Galaxy Tab Pro + Note Pro.

Samsung’s new ‘Pro’ tablets introduce a new magazine-style UI and productivity features atop Android 4.4 KitKat

Android Central @ CESSamsung was the first big-name manufacturer to launch an Android-powered tablet with the original Galaxy Tab back in 2010. Yet over the past year the company that dominates Android phone sales has seemingly shied away from the high-end tablet space. With the exception of the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, Samsung’s recent Android tablets have focused on the mid-range and entry-level spaces.

But that’s about to change in 2014, as Samsung kicks off its CES presence with not one but four new high-end Android slates across three screen sizes: meet the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro and Galaxy Note Pro series.

At 12.2 inches, the larger Note Pro and Tab Pro devices are big — really big

The Galaxy Tab Pro line adds three new devices — the Tab Pro 8.4, 10.1 and 12.2, while the Galaxy Note tablet series goes big with the addition of the Note Pro 12.2. All four are the spitting image of last year’s Galaxy Note 10.1 — less curved than earlier Samsung tabs, with the same faux-leather effect on the back, complete with stitched trim effect. Originally intended to bring the look and feel of a leather-bound notebook to the Note 3 and Note 10.1, it seems this aesthetic is now a central part of Samsung’s design language. (We’ll be watching with interest to see whether future Samsung smartphones — beyond the Note series — start to include this trademark back panel.)

At 12.2 inches, the larger Note Pro and Tab Pro devices are big — really big. You’re effectively carrying around a laptop display strapped to a laptop battery (the larger devices sport enormous 9,500mAh juicers) and it shows in the tablets’ weight. Holding the Note Pro 12.2 or Tab Pro 12.2 in one hand for any length of time soon becomes uncomfortable, so neither of these is really a one-handed tablet. The 10.1-inch Tab Pro is more manageable, but we still think the sweet spot for tablets lies in the 8-inch range, which is why the 8.4-inch Tab Pro strikes us as the most compelling of Samsung’s new tabs.

Galaxy Tab Pro + Note Pro.Galaxy Tab Pro + Note Pro.

Thankfully Samsung hasn’t skimped on hardware in the smaller members of the “Pro” family. All four devices have gorgeous 2560x1600-resolution LCD displays and octa-core Exynos or quad-core Snapdragon processors depending on whether you pick up the Wifi-only or 4G LTE versions. RAM and internal storage does vary slightly, however — the 8.4 and 10.1-inch tabs include 2GB of RAM and 16/32GB, while the 12.2-inchers up this to 3GB with 32/64GB internal flash. Either way, the entire Pro lineup consists of comfortably high-end products.

Around the back, all four sport 8-megapixel rear shooters, which look to be of similar quality to the Note 10.1 2014 Edition’s main camera.

The old TouchWiz launcher is gone, replaced with a new tablet-centric Magazine UX

Cutting-edge internals are all well and good, but the most interesting part of Samsung’s new tablet range is its software. The company wants these new tablets to become capable productivity devices as well as content consumption platforms. To that end, the Note Pro and Tab Pro series have undergone some serious changes.

First up, and most noticeably, the old TouchWiz home screen launcher is gone, replaced with a new tablet-centric “Magazine UX.”  This is a cross between a standard Android home screen and the Flipboard-style “My Magazine” app from the Note 3 and Note 10.1, meaning it’s a content-centric deal. You can still add regular app shortcuts and widgets if you want, but the focus of the new Samsung launcher is on content, specifically delivering relevant personal info on a big-screened device.

Galaxy Tab Pro + Note Pro.Galaxy Tab Pro + Note Pro.Galaxy Tab Pro + Note Pro.

All four 'Pro' tablets run Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box

By default there are three main panels to scroll between — personal space, workspace, and social and media space, though you can still customize things to your own preferences. The standard views show stuff like the weather, unread email, calendar appointments, news, social updates and favorite apps in a grid layout. Items in the grid can be rearranged and added or removed by pinching out to reveal the editing mode. This consists of various blocks you can add into place and resize, and the result is much less dead space on-screen, and a UI that looks more attractive on a larger display than the upscaled phone launchers of old. Things become a little disjointed, however, when you realize that there’s still a separate area in the app drawer for standard Android widgets.

