Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Review
Hi and welcome back to Mobile Informers! So we have another Android tablet from Samsung, who would’ve guessed? These things are multiplying like Kardashians and every 60 to 90 days it looks like we discover a new one. There is a lot of talk right now about the new Galaxy Note 10.1 and Samsung says it’s their best tablet yet. Is it their best, and it is right for you? There is a plethora of Android tablets available, and choosing the right one might be difficult. So with a souped-up version of Android 4.0 and a new stylus can the Galaxy Note 10.1 deliver the goods? Let’s find out.
The new Galaxy Note is not breaking the mold that Samsung has been using. Its look and feel is very similar to the galaxy S3, so much so that it would appear that the tablet was designed to specifically complement the phone. This branding connection between the two devices is not new. The iPhone and iPad lines do the same thing and it’s proven that customers like it. In fact you might say that if you like the galaxy S3 you’ll probably like the galaxy note 10.1. You get the same fast quad core 1.4 GHz processor and two gigs of RAM.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 doesn’t seem at first glance to be a significant upgrade from the previous generation of tablets. Now this isn’t necessarily true but perception is important and a customer may not want to dig into the nuts and bolts of a particular tablet before they realize they have a superior product. The same ports, knobs, and switches can be found in the usual positions including:
- MicroSD if card slot
- 3.5 MM headphone jack
- USB sync and power slot if
- Power button
- Volume rocker
- Stylus slot
Weighing in at 600g the Galaxy Note 10.1 is lighter than the iPad. This tablet is made out of the same materials that the Galaxy S3 phone is made of and it feels like. Unfortunately since the tablet is larger it doesn’t have the same tactile impression. The tablet feels cheaply made but not like its rattling and going to fall apart, more like a plastic toy.
Where Samsung begins to differentiate itself with the Galaxy Note 10.1 is the stylus. If the goal is to personally be paperless this may be the tool to help you get there. Taking notes, sending messages, making calls, and managing data becomes very easy using the stylus and Android interface. Being able to back up your notes and keep them organized also prevents the inevitable digging through notebooks and piles of scraps trying to find what your boss said last Tuesday about the project you are on. And for all the doctors out there that can’t read their own handwriting this brings even more added value. Add in the Evernote app and you’ve got a record keeping machine.
For the artist in you the stylus opens up new possibilities. A new level of precision will be unlocked when using programs such as Photoshop Touch or Sketchbook Pro. At the highest resolution option you get 1024 level of pressure sensitivity. This is more than you need to create and edit images to your exacting specifications.
Another area where Samsung is trying to pull ahead of the pack is the multitasking capabilities of their new tablet. A few of the apps (very few) run in a side-by-side windowed mode. This is where the two gigs of RAM will come in handy because two simultaneous apps start slowing things down. There are simply too few apps that you can run in multitask mode at this time, but obviously that number will grow in the future.
Galaxy Note 10.1 Specs:
- Network – HSPA+ 21Mbps 850/900/1900/2100, EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900
- Processor – 1.4GHz Exynos Quad-Core Processor
- Display – 10.1″ WXGA(1280×800) LCD
- OS – Android™ 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
- Camera – Main(Rear): 5 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash Sub(Front): 1.9 Megapixel Camera
- Video Codec – MPEG4, H.263, H.264, VC-1, DivX, WMV7, WMV8, VP8
- Audio Codec: MP3, Vorbis, WMA, AAC, ACC+, eAAC+, AMR(NB,WB), 3.5mm Ear Jack
- Sensor – Accelerometer, Digital compass, Light, Gyroscope
- Connectivity – Bluetooth technology v 4.0 (Apt-X Codec support)
- USB 2.0 Host – Samsung
- Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz), Wi-Fi Direct
- Wi-Fi Channel Bonding
- Memory – 16/32/64GB
- MicroSD – up to 64GB
- Dimension – 262 x 180 x 8.9 mm
- Weight – 600g (3G), 597g (WiFi)
- Battery – Standard battery, Li-ion 7,000mAh
For a full feature list visit Samsung.
For the horribly lazy such as me the Note 10.1 is loaded with Peel’s Smart Remote. The tablet has an onboard infrared transmitter which can be used to control other devices such as set-top boxes, TVs, Blu-ray players, and more. The smart remote app supports brands other than Samsung and has the versatility one would expect from a high-end universal remote. This is good for me because I often use my tablet to find out information about the show I’m watching and now I don’t even have to pick up my remote again when I find out I don’t like what’s on. Peel’s Smart Remote comes with an electronic program guide which may further reduce the need to move.
Overall the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 has more pros than cons. If you intend on using the stylus and the apps that take such great advantage of it then I believe you would be happy with your purchase. If not then the price point for this tablet is probably too high for what you’re getting and you would do better to stick with the Google Nexus or the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity. These tablets have a much more competitive price point and enough features to keep the Android user happy who doesn’t care about the stylus.