Prices and release date confirmed!
Thankfully the $600 price is for the 3G version, which while nice to use as a phone replacement... isn't really necessary in my case.
$470 for the WiFi only version is far more agreeable... seemingly still a bit steep, but not when you consider everything this tablet has to offer over the competition... and If I need to go online, I'll just tether to my phone.
Since I last posted in this thread, I've been doing exhaustive research into all possible alternatives... and I have to say, I'm back to looking at the Note 8 as the ideal device for my needs right now.
I'm not going to go into a lot of detail, but here are my basic reasons for deciding on the Note 8:
1) The size/weight is perfect. I want a portable sketchpad/notepad I can take with me everywhere. The Note 10.1, Thinkpad 2, and ATIV are simply too large for this purpose.
2) I've already purchased a fair amount of Android software - and I would like to keep on using it, especially on the larger screen + faster processor.
3) An Atom W8 tablet may be slightly better than Android for sketching... But the only windows software I am interested in running would be my graphics programs such as Photoshop, Painter, Sketchbook... and games at about the level of StarCraft 2.
Firstly, Atom for gaming is a very poor choice - and I can absolutely forget about running SC2. In regards to my graphics programs, they will not perform well on an Atom, especially with only 2Gb of ram.
So taking the ability to run windows software out of the equation - An Android tablet is a far more inviting option.
If i'm going to get a full blown Cintiq replacement (and not just a sketchpad), then it has to run Photoshop and Painter *right*... that means an i3 or i5 with *at least* 4Gb of ram (I would prefer 8). The available solutions right now are just too damn big and heavy.... and aren't cheap either... oh and battery life is very limited... further reducing the usefulness of the tablet.
So my conclusion is to enjoy what the Note 8 has to offer... and in a few years time see how Windows tablets have progressed... and who knows; by then Android may have caught up in terms of productivity...
... S Pen apps may be thin on the ground right now, but as the number of Note devices continues to increase (as well as their popularity), I guarantee we will be seeing much much more...
Some additional points to consider:
The Note 2 can be overclocked to 1.8Ghz ... I guarantee you the same will be true for the Note 8.
I'm sure there will be a Note 8 (v2) next year based around the internals of the almost soon to be released Galaxy Note 3:
1.8Ghz+1.2Ghz Exynos 5 Octa chipset based on the big.LITTLE technology and manufactured on 28 nm architecture.
A tri-core PowerVR SGX-544MP3 graphics processing unit. @533 MHz
An improved S Pen
Possibly 3Gb ram
Edit: P.s. I already have all the Cintiq pens - Airbrush, 6D Art Pen, Grip Pen, and Classic Pen... Can't wait to try them out on the Note 8
Edit edit: Apperently, according to this article, the Note 8 WiFi only will hit the States at $350 .... ??? o.o