All four “Pro” tablets run Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, and Samsung has actually utilized a couple of KitKat’s main features in its new tablet UI. The new home screen uses immersive mode, meaning you won’t even see the status bar unless you swipe down from the top. Many of Samsung’s TouchWiz apps also use a transparent status bar, and elsewhere you’ll be given a white-on-black bar that looks a lot like stock KitKat. The overarching design language of the TouchWiz UI, however, remains bright, colorful and somewhat messy. And we noticed a few performance hitches in the pre-production devices we used — not unsurprising considering this isn't final hardware; hopefully Samsung will have these kinks ironed out by the time the tablets ship.

Galaxy Tab Pro + Note Pro.

Samsung’s mutlitasking capabilities, a longtime differentiator for its phones and tablets, have been upgraded in the “Pro” series. Multi-window, now accessed by swiping inwards from the right bezel, can arrange up to four apps on-screen at a time in a grid view, and resize these as desired. There’s an improved windowed mode for some apps too, which lets you resize them without squashing them out of place. Both features are limited to a small (but growing) subset of Android apps, nevertheless most of the major apps you’ll want to run side-by-side, such as Chrome, YouTube and the Play Store, as well as most of Samsung’s own apps, are supported.

And interestingly, Samsung has finally killed the dedicated menu button, replacing it with a task-switching key. Samsung reps couldn’t comment on how legacy apps needing a physical menu key would be handled, though the number of Android apps still needing menu key functionality is relatively small these days.

Galaxy Tab Pro + Note Pro.

The productivity focus of the “Pro” series tablets has seen Samsung add preloaded apps for getting stuff done on the go. The full Hancom office suite is included, with apps for editing documents, spreadsheets and presentations. The Remote PC app allows you to control your PC or Mac, and transfer files between your computer and your tablet, over a wireless connection. And six months of Cisco WebEx Meetings is included, too. It’s part of a free content package for each “Pro” tablet user that Samsung says is valued at $700.

Galaxy Tab Pro + Note Pro.Galaxy Tab Pro + Note Pro.

And of course the Note Pro 12.2 includes Samsung’s S Pen stylus, with all the pen-centric software features we saw on the Note 10.1 2014 Edition, such as the Air Command radial menu, action memos and Pen Window. What’s more, the larger screen should make the Note Pro 12.2 even better for drawing and note-taking — if you can manage the heftier weight.

Samsung is also introducing a bunch of accessories with its new tablets — including a branded S Action Mouse (with stitched trim, naturally), a universal Bluetooth keyboard, book cover case and ethernet connector.

The Magazine UX an interesting development, and we’re eager to see how it stands up in real-world use

So the Galaxy Tab Pro and Galaxy Note Pro devices represent a continuation of Samsung’s strategy in the Android phone space, making devices at a size (and hopefully price point) to suit everyone. And while we’re not yet convinced that a 12.2-inch tablet will appeal to the mass market, at least you’ve got plenty of options at other screen sizes. Samsung’s KitKat-based tablet UI is also an interesting development, and we’re eager to see how it stands up to real-world use.

There’s no pricing information available for the Tab Pro or Note Pro devices just yet, but both are due to emerge internationally in Q1.


Reader comments

Hands-on with Samsung's Galaxy Tab Pro and Galaxy Note Pro tablets


To be honest, I'd prefer to be able to see an app drawer and not have such a heavy UX.

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I prefer a UI similar to stock android is all I'm saying. Not to say that it's not colorful and all, but I think that such a heavy UX is unnecessary.

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Yes the S5 probably will have a faster processor and better RAM than S4 and older models. But I also fear that Samsung will make the S5 "old" by adding their software and considerably slowing down the phone. I wish there is a way to root without voiding the warranty just to get stock OS.

