The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 follows the design of the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014). That means landscape is the default orientation and the hardware keys are placed along one of the long sides.
Those are the App Switcher, Home and Back buttons. The capacitive App Switcher and Back keys work with the S Pen, but they stay fixed in place, which is now an even bigger problem on the larger tablet (if you hold the tablet in portrait, the keys are hard to reach). It's time Samsung considered on-screen buttons on tablets.
Above the screen is the ambient light sensor and the 2MP/1080p video-call camera. The screen bezels are just big enough to allow room for your thumb when handling the large slab.
Standard Samsung keys • camera and ambient light sensor
The sides of the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 have the same grooved metallic texture we saw on the Note 3 phablet. It adds a nice accent to the otherwise all-black exterior. A white version of the Note Pro 12.2 is also available.
The top side of the tablet features the Power button and volume rocker. Those are virtually impossible to reach with one hand, but then so is almost everything else about this tablet.
Also on top is the IR blaster and a microphone pinhole.
There's an IR blaster on top, along with a microphone, the power key and a volume rocker
The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 has stereo speakers on the short sides. The S Pen compartment is on the right, along with the microUSB 3.0 port (back compatible with microUSB 2.0) and the microSD card slot, which is sealed by a plastic flap.
microUSB 3.0 port, microSD card slot and S Pen sheath
The 3.5mm audio jack is on the left side of the tablet and there's nothing on the bottom.
The second loudspeaker and the 3.5mm audio jack
The massive back is home only to the 8MP camera and its LED flash. While we're not fans of tablet photography (especially with a tablet this size) the camera does have its legitimate uses - the pre-installed drawing app lets you snap a reference photo to draw over.
The expansive faux leather back houses the 8MP camera and the LED flash
Under the back cover is massive 9,500mAh battery. We ran our own battery tests for web browsing and video playback, check the results in the next section.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 features a big 9,500mAh battery, but it has an enormous screen to feed. We have the Wi-Fi only version of the tablet (with an Exynos chipset) so we tested only the web browsing and video playback times and both came out around nine and a half hours.
Compared to the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) that's nearly two hours better on the web browser and a bit better for the video player. By our calculations, the 12.2" screen has 46% more surface area to light up compared to the 10.1", while the battery is only 16% bigger so that's quite good.
The Apple iPad Air does go 40 minutes longer on the web test and three hours more on the video test, but the same screen size considerations apply.