CPU for the Surface

Both devices may look like tablets, but we're looking at mobile (Note) and desktop (Surface) processors on the inside. On the user end, both tablets should deliver zippy performance.

RAM

RAM totals for each device
RAM totals for each device

The Note Pro's 3 GB of RAM is a lot for a mobile device. Microsoft, though, sells the Surface Pro 2 in two higher memory configurations that also reflect its laptop guts.

Storage

Storage options for both tablets
Storage options for both tablets

There's a bit of overlap at the 64 GB point, but otherwise storage options also reflect the tablets' different mobile and PC roots. Also keep in mind that your storage choices for the Surface will depend on which RAM configuration you choose.

Ports

The Surface's USB port gives it a bit of accessory versatility that the Note's microUSB port can't
The Surface's USB port gives it a bit of accessory versatility that the Note's microUSB port can't

The Surface Pro 2 also has PC-like ports, including one USB 3.0 and a Mini DisplayPort. Both tablets have microSD card slots to augment that internal storage.

Wireless

The Note Pro will be sold in Wi-Fi + 3G/LTE models in addition to Wi-Fi only
The Note Pro will be sold in Wi-Fi + 3G/LTE models in addition to Wi-Fi only

Samsung is going to offer the Note Pro in both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi with cellular data models. Don't hold your breath for a mobile data-enabled Surface Pro 2 anytime soon.

Battery

The Galaxy Note Pro has an enormous battery inside
The Galaxy Note Pro has an enormous battery inside

One advantage of making a gigantic tablet like the Note Pro is that you can squeeze an enormous battery inside. We can't jump to any conclusions about the Note's battery life yet, but it's hard to see this 9,500 mAh sucker not providing at least good uptimes.

Battery life was a concern in the original Surface Pro, but the Surface Pro 2's Haswell chip helps it to last much longer than that first model did.

Cameras

Cameras look like a big advantage for the Note Pro
Cameras look like a big advantage for the Note Pro

Cameras look to be a huge advantage for the Note Pro ... not that we'd recommend hoisting this unwieldy glass and plastic slab for any serious photography.

Software

The Note Pro ships with the latest version of Android, though it has Samsung's TouchWiz UI and Magazine UX smothering most signs of Google's OS
The Note Pro ships with the latest version of Android, though it has Samsung's TouchWiz UI and Magazine UX smothering most signs of Google's OS

The Note Pro ships with the latest version of Android (4.4 KitKat) but it has a very thick layer of Samsung software goop slapped on top of it. There's the standard TouchWiz, but also a new Magazine UX that lives on the home screen. It's a series of permanent widgets that bears more than a passing resemblance to the Modern ("don't call me Metro") UI that you'll find in Windows 8.1.

Desktop apps

The Surface Pro 2 runs traditional Windows desktop apps
The Surface Pro 2 runs traditional Windows desktop apps

Samsung may be marketing the Note Pro as a professional productivity-oriented tablet, but don't expect it to run any desktop apps. That's the Surface Pro's killer feature, as you'll be able to run older Windows apps. That also means you can run Microsoft Office on it, though the expensive suite isn't included with your purchase.

Release cycle

The Surface released in October, and the Note Pro is set to launch before long
The Surface released in October, and the Note Pro is set to launch before long

The Surface Pro 2 has been on store shelves for several months now, and the Note Pro is still getting ready to launch.

Pricing

That's the pre-order price for the Note Pro in the UK, so take the USD conversion with many grains of salt
That's the pre-order price for the Note Pro in the UK, so take the USD conversion with many grains of salt

In most regions, pricing is still a question mark for the Note Pro. But Samsung does have it up for pre-order in the UK for a hefty £649. That translates to around US$1,070, which would have it starting at even more than the Surface Pro 2. Just know that different tax systems can have those direct conversions flying a bit off the mark. Either way, though, we wouldn't bet on the Note Pro's official pricing dropping too far below US$1,000 (if not coming in above).

For more on the new Galaxy Note Pro, you can check out our hands-on from CES.

