I've always wondered that question, and I think might finally have the answer. Staples offered me the chance to review the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, so I headed to the store to find out more information (and look for a protective case.)
First of all, the electronics employees are extremely helpful and know almost everything there is to know about smart phones, tablets, and computers. They are friendly and eager to help all of us who are a little less... savvy.
The first thing that sets the Galaxy Note apart from the others is the size. It's much bigger than a smart phone, but not as big as some of the larger tablets (it measures 8.3" x 5.3" and weighs less than .8 pounds!)
Why does this matter? It's big enough to see full webpages and full documents, but it's small enough to fit in your purse or briefcase.
The other big difference is the ability to write - I mean really write. The S pen is amazing and allows you to write naturally. There is no pixelization and the pen doesn't skip a beat.
I love the idea of being able to write as many notes as I want and keep them in one place. Plus, I love that I can take the Galaxy Note with me anywhere and always have to the ability to "jot something down" when an idea pops into my head. No more digging for a scrap of paper and hoping I have a pen (or crayon!!) at the bottom of my purse to write something down.
If all the Galaxy Note did was take notes, I would be happy - but even though this is an amazing feature, it is such a small piece of the pie.
I have been more amazed with it, each day that I have used it. The Samsung App store is fantastic. Thanks to the Note, my kids are now learning Italian. I can solve any math problem - instantly - just by writing out the problem on the note. I can access the internet from anywhere.
I can take pictures, videos, control my television, watch movies, see who's at my front door by connecting the Note to my security system, access google maps, text, video chat, send email, listen to music, read books & magazines, find recipes, connect to all sorts of social media outlets, and so much more! And of course, you can play tons of games.
You can even ask the Galaxy Note questions (by voice!) and it will answer you and obey your commands. It's a productivity dream!
The voice recognition software is the best I have seen. I have used the Note to write long messages and it didn't miss a word. I even dictated this review to the Note, then uploaded to blogger right from the tablet. I only had to adjust a few spaces and add photos. What a time saver!
Maybe I'll actually write a book now that I don't have to sit down and type it all out.
I am still learning all that the Galaxy Note can do, but I am very impressed with it.
I only have two complaints.
First, I wish that the S Pen could write in awesome Note HD. I love, love, love that program but was disappointed when I realized I couldn't write. This where I first found the voice application, and you can speak your notes which makes me still love the app.
The last complaint is that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 goes to sleep rather quickly (at least in my opinion.) I get interrupted a lot (I'm a mom) so the Note will hibernate after a few moments of inactivity and it annoys me that I have to tap it back on. I know this is a small issue, and it's nitpicking. It's also probably really great for extending the battery life, but it just bothers me.
I have noticed a few battery options in the settings area and this situation might be easily remedied, so this might not be a problem at all. It just takes me a while to figure out these things.
I wish I had found the Note 8 earlier. It's the perfect size for taking on trips and daily errands. It will take the place of our digital camera, gps, and music player and will potentially replace our tv remote, game consoles, and computers.
So if you're like me and you wondered what all the fuss was about tablets, check one out for yourself. It's not only a time saver, it's a life improver.
Full disclosure: Staples.com
provided me with these products for review. The thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own. Feel free to shop their entire line of tablets online.