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The New Galaxy Note 10.1 – The Best Tablet In The Market Today


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If you are looking to buy an excellent 10.1 inch tablet that also allows you to write and convert your handwriting, then you should read this equally excellent and detailed Galaxy Note 10.1 review.

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The New Galaxy Note 10.1 – The Best Tablet In The Market Today

  1. 1. The New Galaxy Note 10.1 – The Best Tablet In The Market Today“The result after 3 days of use is "amazing." This should be the flagship/standard of Android tablets.” - Takashi TakahashiBy Lionel McPhersonSamsung has just released the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet recently. If you are lookingto buy an excellent 10.1 inch tablet that also allows you to write and convert yourhandwriting, then you should read this equally excellent and detailed Galaxy Note 10.1review by Takashi Takahashi before you buy this new Galaxy note from Samsung.Note that the Samsung Note 10.1 is the tablet version while the Samsung Galaxy Note II isthe hand held version. Page 1 of 11
  2. 2. 5.0 out of 5 stars The best tablet not because of S-pen nor multitask(compared to transformer infinity), August 19, 2012By Takashi Takahashi============= Updates ================9/3/2012Week 2 update1. S-pen - So I still dont use this feature on the Samsung Note 10.1, but just for fun I tried.Quickly, this is the closest to paper as it can get. See the updated section of "handwriting".2. Windows 8 Tablets - Since recent IFA Berlin showed several upcoming Windows 8tablets, I have decided to give a quick comparison to them.3. Future Potential - During IFA Berlin, Samsung announced the Jellybean update on theGalaxy Note 10.1 is coming "very soon (changed from this year)" & showed many coolfeatures of upcoming Galaxy Note 2 (handheld) device features, which most likely beincluded in the Galaxy Samsung Note 10.1 as well. See Future potential section for detail.8/24/2012After one full week of use, here is quick update.1. Stability - The stability of this system is amazing. I had only a single crush of stockbrowser, which at this point could even be my error of clicking pushing button by accident.Even on the iPad 2, I still had at least 1 or 2 freeze/crush every other day or so. So this isactually the most stable tablet/system I have ever used.2. Lack of HD Screen - After 1 week of use, I had hoped that I would forget about myexperience with HD Screen on Transformer Infinity. Unfortunately this isnt the case.Whenever I browse and open a web page, I simply have to zoom in to be able really readthings, which again wasnt the case with HD screen. So yes. It is really noticeable.At this point, I can say basically Galaxy Samsung Note 10.1 is pretty much superior toTransformer Infinity in every aspect except HD screen. However, the screen is one of themajor point so the choice still remains to be a bit hard. But once experiencing the stability &speed of Galaxy Note 10.1, I dont think I can go back to infinity or any other android tabletthat gives us freeze or crush every hour.============= Vs. Upcoming Windows 8 Tablets ============I was actually hoping with IFA, at least one of windows 8 tablet announced be my dreamsystem i.e. customizability & flexibility of android, solid 8+ hours battery life, portability,stability, speed and full HD screen.In short, no system met this criteria. The major systems are ASUS Vivo series and SamsungAtiv series. Among these, only Samsung Ativ Smart Pro is the only one has full HD screenthat Galaxy Samsung Note 10.1 lacks. However, this system like other full Windows 8edition tablets are much heavier, battery life is mere 5 hours DVD play time, and price is over$1100.Other tablets that are portable, and has good battery life are usually Windows RT versions.Given how stable Android OS on Galaxy Samsung Note 10.1, stability is no longercomparison point. Just like iOS vs. Android, it becomes applications. Windows RT editiononly runs Metro specific applications. Though they will certainly grow, it will likely to take Page 2 of 11
