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Samsung announces Galaxy Note 8, an 8-inch tablet with iPad Mini in its sights

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We’re a few hours away from the Mobile World Congress getting underway in Barcelona, and already one manufacturer is stepping up the plate with a new device announcement. Samsung has  its latest and greatest mid-size tablet, the Galaxy Note 8, an 8-inch tablet under the Note brand already known for its widely popular phablets. The tablet focuses on offering easier and faster than ever note-taking through new software and updated S-Pen technology.

Bigger than the Galaxy Note II, but smaller than a Galaxy Note 10.1, The Galaxy Note 8 is looking to find that special middle ground that devices like the iPad Mini and Nexus 7 have been dominating since the end of last year. It succeeds the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, a 7-inch tablet Samsung released back in April, and does so with not only a bigger screen, but with more powerful software and hardware to match the experience.

The Galaxy Note 8 will be featuring a 8-inch WXGA display with a resolution of 1280×800, marking a departure from the Super AMOLED displays on the Galaxy Note II. Under the display will be a 1.6GHZ quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of internal storage (with a microSD slot for added space,) and Android 4.1.2  (Jelly Bean.) The device will also include a 1.3-megapixel front camera and 5-megapixel rear camera, as well as HSPA+ connectivity with your favorite GSM carrier. Samsung is also bragging that the Galaxy Note 8 will also be featuring new S-Pen technology to allow you to more easily write and track notes, as well as interact with your device through the S-Pen. To top it off, Samsung is also throwing in a powerful notes application called Awesome Note, and the multi-window mode seen in the Galaxy Note II, allowing you to view two applications simultaneously.

The Galaxy Note 8 has yet to get a price tag by Samsung, but if we’re expecting it to take on the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini a good guess would be somewhere between $300 and $500 for this tablet. No specific release dates have been set yet, but it will arrive worldwide sometime in Q2 of 2013. With plenty of new and powerful hardware, as well as multi-window mode, The Galaxy Note 8 is a great taste of what’s to come for MWC.