Samsung Galaxy Note

Its new, its from Samsung and its processor is faster than Usain Bolt after the olympics (we measured it). Presenting the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, the newest hero in tablet town.

By Chris Messenger | Published 28/09/2012

The Good

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Split screen multitasking

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Great specification

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The "S" Pen works great

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Great alternative to iPad

The Bad

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Tablet slow when multitasking

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Few apps support multitasking

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Despite specs the cameras are poor

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Price puts it up against New iPad

 

 

The pre-loaded apps (especially Photoshop) work very well and seem to have been chosen to enhance the experience of the new user instead of simply being selected on name recognition or sponsorship deals.

The Specs

The beating (some might say palpitating) heart of the Galaxy Note is a quad-core Arm 7100 1.4 GHz processor. This makes it one of the fastest tablet PCs around (average speed is 1.2 GHz) and will therefore handle multiple tasks that much easier than most of its nearest rivals.

 

On top of this, the Galaxy Note features Samsung’s innovative ‘S Note’ technology. ‘S Note’ is a stylus-based program that allows you to create high tech, high concept ‘collages’. It does so by utilizing an interactive sketchbook (as well as web content and digital images) to build a multimedia ‘picture’ of your chosen concept. The practical applications for this are actually numerous, creative users can build expansive ‘mind maps’ that will help keep track of all those wayward ideas, students can build skeletal essay frameworks by linking together research, journals and web content and business professionals can use this program to help create intriguing presentations (which you can then display after purchasing an HDMI adaptor). You can even use it to annotate e-books and online (or even streamed) content. You’ll probably have to play around with it a bit to reach the program’s full potential (and some of our suggestions here are actually untested) but we’re sure that you can do all this and more with the ‘S Note’ program.

 

As far as apps go, the ‘Samsung Suggest’ program will even seek out the best apps for you (depending on your individual requirements) and, of course, this tablet will give you full access to the Android’s entire selection of apps. Though quite how many that actually is has become a subject of much recent debate. It is certainly not as many as the iPad (which now has over 130,000 compatible apps, if you include iPhone apps into the bargain) and may have been as little as 300 only last year, according to ‘New York Times’ reporter David Pogue. In any instance, Google aren’t talking.

 

The Galaxy Note 10.1 also features Android 4.0, or ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’, which means that its operating system will be bang up to date (and, as 4.0 is brand new, it will probably stay that way for quite a while).

 

This tablet has a decent 16GB of internal memory, but this can be considerably improved with the purchase of a MicroSD card. The slot for which also cleverly doubles as an HDMI port.

 

 

The Price

Released last month at £400, the Note has already come down in price to £389. This is a lot of money, but perhaps not too much for what the Samsung Galaxy Note actually offers the user...

 

The Galaxy Note 10.1 also features Android 4.0, or ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’, which means that its operating system will be bang up to date (and, as 4.0 is brand new, it will probably stay that way for quite a while).

The Performance

The first thing you’ll notice when you fire up the new Note is that the 1280 x 800 resolution screen is absolutely beautiful, stunning really. Only the latest iPad has a better screen than this. Everything shimmers into life with a detail and resolution that will honestly make your head spin. We were amazed to learn that some reviews panned the screen entirely, which is something that we just don’t understand.

 

This tablet actually trips over itself to help you as well, with everything you need being easy to find and even easier to operate. Those with no prior Android experience may find ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ to be a bit jarring, or even alienating at first, but we assure you that it is worth persevering with. Likewise, everything on ‘S Note’ is drag and drop and the program couldn’t be more user friendly unless it actually did all of your work for you.

 

The ‘S Pen’ stylus is intuitive and user friendly and it easy to see why Samsung are so proud of it.

The Internet connectivity is smooth and responsive but, like all tablets, is prone to the odd hiccup.

The pre-loaded apps (especially Photoshop) work very well and seem to have been chosen to enhance the experience of the new user instead of simply being selected on name recognition or sponsorship deals. The other available apps (many of which are free) like the e-book reader and the sketchpad app will also improve your experience. Pretty much any stylus-friendly app is worth downloading to this tablet, as this pen is probably the best in the biz right now.

 

What Over Users Say

Heading over to our friends at Amazon, we were unsurprised to see that the Galaxy Note has a perfect aggregate score of 5/5. This is based on 9 customer reviews, all of which offer a perfect score. Since there isn’t much comparing and contrasting to be done, we’ll simply share a few of our favourite quotes here.

 

K. Monet: “The pen works very well, especially since note taking can be locked to pen mode only. Handwriting recognition is the best I've seen, only annoyance is spacing, it should auto space after the last word in a stream, but otherwise it can be as fast as writing, and I've tested it with ten friends and no matter the writing style it gets close enough you can see it would work”.

 

L. Woolridge: “I've carried out a few different battery life checks. I charged my Galaxy Note 10.1 up to 100% before i went to sleep at midnight and by morning (8 hours later) it had dropped to only 97%. That very day i used it very sparingly to just check the time and to do a quick browse whilst at work between 9AM and 5PM and the battery only dropped down to about 90%”.

 

Andreas Iacovou: “I like the clever split screen function, the amazing quad-core processor which flies, the intuitive S-Pen works very well and included is great selection of pre-installed s-pen focused apps. I have to say is also a cool looking device and feels well made although perhaps a tad ‘plasticy’”.

 

Our Verdict

All things considered, this is one of the best tablets we’ve seen. It is swift, clean, modern and simple. You might want to wait for it to drop in price a little, but if you have the money to hand now, then we don’t think you’ll be at all disappointed. This is an excellent tablet for students, creative types and users with a more ‘hands on’ mindset and seems to have been delicately engineered to be a complete and total joy to use. Exquisite.

 

 

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Tags: Samsung Galaxy Note Tablet PC Review, Tablet PC Review

 

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