I don't expect to see a successor to the Note 8, which is really a shame because, as we all know, it's a great size for portability and s-pen use. I've been quite happy with mine. Especially after the S Tab announcement, for what ever reason, I think the 8.4 S Tab is the unofficial Note 8 successor.
However, I'm (possibly) in a different situation than most in that I have a Note 3 so I've got my S-pen there. The only
thing I don't like about the Note series is I always feel like I'm limited to TW-based ROMS so that I don't lose s-pen functionality. I flashed an AOSP ROM once, but it just didn't feel right on the Note (at the time at least) since the s-pen and probably other features were unusable so I restored a nandroid of Civato's before long.
This is probably heretical to say here, but the S Tabs are exactly what I was hoping they would be (actually I was disappointed that the Tab Pro 8.4 didn't have those specs). I'm lusting after the new 8.4 hardcore... I've been considering a tablet upgrade for a while. Hardware-wise it's exactly
what I had been wanting, including the lack of a pen, as I often feel sort of "limited" when browsing the development forums... however I definitely understand the disappointment of all those without another device with an s-pen to play with
Lastly, I've seen the new tabs dinged a mark because they have the S5 back. I haven't used an S5, but however the back feels, as long as it's solid and stays on, the texture just isn't a factor. My Note 3 has the nicest backplate that I've seen on a Samsung device... and it's covered by a case 100% of the time. I've got no gripes with the back of my Note 8 that I can recall, as it's covered by a case 100% of the time. I wonder what percent of users of these high-end devices use them caseless?
I guess it's good to mention something like that in a review, but considering it a con (independent of overall build-quality) in a pros / cons list just seems totally irrelevant to the majority of users.