Here's our simple-to-folllow 10-step guide to the most creative tablet on the market.
The first thing you’ll need to do is get your Samsung GALAXY Note 8.0 out of its box. OK, you knew that already, but there are a couple of points of note inside the tablet’s soy-ink-printed packaging.
First is that white cable. The Note 8.0 both charges and transfers data via microUSB, and this accessory serves both functions. Second, those stereo headphones aren’t just for music and movies – they’re also ideal for hands-free calls via cellular or Skype.
And while we all hate actually reading the instructions, do take the beautifully illustrated quick-start guide out of the box too – it’s a great place to start if you have any questions.
Ports and inputs are a big part of the Note 8.0’s appeal. The microUSB port (for data and charging, as outlined above) sits at the bottom, with a 3.5mm headphone jack is located on top.
It also has a microSD slot on the left-hand side for expanding your storage, and even an infrared port on the right for using the Note as a TV remote control!
Bottom-right is where you’ll find the S Pen – which we’ll come to in a moment.
The Note 8.0 uses an Android operating system, so to get the most out of it, you’ll need a Google account. To save you loads of time later on, the friendly interface will prompt you to input your Google details during set-up, as well as login details for your Samsung and Dropbox accounts.
A Google account is needed to buy and download from Google Play, while a Samsung account gives you access to Samsung Apps and the Samsung Hub, so if you don’t already have either of these, the Note 8.0 will help you set them up.
Signing up to Dropbox isn’t essential, but buying a GALAXY Note 8.0 entitles you to 50GB free storage for two years, so if you don’t already use its file-hosting service, it’s definitely worth checking it out.
TouchWiz is the Android user interface, designed to turn this powerful OS into something anyone can understand.
Offering multiple homescreens and gorgeous 3D transitions, its rich look and feel makes the most of Samsung’s hardware (including the S Pen), and gives you instant access to your apps via intuitive icons and widgets.
What’s a widget, you may ask? Essentially scaled-down apps you can see on your homescreen, they offer some of the key info you want at a glance, without the time and effort involved in opening a full app.
For example, the S Planner widget gives you a detailed insight into your calendar straight from the homescreen, while the Favourite Apps widget gives you quick access to your most used applications.
The S Pen is a highly sensitive input tool that can detect 1,024 different levels of pressure (the same as a professional graphic design tablet). In layman’s terms, that means you can get all kinds of different writing and sketching effects depending on how hard you press – just like you would with a traditional pen or pencil.
Yet the S Pen is much more than just a scribbling tool: it’s also ideal for navigating the TouchWiz interface and its numerous smart shortcuts based on S Pen taps and gestures.
For example, press the S Pen button and double-tap any part of the screen, and a floating Quick Note window will appear.
You can even use the S Pen like digital scissors, easily clipping any portion of your screen to create a bespoke screengrab you can save and share.
Another function where the S Pen impresses is Air View, which allows you to interact with the Note 8.0 without even touching it.
Hover the S Pen over a photo album for example, and Air View gives you an instant peek inside. Hover above part of the timeline while watching a movie in Video Player and Air View will give you a preview of the relevant frame.
The Email app also takes full advantage of this touch-free tech, offering previews of messages, while the calendar app, S Planner, does the same for your appointments.
We’ve already mentioned some of the pre-installed software on the GALAXY Note 8.0, but that hardly does justice to the incredible suite of apps that are ready to make your life easier straight out of the box.
S Planner is an incredibly versatile calendar with a satisfying bound journal look and feel. Awesome Note HD is exclusive to the Note 8.0 and acts as a complete organiser and journal. S Note is much more than just a notepad, with enough features to make it closer to an art app, but it’s still pretty handy for shopping lists, too.
Add in Quick Notes, a powerful Contacts app and more, and personal organisation has never been easier or more adaptable!
For a more in depth look at the ways the Note 8.0 can help you get organised, enjoy the video below:
While you could happily use the Note 8.0 for work and entertainment without ever adding anything extra to it, you’d be missing out on an ever-expanding world of ingenious new apps.
So once you’re up and running, be sure to check out both the Google Play Store and Samsung Apps, for everything from games such as Sudoku – S Pen to genuinely powerful tools such as Autodesk’s SketchBook Pro for Tablets app.
Samsung Apps and the Google Play Store also have comprehensive search functions, so just search for "S Pen" in either to pull up organisation tools, games and multimedia apps that take best advantage of the GALAXY Note 8.0.
The Note 8.0 packs a powerful high-res camera with enough pixel power for some really great prints. Play around with it for a while and you’ll soon realise it’s designed to work well with other apps too, adding a visual side to your notes and documents.
So you can easily send your snaps to S Note and doodle on and around them; import them into S Planner as handy reminders; and attach them to Awesome Note HD, for some multimedia journaling.
The Camera app itself boasts an easy-to-use interface with a smart automatic mode, a night mode and some customisable shortcuts among its many settings – so it’s easy to plan a professional-looking shot, or just point and click with impressive results.
Perhaps the most important step of all, enjoying your Note 8.0 couldn’t be easier. After all, given its endless potential for unleashing your creativity, the next step from here is up to you.