The "1-Minute" Review
The 2014 Edition of the Galaxy Note 10.1 is more than a simple upgrade from its predecessor of the same name; it is a complete overhaul and the device is better for it. While the Tab series is firmly mid-tier, the new Note 10.1 aims to rule the new tablet market. With 3GB of RAM, a quad- or octa-core processor, up to 64GB of internal storage, support for microSD cards and a stunning 2560-by-1600 resolution Super Clear LCD display, the device leads the spec roundups of most current tablets. Alex Dobie of AndroidCentral says “even if you’re not going to use the S Pen all the time, the new Galaxy Note 10.1 looks to be a strong Android tablet offering in the large form factor space.”
The list of features doesn’t stop there. S-Pen, Air Command, 1080p video recording, 4g LTE Cat4 support, GPS+Glonass, an 8-megapixel rear camera, front-facing 2-megapixel camera dual-band N and AC wireless support and infrared ports round out the offerings. If there is a feature available, Samsung has made sure the new Note 10.1 supports it. While these features might seem like a bit of overkill, Samsung’s use of TouchWiz and Android 4.3 make it easy to access new features and push the productivity of your tablet. A massive 8,220-mAh battery, even with the high-resolution display, offers more than enough power for a full day’s use.
One of the best examples comes from the ability to display multiple apps at once. Options include splitting the screen with two apps or drawing windows with the S-Pen for windowed access to a variety of apps, including YouTube, a calculator and more. When in landscape mode, capacitive buttons at the bottom of the display help make switching between apps and launching features a snap. Sascha Segan of PC Magazine notes “Multitasking has really blossomed as well, boosted by a fast processor (a 1.9GHz octa-core on the WiFi version, a 2.3GHz quad-core on the LTE models).”
When it comes to device design and materials, Samsung appears to be moving away from the pure plastic design in a few areas. The back of the device features a grippy faux-leather texture and chrome-color accents around the side add some additional styling as well. Brad Molen of Engadget says “While this likely doesn't add anything to the tab's overall durability, it at least exudes more of a ‘classy’ look -- though it isn't a perfect solution to a lengthy build quality concern, we at least prefer this over the previous model's glossy plastic, which loved fingerprints more than life itself.”
The Good: Cutting-edge hardware, beautiful display, S-Pen input, great battery life and a bounty multitasking features.
The Bad: Still plenty of plastic to be found, hardware button in portrait orientation is awkward, S-Pen can be a little difficult to retrieve and redundant pre-installed apps waste storage space.