  3. 3. sometime. Given the rapid change in the technology, if you decide to buy a system with ahope that the application will come, you may end up not enjoying your system as by the timeapplications flourish on the metro market, there may be better spec systems with cheaperprice. Furthermore, it appears no Windows RT based system have stylus support.So in conclusion, though Windows 8 tablets are not inferior by any means, there is noupcoming Windows 8 tablet at this point that I can say "absolutely better" than the GalaxyNote 10.1 or even Transformer Infinity. Both tablet have still their own places and targetaudiences.============= Original Review Below =====================Quick background of myself, I had recently purchased a Transformer Infinity as upgradefrom my iPad 2, and Samsung Galaxy 10.1 4G. It was a great tablet of its own, but hadcouple major negatives for the purpose of my use. So I had to seek for alternative. Given myrelative unhappiness with Galaxy 10.1 original and 4G, I was a bit sceptical about GalaxyNote 10.1 but decided to give a chance. The result after 3 days of use is "amazing." Thisshould be the flagship/standard of Android tablets.In the review of Transformer Infinity, I have discussed about iOS ecosystem vs. Androidecosystem. In here, I am actually going to focus on comparing to the transformer infinity,which is by many major review sites rated as the best android tablet. And I see several peopleare considering this vs. the infinity.WARNING: Do not trust some reviews you read on the websites. I just do not experience/seethe issues what some reviewers are saying.============ Summary ===============Compared to Transformer InfinityStrength+Battery life+Stability+Speed+Audio/SpeakerWeakness-No HD screen-Samsungs very slow software update-UITie*Build Quality*Overall hardware spec*Future potentialNote: I did not mention S-pen nor multitasking here because I personally dont use S-pen, andmultitasking is good but you can do pretty much the same with applications on the market onany android device. Page 3 of 11
  4. 4. Conclusion:Do you want android tablet?Are you ok with not having HD display?Can you afford the price?If yes to all three, then this is the tablet to get.=========== Detail Review ================1. Battery LifeThis is one feature I really could not tolerate on the Infinity. It lasted 5 hours if I only use thebrowser. If I play games, it lasted only 3 hours. Watching video or reading ebook without anybrowsing is the only way to get close to 9.5 hours documented on the specification. But inreality, I always surf net, so generally I can never get more than 6 hours from 100% fullcharge. Galaxy Note 10.1s battery life is amazing. Over 6 hours of screen time I was still at50% one time. Second time 9 hours of screen time including 2 hours of gaming, 3 hours ofconstant almost pure browsing, 2+ hours of local video, and rest are ebook reading, I stillhave 30% battery left. This will undoubtedly gives me 10+ hours of browsing time. In fact, Iam guessing this can even give 12+ hours easily unless I play games. Even with gamingprobably 8-9 hours.Some review claims battery hours on this much shorter, or even compatible to the Infinity.My guess on this is that they only either compared video play not included browsing but eventhen the number wont differ much. So the most likely explanation is they used the 3Gversion of Galaxy Note 10.1.In any event, battery life on the Galaxy Note 10.1 is simply amazing. One key selling pointon Transformer series is the docking station, which has extra power. But specificallycomparing to the Transformer Infinity, I think galaxy note battery life is likely to match andperhaps even beat that of Infinity with docking station.Winner: Galaxy Note 10.12. StabilityThis is in fact the biggest selling point of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. I was alwaysunder the impression that by choosing Android ecosystem over the iOS, one thing we have togive up is the stability. So when I initially got the Infinity, I had a hope but the hope ofstability quickly went away. Browser crushed/froze every hour or so. Other applications alsofroze and crushed. In the android world, I guess its called application not responding (ANR)error. I dont think infinity had any more of ANR than the my old Galaxy 10.1 but definitelydid not seem less.To my surprise, Galaxy Note 10.1 is actually extremely stable. In fact, I have used so farapproximately 20-30 hours and have not encountered a single ANR nor crush. Having stableAndroid system is just an amazing. Page 4 of 11
