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Samsung Debuts Galaxy Note 8.0 Mini Tablet

The web has been buzzing with rumors and visions of a new Samsung GALAXY Note tablet. Now, the company has come out with the info -- and it looks like Samsung wants a piece of the iPad mini market. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. just announced the GALAXY Note 8.0, a new 8-inch tablet.

Samsung has hopes that the upcoming model will "re-ignite the mid-size tablet category." Are they saying that the iPad mini didn't do that? Well, this one promises to make multi-tasking easy, combining voice call functionality, S Pen functionality, and the option for multiple windows on one screen, all in a smaller form factor.

The 8-inch tablet will have a 1280-by-800 WXGA TFT display, a 1.6GHz A9 quad-core processor, and the Android 4.1.2 (Jellybean) operating system. It also has a 1.3-megapixel front camera and 5 megapixels for the rear camera.

The S Pen is obviously a big deal, with Handwriting-to-Text conversion, S Planner for organizing everday tasks, and a suite of S Note templates and tools that allow you to create, edit, manage and share everyday documents. Remove the S Pen from the device and it will automatically launch features, such as Pen Detection. From there, the device will suggest adapted menus and offer Page Buddy, a feature that will intuitively activate your most recently adapted S Note home screen.

The S Pen also has a few interesting new features. The first is "Air View," which means you don't have to technically touch the screen to use the S Pen. Just hover a little, people. Also, Samsung says that the S Pen can now be used to control the physical menu/back buttons on the device with WACOM technology.

Other GALAXY Note 8.0 features include Samsung's "reading mode" technology for e-books, as well as video and voice calls. The device will also come pre-loaded with content and services, including the Smart Remote universal remote control and electronic programming guide, Awesome Note, an upgraded version of Chat-On instant messaging, and Flipboard. The latter combines all of your news, social networking and other feeds, but also has a customized version designed for use with the S Pen's aforementioned "hover" feature.

Considering the buzz on the GALAXY Note 10.1, we're guessing this one will be a biggie. Our own Ian White and Chris Chiarella teamed up to review the GALAXY Note 10.1 Tablet last year and said "it certainly offers some stiff competition to the family of iPads and other Android-based tablets." [Read the duo's entire Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 Tablet Review for more information.]

"The GALAXY Note 8.0 breaths fresh life into the category as it delivers the perfect fusion of portability and everyday productivity," says JK Shin, president of the IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. "The result is a pioneering, pocket-sized solution that enhances and enriches our everyday lives, whether at work or play."

Samsung will start selling the Galaxy Note 8.0 sometime in the second quarter of 2013. The company has yet to announce pricing for the product.

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