Samsung and others should think about giving the customer choice of UI at very first boot up (Do you want Samsung UI or Stock).

Do you want asop or Nexus skin?

sent from my DROID Eris, made by Nokia, powered by iOS 7 via BBM

I agree, It's a real shame that samsung doesn't properly optimize software for fluid performance. It puts people in a frustrated situation... Samsung products have great hardware but crap software and Google Nexus products are the complete opposite and so we're stuck in the middle.

Samsung should take a step back and radically reduce its influence on it's devices software and apply more focus on the hardware.

Has anyone ever used their manufacturer warranty? If you have insurance from your carrier you're covered for mechanical failures. If you brick your phone then do an insurance claim.

I wanted to respond, and learn some on this, because I love having the "latest greatest" in samsung /android technology. That's why I do my homework....correct me if I'm wrong, but the samsung gal S6 is going to be the one closest to the gal note 4....I had to get another phone right after the S5 was launched, and I chose to use my att insurance over contracting out to the S5 after reading the specs; with the exception of reading your heart rate (extra feature of S health), a slightly larger screen, 16 mgpxl camara vs the 13 mgpxl in the S4, complete waterproof gear packed around the battery....great stuff, but a maximized processor?!? least not the info I got from samsung. That's coming in the S6, thus the very reason I will hold out for a TOTALLY different UI, I.E. (PROCESSOR) that will be the only reason I would change from my S4 to one that is so much like it.....well....not me. In fact I'm not so sure I'm looking so much for the "grand experience" from my phone. The very reason I am looking into the Gal Note Pro I don't care that it's big, I was telling my husband " I want a product that is something like a giant samsung gal S4,5,6 point is I wanted a gadget that does what my phone does with a magazine size screen. (No need to make calls though) haha voilà...enter Samsung Gal Pro 12.2 Gal Note 12.2 I am retired, so I stay home, other than a vacation in not lagging my tablet 12,2 around. I just hope one day I figure out all that my tech gadgets do, so far I figured out picture editing pretty well, this I love.
If anyone has ANY suggestions on what someone who does the ebay, fbook, Bing, Google, Pictures, just keeping it simple kinda thing (for lack of a better cliché) I'm no guru (obviously), Zero gaming, I'm just trying to find the best product for my needs. I like the surface pro, but mainly because it is touch and for the larger size, no need for windows or office here!!

Okay, now Samsung has started using their heads. The Tablet UI and removing the menu key are a big plus.

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3...!!!

What more can be said the future of the current Galaxy Note product line has grown.

Plain and simple nothing beats Samsung or the Galaxy Note product line period.

Posted from my Galaxy Note 3 on Tmobile via Android Central App

No, the thing that makes this even sadder is I'm pretty sure he's not paid by anyone to spew the crap he spews. Mentally challenged maybe, paid? Doubtful.


Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Just wait until ridiculous prices are announced and listen to the chorus of people complain. Samsung ALWAYS over-prices their tablets. Too bad, because I think they are the best overall Android tablet manufacturer.

The number one complaint against the Note 8 was price. "If only it were $XXX...." I agree that the Note line are in class all their own because of the Wacom tech though.

Competitive pricing with the iPad, yet the tablet experience on Android is still a joke. I use both extensively but despite how much I dislike using iOS it's impossible to ignore the app disparity between the two. For me at least, price includes more than CPU and screen type, I am buying into an ecosystem and as it stands the Android tablet ecosystem cannot touch iOS.

I was just assigned an iPad by work and I am thinking that I would rather use my Galaxy Tab 3 7" than the full sized iPad Gen4 even though I would love the real estate. so many features that I am used to are missing on the iPad.

Bye htc. Buy everything Samsung in 2014. Finally they made the UI look pretty. That tablet was doing so freaking much. Powerhouse.

Editor in chief of

You can't be serious. These tablets look nearly the same as last year's models. Samsung hasn't improved anything besides the specs.

