In the hand, the Galaxy Note 8.0 feels like a nice tablet, although it's a strange size – neither small and pocketable nor definitively large enough to give easy tablet-size screen viewing.
The rear cover is fixed in place rather than removable, yet still feels disappointingly tacky and plasticky.
The tablet is both thin and light but we found the glossy finish made it too slippery; and both the screen and white plastic parts get grubby with fingerprints and other miscellaneous marks all too easily.
At £340 we expected the Galaxy Note 8.0 to come with some impressive specs.
Core components mean the tablet performs well across the board, but the screen isn't breaking any new ground. It's pixel density it outclassed by the Nexus 7 and Asus FonePad. 189 ppi is far from Retina-class although it does better the iPad mini.
Galaxy Note 8: unique features
We like it when tablets have unique features and much like the Sony Xperia Tablet Z, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 can control devices around your home thanks to its infrared transmitter and pre-loaded Smart Remote app.
The Galaxy Note 8.0 offers the kind of photography you'd expect from a mid-range smartphone; we weren't overly impressed by the results from either snapper.
As per usual, Samsung's TouchWiz interface has been slapped over Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It's relatively good looking but some users will find it a little too busy, while newcomers to Android are likely to find it overwhelming. Luckily the customisation options still available in Google's OS mean you can always try to tone things down.
Although there are a number of apps which you probably won't use, highlights include Multi-window which lets you use two apps on-screen simultaneously and the Smart Remote app which uses an infrared transmitter to control devices around your home.
Hidden in the corner of the Galaxy Note 8 is probably the main reason to opt for this tablet, the S Pen. The stylus is functional, easy to use and comes with a few dedicated apps such as S Note which supports handwriting recognition.
Battery life is not bad but certainly not up to the standard which we've seen from the likes of the iPad and Nexus tablets. Streaming a half hour programme on iPlayer used nearly 10 percent of juice.
The Galaxy Note 8 is one of Samsung's better tablets but its extravagant price tag means you're going to have to want the S Pen pretty bad to choose it over much cheaper rivals. We give it three and a half stars.