Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Review
Perfection is something that most manufacturers strive to achieve with their products, and as we all know too well, Samsung isn't a stranger when it comes to delivering the goods. Has it really been 6 months since we first feasted our eyes on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 back at Mobile World Congress? Yes, and during the time, the note-taking focused tablet has received its redesign to better have it ready to take on the competition head on.
For a second though, it makes anyone wonder why they would even unveil something that wasn't up to the expectations of being a viable competitor. Whatever is the case, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is here in the flesh – freshly packing some upgraded internals, while presenting itself as the premier paper and pen replacement. Donning a $500 starting price point, it's sure to fit in nicely with the existing crop, but in a world where novel features are perceived to be tertiary things with consumers, it's going to take more for the Galaxy Note 10.1 to establish itself in the same premier class as its rivals.
The package contains:
- USB cable
- Wall Charger
- Start Guide
- Health & Safety and Warranty Guide
You'd think this "high-end" tablet would brandish an equally "high-end" design to reel in prying eyes. Instead, it's more ordinary than anything else, as it sports the all typical Samsung design; it's an all-plastic affair once again. Strangely, there's a great deal of weight (21.16 oz) and size (0.35" thick) attached to the tablet, which makes it rather cumbersome when compared to Samsung's previous efforts with the Galaxy Tab series. When first impressions make a whole lot of difference, the conventional look of this tablet might prove fatal, as consumers might seemingly overlook it in favor of something else more attractive.
Since the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 shares many of the design elements of the Galaxy Tab series, it doesn't surprise us that most of its buttons are found towards the top edge. Specifically, these include the power button, volume control, microSD slot, 3.5mm headset jack, and IR blaster. With the latter, it's been increasingly commonplace with Samsung's line of tablets of late, which essentially turns it into a universal remote – a great addition to find, of course.
Finally, the bottom side of the tablet is home to the microphone and proprietary dock port, which allows for data/charging connectivity. However, you'll need to purchase an optional adapter or dock accessory to gain video-out functionality.
Perched above the display, a 2-megapixel camera sits ready and waiting to shoot self-portraits and the occasional video chatting session. Along the sides, the tablet's two speakers are directed towards us – allowing for better dispersion of audio.
5-megapixel auto-focus camera with flash is smacked directly towards the middle top-side of the tablet. When 1080p recording is becoming the standard, some might be flabbergasted to know that this is pacing 720p recording.
Considering that this tablet targets individuals who are big into photo-editing, it's unfortunate to find its display flaunting WXGA 1280 x 800 resolution – underwhelming to say the least. Nevertheless, it's adequate enough for most case uses, such as being able to distinguish fine details with no problems. Furthermore, the 10.1" Super PLS LCD display has enough pleasing visuals, such as a high contrast and a natural looking color production, to make it pleasing enough to look at – though, its viewing angles are a bit weak. Essentially, we notice it washing out when tilted, and when you combine that with outdoor viewing with the sun present, it still requires some shielding for proper viewing.
Just like the Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone, the standout feature of the Galaxy Note 10.1 is none other than the included S-Pen. Employing Wacom technology, which enables the tablet to distinguish various degrees of pressure sensitivity, it's undeniably the most precise and accurate thing for touch input. Simply put it, the S-Pen dishes up the most natural process for handwriting and drawing. Depending on how much pressure is applied, you can obtain faint or dark strokes – thus, giving us complete and utter control with our movement.
In its attempt to emulate the pencil and paper experience, the S-Pen is fashioned so that it has the distinct look of an actual pencil. Therefore, our fingers comfortably wrap around the S-Pen with little fatigue or irritation after prolonged usage. With the redesign of the tablet, there's now a slot in the rear to accommodate the S-Pen when it's not in use.
4. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
i hate the fact that they said this
"it's more ordinary than anything else"
It's built in plastic but the design is better than anything else. Seriously, IMO, this design kicks iPad's ass.
"its design doesn't scream genius"
again, the design is great. What's wrong with it? Because it follows the previous tab design from samsung? Or because it doesn't really follow the iPad kind of thing design?
21. RamyRamz69 (Posts: 390; Member since: 12 Dec 2011)
The design doesn't kick the iPad's design or anything...
All tablets look alike to be honest. They're rectangular shaped and have a screen... I don't really care whether it's plastic or aluminum if it's durable.
