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Samsung to take on Apple's iPad mini with 8-inch Galaxy Note

Samsung next month will roll out a new entry in its Galaxy Note series aimed at taking on industry rival Apple's iPad mini in the mid-size tablet segment.

The new Galaxy Note 8.0 will join Samsung's existing Note 10.1, shown above.

Samsung Mobile vice president JK Shin confirmed the Note 8.0 — which will join the Galaxy Notes 2 and 10.1 in Samsung's stylus-enabled lineup — to Korean news outlet News 1. Shin gave no indication as to the pricing or specifications of the device, but he did confirm that it will be revealed at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona.

An 8-inch Galaxy Note device has been rumored for some time, based on the notion that Samsung would not leave the mid-range tablet segment to its competitors. While Samsung was among the earliest of major manufacturers to enter the mid-range segment with its Galaxy Tab 7.0, the mid-range tablet market didn't begin to take off until late 2011, when Amazon's Kindle Fire debuted to brisk sales. The next year saw the addition of Google's Nexus 7 tablet, a new line of Kindle Fires, and, finally, the long-expected iPad mini, which launched to considerable demand and is thought to have shipped eight million units in the last quarter.

Of course, a Note 8.0 would feature the Note line's signature S Pen stylus, which is pressure sensitive and slips into a special holding slot on Note devices. Little else, though, is known about the unannounced device's specifications. Samsung news blog SamMobile cites trusted sources in predicting that it will feature an 8-inch 1280x800 TFT display, 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and Android 4.2 as its operating system.

Those same sources say the Note 8.0 will be larger than Apple's smaller iPad, though not by too much. The iPad mini measures 200x134.7x7.2mm and weighs 308g, while the Note 8.0 is said to measure 211.3x136.3x7.95mm and weigh 330g.

A mid-sized Note tablet would signify that the South Korean conglomerate intends to cede no ground to Apple moving forward. Samsung has already taken cues from Apple — both in product design and marketing — as it seeks to build a high-value brand for itself, one approaching that of its main rival.