He said ui, not form factor

sent from my DROID Eris, made by Nokia, powered by iOS 7 via BBM

I like Samsung products. I own many. I am very much considering picking up a Note tablet model.. Not sure what size now.
In terms if software the new UX is very welcome and looks great for tablets. I hope they ate planning a refresh to TW on smaller devices.

All that being said, I feel like when Samsung runs out if ideas (in terms of hardware) they just make a new screen size. Choice is good, but something "new" would be great.


My ipad air is kind of a laggy mess. It was purchased mostly for my wife and she does not notice, but that thing had some serious things that need fixed. Also it's build quality is at least suspicious. The back panel has some flex that would not bug me if not for everyone universally selling Apple stuff on that one point.

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All they did for the Air was make it lighter and thinner. That's nothing new. Eventually, there's no way to improve something further unless they invent a whole new design but why do that when the current one works?

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As that article you linked mentions, you have to balance charge time against battery health. To break it down, the higher the current, the quicker the charge time. However, this also produces more heat in the battery, which eventually deteriorates the battery. When I had my HTC One X, I noticed it took ages to charge compared to the iPhone 4 I had before it. However, having worked in a phone repair shop last year, the most common complain I saw for Apple products was that battery life began to deteriorate fairly quickly. I saw the same for Android phones too, but much less. (I'm not 100% I got the physics right there, but the basic outline is correct as far as I'm aware).

You can always improve technology. For example, why not adding a fingerprint reader? Not just a junk one, a newly developed high precision one!

How about better camera for night or dark pictures?

Why not have a highly sensitive pen with option to control the sensitiveness and pressure detection via an Android app?

Waterproof, dust proof and may be drop proof casing.

So on, so on and so on...

These tablets can be improved, but I guess Samsung doesn't care.

How's the performance guys? Is it laggy, considering that it boasts a 2k display.

My device went through hell to send this message.


sent from my DROID Eris, made by Nokia, powered by iOS 7 via BBM

Nice keyboard and multitasking up to 4 windows. New UI layout and gestures are also commendable. Not to mention an increment upgrade to the hardware, too.

The UI is starting to look like Windows 8 tiles. I wonder how far they can take it without getting sued.

I love dedicated physical\capacitive buttons on phone, phablet, 7\8" form factors, but anything larger it is ridiculous. I was hoping to see a larger tablet form factor with really tight voice integration (ala moto x) maybe even dragon dictation to create documents and notes.

Wait... He's in Wisconsin? Where!?

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Lag? Your displaying 2014 Technology (well 2013 Tech I guess..) with.. Lag? STILL??
I currently own an LG G-Pad 8.3 and Nexus-7 2013 and I personally will NEVER go back to physical buttons on a Tablet that simply get in the way and get pressed by accident all too often. Just one Man's opinion..

Lag? Your displaying 2014 Technology (well 2013 Tech I guess..) with.. Lag? STILL??
I currently own an LG G-Pad 8.3 and Nexus-7 2013 and I personally will NEVER go back to physical buttons on a Tablet that simply get in the way and get pressed by accident all too often. Just one Man's opinion..

I don't follow you sheep Boy.. So Go Away.

Raider, you have a 12$ off contract phone and you talk about lag?

Besides, this is not the final product. Not sure how many times you need to hear that

sent from my DROID Eris, made by Nokia, powered by iOS 7 via BBM

Very impressed! Dropping the legacy button layout, new launcher and first OEM to use kitkat straight out the box. I'm starting to like samsung..

Posted via Android Central App

This was....dang impressive. I very much like the new UI! If my current Note 10.1 gives out, this will not be a bad transition for me.

Posted through my Nexus 7!

Wait I am unclear. IS the S-pen only on the Pro series or only on the 12" tabs?

Inquiring buyers need to know...

S pen is a Note exclusive. So the Pro note will have the pen but pro tab won't. Tab series is essentially the same without the pen.

