Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 has finally been released in the US. The Korean tech giant does seem to be in a bit of hurry with its products and so does its fancy with plastic. The base version with 16-GB is priced at $499 and comes in grey or white. The 32-GB model is priced at $549.
Both the versions launched in the U.S. are Wi-Fi only. The tablet weighs 580 grams.
The price and the plasticky feel do make us wonder – why? Samsung’s fetish with cheap plastic doesn’t seem to end. Technology-wise, the device boasts a superb stylus-type pen and a split-screen functionality that lets users do two things at the same time. These are the only two features that might stand up against the iPad.
That’s the weakest part of the device and makes us wonder why someone would pour $500 into it. We agree that the Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone too had a cheap plastic feel to it but managed to sell because of it tech specs. It seems like Samsung want to avoid any extra lawsuits from Apple on the design front, but we wonder if that should hold it back from going for a better design.
The latest one shares most of it design elements with the Galaxy tab series. The bottom of the tablet houses the data/ charging dock and the microphone. The tablet requires an additional purchase of an optional adapter for video-out.
There’s a 1.9MP front-facing camera and a 5MP rear camera with LED flash, both of which have a horizontal orientation.
The 10.1-inch display is a real turn-off with WXGA 1280×800 resolution with 16M colour depth. Not that it does not appeal but the fact that its competitors are far ahead. Not much to say really.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 runs on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system with its home-grown TouchWiz UX interface. The insides of the tablet boast a 1.4 GHz quad-core Exynos processor and 2GB RAM.
The memory can be expanded up to 32GB via a microSD slot.
The tablet boasts a 7000mAh battery that can run for 9 hours on a single charge. There’s not much to complain about as far the hardware goes.
The S Pen
What really sets this tablet apart is the S Pen. This one actually looks like a pen and works like a pencil on a paper. The S Pen is really good at note-taking and far better at sketching or drawing. The stylus responds well to varied degrees of pressure and gives the real feel of a pencil while sketching. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 comes to life with the versatile S Pen.
But is it worth?
Starting at $499, the Galaxy Note 10.1 hardly resembles any of its premium competitors. The design is the first thing a user will go after and that is something Samsung didn’t figure out well enough. The tablet looks conventional at best. The S Pen outshines competitors and if you go for the tablet for that reason alone, you won’t be disappointed.