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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1: hands-on video and first impressions

We all know what the Samsung Galaxy Note is, which is now available. Well. We think we do. It had an enormous advertising campaign surrounding it and educating us that it was neither a phone, or a tablet, it was “a Note”. In contrast, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 makes no such claim. Instead, it boasts tablet specs, a tablet form factor and no phone function. With no blurry lines though, why is the Note 10.1 called a Note and what makes it so special? 

What are the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1’s main features?

Naturally, the 10.1 refers to the screen size, and the Note branding refers to the cavity in the tablets rear and what it houses – an S-Pen, or Samsung branded stylus. The Note 10.1’s S-Pen isn’t quite the same as the S-Pen we met in its phablet sibling though, no – this S-Pen packs 256 levels of pressure sensitivity and the entire tablet has been engineered to complement this.

Check back for the full review coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy the video for a more in depth understanding of this enigmatic stylus-centric tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.

The S Note application is pre-loaded with templates to suit your sketching needs, enabling you to create recipes, write memos or simple sketch away. There’s handwriting recognition and the tablet will even record your doodles so you can play them back. The S-Pen integration doesn’t stop there however. Much like the prior Note, the Note 10.1 allows you to screen grab, outline crop and paste images extremely intuitively using the button located on the S-Pen itself.

Packing the same quad-core 1.4GHz Exynos 4 processor we saw on the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Ice Cream Sandwich, performance on first impression is predictably slick. Our tablet has 16GB of internal memory, though larger capacity versions are expected and there’s also a microSD card slot on the upper side of the tab.

Oddly enough, you’ll also find an infrared port that turns the Note 10.1 into a remote control as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack, power button and volume rocker, all located along the top side of the tab. The front packs a 1280×800 screen and stereo speakers, one on either side, while on the reverse is a 5-megapixel autofocus camera and flash. This all pits the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 at the upper end of the Galaxy tablet range making it the new flagship, and rightly so.

What specifications does the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 have?

  • Display: 10.1-inch WXGA (1280×800) LCD display with digitizer
  • Processor: 1.4GHz Exynos 4 
  • Graphics: Mali-400 GPU
  • Memory: 2GB of RAM
  • Storage: 16/32/64GB onboard with up to 64GB expandable via microSD
  • Stylus: S Pen stylus with S Note application suite
  • Sensors: Accelermoter, Digital compass, Light, Gyroscope
  • Camera: 5-megapixel rear with LED flash/1.9-megapixel front facing camera
  • Connectivity: WiFi, mHL, Quad-band, HSPA+ (3G)
  • Battery: Li-ion 7000 mAh

What operating system does the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 run?

The 10.1 is set to launch running Android Ice Cream Sandwich version 4.0.4, with a likely upgrade to Jelly Bean down the line. What’s more, Samsung has added TouchWiz 4.0, within which users will find the optimised S Pen apps and widgets as well as Samsung’s typical UI tweaks and changes.

What are the alternatives?

For those looking for both touchscreen and stylus input within an Android infrastructure, pickings are relatively slim, with the only notable (no pun intended) options being the current Samsung Galaxy Note, the HTC Flyer or in the iOS camp any Apple iPad with a separate capacitive stylus accessory. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is also set to arrive at IFA in the coming days.

How much will the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 cost?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is starting at £399 on Expansys and Amazon.

When will the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 launch?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is available now.


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