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October 18, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition Review

Samsung’s flagship 10-incher left us with really good first impressions thanks to its great design, build, and beefy specs. But can it deliver the same quality in terms of performance and usability? Find out the answer by reading our review of the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition after the jump.

note 10_1_2014_2

Design and Construction

Like what we mentioned in our first impressions, the new Galaxy Note 10.1 came with a new design that is very much inspired by the Galaxy Note 3. If you have held or seen the Note 3 just imagine it being stretched into a 10-inch slate, remove the phone functionality, and you already have the Note 10.1.

note 10_2014 s note

As simple as the Note 10.1′s design came to be, it actually becomes an advantage as it makes the flagship tablet easier to identify. One look and you’ll immediately recognize that it belongs to a top-of-the-line Note family.

note 10.1_2014_top

On the front of the device is the 10.1-inch display. Right above it are the 1.9 megapixel camera and the light sensor, while down below are the physical home button and two capacitive buttons (Options and Back). On the left side are the headset jack and left-hand speaker, while on the right are the slot for the stylus, right-hand speaker, and the microSD card slot.

note 10.1_2014_bottom

On top are the power/lock button, volume rocker, and IrLED. Placed at the bottom are the microUSB slot and a pinhole for the microphone. Flip it on its back and you’ll see the 8 megapixel rear camera, LED flash, and the faux-leather rear.

note 10_2014_stylus

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is a very elegant and classy device. Although the chrome-finished sides feel plasticky, it feels durable and not something that would easily chip-off or fade.

note 10.1_2014_rear

On hand, the Note 10.1 is light and feels good to the touch. You can hold it with one hand like you would normally do on a smartphone or a smaller tablet – thumb on the bezel and the rest of your fingers on the rear. However, this kind of position will tire you after a while so we’d suggest placing your hand underneath and let it rest on your arm.

Display

The new Note 10.1′s display is a big upgrade from its 1 year old predecessor. From a PLS TFT display with 1280×800 resolution or 149ppi, it now uses a Super Clear LCD with 2560×1600 resolution or 299ppi. Pixels can be seen but only if you look very closely.

note 10_2014 display

As expected of a device with such display, colors are very rich with just the right amount of saturation, great viewing angles, icons and texts are crisp and sharp, and it has a maximum brightness of 430 nits which makes it very usable outdoors even on a sunny day.

OS, UI and Apps

Running the software department for the Note 10.1 is Android 4.3 Jellybean with TouchWiz UI. Those familiar with Android should find it easy to use as everything remains the same.

note 10_ui2

However, Samsung added a little extra on the UI such as the persistent side menu drawer for a quick access to frequently used apps and the inclusion of a shortcut to My Magazine (Flipboard) by swiping from the bottom.

note 10_ui3

Being an Android-powered device, you can expect Google’s goodies to come preinstalled. Samsung also smothered the Note 10.1 with a bunch of its own apps including those that take advantage of the tablet’s S Pen such as: S Note, Action Memo, Scrapbook, SketchBook for Galaxy, and S Planner.

note 10_ui11

If you think those aren’t enough, the Google Play Store, Samsung Apps and Samsung Hub are there to hook you up with content you prefer.

Stylus

Speaking of the S-Pen, it’s probably the best stylus you’ll ever use on an Android device. Physically, it feels premium, sturdy and the tip glides very smoothly over the display. The same can be said when you’re writing with it. Response time is really good, accurate, and is fast and fluid as well.

note 10_2014 S pen

As for its functions, clicking on the button while you hover the tip on top of the display brings the following options: Action Memo, Scrap Booker, Screen Write, S Finder, Pen Window. Effective tools which can help you multitask on the go.

Multimedia

This is one category that the Note 10.1 is heavily invested in. Having a large and gorgeous display just begs the user to play movies on it. Although the viewing experience may not be as pixel-packed as compared to a device with a smaller Full HD screen, the punch of colors, great viewing angles and sharpness makes up for it.

note 10_ui6

When it comes to audio, the Note 10.1 does not disappoint. The speakers placed on the left and right side of the device are capable of producing loud yet really rich sounds.

note 10_ui7

The Note 10.1 also gives you extra control over it by providing an equalizer and some toggles to improve the quality of sound.