View gallery - 17 images
15 comments
Rann Xeroxx
My enterprise has both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 but frankly I do not see a compelling reason for the Pro 2. Its powerful, more so then, say, a Dell Venue 11 Pro but all that power is behind such a small screen. And as far as a tablet it just stinks with its weight, thickness, etc. If the Pro had everything that made the Pro great and then also had a 12" screen and the same thinness, weight, battery, etc of the S-GNP it would be just right.
Alicelewis
This device seems pretty good. In order for Apple to compete they must come up with the multitasking and some sort of iStyle (stylus) that makes iOS a better experience than just IOS7. I commend Samsung for trying something different. and yes i will also want to say that both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro to and I did not seen a compelling reason for the Pro 2.
BigGoofyGuy
I think that is a very good comparison. It was very informative and fair; IMO.
MarylandUSA
Comparing the diagonal measurements doesn't do justice to the Samsung's size. In display area, the Samsung is larger by 39 percent. From http://www.sven.de/dpi/ : Pro 2: Display size: 10.35" × 6.47" = 66.89in² (26.28cm × 16.42cm = 431.58cm²) at 247.45 PPI, 0.1026mm dot pitch, 61231 PPI² Surface: Display size: 9.24" × 5.2" = 48.01in² (23.47cm × 13.2cm = 309.75cm²) at 207.82 PPI, 0.1222mm dot pitch, 43190 PPI²
Ian Mitko
I have a dell venue pro 11. I bought a keyboard dock and I have 17 hours of battery life. I didn't have to pay for Microsoft office. Including the Keyboard it was $624 and it would have been $499 without it. It is hard to imagine I would be any happier with either of the above.
DonGateley
I went to Best Buy with the intent to buy that Samsung Note Pro but esthetics matter to me and, with hands on, the edge treatment of this and other Samsung devices is so butt ugly retro and poorly finished that it completely put me off and I left without it. I want to use my next device a lot and seeing that design abomination a lot on something I want to use for pleasure just won't work for me. Their excellent specs will be matched soon enough for me by someone who understands design and the importance of it. I'll wait.
Vince Moretto
Comments about "trying out the note pro" at Best Buy piss me off. I'm a Samsung Experience Consultant in the US and I know FOR A FACT that Best Buy does not carry this product in stores OR online for that matter. Don't dis a product before you actually use it, jackass.
Fahrenheit 451
@DonGateley, LOL, as Vince stated, the Samsung Note Pro is not even available in US stores yet. Yet another Apple fanboy using the old material-not-up-to-standard rubbish and the supposed lack of design. What's funny is that I see wonderful designs everyday for products that top Apple styling/design. People really need to wakeup and look around at the world's designers have to offer. Back to the subject of this article, both my wife and I are very interested in the Note Pro 12.2 and will likely purchase at least one. Why? For me, the stylus; for my wife, the screen size.
DonGateley
Indeed I confused it with the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition that Best Buy does carry. Honest error. Does this one look any better than that one Mr. Samsung? FWIW, fanboy, I've got exactly one Apple anything, a used iPod Touch 4G to run a single app. Gotta say, however, that it makes a remarkable professional quality multi-track stereo recorder with the right add-on hardware/software and microphone(s). Battery runs down way too fast though.
Benny Singh
Surface Pro blows Samsung Galaxy Note Pro away. Surface Pro runs a full blown x86_64 system with an intel chip whereas The Samsung Galaxy Note is running a mobile system with a Mobile processor. The x86_64 i5 architecture is way more powerful than any ARM processor, which is in the Galaxy Note Pro. I can do everything in the world on a Surface Pro, that includes building apps for the Galaxy Note Pro and building apps for Surface and Windows Desktops. I can even create programs for Linux. Yep, I can even use Visual Studio. Also I can program for embedded systems like Arduino boards. With the Surface Pro, the only limitation is your imagination but with the Galaxy Note a user is limited and there are all types of obstacles in your way compared to the Surface Pro. On that note, since I am an advanced user, I would chose Surface Pro all day long. Now that is out the way, these two system should not even be compared. One is mobile(Samsung Galaxy Note) and the other is meant to be mobile but to replace your laptop or desktop at home and to be able to do everything a person can imagine, which that is the Surface Pro. Samsung Galaxy Note Pro vs Surface RT 2 is a better comparison.