  5. 5. Winner: Galaxy Note 10.13. ScreenIf you have never used HD display tablet such as the new iPad, Transformer Infinity orACER Iconia A700, you would probably not notice. But after using them for awhile, thesharpness of text produced by these high definition screen are certainly noticeable. WithInfinity, I can load a page and without zooming in, I can basically read an entire page becausethe resolution is so good. But with the Galaxy Note 10.1 , everything looks somewhat blurryso I have to zoom in to really read.This is a huge disadvantage of the Galaxy Note 10.1 and perhaps, the reason why every otheraspect on Galaxy Note 10.1 is better than Infinity because it does not have to drive HD. Ifyou need a HD screen android tablet, you have to go with the Transformer Infinity. Eventhere is not much HD specific applications right now, you will notice the difference on everyday use.Winner: Transformer Infinity4. SpeedAfter doing some custom tweek on my Infinity, browsing on Infinity became much faster (atleast so it seems). When it is at maximum speed, the Infinity and Galaxy browsers loadedpages in equal speed. I tested this by simply going to the same site at same time for a couplepages. But after a couple hours of use, the Infinity browser always seemed to slow down orcrush. This does not depend on which browser I used; stock, Chrome, Opera, Firefox beta,Dolphin beta etc. The benchmark sort of shows this. Sunspider benchmark of the Infinity wasdecently fast so the browser should be fast, which again it was when working. But GalaxyNote 10.1s Sunspider result is simply in another dimension. Its even faster than new iPad.Since stock is so well on the Galaxy Note, I have not really tried much else on my GalaxyNote 10.1.Another example: I use Mantano Reader for my ebook reading. With Infinity, I could notopen couple files. One was 50MB, the other was 400MB. It simply took forever and gave meANR. If I was lucky and got it working after awhile, it only showed a couple pages and thencrush. I sent an email to Mantano asking for a fix as I could not believe with such high specon the Infinity this can be an issue. In fact, some files larger than 50MB opened fine on theMantano. Furthermore, other PDF applications such as Repligo, Adobe Reader opened thesefiles fine as well. So I had good reasons to blame on application itself. But the same fileopens instantaneously on the Galaxy Note 10.1 and obviously no crush or ANR.So despite infinity being fast system on its own, I have to give this one also to Galaxy Note.Winner: Galaxy Note 10.15. Audio/SpeakerSpeaker on the Infinity was simply a weakness. So any system can win over this. I am notexpert on sound system, so all I cared was whether I can hear my sounds loud enough. WithInfinity, some of my video files were only barely audible even with maximum sound setting Page 5 of 11
  6. 6. if there are any background sounds. This was different from any other tablet I owned. GalaxyNote 10.1 is just like others and I had no problem hearing the sounds. It is what I expected.With Infinity I had issues on listening to a video file that was on the micro SD using myheadset. Every minute or two, I hear small but definitely noticeable "beep beep." This wasfixed by copying files locally to the device. But this sort of defeats the purpose of micro SD...This issue is not there with the Galaxy Note 10.1. So I can keep my video files on the microSD.Winner: Galaxy Note 10.16. Software UpdateNo one can beat ASUS. Their reputation on the software update is the best of all androidtablet makers. In fact, they have already released jellybean on one of the transformer lines. Soit probably wont be too long for Infinity either. This will for surely be true for OS afterjellybean as well. In addition, Nexus 7 is made by ASUS and has very similar specification toTransformer Prime, so future proof in terms of software update on infinity is the best on themarket.In comparison, Samsung is one of the worst in terms of software update. One main reason isthat they make their own touch wiz customization. The original Samsung Galaxy 10.1 justrecently got ice cream sandwich. Samsung announced that Galaxy Note will be gettingJellybean by end of the year, so we will get it but I dont count on the time. As far as the OSafter Jellybean, who knows when we may get it but that would be even further down the roadand it may even become irrelevant at the point.Winner: Transformer InfinityHowever, there is a catch on this. If the actual software is working perfectly, do we reallyneed/care about newer OS? I was looking forward to Jellybean when I had Infinity because Ithought it would make the system faster, and possibly more stable. However, Galaxy Note10.1 is already extremely fast, and has perfect stability. So I am not sure if I am much to lookforward to in Jellybean.7. User InterfaceTransformer Infinity uses near stock interface. Their widgets are very clean. I loved theirtransparent weather, and date widget. Touch Wiz on the other hand, I dont think as pretty.Samsung Weather widget just dont fit well. This may be personal preference though.Winner: Transformer Infinity8. Build QualityThe actual external appearance of the tablet goes to Infinity. The metallic Zen design is reallygreat. It does look like expensive tablet. On the other hand, Samsung has plastic and I evenhad my port plastic broken one time on my Galaxy 10.1 4G. Clearly, it is not common placefor accidental damage as it is simply so hard to break the piece by intention. But Samsungtotally refused to fix it and asked for $100 to fix this even though I only had the tablet for 5 Page 6 of 11