Camera

The Note 10.1 comes equipped with an 8 megapixel camera with BSI sensor. Users can shoot from a minimum of 3.2 megapixel (4:3) resolution up to 8 megapixel (4:3). If you want to shoot in 16:9 you will have to switch down to 6 megapixel.

note 10_2014 camera

Although we’re not to keen in using a tablet as a main camera, the Note 10.1′s shooter is capable of producing very decent photos granted that a sufficient light source is available. Shoot in a dimly lit area and you’ll end up with an image peppered with noise. Take a look at the sample photos below:

However, if you’re really serious in using the Note 10.1 as a go-to camera, it comes with a slew of modes that most users will find very useful: Auto, Beauty Face, Best Photo, Best Face, Sound & Shot, Drama, Rich tone (HDR), Eraser, Panorama, Sports, and Night.

note 10_ui8

As for video recording capabilities, it can shoot 1080p videos at 30fps with video stabilization. Watch the sample video below:

Performance and Benchmarks

Being a device powered by an Exynos 5420 Octa CPU, Mali-T628 GPU, and 3GB of RAM, and Android 4.3 Jellybean, the Note 10.1 worked through our tasks quickly and smoothly. We didn’t experience crashes or reboots even when using multiple apps or multiple windows. A good sign that everything is stable across the board. If there are lags they’re hardly noticeable.

We did a series of benchmark tests on the device and here are the results:

* AnTuTu – 33,541
* Quadrant – 18,483
* Vellamo HTML 5 – 2,765
* Vellamo Metal – 1,307

We also tested the GPU using Epic Citadel and it scored an average of 26.9fps at full resolution in Ultra High Quality performance level.

note 10_unreal

We also played Eternity Warriors 2, Plants VS Zombies 2, and Dead Trigger in High settings with 5 to 6 apps running in the background and everything still ran smoothly.

Battery Life

Powering the Note 10.1 is an 8,220mAh Li-Ion battery. This is a 1,220mAh bump from its 7,000mAh predecessor. We used the tablet for heavy SNS browsing, moderate to heavy gaming, and a couple of movies and we’re still left with enough juice to make it last the next morning. The only downside we see here is that the battery takes a lot of time to recharge.

We did our usual movie playback test with a 1080p video played in loop with the device in Airplane mode, 50% brightness and 0% volume. The result is 8 hours of continuous movie playback.

Conclusion

The Galaxy Note 10.1 is a well-made, good-looking and beefed-up device that aims to be the Jack of all trades in the world of tablets. For those who want to use it as portable movie player the 10-inch Super Clear display, and the dual speakers won’t disappoint. If a user wants to take a picture, the 8 megapixel rear camera with LED flash will suffice. Gamers will find the Note 10.1′s CPU, RAM and overall performance to be top notch. And for those who want to be productive will find the S apps, S Pen, great multi-tasking capabilities, and long battery life to serve well.

note 10_ps1

At this point, the Note 10.1 sounds like the perfect tablet. Well, almost. If there’s one weakness we found on this device is its size. Don’t get me wrong, the 10-inch display is great especially for watching movies and when multitasking with Pen Windows, but I don’t see myself whipping it out in public to read an eBook when I’m riding a jeep or the LRT/MRT. Although slim and portable, it certainly won’t fit in a small clutch bag or a woman’s purse. To sum it up, the Note 10.1 is designed to be used at home, in the office, or in a private vehicle. Any place where you have the luxury of space.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition SM-P600 specs:
10.1-inch Super LCD display @ 2560×1600 pixels, 299ppi
Exynos 5420 1.9GHz Quad Processor + 1.3 GHz Quad Processor
Mali-T628 Graphics
3GB RAM
16GB, 32GB, 64GB internal storage
up to 64GB via microSD card
WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.0
NFC
IrLED
GPS w/ aGPS support, GLONASS
8MP rear camera, BSI sensor
1080p @ 30fps
1.9MP front-facing camera
1080p video @ 30fps
8220mAh Li-Ion battery
7.9mm thin
535 grams
Android 4.3 Jellybean

What we liked about it:
* Great build
* Clean design
* Impressive display
* Good and stable performance
* Good battery life

What we didn’t like about it:
* Size is too large for small bags
* Gets hefty if held with one hand

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition first impressions

30 Responses to “Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition Review”

  1. Plague says:

    Ugh.. Even though I can afford this, I’ll stick to the 7″-8″ inch screens. Portability & Security. Yes, it is a charm to watch movies on this but not for me always on-the-go & frequently using public transpo. But this is a good buy but I’ll stick to my waterproof Tablet Z. :)

