Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 review

The Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) is the Swiss Army Knife of tablets

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Naturally, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 sports all the major Google apps that make the Android platform such a joy to use. Google Maps and Gmail need no introduction as the top map and top email apps around respectively.

Google Maps

You also get Google+, which is the company's increasingly prevalent (if only because Google is leveraging its other services to push it) social network. Hangouts forms its instant messaging and video chat solution, but has yet to really mature into a stress-free social environment.

Of course Samsung also provides plenty of its own apps. Some of these serve to duplicate what's on offer from Google, which occasionally feels as wasteful and messy here as it does with every other Android manufacturer that does it.

Is ChatON strictly necessary when Google already provides the aforementioned Hangouts app? Probably not. But in this particular case, I'll waiver the criticism.

Do you really need Samsung's scruffy Gallery app with the sharp Google Photos included? Actually, you may if you like the thought of your Dropbox images being closely integrated with your locally stored snaps rather than Google+. For general use, however, it's functionally similar without being quite as crisp or intuitive as the Google version.

Google Photos

Still, Samsung does provide a number of additional apps that don't step on Google's toes, some of which I mentioned earlier when discussing the S Pen's unique capabilities.

S Note is another that takes advantage of Samsung's versatile stylus. It's a note-taking app, but it allows you to scrawl directly onto the page, as well as import clipping from the Scrapbook app and, well, any type of stored media really.

It's powerful, though not quite as instant or intuitive for quickly noting something down as, say, Google's Keep app, which isn't even included here.

S Note

Speaking of powerful, the excellent SketchBook is a fully featured art app that really shows what the S Pen is capable of.

You can choose from multiple pen, pencil and brush types, colours, layers and more. It also demonstrates the sensitivity of the S Pen, as it responds to varying levels of pressure. It still doesn't match the real thing, but it's as close as I've seen.

Sketchbook

Elsewhere you get things like WatchON, which provides a TV guide and - most interestingly - a remote control app. This quickly syncs up with your TV and allows you to change channel, adjust the volume, and switch off your TV from the comfort of your Galaxy Note 10.1 - all thanks to that IR port situated on top of the device.

In another nice touch, the remote then makes itself available to you from the notification menu, ready to be accessed at a moment's notice.

WatchON

Other Samsung apps included here have an app icon, but actually require downloading. Story Album is one of those, allowing you to turn your stored photos into albums. You can even have them published as physical albums.

Speaking of creating, Video Editor does precisely what you'd expect, allowing you to add effects, create a video based on a theme, and generally tinker with your footage.

Group Play lets you share documents, images, videos, and music with your friends in the same room in real time - provided they all have Samsung devices too, of course.

S Voice, meanwhile, is essentially Samsung's version of Siri. You can add memos, search for contacts, add events to your calendar, initiate a search, open apps and more. It all works pretty well, and there's a shortcut to the facility by double tapping the home button.

S Voice

Polaris Office 5 is an office productivity app, which enables you to open, create and edit text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It also incorporates Samsung's S Pen technology, so you can sketch out tables and highlight multiple objects using the included stylus.

Android has come a long way as a gaming platform over the past 12 months or so, with the Google Play Store now home to hundreds if not thousands of the best mobile games around. Apple's iOS still has the edge when it comes to securing games first, but more and more top titles are appearing simultaneously or soon after on Android.

Google Play Games

As a gaming tablet, you'll struggle to find a more capable Android device than the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014. Its quad-core Exynos CPU, which includes a potent Mali GPU, is pretty much the most powerful non-Apple chip out there.

It means that games simply fly on the latest Galaxy Note 10.1, despite having to shift a lot more pixels via that super-sharp 10-inch display.

Rayman

My usual Real Racing 3 test resulted in super-silky performance, as did the recent first person shooter technical showcase, Dead Trigger 2, which ran on the 'High' graphical setting without issue.