Posted via Android Central App

Yes finally!!! Exactly what I've been waiting for!! Okay I get that a huge screen, especially the 12 inch, turn people away. But for me, it's my artists dream!! And with the better multitask, big battery, and amazing screen I'm dying to get the note pro 12! Now if only Samsung will get its s@#$ together and price it reasonably. I'm hoping under $700... $699 would be an okay price but if they go and label it for over $1,000 I'm not going to be a happy camper!

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Nice! The 4 windows running different apps is sweet! Nice display, I could see my son using a note in school.

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Isn't the Note 10.1 2014 a better tablet (specs) than the Pro? The 2014 has 3gb of ram and the 1.9 octacore processor.

The note pro 12.2 has an octa-core Exynos or quad-core Snapdragon processors depending on whether you pick up the Wifi-only or 4G LTE version and 3gb of ran also. If your referring to the 10.1 model than yes you are right. The note pro 10.1 has only 3gb of ram.

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Finally a UI I think samsung has nailed! Not lot of innovation but definitely see some features from Windows used here but atleast this gets me in the direction of thinking to buy a Samsung device.

This. I use my iPad for a lot of uni work and even the 10inch screen feels just a little bit too small to view the PDFs comfortably. With multitasking and a bigger screen, the note pro is definitely on the top of my wish list right now.

Why make a 12" inch Note Pro AND a 12" inch Tab Pro? Unless the pricing will be different? Maybe the Note Pro will cost more just because of the stylus?

Posted from my LG G2 via Android Central App

Sign me up for the 8.4. Man I thought I was done with Samsung but they are making it so hard to stay away. Well at least I know I won't be buying anymore phones from them until they simply that UI.

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At 12.2 the diagonal is the same as 7x10 piece of paper or usable area of 8.5x11 with .5 in top/bottom and .75 on the sides. Seems like a sweet spot for note taking, drawing etc. I don't know how the ratio compares.

Just navigating the choices in this Tablet avalanche will be tricky. I still cant figure out if there is (or will be) a Note pro 8.4 Then you have the issue of WiFi and LTE capability, in your region.

The new Magazine UX adds another layer of confusion (these are still running Android right? Or are they???? I like the split screen capabilities from Samsung; but turning it into some twisted variant of the Windows 8 Tiled interface at the same time is confusing me.

Alex seem to have a handle on all this cluttered Samsung thinking (well done mate); but I can imagine Phil or Jerry in the background shouting - "Bring me a blasted NEXUS . . . now! This is crazy!"

Samsung just make my head spin.

is this complicated?

2 different series
each with 3 sizes
the difference between the two sereies is the s-pen and features
WiFi and/or LTE on all

Magazine is like home screens, not too tough

Don't act like this is some fork, it is just a UI. Of course it is Android.

My LG G Pad 8.3 is just fine for me. I own the S4 and the physical home button is fine on a phone, but Samsung needs to get rid of it on a pad.

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I like my LG phone... And my Nexus (Asus) tablet.... If LG were to make a 12" tablet, I'd be interested :)

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Im almost certain that LG might do just that I really like there knock feature and Qslide and I think their ui will get better
PS I hope Richard doesn't respond

Sent from my Nexus 7 2013 or Moto G

No way I'm going to buy this but I like that Samsung has finally but bigger tabs on the market. In hoping Google might have something up their sleeves (although I highly doubt it ) since my birthday is coming up

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I'm kinda skeptical about the new UX, but hey, I can't judge a device based solely on first impressions and on a pre-release model. I'll try the device out myself when it's released.

Who knows? The Note Pro could end up being my iPad replacement. ;)

It's weird, but I do think there's an iPad replacement somewhere in this lineup. In terms of hardware, these things are top notch and it seems that the software has gotten much better. I never thought I'd say this, but I might sell my iPad for one of these (maybe).

Posted via Android Central App

Wow Samsung in 2014 will be different. I was just looking at Samsung's today and I'm honestly tired of touch wiz. I know you can use nova but still. That and the slow updates are the two only con's I have with samsung. Kit kat out of the box huh. I have no doubt note 3 and S5 will get it.

