In recent years, Samsung and Microsoft have been in an increasingly heated battle in the smartphone market, with the enduring popularity of Samsung's Android handsets directly impacting the US company's efforts to grow Windows Phone's market share.
Now the battle has entered the tablet space, with the arrival of Samsung's Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 Android tablet. Running a business-focused version of Android 4.4 KitKat and featuring an S Pen digitiser pen, the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is aimed at the same users as Microsoft's flagship Windows 8.1 tablet, the Surface Pro 2.
However, with security concerns still surrounding the Android ecosystem, some question whether the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is safe enough for enterprise use.
Design and build
Both the Surface Pro 2 and Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 have very distinctive designs. The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is the larger of the two, measuring 296x204x7.95mm. However, the Surface Pro 2 is thicker and significantly heavier, measuring 274x173x13.5mm and weighing a hefty 907g. By comparison, the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 weighs a more travel-friendly 750g.
The main reason for the difference in weight is the fact the Surface Pro 2's chassis is entirely built of metal, whereas the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is predominantly built of a lighter, faux-leather material. So despite its larger size, we found the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 easier to move around with than the Surface Pro 2, which after a day carrying can feel fairly heavy, even when stored in a satchel or handbag.
However, as a pure enterprise, productivity tool we found the Surface Pro 2 is slightly better designed than the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. For a start, it comes loaded with a full-sized USB 3.0 port, in contrast to the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2's micro-USB port, which means it's easier to connect peripherals to the Surface Pro 2.
The Surface Pro 2 is also easier to turn into a full-on laptop replacement, coming with an attached kickstand and variety of keyboard dock options. While the docks are expensive, with prices starting at £100, the kickstand means you can stand up the Surface Pro 2 on a flat surface. This means you can turn the Pro 2 into a laptop replacement using any Bluetooth keyboard without having to fiddle about propping up the tablet, as you have to with the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2.
Winner: The Surface Pro 2.
Next: Display and software.