SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 10.1 : First look

When Samsung released the Galaxy Note last year, many had thought that it would not sell especially due to its size. But it did. It was an instant hit among the people who wanted the features of a tab and a smartphone. By August this year 10 million Notes were sold all over the world. Banking on this, Samsung brought out the Galaxy Note 10.1, which has made Samsung’s tablet line look better.

DESIGN

Design wise, Samsung have done a really good job with the Note 10.1. It looks far better than the previous tabs manufactured by Samsung. They have also used some of the features from their previous devices too. One of those design features is the thick bezel surrounding the display, which can also be seen in their previous tabs. The bezel in the Note 10.1 is surrounded by a metallic looking plastic which encloses the two speakers on either side.

The power button, volume rocker, micro-SD card slot, the IR blaster, 3.5mm audio jack and the SIM slot are located on top of the tablet.

The dock-connecter and the S-pen slot are located at the bottom of the tablet. With all the buttons and slots located at the top and bottom, Samsung has kept the sides free so that users can hold on to the device firmly without accidentally pushing any of the buttons.

The back panel has been kept simple. The finish is the same as seen on the galaxy S3 with a faux-metal strip at the top which contains the 5MP cam and LED flash.

HARDWARE

The Note 10.1 has a 1280X800 10.1inch display. The colours are bright and vivid with options to change viewing modes. It has a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos processor and 2GB of RAM, which makes multi-tasking a breeze. A lag in performance is seen because of the many widgets crammed into the device by Samsung which luckily can be removed. The Note 10.1 has a 5MP cam and a 1.9MP front cam. The rear cam is capable of taking 720p video but it is not up to our expectations.

Coming to the S-Pen, it is fun to use like on the original Note and the experience has been made better because of the larger screen. The lags seen during the use of the S-pen in the original Note has been taken care of and it is more accurate. Whenever the S-pen is removed out of the hoister, a list of customised apps is brought up on the display, which is good. Another feature that Samsung added to the Note 10.1 is the palm detection functionality. We all are used to resting our palms on top of the book whenever we write or draw and it almost second nature to us. With the larger screen, this is an issue. Apps sometimes don’t work properly when we rest our palm on the screen. Samsung has taken care of this, but it does not work for all the apps.

SOFTWARE

The Note 10.1 comes with Android 4.0.4 with the usual Samsung UI. A Samsung user will feel at home while using this device, any other user will take some time to get used to the UI (There are lots of small things hidden away).

Samsung has improved the multi-tasking functionality by providing with something it calls “Multiscreen option”. This feature is supported only by few apps like the S-memo, gallery, video player etc. Using this feature, you can split the screen into two and run two different apps (which support the feature). It comes in handy when u want to copy something from the web and also when you get bored and feel like watching a movie.

Overall the device is good and functions brilliantly. The only drawback is the plasticky feel of the device (which is the case with all Samsung devices).