Tablets, easy to learn and use, have become serious low cost laptops competitors. Most light computer users don’t need a laptop to fulfill their needs. This article shows how the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 with keyboard & mouse, along with Cloud storage like Dropbox, can be a serious Windows laptop replacement tablet option.
Since this article is this the third in a series of articles on Windows computers replacement options, you should read the first two sequentially by clicking on the following links before reading the current article:
As demonstrated in the aboved referenced articles, Windows is an archaic, large and complex operating system that has fullfilled our requirements up to now. But the advent of smartphones and tablets running on Android version 4.4.2, a modern and intuitive operating system, the release of business type applications, such as OfficeSuite Pro, and the availability of reliable Cloud services, such as Dropbox, have opened a new realm of possibilities to implement easy to use computing environments. This article will show you how to take advantage of such possibilities.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is one of the largest and most powerful Android tablet on the market, in 2014. Its runs under Android KitKat 4.4.2 which is recognized as the most powerful tablet operating system on the market right now. If you are familiar with Android, you will adapt very easely to the use of this tablet, by learning to new functionality of the latest Android version. The following picture shows the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 beside an iPad to give you an idea in the difference in size.
As mentioned many time in my articles, you should reduce your learning curve by selecting products that use the same operating system. For example, my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 cell phone runs under Android KitKat 4.4.2. Therefore, since the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 also uses Android KitKat 4.4.2, both operate the same way which makes it easy for me to learn and use this new product.
If you only know Apple iOS products, such as the iPhone and the iPad, you should stick with the Apple products to minimize your learning curve. This does not means that you cannot move to more performant Android products. But, if you decide on such move, it should be for the long run. Younger people can manage to flip flop between operating systems because they learn quickly. Flip flopping between operating systems it is not for the older folks which generally find it difficult to learn and remember the numerous features of technology products.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 Product Features
I will not go through the detail features of the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 since lots of people have done so and the information is readily available. If you want to further your knowledge of the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 you can use the following links:
The Samsung web site at: http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/galaxy-tab/SM-P9000ZWVXAR
A detailed product review at: http://www.techradar.com/us/reviews/pc-mac/tablets/samsung-galaxy-note-pro-12-2-1210001/review. You can also read the User Manual at the link in the following paragraph.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 User Manual
The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 comes with a little booklet to you get started. But since this new tablet is full of powerful features that must be used to take full advantage of the product, it is important to learn how use them. All this information can be found in the product user manual. To access the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 User Manual please connect to the following link: http://www.samsung.com/us/support/owners/product/SM-P9000ZWVXAR click on “Manuals” , then click on the PDF button for the English manual. The user manual is well structured and is paramount to learn the functionality of the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 tablet.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 Accessories
If you are looking for a laptop replacement you will need some accessories. After researching many accessories, let me tell you the ones I found most useful:
- A 64GB micro SD storage card, to increase the device storage capacity at: Transcend 64GB Micro SDXC Class 10 UHS-1 Memory Card
- A light protective cover for the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 to protect the screen and provide different viewing angles at: IVSO Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2/Tab pro 12.2 Ultra Lightweight Slim Smart Cover Case
- A quality and very nice Logitech Bluetooth keyboard at: Logitech Tablet Keyboard for Windows 8, Windows RT and Android3.0+
- If you want to carry your keyboard with the tablet at all times, the Samsung Bluetooth Keyboard and Cover for Galaxy Pro 12.2 is the one to buy: Samsung Bluetooth Keyboard and Cover for Galaxy Pro 12.2
- A quality Samsung Bluetooth tablet mouse at: Samsung Bluetooth S Action Mouse
- Finally, you can buy whatever mouse pad you like.
NOTE: All connections are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, no wires. You can therefore just take away the tablet, without any wires to disconnect, and use it on its own. When you come back to your desk, you just put it on the desk and continue working using the keyboard, the mouse, your fingers or the tablet keyboard itself. That easy!
Picture of the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 with accessories
Incorporating the above accessories, you will find below a picture of my Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 laptop replacement configuration:
Some people will argue: why do I need a keyboard, a keyboard pops up on the screen when I need it? Others will say: why do I need a mouse, I can move the screen with my fingers? The only reason you would buy any of these accessories is if you are more familiar and productive using a keyboard and a mouse. On the other hand, if you type rarely and/or small texts, then you may not benefit from these accessories. Remember here, we are looking at a laptop replacement tablet for people that would use the device quite regularly.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 uses
Most tablet users basically use their tablet to do the following:
- Search for information on the internet using a browser such as Explorer, Chrome,…
- Use the internet for all sorts of needs,
- Read and send emails,
- Maintain and consult an online Calendar,
- Create, maintain and use contacts information online,
- Social networking: Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Twitter,…
- Use Skype, MagicJack or similar, to phone using the internet,
- Do online banking, online shopping (Amazon, EBay,..), book travel (Expedia,…)
- Read magazines, books, newspapers,…
- Download music, movies, videos,…
- Take pictures and videos or view pictures and videos,
- Play games,
- Listen to music, radio, or TV shows, or run Chromecast on the TV.