  7. 7. months. So I am sceptical for the durability of plastic tablet.However, quality assurance seems better on Samsung. I had to try two Infinity. Both had lightbleed, one had loose screen i.e. I can get click sound by pressing corner, sticking button (firstone was volume, second one was power). According to XDA forum, this was very prevalentissue and pretty much most people had one or other. On the Galaxy Note 10.1 I had none ofthese, and seemed like forum is also pointing to the same direction with very minimalcomplain on these matters.Winner: Tie9. Overall Hardware SpecificationThis is technical aspect. No matter what the specification is, in the end user experience iseverything; however, hardware spec can definitely affect the experience. Generally speakingtwo are similar with one better on one regard and other on the other.CPU: Tie - Atuntu scores are basically the same.GPU: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 - Galaxy Note 10.1 has the best GPU in any of Androidtablet on the market right now. Still not up to the level of the new iPad. Given it has to pushless pixels compared to Infinity, stronger GPU further makes difference. Having said this, Idont think there is any application on android market currently that pushes to their graphicallimit. So not sure if extra GPU power makes much difference.I/O: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 - Supposedly I/O issue has been discussed on transformerseries before Infinity. But Infinity still has it. It had improved with the latest firmware, butnot solved. There is speculation that this is indeed hardware level of issue i.e. can go only somuch. The speculation is coming from an XDA developer who tested running things off highspeed SD card that gave much boost in the functions when compared to local storage i.e.Flash storage is the conundrum. This is reflected on the benchmark. The Infinity had RLbenchmark score of 80-90s with the latest firmware (originally like 120s). Galaxy Note 10.1has 20s. This actually does affect daily use as you save file, access file all requires readingand writing from flash drive. Obviously, Infinity is not 4 times slower than Galaxy Note butthis may be reason why my PDF file opened fine on Mantano with Galaxy Note 10.1 but noton Infinity.Memory: Samsung Galaxy Note - 2GB. Since most tablets still have 1GB memory, we wontlikely to see anything that require 2GB memory for awhile. So it is only helpful whenopening multiple applications i.e. you may be able to cache more application than before butotherwise, I am not sure if this helps much.Screen: Transformer Infinity - See above.In any event, both hardware are the best in the market right now. If these two systems cannothandle any more update, application etc. then pretty much nothing else on the market canhandle them any more either. So as far as hardware goes, both are relatively future proof. Page 7 of 11
  8. 8. 10. Future PotentialASUS, the maker of Infinity, makes Nexus 7 and again it has similar spec as the Infinitysancestor Transformer Prime. So it should have good support from Google as well as futureapplication makers. Furthermore, recently ASUS became the Playstation partner. So you willlikely to see more Playstation games on it.Galaxy Note 10.1 on the other hand is made by Samsung, who makes one of the most popularsmartphone: the Samsung Galaxy Series. Since Galaxy Note and SIII etc. uses Exynos CPUdesign and the number of unit sold are so high, android software developers will/shouldcontinue support them and hence, also supporting Galaxy Note 10.1.Update (9/3): Samsung just recently announced it is bringing Jellybean to Galaxy Note 10.1"very soon." No solid time here, but compared to "this year", this sounds much moreimminent. Only the time will tell, but it would be interesting how quickly Samsung can makethe update to change its reputation here.More interestingly, Galaxy Note 2 (handheld) device was just recently officially announcedby Samsung. This device is very similar to the Galaxy Note 10.1. So new features coming tothe Galaxy Note 2 is highly likely to be added to Galaxy Note 10.1 as well. If you areinterested in seeing what these features are, search for [GALAXY Note II] First Hands-onVideo by Samsung on Youtube. These features appear very unique (at least to me).Winner: Tie11. HandwritingFor those of you who thinks S-pen is just another stylus, it is not. You can never write assmall on iPad, or Infinity because simply technology is different. So those who wants to