Summary: It’s no secret that I’ve been excited to review the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 for weeks now. I spend all day editing and critiquing documents, and I’ve been imagining a parallel world created by the Note’s stylus: a world where I edit articles with red ink instead of a track changes dialog, where I suggest layout revisions with a quick dash of a pen instead of screenshots and email, and where I am really good at drawing cars that turn into airplanes.
Pros: S Pen works well, Photoshop Touch is fun
Cons: Sluggish performance, Overbearing Samsung software, No killer S Pen apps
Summary: When I was in high school, I fantasized about leaving my numerous spiral bound notebooks behind in favor of a handheld digital drawing board. That technology didn’t arrive in the form of the iPad until after I finished college, but that didn’t stop me from buying one the weekend it was released, along with that weird rubbery case and a $30 stylus.
Review: Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 may need more time in the oven
1 October 2013
Conclusion: The bet Samsung seems to be placing every generation is that periodic software updates will massage away the hiccups and deficits of today's hardware and software. Further, it bets that the next generation hardware will catch up and be able to do well what last year’s model did so-so. But we’re not reviewing next year’s model, nor are we reviewing the software update that’s undoubtedly already in the works. We’re reviewing a shipping product.
Pros: Charming 10.1-inch 2560×1600 display, Better proportions than previous Samsung tablets, and the textured back offers plenty to grip, A capable stylus experience, More widgets, gestures, and usage paradigms than you can shake a stick at
Cons: Janky and unresponsive UI, Faux-leather and faux-chrome are forgettable, Hard to care about the features when they either don't work well or don't add value, Benchmark optimizations are poor form..., ...particularly when scores still fall behind the competition.
Excerpt: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is a 10-inch (1280x800 pixels) Android tablet that comes with the S Pen stylus that offers superior precision (when compared to generic capacitive styluses). In addition, it also sports a 1.4Ghz dual-core processor, 3.2-megapixel rear-facing camera, 2-megapixel front-facing one, HSPA, Wi-Fi, 16-64 GB of built-in storage and a memory card slot.
Pros: Verizon 4G LTE network is incredibly fast, 32GB microSD card included, Integrated kickstand works in portrait and landscape
Cons: Battery life is among the worst we�ve ever seen, No 4G LTE power toggle option, Kickstand in landscape orientation blocks microUSB port
Summary: Samsung does a lot right with the Galaxy Note 10.1, but also does several key things poorly. If you're heavily invested in the Android and Verizon ecosystem, then the Note 10.1 is a great option. But...
Pros: Good battery life, Excellent performance, TouchWiz adds very useful features
Cons: Cheap design, Poor display, Pricey for what you get
Conclusion: At $499 the Galaxy Note 10.1 is far from cheap (and that’s on contract even). Also, the display is lower resolution than many competing high-end Android tablets (and even a growing number of Android phones now). Video buffs and those looking for a more premium (looking and feeling) piece of hardware will be better served by devices like Google’s Nexus 10 tablet or Acer’s Iconia Tab A700 to name a couple.
Summary: The Galaxy Note 10.1 for Verizon features a host of new updates, including improved S Pen functionality and greater multitasking capabilities. However, you can get all of these goodies on the Wi-Fi-only version. If you want 4G LTE built in instead of using your phone as a hotspot or dedicated hotspot device, the Note 10.1 has the speed you need. This tablet can also do a lot more than the iPad out of the box, thanks to the S Pen.
Pros: Excellent S Pen integration, All-day battery life on Wi-Fi, Included apps are top-notch, Solid multitasking experience
Cons: Lower-resolution display than competitors, Relatively short battery life over 4G LTE, Plastic chassis