38. Alphadan (Posts: 4; Member since: 19 Jul 2012)
lol, have you even bothered to watch AndroidPolice videos about this "ipad-kicking" design you are talking about? The back plate BENDS with the slightest of touches... Yeah, i'm sure s**te plastic is better than the aluminium body of the ipad.
VIDEO OF THE "AWESOME" DESIGN OF THIS TABLET:
$500 FOR A TABLET THAT MAKES THIS NOISE:
39. dblue45 (Posts: 77; Member since: 26 Aug 2009)
I'd disagree with you! IMO the design is more of a cheap, bigger copy of the HTC Flyer.
2. khmer (Posts: 93; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)
I am waiting to see Galaxy Tab 11.8 on the same chassis and dimensions.
5. shuaibhere (Posts: 1598; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)
Actually this tablet beat every other tablet in synthetic benchmarks almost in every aspect.....
This is the best multi taking tablet so far with some useful features.....
Worst ever review done by PA....
9. Commentator (Posts: 2436; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
12. wendygarett (unregistered)
The hype has disappointed pa
6. ricodroid (Posts: 16; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
True ... i mean you could really tell as if they just wanna say it sucks no matter what .. not saying its the best .. it suits its own people .. i mean i expected more of it .. but still its gorgeous tablet .. a steap ahead for samsung ..
its quite relevant that Phone Arena reviewers are more devious to Apple .. s**t i read their review on the new ipad and its like .. (f**kING AWESOME DUDE f**k EVERYTHING ELSE) .. the new i pad is excellent yeah .. but it has many setbacks .. and these setbacks doesnt make it the best of all .. its makes it better in certain aspects
but when they reviewed the galaxy S3 .. i was like dude that is a s**tty gadget .. but it turns out no .. i have the S3 and its freaking amazing ... a phone of a unqiue style and perfection .. never had issues what so ever .. yet PA says its nothing quite big as it may seem
fair is fair .. but overreaction shuld be avoided if subjective opinion is to be demonstrated
20. shuaibhere (Posts: 1598; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)
Sorry i accidently put u down....anyway +1 for u.....
24. ricodroid (Posts: 16; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
thanks .. and yeah that happens .. no undos are present lol
7. kalandershihab (Posts: 57; Member since: 09 Mar 2012)
"Actually this tablet beat every other tablet in synthetic benchmarks almost in every aspect.....
This is the best multi taking tablet so far with some useful features.....
Worst ever review done by PA."
really?? even the graphics of the new ipad??
17. shuaibhere (Posts: 1598; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)
i think you confused between screen and graphics......
I can make calls when i am browsing, can text while gaming, can take notes when class is goin on, and copy text from browser to note without switching between applications, can insert webpage in note and can edit and even insert maps in note, and can do art very efficiently with note 10.11...
What the heck can you do with your ipad....
Just go and stick with your 11 inch mp4 player.....
29. ngo2dd (Posts: 787; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)
The note 10.1 does not have a better GPU then the iPad 3. You links has no iPad 3 benchmarks for the SGX543MP4. and benchmarks mean nothing when it lag. The Verge give is a 6.5
8. hateftotti (Posts: 144; Member since: 03 May 2011)
ipad got 9 with just a misleading screen but this tablet with plenty of cool features just gets 7!!!...
10. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
actually other sites also review this as average and not worth it.
so, no, I don't think it's a good buy. The S Pen functionality maybe good but it's not worth it. I'd rather stick with my prime, infinity or a new iPad, or probably GNote II.
11. Commentator (Posts: 2436; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
If people here are mad about a 7 I strongly advise them to stay away from The Verge for awhile...
13. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
agreed. haha. anyway, I'd still give it a 7. this is still not Samsung's time. their tablet software still sucks bigtime.
come back when they have Exynos 5 and that 2560x1440 screen on a 7" device with a stylus, keyboard and phone features.... don't forget stock Android or a better touchwiz UX ughhhhhh heaaaaven... i'd give that a 10/10 even if I was the most Anti-Samsung site on the internet.
19. shuaibhere (Posts: 1598; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)
That is cuz of it's plastic covering and low screen resolution....
otherwise it's best tablet in terms of functionality, processing power...
For me plastic suits very much....and that pixel density is enough for me cuz we use tablet from a distance...
23. glentomas123 (Posts: 70; Member since: 01 Jun 2011)
So this tech blog is concerned much more with form over function. Wow! Maybe they should write/review for the View with Woopie and that other man on there with the harsh voice.
* Note 10.1 has durable plastic that has no functional drawbacks. Looks decent enough.