Meanwhile more colourful games like Rayman Jungle Run and Subway Surfers look pretty much as good here as I've ever seen them.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Green CompliantYes
Flash Memory Capacity16 GB
Processor ManufacturerARM
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
HDMIYes
Product FamilyGalaxy Note
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformAndroid
ColourDeep Gray
Operating SystemAndroid 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Brand NameSamsung
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.40 GHz
Processor TypeCortex A9
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Screen Resolution1280 x 800
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)580 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
DigitizerYes
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Height257.8 mm
Width175.3 mm
Depth8.9 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
ManufacturerSamsung
Product ModelGT-N8010
Product NameGalaxy Note 10.1 WiFi
Product LineGalaxy Note
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-N8010EAABTU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing InformationNote, the new way

  • The perfect creative tool at your fingertips with the S-Pen
  • Super efficient multi-tasking with unique multiscreeen
  • Enjoy specially designed apps and exclusive content
  • View all your content on a large crystal clear 10.1" screen
  • 3G & Wi-Fi versions available

Choose the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and discover the new way to set your creativity free. It's portable, yet offers multitasking like a PC thanks to its large 10.1-inch screen. Meanwhile, the intuitive and precise embedded S-Pen makes it so simple to take notes, draw, sketch and express yourself perfectly. With S-Note, your note-taking is full of rich possibilities which you can easily put together into a story. Shape Match even lets you visualise your ideas and turn them into quickly into graphs and other finished items you'll be proud to share.

Multiscreen Real multitasking on the portable 10.1" screen
Now, you can do 2 things at the same time. For example, what if you want to see an actor's profile while watching a movie you recently downloaded? Just use the "Multi screen" button and open the internet browser or the S Note. You don't need to stop the movie or the browser so that you surf web or make a note. If you want to copy the image? Just capture and drag it to the S Note opened right next to the web page.

Embedded S Pen: Real Pen-like feeling for a natural writing experience
Precise versatile S Pen enables you to get a premium experience for note-taking, sketching, drawing, and other forms of creative expression.

S Note: The easy-to-use creation tool
7 Templates to express life's every detail.
Make your own story by selecting one of the S Note templates. S Note makes your note-taking and creation rich and neat. * 7 templates: Note / Idea note / Meeting Note / Magazine / Diary / Recipe / Travel.

Adobe® Photoshop Touch: Free embedded creation tool
Now, everyone can create more with ease. You can make fascinating image artworks or edit your photos.

Allshare Play & Cast - Seamless Sharing
Connection to other tablets, laptops or TVs lets you share and experience multimedia together, wherever you are.

Fast & Powerful
You will enjoy the best performance from a very fast and powerful 1.4GHz quad core processor that delivers the most seamless, enjoyable mobile experience. Everything from navigating UI to multitasking to web surfing is made faster and easier; indulge in multimedia on the go without a second thought. Large battery capacity means less frequent recharging because your power lasts longer for more sustained usage.

HSPA+ 21 & Wi-Fi Channel Bonding
Revel in mobile multimedia without restraint or delay with impressively fast transmission speeds that allows you to get your files so much quicker. HSDPA+ is three times speedier, thereby reducing your wait time to a third so you can enjoy your multimedia even sooner. Wi-Fi Channel Bonding also boosts wireless data transmission rates by efficiently using two bonded channels instead of one so you can access web-based content such as movie downloads, music files and games in half the usual time. Wait less, enjoy sooner -- it's as simple as that.

Best Multimedia Experience on a Large Screen
1080p Full HD Playback on a larger screen promises to intensify your viewing pleasure. Whether you're watching downloaded videos, catching the latest viral sensation on YouTube or live streaming, you'll be able to see everything in bright, crystal clear high definition. Cross-platform compatibility with multi codec means you'll never be frustrated by blocked or incompatible file
Package Contents
  • Galaxy Note 10.1 WiFi
  • AC Adapter
  • Stylus