30
Apr
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I picked up Samsung's official first-party cover for the Galaxy Note 8.0 shortly after getting the tablet itself, because Samsung's plastic body doesn't inspire confidence, because all tablets scream out for an easy freestanding solution, and (not least) because it was the only option right after release. The case hits all the high points: good protection, a built-in stand, and a magnet to activate the screen's sleep feature. The only major downside, like the tablet itself, is the price.

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In many ways, the Galaxy Note 8.0 Book Cover Stand Case is a microcosm of the hardware it protects: nice enough, good at what it's supposed to do, way too expensive, and dreaming of the day it's a phone cover. But at the moment the only alternatives are the legions of pleather quickie cases littering Amazon and eBay, so it's probably the best choice. And if you've already spent the considerable dough for the Galaxy Note 8.0, you might as well shell out another fifty bones for the cover.

Fit and Finish

Unlike the Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III, the Note 8.0's battery isn't removable, so this is a full case instead of just a flip for the screen. The outside of the book cover is coated in a pliant plastic. the top is slightly soft, the back is harder than the tablet's own body, and all of it is covered in a diamond pattern. This gives the case a nice grippy feeling, making it much, much easier to hold than the slick plastic the Galaxy Note 8.0 is made from. Inside the case is coated in a thin layer of felt, protecting both the back and front from scratches. A couple of thin rubbery feet sit on the right side, keeping the tablet upright when the stand/cover is deployed.

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Speaking of the cover: there are two things you'll notice about it. One, it's trisected, and not in the usual equal segments. Two, there's a hole in the top. Just below the edge, you can see a little window, with the Samsung logo on the screen barely visible like the patty in a Quarter Pounder.

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If you're wondering what the point is, recall that the international Galaxy Note 8.0 comes in both WiFi and 3G versions. The latter is essentially a gigantic smartphone, complete with a slightly ridiculous earpiece above the screen, which the WiFi version lacks. Apparently Samsung didn't think it was worth making a second version and released the "phone" cover here in the United States. How about that.

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Anyway, the cover's got a good build, and impressively only adds a few millimeters of thickness to the tablet when it's in place. It's better than anything you're likely to find for the moment, unless quality brands like Incipio decide to start production. And given the Note 8.0's limited target audience, I wouldn't hold my breath for that.

Features

The most useful feature of the Book Cover is its ability to double as a stand. Flip the cover around the back and fold at the fist section, and the final, skinny section will automatically grip the back lightly, thanks to a surreptitious magnet. It holds the tablet at about a 15 degree angle. With the magnet, the felt, and the plastic feet, it's unlikely to move if you don't want it to, even with extended use.

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Fold the cover flat on the back and kick out the middle section, and you can prop the tablet up at 60-70 degrees. This is much better if you're reading or watching a movie. The design has been used on previous official Samsung cases, and while it looks a little precarious, it holds up fine even with firm taps. You can work with the cover for a bit of give and take in the display angle. In this configuration, it's basically impossible to reach the power and volume buttons.

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The cover also has an integrated magnet facing the screen on the far left side, mated to a magnetic sensor in the screen itself. This lets the tablet automatically wake when you remove the cover, in the style of iPad covers everywhere and the better class of Nexus 7 case. It works well enough, and has the added advantage of keeping the cover from sliding around too much without any clasp mechanism.

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There aren't any cutouts except for a few pinholes for microphones, and only grips on the four corners. This leaves the top, bottom, and right side mostly open, but it covers up the important impact points (with the exception of an opening for the S-pen stylus) while leaving the ports, speakers, and buttons free. The only useful part occluded is the MicroSD card slot, which is on the fold side and wouldn't be easy to get at anyway. A slightly raised cutout on the back covers and protects the camera without getting in its way.