  2. Plague says:

    Ugh.. Even though I can afford this, I’ll stick to the 7″-8″ inch screens. Portability & Security. Yes, it is a charm to watch movies on this but not for me always on-the-go & frequently using public transpo. But this is a good buy but I’ll stick to my waterproof Tablet Z at home & Nexus 7 out. :)

    • kkk says:

      “Ugh.. Even though I can afford this…”

      Duh… Nagyayabang ka ba? You can afford this blah blah, “But I’ll stick to my waterproof Tablet Z” blah blah. Kung mayaman ka talaga, bumili ka muna ng kotse para di ka na mag public transpo at nang mabili mo na itong tablet na sabi mo, “I can afford this…” LOL

    • Adrian says:

      ganyan talaga ang usual social climber, daming gadget wala namang sasakyan, binabandera yung gadgets sa MRT ahahaha

  3. Jason Chan says:

    How many hours does it take to fully charge this tablet from a fully drained battery?

  4. perwisio says:

    kelan magiging available to sa pinas?

  5. Manong DEBEDEE says:

    Di ako blib sa big Little architecure na promote nila
    yung maraming cores pero may high at low speed cores…

  6. abuzalzal says:

    Wow. YIFY torrent FtW. Hehe

  7. jcnjcjcnjc says:

    In this country, I would not dare to bring out any gadget while in public transport. Plan to sell my ipad and get this one, since this is better than my son’s nexus 10 in term of specs.

  8. Mark says:

    Where did you buy this? and is this the LTE variant?

    • eMn says:

      this is not LTE version…
      LTE has Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (Quad 2.3Ghz Krait 400)
      3G has the Samsung Processor (Exynos 5420 1.9GHz Quad Processor + 1.3 GHz Quad Processor)

  9. Lexi says:

    twice na ko nagmessage sa Samsung Mobile Phils. in FB. pero sabi nila wala pang definite date kung kelan marerelease dito sa Pinas. as of now, sa U.S pa lang meron.

  10. garz says:

    “What we didn’t like about it:
    * Size is too large for small bags…”
    -Well, duh?

    “* Gets hefty if held with one hand”
    -Even a 10-inch textbook feels hefty when held in one hand, because you know, the size!

  11. Andrei says:

    Still no release date for the Philippines? Doesn’t Samsung want my money?

    If they can’t release this before the first week of November this year, Apple would have released their new iPad by then. Not that i would buy an iPad (i need my SPen).

  12. manolito gamboa says:

    Laki ng pakinabang ko sa note 10 ko. Ginagamit ko s work ko bilang artist sana makabili ako nito.

  13. i want to kiss you i love u i want to____________
    you ……………………………:D
    promise marry me ido ido

  14. maribel says:

    This one is 10 inch tablet are for those who really wants to use a big screen for multimedia or whatever…why are you complaining about the size! Kaya nga me note 8 e for those who wants a smaller screen and easy to carry tabs…

  15. Andrei says:

    So…has anybody been able to buy one? Where is it available for purchase exactly? I went out on the 9th looking for it and couldn’t find it anywhere. Not even in Samsung’s own shops (the sales people were clueless concerning the availability of the device).

  16. jack says:

    Where can I get one? Sightings anyone?

  17. myname says:

    waiting for LG’s tablet :)

  18. Ralphskie says:

    Kagagaling ko lang sa isang shop sa sm north edsa for samsung galaxy note 10.1 2014 edition. Sabi nila ang Samsung mismo ang ayaw irelease ang mga items na isusupply sa kanila.they asked pero walang concrete answer from samsung

    • Andrei says:

      Maybe Samsung Mobile Philippines wants to wait until the IPad Air is also available on sale in the Philippines before they actually release the new Note 10.1 for purchase by the public. So you know, the consumers have other choices. Really smart move.

  19. Edwin C says:

    At magkano naman ito at ako’y bibili.

  20. Mark Christian Lopez says:

    Hi. I’m selling my Note 10.1 that is just recently bought and with warranty in SM Mall of Asia.

    I have 2 tablets already, so I won’t be using it anymore. Negotiable.

    http://www.olx.ph/index.php/view+classifieds/id/39111001/Note+10.1+2014+P600+New%28receipt+SM+MOA%29+%2B+Case?referralKeywords=note+10+1&event=Search+Ranking,Position,1-18,18

    Any takers?

  21. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the
    book in it or something. I think that you could do with
    some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that,
    this is great blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

  22. Fuente completa

    Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition Review – YugaTech | Philippines, Tech News & Reviews

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