* Screen resolution is the new Camera megapixel race. At what point does not matter people. Can you tell a real difference between the ipad2 and ipad3 screens? Most people can't.
33. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)
Screen resolution is not a push factor for me. if its not too worse eg a 3.5 having 320x240........
Most of the time i don't care about the resolution. i want PERFORMANCE....
as they said- ''graphics doesn't make the game.(tablets and smartphones in this case)''
14. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 512; Member since: 20 May 2012)
Still getting paid under the table by Apple I see eh PA? I need to start hanging out at phandroid more I guess....
16. Commentator (Posts: 2436; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
Because Phandroid is so unbiased, right?
15. Commentator (Posts: 2436; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
Right idea, Samsung, wrong display. While I love the idea of the S-Pen stylus (if only to make ol' Stevie J. turn a bit more in his grave), I think Samsung's use of a 1280x800 screen disconcerting. It seems like they just took the OG Note's screen and stretched it out to ~4x its size. The S-Pen's advantage of precision and detail seems wasted on a screen where each and every pixel is clearly visible at any given time. To close the gap with a standard paper notebook (whose practical PPI is ∞) they should have at least utilized a 1080p screen, if not larger.
18. xtremesv (Posts: 236; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)
This time I can't agree more with PhoneArena. 800p? All plastic and heavy? Choppy performance? $500? When major competitors have >1080p displays, nice looking aluminum bodies, great performance for the same price. I expected more from Sammy.
22. ghost__uwi (Posts: 175; Member since: 28 Nov 2011)
I wish phonearena disabled comments on the whole. None of the are constructive and just people trolling about android. I think this site would be better with no comments.
26. shuaibhere (Posts: 1598; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)
Just chill my friend...there are more fandroids in this site including me......
Just they are not present now....
PA comment section has more fun than any other website....
And this is considered as main part of website by viewers.....
34. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)
thanks to the on going, unstoppable, unendable chat war with us fandroids and iFans.
30. ricodroid (Posts: 16; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
while i dont care if apple or samsung are profiting from their products .. i do hope really constructive reviews to be done about things . instead of overreaction ..
31. RomeoJDR (Posts: 237; Member since: 09 Dec 2011)
Man, just as Apple has their share of fanatic sites, it look like this one is drawing in a lot of Samnsungnoids who can't bare hearing any criticism of their beloved phonesmith. This is a fair review pointing out the highs and lows. Sure, some people don't care about build quality, but their are some (like me) who do, so it is fair to point out Samsung's plastic build. Whereas, nobody is going to be put off buy an Apple's build quality or even most HTC's. Some people will favor another product because it looks and feels premium so its relevant to address those areas. Furthermore, relative to the polycarbonate plastic used by HTC and Nokia, Samsung's is cheaper. Just pick up one of those gadgets and the difference is readily noticeable by all who are not blinded by a particular bias. Read the reports of consumers complaining about small cracks in the frames of their S3s. Second, I was a skeptic of the relevance of all the hoopla Apple made over their display in the new iPad but once seeing the beauty of the images in person looking as though they are painted on and all of a sudden it became relevant. Third, this thing blows the benchmarks out of the water, so what was the reviewer smoking by not raving more what Samsung has done? My single core HTC Flyer doesn't stutter when witching screens and this reviewer pointed out that his review unit does. Simple tasks like that is what is called real world performance that will be recognized by the masses. How can such a trivial task cause such hesitation for a device packing such awesome hardware is beyond me, but the product should be graded on actual performance, not specs. Hopefully, a software update release will tackle that issue. On the flip side, I do feel the utility of the digital pen is downplayed and I'm not an artist. It opens up another level of versatility and isn't that what tablets are all about? Combine this tablet with an app like Lecture Notes and you have the best all around tablet for students, or for people who spend a lot of time in meetings, want to avoid printing-signing-faxing documents, photo editors and others of the similar interests. However, Samsung is not the pioneer in bringing the pen up-to-date for today's world as I don't see any difference than the tablets that have been out for awhile utilizing N-Trig tech. Samsung just might be the first to utilize their fanfare and marketing to bring it back to relevance.
32. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)
A 7?! A SEVEN OUT OF 10?! COME ON! ITS GOTTA BE WAY BETTER THAN THIS!
