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Samsung races against rumors of an Apple 'iPad Pro' with two new 12-inch tablets

South Korean electronics giant Samsung on Monday fired a preemptive shot across the bow of Apple's widely-rumored, yet still unannounced, large-screened iPad with the new Galaxy Note Pro and Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2-inch slates.

Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Samsung's Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 with S Pen stylus


Both tablets sport identical 2560 x 1600 pixel "super clear" displays and share many of the same internal components, with Samsung tapping its own Exynos 5 Octa application processor in the 3G-enabled units and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 for the LTE-provisioned rigs. Each comes with 3 gigabytes of RAM and can be configured with either 32 or 64 gigabytes of built-in storage.

Along with the jumbo-sized display comes a dramatic increase in weight: both models tip the scales at nearly 1.7 pounds in their base configurations, a premium of more than half a pound over Samsung's smaller tablets.

Rather than adapting its TouchWiz user interface customizations for the larger screen real estate, Samsung has instead chosen to develop a new skin it calls Magazine UX, which features multiple tile-based home screens that appear to follow the paradigm established by Microsoft's Windows 8. Magazine UX runs atop version 4.4, or "Kit Kat," of Google's Android operating system and brings a variety of productivity features including the ability to run up to four apps concurrently and support for the company's S Pen stylus.

Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2

Samsung's Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2


Pricing for the hulking tablets has yet to be announced, but normally-reliable Samsung watchers SAMMobile.com have leaked the devices' European costs in a series of tweets. The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 LTE variant is expected to fetch €849 ($1,158) at retail, with the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 LTE model coming in at €749 ($1,021).

Samsung's announcement comes as rumors swirl around a potential "iPad Pro" that would feature a larger, 12- to 13-inch display. One analyst went so far as to predict that such a device, equipped with a hardware keyboard in a "clamshell" form factor, would disrupt the enterprise notebook market. even more so than Apple's 9.7-inch iPad has.