haveclosest to the real pen and paper experience, you need inductive pen device like Galaxy Note.Updated 9/3/2012Coming from the background of looking into tablet PC when still relatively new (back to thewindows XP era), one thing I can say to test whether stylus/pen on screen truly work or not iswrite as small as you can and see if the tablet can recognize your writing. The conventionaltouch screen tablet like iPad, most of android tablet including transformer infinity, you willquickly notice the smallest you can write is not so small. You have some applications toconvert your bigger drawn handwriting into smaller text, but it certainly is not sameexperience as you were to write on the paper.Since I had time with this tablet, I had a chance to try this. Well, the smallest the tabletrecognizes is the smallest I can write. So in this sense, Samsung did phenomenal job.Perhaps, this may be the reason why they could not include full HD screen.Winner: Galaxy Note============== Other less important features =================Other things that I personally dont think much important are followings: Page 8 of 11
  9. 9. 1. Split ScreenThere are many applications on the Google Play that already allows you to watch video,browse web, take note etc. while opening other window. So it is nice to include as a freefeature and emphasize such feature exist, but Galaxy Notes built in applications are limitedto certain applications. For instance, I cannot use the built in browser to watch a flash moviewhile I read ebook. However, if I buy overskreen I can do that. And overskreen is supportedon Transformer Infinity as well. So I dont think split screen should be decision maker foranyone.2. Keyboard dockThis is mainly the feature of the transformer series. But Samsung does make keyboard docks.Galaxy Note 10.1 version is not out yet, but it is in the process. The difference is that GalaxyNote one (probably) wont have extra battery. But I dont think it needs that as by tablet alonelast so long and probably even longer than the Infinity with dock. Form factor goes to theTransformer as it attaches and closes like laptop. My personal opinion about this is, it doesntreally make difference. If I need keyboard I can still carry it. The total weight is the same. Soanother factor, I dont think should be decision maker.=============== Conclusion ==================Given the stability and speed, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 truly provides the real androidexperience. No crush, freeze is really nice and I forgot how nice it was. Galaxy Note 10.1achieves this goal. Battery life is phenomenal too. Lack of HD is definitely a minus; however,it may be necessary as even Galaxy note having the best GPU among all the android tabletout there right now, it still does not match that of new Ipad, and probably there is a reasonwhy apple had to put such powerful GPU on it. Other HD Android devices may be sufferingfrom relative instability (compared to zero crush on the Galaxy Note 10.1) because theysimply dont have enough hardware power i.e. the technology is just simply not there. So it isa trade off/decision you have to make. But if you can give up on the HD screen, this is thebest Android Tablet on the market! Page 9 of 11
  10. 10. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 - Product Features andTechnical DetailsProduct Features Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 10.1 inch Display,S Pen included Samsung Tablet 1.4 GHz Quad-Core Processor 2 GB RAM Memory, 32GB On-Board Memory Camera Front: 1.9 MP, Back: 5 MPProcessor, Memory, and Motherboard Hardware Platform: PC Processor: 1.4 GHz Tablet Processor Number of Processors: 1 RAM: 1 GB RAM Type: SDRAMHard Drive Size: 32 GB Manufacturer: SSD Type: Serial ATACases and Expandability Size (LWH): 7.09 inches, 0.35 inches, 10.32 inches Weight: 1.31 poundsPower Battery Type: Nonstandard BatteryWireless Wireless Type: 802.11bgn Page 10 of 11
  11. 11. Where To Get Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1?You can get the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet at most electronics stores. However it iseasier to order online. Many online merchants sell the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 but I wouldlike to recommend buying it from Amazon. The reason is due to Amazons refund policywhereby you can get refunds for the product you purchase if it is not up to your expectation(check out the details at Amazon).Click here or the image below to buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 from Amazon.If you still need a more information on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, check out this link forextensive and comprehensive information. Page 11 of 11