40. u-suck-more (Posts: 529; Member since: 26 Aug 2011)
i think it is a fair review.. and what he said is true, take away e S-Pen, it becomes ur average tablet
42. DigitalMD (Posts: 226; Member since: 17 Feb 2010)
All tablets are over priced and disappoint. Ultrabook is the way to go. Why compromise?
44. mitchellvii (Posts: 2; Member since: 07 Sep 2012)
Can we PLEASE stop comparing the IPad3 to the Galaxy Note 10.1? One is purely an entertainment toy and one is a productivity tool.
It's like comparing Apples and Potatoes. Sure an apple may be prettier and taste sweeter, but if you are making french fries, you want a potato. Taking notes on an iPad is a nightmare. On the Note 10.1 it is a joy.
Oh yeah, and with regards to the "build quality". I personally like the fact the back has a little give to it. The device doesn't feel cheap to me at all. Also, because of that flexibility you can drop this device and stand a good chance of not destroying it. Try dropping the rigid iPad3 sometime and let me know how that turns out for you.
45. mitchellvii (Posts: 2; Member since: 07 Sep 2012)
"Take away the s-pen and it becomes an average tablet."
Ok, take away the iPad3's retina display and it become a below average tablet. Take away great pitching and the Yankees are a .500 ball club. Take away Joe Montana and the 49'ers never won all those Superbowls.
To paraphrase my personal friend Shakespeare, "The pen's the thing..."
46. jtown1394 (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)
Engadet did a better review on the Samsung Galaxy Note Tab 10.1 then P.A... Pretty Much P.A sounds like a Apple Fanboy -_-... I don't care who takes this comment personal.
47. rickybonnell (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
I believe this review is a little bit biased. The reviewer complained about the tablet being too heavy and too thick. It is one of the thinnest and lightest tablets on the market. I currently own a Galaxy Tab 10.1 and before the upgrade to ics the lag was very frustrating. So I do think touchwiz slows things down a bit. Regardless however, it brings a world of functionality that no other tablet has. The reviewer is downplaying the upsides and exagerating the downsides. I have used the note 10.1 a lot because of the mixed reviews and I am going to buy it. This is an absolutely fantastic device and feels sturdier than most of the competition with the exception of the ipad which is the pinnacle of build quality. I would rate this tablet a 9 simply because I think touchwiz could be downsized and optimized a bit to improve fluidity. Obviously the power is there.
48. janssen (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)
S-pen is really helpful, none can be compared.....The cpu is a beast, and seems to be the best amongst other tablets(benchmarkwise).....Added 2 gig so it's always a big plus unlike other conventional tablets stuck on 1 gig ram.....But the biggest attaction is the ability to do 2 things at the same time on the screen, imagine watching a movie while doing your math homework(precious!!!!!) or the really amazing copy/paste without interchanging screens. You can even take a picture of the web your at, or a page of a book your reading.....Owe, did I also mention this comes with ps touch?Try it and this feature stands out of the other tablets.....Also slim and light enough for my hands with bonus DLNA, IR blaster and optional additional +64 gig msd.....The screen resolution is just ordinary but bright enough with crisp contrast to be useful for multitasking.....
With exynos 1.4 quad, 2 gig ram, s pen and dual screen capability, this tablet is truly opted for creative minds......
Only downside is the screen resolution, but retina res is so overrated unless you can find a way for it to be useful other than watching/reading stuff(games, I rather play with my xbox 360).....Design and quality, well all I see is a rectangular screen same as the other tablets, the plastic back don't really bother me.....
Definitely 9/10 rating.....
49. garz_pa (Posts: 154; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)
Why does PhoneArena takes the same photos (the chair, the desk, the street, the gameboy), videos the same street, and plays the same movie in all their reviews?
50. sprsk (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)
In your text, you wrote
" video-out functionality is available with the tablet, but you'll need to purchase the appropriate optional accessories to gain the feature...."
a) is this adaptor for a HDMi port ?
b) Can it gives and play 1080p signal , and if yes can it do it fluently ?
c) Do i need extra power source for the adapter ?
c) what kind of sound signal gives to the TV via the HDMi (or and other connection) ?
tnk u !!
51. franklinraj (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Apr 2013)
plz help me!!!!
Can I connect my reliance data card and seagate hard disk????
|Display||10.1 inches, 1280 x 800 pixels (149 ppi) Super PLS LCD|
Samsung Exynos 4 (4412), Quad core, 1400 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
2048 MB RAM
|Size||10.31 x 7.09 x 0.35 inches|
(262 x 180 x 8.9 mm)
21.16 oz (600 g)