Samsung Electronics is beefing up its tablet range with a competitor to Apple's iPad Mini that sports a pen for writing on the screen.

The Korean company announced on Sunday in Barcelona, Spain that the Galaxy Note 8.0 will have an eight-inch screen, putting it very close in size to Apple's tablet, which launched in November with a 7.9-inch screen.

It's not the first time Samsung has made a tablet that's in the Mini's size range: its very first iPad competitor had a seven-inch screen, and it still makes a tablet of that size, but without a pen.

Samsung will start selling the new tablet in the April to June period, at a currently undetermined price.

It made the announcement ahead of Mobile World Congress, the wireless industry's annual trade show, which starts Monday in Barcelona, Spain.

The Note 8.0 fills a gap in Samsung's line-up of pen-equipped devices. It falls between the Galaxy Note II smartphone, with its 5.5-inch screen, and the Galaxy Note 10.1, a full-size tablet.

Samsung has made the pen —  called the stylus — one of the tools it uses to chip away at Apple's dominance in both tablets and high-end smartphones. Apple doesn't make any devices that work with a stylus, preferring to optimize its interfaces for fingers, mice and touchpads.

On Samsung's Note line, the pens can be used to write, highlight and draw.