For all the above and more, the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 offers great functionality. It comes with pre-configured screens and apps that facilitates most of the above. Learn about its functionalities by accessing the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 Product Features and User Manual on the web sites referenced above.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 as an Office computer
Many people use laptops for Office type work. For example, they use Microsoft Office products like: Words to produce and edit text documents, Excel to produce and edit spreadsheets and Power Points for presentations. Since the spring of 2014, Microsoft Office is available on iPad, iPhone and iPod. Microsoft Office is expected to become available on Android tablets, in the fall of 2014. Beta testing should start shortly. In the means time and for the last several years, a number of Microsoft Office compatible Android products have been available in the market. These include: OfficeSuite, Polaris Office, QuickOffice, Hancom Office,…
Hancom Office comes free and is already installed on the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. It is therefore natural that I tried to do my Office work with this pre-installed product. I have been very frustrated with this product for the following reasons: I have tried for many frustrating hours to retrieve and store my files on Dropbox without success. I was finally only able to retrieve Dropbox files but was not able to store the updated files. Also, I was not able to get the spell check to work. After wasting several days of efforts, I gave up and started to look for other Office products.
UPDATE, as of 2014-08-09: after downloading the latest updated versions of Hancom Word and Excel this morning, I was happily surprised to see that Hancom had fixed the above mentioned problems. You can now easily access Cloud files on Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive, updates them and store them back into Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive, as easily as with OfficeSuite. Furthermore, the spell check also works fine. This means that you can now use Hancom Office products as easily as the OfficeSuite products. Hancom comes free on the Galaxy Note 12.2 tablet.
OfficeSuite Pro is the Editor’s choice in the Google Play store. I now know why: it does the job and is easy to learn and use, since it is quite similar to Microsoft Office. It is very well integrated with Cloud services such as: Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and SugarSync. You only have to sign into such a Cloud account once, then you can access and store your files into your Cloud account which will stay synchronized with all your other devices.
Basically, other than adjusting to the specifics of the OfficeSuite Pro Word, Excel and Power Points applications particular features and functions, it basically works like Microsoft Office products. You can edit your existing Microsoft Office documents since its support the Microsoft Office formats. The learning curve is therefore quite fast. Using the mouse on an Android tablet requires some adjustments. For example, the right mouse button functions are different than with Windows. Once you get around these small adaptations you can productively produce Office type documents. If you regularly do Office type work, I recommend that you connect a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to you tablet for increased productivity.
Connecting a printer to a tablet or smartphone
Since the object of this article is to use the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 as a laptop replacement, we want to be able to perform as many functions as possible on the tablet. One important capability is to be able to print directly from the tablet. There are several way to achieve this.
Basically, you need to be able to communicate to your printer using WIFI and your local network, Bluetooth and/or USB. If you are not able to comunicate to such a printer, you can register your printer to Google Cloud Print, a technology that lets you connect your printer to the Web so that you can use your printer where ever you are. Download Google Cloud Print which works with most printers, but Cloud ready printers are recommended. These printers connect directly to the internet and don’t need to be connected to a computer to work. For example, all HP ePrint-enabled printers, including all the newer HP Envy models, work with Google Cloud Print. I just bought a HP Envy 4500 for less than C$60 at Costco Canada. I installed this printer in Wi-Fi mode on my local network, following the HP supplied instructions and on the printer, and everything works real fine.
Other Windows Applications
If you use Microsoft Windows applications other than Office, you have to research if there is an Android version of these applications. In my case, I use Quicken for my accounting. The full Quicken application has not yet been converted to Android. Only a basic data entry subset has and it is limited to entering USA accounts transactions only. In my case, this is not very useful since I need multi-currency accounts support. Hopefully, Quicken will come out with a fuller version of Quicken on Android next year or the year after. In the meantime, I am compelled to use a laptop to satisfy my accounting needs. Therefore, before you can fully convert to an Android tablet environment, you need to verify that the applications you require all operate under Android or have equivalents Android Apps.
If you use a computer mainly to access the internet (search info, send/receive emails, use a calendar, maintain your contacts, participate in social networks, use Skype type telephony, read magazine, books, newspapers, download and watch videos and movies, play games, do online purchasing and banking, book travels, consult your stocks and enter orders, take pictures and videos, use the Cloud, … you don’t need a computer and should use a tablet instead. A tablet is generally less costly, easier to learn and use, is portable and mobile, and is the ideal solution to fulfil such needs right now. There is a large choice of tablet size and power for anyone to find exactly the model suited for its particular needs. If you occasionally (a few times a week) use Office type applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint then the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, with keyboard and mouse, is a product of choice. I hope this article has enlighten you as to if and how you can use a tablet as a laptop replacement, and more specifically the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2.