The first Samsung Galaxy Note was a resounding success and proved that there was room in the market for a hybrid device, which combined the best of both phones and tablets. However, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is more tablet than phone, as it comes with a 10.1-inch display. The stylus, however, is still there. Will the 10.1-inch avatar of the Note repeat the success of its predecessor?
The overall look of the tablet is impressive. The 10.1 inch display is surrounded by white panels on the sides and there is no hardware key on the front of the device at all, giving it a minimalistic look. Two speaker grills are smartly placed on the front panel. The proximity sensor and camera are placed above the display, right in the middle. The tablet is designed to be held in landscape mode with the power/lock but-ton, volume rocker, microSD card slot, 3.5 mm audio jack, infrared port and SIM card slot, all placed on the top, while the charging slot is on the lower portion. The back panel is plain white with the camera and flash on a silver lining. The S Pen, as Samsung terms the stylus, slots into the bottom right corner of the tablet. The tablet is comfortable to hold, is not bulky, and is solidly built.
Hardware: Solid for the price
As its name suggests, the tablet comes with a 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 1280×800 pixels, which is the same as was found in the smaller screened Note (a bit disappointing). Powering the tablet is a 1.4 GHz quad-core Cortex A-9 processor, backed up by 2 GB RAM and a Mali 400 MP GPU. Our review model came with 16 GB storage, which can be expanded using a memory card. The tablet comes with support for SIM cards allowing you to make calls from it. The tablet supports quad band 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, infrared (yes, you can use it as a remote control), and also has support for HDMI TV-out and USB host, although the last two need adapters, which have to be purchased separately.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 runs on Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich and comes with Samsung TouchWiz UI. The navigation keys are placed in the bottom left corner of the screen and the app drawer is on the top right of the screen and notification settings menu is on the bot-tom right of the display. A task bar is also given on the lower part of the screen which lets you access mini apps that can be set as per the userâ€™s need and choice. The S Pen in Note 10.1 comes in a rede-signed avatar with a longer shape with round-ed edges. It also has a button to perform vari-ous functions like taking screenshots, enabling gestures, and drawing. Multiple nibs for S Pen have also been provided in the sales pack. We were highly impressed with the multi-screen feature as it let users access two different apps at the same time. There are five apps that sup-port the multi-screen feature – Video Player, Polaris Office, Gallery, S Memo and e-mail, and any one of them can be selected while using any other feature on the tablet. The tablet also comes with some interesting pre-loaded apps like Dropbox and Photoshop Touch.
multimedia: Hitting the right notes
The Galaxy Note 10.1 does very well in the multimedia department. The music player shows different options like playlists, albums, artists and genres. Sound settings lets you set different sound effects like pop, rock, and classic. The video player of the device supports DivX/XviD/MKV formats and is capable of playing HD videos with ease and with impressive clarity. We found the audio quality impressive in both earphone and loudspeaker mode. The Galaxy Note 10.1 features a 5.0-mega-pixel main camera that takes decent pictures, but is not exceptional. It comes with a number of shooting modes such as Smile shot, Panorama, and Cartoon, as well as photo effects like negative, black and white and sepia.The device also has 1.9 megapixel secondary camera for video calling. As far as video recording is concerned, the tablet captures videos at 720p at 30 fps – again a bit of a letdown, as we had expected full HD video at this price.
user experience: Delightful
Our experience with Note 10.1 was very good. However, we took some time to get the grip of the interface. The S Pen functionality and multi-screen feature work very well and the device works at a decent clip, thanks to the powerful processor within. The tablet has 7000 mAh battery whose performance was good too.