Now I'm hyped for note 4. Really though kudos to 8 mp can on tablet and 3GB of ram. They really believe these can be computers. And in some ways they are right. Knox backing them is good for the corporate world too.

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Why does Samsung add these fixed buttons, is it just me that hates them? I want buttons that are at the bottom of the screen, whichever way I hold the tablet - why do they think that in portrait mode, people want to press home at a right angles to the viewing mode?

On a tablet I agree, on a phone onscreen sucks.

sent from my DROID Eris, made by Nokia, powered by iOS 7 via BBM

Microsoft saw them the right way and now everyone goes metro! Apple with the new iOS7 flat design and now Samsung with that ugly and heavy UI that tries too hard to be metro in our eyes!

Metro is lame and it's very limited in customization. I prefer the traditional home screen with icons and widgets however I would take this over metro any day.

I wonder if Samsung will offer the 4.4 and UI enhancements for current devices (e.g. Note 10.1 2014 Edition)?

Yeah, especially now that the four tablets are most likely going to have the same specs (Besides the S Pen).. They should just make one line, include the S Pen in all of them and to make it budget just tone down for example the internals and well obviously the size differences between also makes up for price.

Is it just me or does it feel like they've been releasing A LOT of Tablets?

Not everyone wants an S-Pen and it's more expensive for the Note version. I'm one of those that doesn't want the S-Pen so I'd rather pay $100 less for the same tablet minus the pen functionality.

I just can't get over the stupid physical buttons on a large tablet. I would have ordered a 12.2 Note the day it was available but just can't justify spending $700+ on a stupid design. Hopefully LG steps up soon and releases some larger tablets.

I was hoping for the Dual OS (8.1 & KitKat) for this new Note Pro. Has that idea just vanished like a fart in the wind? It didn't for ASUS (i.e. Transformer Book Duet)

These look like beautiful, premium tablets, and I like the Magazine UX, I think. However, I can't rock with "faux-leather," but that's just my personal preference.

Posted via AC App on HTC One

Cant wait to see how bad this thing lags when you try to have multiple windows open..........Pro devices run Pro software, not Android Apps.......Put WIndows 8.1 on it, give me a Wacom digitizer, and you had me at hello.......wait, I just described a Surface Pro....Hello

The price isn't fully announced yet but a reliable source states that these are going to be the prices or relatively close to that matter:

Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 8.4, Wi-Fi: €389 ($389?)
Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 8.4, LTE: €519 ($519?)
Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 10.1, Wi-Fi: €479 ($479?)
Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 10.1 LTE: €609 ($609?)
Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 12.2, Wi-Fi: €649 ($649?)
Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 12.2, LTE: €749 ($749)
Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2, Wi-Fi: €749 ($749?)
Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2, LTE: €849 ($849?)

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I wonder if the Note 12.1 and the Tab 12.1 have the same viewing area? I was in Best Buy the other day and spent some time playing with the Note 10.1 and the Tab 10.1 and it looks like the Tab has more viewing space than the Note.

I hope it does...but I wonder if the change from a menu button to a task button will limit that possibility.

Got to love some people who comment here, the thing I don't get is if you have no Interest in Samsung products then why comment and what's worse come to reply to people who like the device.. Funny little world isn't that not everyone likes the same thing so when someone likes something you don't they must be stupid lol

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I've owned/own several Samsung phones and tablets, and while style has never been their best suit, and not one of my top considerations for purchase, I just can't stand the faux leather on a tablet. I also really do not like the physical home button, especially since I use my tablet to read books and I often turn my tablet vertical/portrait mode. That button will get in my way. Really poor design by Samsung. The hardware specs may not be enough for me.

I am very disappointed in the app My Magazine. Had I known that the left screen is stuck on My Magazine and you can not remove it or send it to the back pages. I would have never bought this product. Yes you can remove it on other devices but for some reason Samsung decided that the tab pro 8.4 would not get the option to remove it. When talking to customer service it took them 2 hours on the phone to find out that it is not removable.