Drawbacks

Aside from the somewhat ridiculous price of fifty dollars American, there aren't a lot of negatives to the official book cover. It's light, good-looking, and adds some much-needed protection without too much bulk. But this wouldn't be much of a review if I didn't point out any flaws. The strength in the back magnet is pretty low, making the cover slide around a bit when it's folded. The felt lining the inside of the cover is also very, very prone to dirt and fingerprints, making it look noticeably grody after just a couple of weeks. But that would probably be true for any similar case. Again, note the inaccessible power and volume buttons when in stand mode.

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Conclusion

The Samsung Book Cover Stand Case is a good case, like most of the official accessories that Samsung makes. And like most of the accessories Samsung makes, it's very expensive for what you get. It's the best option for quality, but not for value, and those looking for both would be wise to wait for more alternatives... assuming they ever arrive.

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Book Cover Stand Case is available in white, grey, and green, though it seems to be in short supply in some places at the time of writing. it retails for $49.99 in the United States.

Best Buy - Book Cover Stand Case for Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • http://www.facebook.com/DaATXMan Danny Davis

    Looks nice but kinda disappointed that Samsung has followed Apple in having everything just look the same. Still love my N7

  • Steve P.

    The prices for these new samsung branded covers is insane, the windowed cover for the S4 is 60 dollars and doesn't have the magnetic closure of the one in this review. Unbelievable.

  • RaptorOO7

    Too bad they are not selling the 32GB version in the US. I mean the 16GB WIFi is $399 so what would the 32GB be $449-499 still a better deal than an iPad Mini.

    Trying to get this tablet internationally for 32GB WiFi is a major PITA as well. Thanks Samsung.

  • http://twitter.com/alxalejandro393 Alex Esparza-Sandy

    For some reason, both the tablet & the case reminds me a lot of my HP Touchpad & the case.

  • Kev D

    Had a very similar Samsung case on my Galaxy Tab 8.9 but one of the corners cracked and fell apart after about 3 months. Was otherwise good, but expensive.

  • maryoun

    Just my opinion, if there is case for note 8.0 like

    Survivor Case for SAMSUNG Galaxy Note2 on theideasforgift the camouflage case, that's amazing...

  • Greg Allen

    There is a problem with this case's magnetic wake magnet. After a week of use the case no longer sits flat against the tablet and if it is shifted slightly it turns on the screen and prematurely uses battery life. I am taking this one back to BestBuy. Although the wake feature is nice I think it really creates more problems than it's worth. The magnets also affect sensors in the device creating errors for apps such as ones using in astronomy.

    • Awang Top

      Same too. I found the magnetic sensor annoying more than useful. But couldn't find way to disable the sensor.

  • ferf muckmeyer

    The Moko case on Amazon is $12.95, comes in a load of colors and has the traditional trifold cover. The Note 8 stands fine in this case. It's close to the same build quality of the Samsung case at a fraction of the price.

    • patc

      This case is made in South Korea, the moko is made in China, hence the premium price and craftsmanship.

  • Mandy

    Nice case, but I would recommend the Pong Research Samsung Galaxy case over this.I read that cell phones emit wireless energy a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, which can be absorbed by the tissue closest to where the phone is held.That's why I did research and found a case that can reduce radiation exposure.I read about Pong Research cases, Pong technology is custom-designed for each mobile device and works to redirect radiation away from your head and body. I hesitated about it, anyway, I bought a case Pong because is the only technology proven in FCC-certified laboratories to reduce the exposure to mobile device radiation by up to 95% below the FCC limit without compromising the device’s ability to communicate.

  • mranon

    well its a pretty neat case, but mine is not working too well im afraid. It seems like the screen cover wont shut over the screen all the way on the left side next to where the screen cover connects to the back piece, its a few mm over the screen and that makes the screen come on by itself when the tablet just lies arround using up battery. When i first got the cover i was thinkin it just needs to wear in a bit but after having used this cover over a week the problem is still there and does not appear to be getting better, im taking this cover back to the store and ima look for something else.

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