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Galaxy Note 10.1 specs and full review

Updated on January 8, 2014

Samsung has tried to dominate tablets market having already launched several Galaxy Tab models with different sizes. When several assaults to try to overthrow iPad hegemony proved ineffective, the brand decided to pick Galaxy Note´s winning concept and apply it to a larger device.

The manufacturer "has imported" the S Pen and touch technology from the TAB range and launched Galaxy Note 10.1, a tablet like other tablets but with the S Pen extra factor. Can this add-on make a difference in a highly competitive market and ultimately marked by smaller and cheaper devices?

Definitely, Samsung does not have the same success in tablets as it has in smartphones. Just an example: the South Korean brand is constantly emphasizing the very positive numbers that their mobile devices have reached, but this accounting euphoria is not shared by their tablets division.

Galaxy Note 10.1 specs / review

This review will focus mainly on the concept and functionality of the S Pen, as in other fields the arguments are more or less known: an Ice Cream Sandwich Android tablet with last generations specifications (Galaxy Note 10.1 specs are shown in the above image) - 1.4 Ghz Quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 5 megapixel rear camera and support for 3G networks.

(Attention: there is a WiFi only Galaxy Note 10.1 model).


In the digital era, S Pen makes the difference again

S Pen comes integrated inside the tablet, in an own "smart" compartment - whenever the pen is removed or put in place the device detects the action and emits a notification sound. Besides, when S Pen is removed, a set of applications are opened on the right side of the screen, which are specific for S Pen use.

S Note, S Planner, Crayon Physics, Photoshop Touch and Polaris Office are some of the mobile softwares that were developed to be compatible with Samsung device. In the operating system options you can set the initialization of a specific application when the S Pen is removed from the tablet - open Photoshop Touch only, for example.

Here Samsung did well and covered the possibility of a more general use of different apps and also the more specific use by someone who wants the mobile device to a specific task, whether for job or entertainment.

And these two concepts are important. The tablet, as a device, is seen mostly as an equipment facing the entertainment and media consumption, but with the Note style approach, Samsung tried to give a more work and business concept to the equipment.

Yet the boundaries are clear regarding the use of the S Pen in different jobs. For a mechanic, a baker or a housekeeping neither the tablet nor the S Pen bring advantages, but for a designer, an analyst or an executive who has to be dealing with information constantly, it´s justified the use of a more specific tool.

There are some features that can be performed with the S Pen and that are useful to handle some data. Pressing the S Pen button and pressing the S Pen against the screen for two seconds, a screenshot is made, and it´s automatically exported to an image editing application. There, the user can add notes, make reminders or simply highlight content that is important.

There are other "commands" that run through the S Pen. Pressing S Pen side button and tapping twice on the screen, opens the S Note application, which allows you to take notes quickly - as the latest generation Galaxy Note 10.1 specs allow commands to be executed almost instantaneously.

Even though these movements are not enough or the user isn´t familiarized yet, there is an application bar hidden at the end of the screen that allows a prompt access to production applications while other apps are running.


Work and play side by side

The cadence for the productive side is also marked through the option of putting two applications side by side, evoking the true concept of multitasking. So you can be watching a video and writing or drawing at the same time, or editing a document and sharing excerpts by email.

In this issue of side by side apps, the user will quickly discover that: or he doesn´t uses the functionality or he will wish that all applications could be executed in this mode.


S Pen writes well but represents poorly

S Pen´s precision is impressive and it shows that digital pens technology, although it´s not yet at its peak, it´s already in a good development state. Result of 1024 recognizing points that the screen has, shortly after the user gets used to the S Pen he will be writing on the tablet with a similar handwriting to that applied in paper.

The reproduction speed of the manuscripts is unsatisfactory: it´s notorious, though reduced, the existence of lag between what is written and its representation on the screen. But this difference is far from annoying and far from being a negative point. Comparing to what exists in other devices, it has to be seen as a very positive factor.

But if the goal is to create images, designs and produce multimedia contents above average, then I have to give a negative grade to Samsung for its Note 10.1 weak screen. Its 1280x800 pixels resolution is nowadays blasted by other tablets, including the Nexus 10 that the company developed in partnership with Google.

Galaxy Note 10.1 specs and review - The verdict

It´s fair to say that the concept of a tablet with S Pen is interesting and it has its practical advantages, especially on a large screen tablet. Instead of using your fingers to touch the device´s screen, you use your fingers to grip the S Pen - which gives another level of accuracy and even another status.

But at the same time, the accusations that this model is still underdeveloped are valid, despite the existence of some applications. The software seems to be the big problem since touch technology and S Pen itself are quite good.

Samsung itself recognizes this fault and will provide a Premium Suite to Galaxy Note 10.1 with features that are already available on the Galaxy Note 2: pop up video, Airview and other commands that can be executed with the S Pen.

Once the update is made, Galaxy Note 10.1 will become a more complete device but it will continue with its main problem: It´s not intended for all "audiences" and it´s not stunning enough to have a place on the "Olympus" of tablets. But the S Pen certainly guarantees it a place at the historic memorial of these mobile devices.


Now, speak your mind about these Galaxy Note 10.1 specs and review!!!

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