“Among popular tablets, there are small ones, with seven-inch screens, and standard-sized ones, with 10-inch screens. But for some users, the perfect combination of portability and usability lies in between, with tablets boasting screens of about eight inches,” Walt Mossberg writes for Re/code. “The best-known product in this segment is Apple’s 7.9-inch iPad mini, which starts at $399 with a high-resolution Retina display. But Samsung, which makes tablets in a wide variety of sizes and types, is mounting its latest assault on the mini with the new $400 Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4.”

“My verdict: Samsung has done a nice job, but not a great job, on this product. Some impressive hardware engineering has been offset by weak battery life and a limited selection of tablet-optimized software,” Mossberg writes. “The biggest disappointment on the hardware front for me came in my battery test, the same one I perform on every tablet. For the test, I set screen brightness to 75 percent, turn off power-saving features, leave on the Wi-Fi to collect email in the background and play videos till the tablet dies. In this test, the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 lasted a pathetic five hours and 11 minutes, less than half the iPad mini’s time of 11 hours and 17 minutes.”

“Like all Android devices, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 has access to an undisclosed (but relatively small) number of apps that are especially optimized for tablets. Most of the apps that run on Android tablets are stretched phone apps,” Mossberg writes. “By contrast, Apple iPad owners can choose from more than 475,000 apps that have been optimized to take advantage of the larger tablet screens, with added panels and modules and the like. (And the iPad can run all the iPhone apps, as well.) The weak battery life and limited tablet software selection prevent me from recommending the new Tab Pro 8.4 over the iPad mini.”

Much more in the full article here.