Customer Review

1,467 of 1,520 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really like it, August 17, 2012
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (16GB, Deep Grey) (Personal Computers)
I didn't buy mine from Amazon as I couldn't find it on Amazon. I ended up going to my local BestBuy to pick it up. The reviews online were mostly okay except for The Verge which said it was sluggish and basically was down beat on it.

I decided to buy it and if I didn't like it I would be returning it. I picked it up around 5:30PM on the 16th of August which is the release date. The first thing I did was get rid of all the widgets that are on the home screens. I suspect those might slow it down. I kept only one widget which is the clock / weather widget. I then downloaded all my favorite apps and began to arrange and configure it the way I wanted it.

It comes with Polaris Office, which is better than QuickOffice if you plan to create and edit word docs, Polaris is easier. To view documents and complex excel sheets I find QuickOffice often does the better job. I ed up keep both installed just in case.

I installed 14 games on it. All of which perform very well. There are my favorites, like FieldRunners, and newer ones like Final Fantasy, Ski Safari, Nova 3, Osmos HD, Amazing Alex and Zynga poker that I also really like. This quad core eats through anything with ease.

Got the latest Google Maps, which is so fantastic on this. You can save a Map so it's available without a data connection. Perfect for these WiFi devices. I'm a fan of the new Google Play movies, music, books and Magazines too. But if you prefer Amazon or Nook, those are available as always. It comes with the B&N Nook Reader by default.

There are Galaxy Note 10.1 specific apps like Adobe's PS Touch. I've been using Photoshop since 1996 so I am going to carefully review the built in lessons for PS Touch, a mobile version of Photoshop and see how far I can take that. If you are a subscriber to Adobe's Cloud services you're supposed to be able to edit a PSD with PS Touch, save it to the cloud, and then continue to edit it with Photoshop the desktop app.

There is also S Note. S Note and PS Touch are geared to work well with the new Samsung Galaxy S Pen. This was a primary reason for me to be interested in this particular tablet. The S Pen is so accurate that you can hand write whole sheets of handwritten text with it. I didn't try to have it translated into actual text like type written text. I just left it as my handwriting. Really like it.

Now this new Note 10.1 also has a new Muli-tasking feature. I should say that it doesn't multitask any app combo you want. Just a few apps blessed by Samsung which are: The base browser, not Chrome, their video player, Polaris Office, the picture gallery and their email app, not the GMail email app. Their email app can be used with POP, IMAP and Microsoft's Exchange via the built in Active Sync. So I tend to use that email client for work email and I use GMail as my personal email client.

Now, according to The Verge, multitasking was horrible. Not so fast Verge. I don't know what you guys are doing but I multitask'd just about every way you can on this and it works surprising well. I wrote notes while playing video. I played video while scrolling up and down on a web page. I copied text from an email to S Note, which both apps loaded in the side by side both on the screen simultaneously method. I had no trouble at all.

I bought Autodesk's Sketchpad Pro and can draw with that just fine. I also bought Adobe Ideas, but haven't yet played with that at all. Samsung also has their own kind of store and I am going to see if they have more S Pen specific apps. Really like the S Pen a lot. It's exactly like a typical Wacom Stylus. It's sharp, not that horrible eraser head large stylus you get stuck with if you want to use a stylus on the iPad. Although the iPad has Paper by 53, which I wish I had on here.

I'm really just getting started. I'll have to update this review over the weekend. Only played with this new tab for about 4 to 6 hours now.

Check out Google's Currents for news, and Pocket for saving articles for future reading. Both are great on this tablet. I think all the bases are covered with this tablet. Movies, games, magazines, office and productivity, art creation and editing. It does everything. And since it is Android, you have a real file system which makes email a breeze. Love this thing so far.
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Comments

Tracked by 28 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 188 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 17, 2012 3:33:43 PM PDT
Nice Review!, especially the "The Verge" rebuttal from your true experience with the machine.
Thank you for helping me in my decision to purchase one next week (32 GB model).

Someone mentioned that you can save apps to an SD Card; (I forgot to ask them if you) can you launch an app that is saved on an SD Card (and conserve the on-board memory)? If the answer is yes, then I'll consider the 16GB version.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2012 5:58:54 PM PDT
What you do is you install the app in the normal way, and once installed, you go to settings, application manager, tap the application, and then say move to SD Card. That being said that was for Honeycomb and lower. Gingerbread (2.3.6) and Honeycomb(3.x) did such things when memory was much less in smart phones. In 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich that function doesn't exist because it's no longer needed.

I myself got the 16 GB model and I just ordered a CASE10 MicroSD card of 32 GBs to add to my tablet. What I do is put larger media, like movies, on that SD card. I no longer go for the biggest, although the 32 GB model is just $50 more. I would have bought that model but BestBuy didn't have it when I went in. For that little of a difference I'd have just gone all the way.

Posted on Aug 17, 2012 9:55:14 PM PDT
P. Kasper says:
Hi, thanks for the great review.

Can you please confirm or deny if you can import a PDF into the S Note program. I really need a way to import and annotate PDFs, which would be my primary use for the S Pen. Thanks!

Posted on Aug 17, 2012 10:57:57 PM PDT
Monocle says:
Thanks for the review Alex, I plan on picking one up this weekend. However, this thing being able to run Java is clutch for a chat application I need for school. (The keyboard dock on Samsung's site looks pretty legit for this). I've read yes and no to Java, can you please confirm? Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2012 7:53:59 AM PDT
Brilliant, Clear Response!

I'm jumping into Android for the first time (even thought this tablet is rather "SamDroid"), so the history lesson you've provided helps a lot. This looks like the tablet that can fully support both my professional habits, and fun side.

Thank you big time!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2012 8:07:56 AM PDT
You can import a PDF into S Note, but doing so will not yield what you want. It will only convert the PDF into an object within S Note. However, you can simply use Adobe's own Reader for Android to add signatures, text, highlights, underlines, strike outs, notes, and so on. There are lots of apps that claim to do markups and let you fill in forms.

I myself don't fill Adobe forms. Typically when I get a PDF it is simply a Word or Excel print to PDF. even in those cases you can add text by just adding text and positioning it where you want. You can adjust the font size and position it where you like. For forms, I have no reason to believe you would not be able to just fill them out with Adobe's own reader app.

So no, S Note wouldn't be helpful in that way, but Acrobat Reader from Adobe would be. I myself do add my signature to Acrobat PDFs using Reader as well as text, highlights, notes, etc. That I do somewhat often.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2012 8:26:43 AM PDT
I have quite a few tablets. I keep trying them out. I have the Samsung 5.3" Galaxy Note phablet. I have the Galaxy S3 as well and tent to swap my SIM between the two. Have a Nexus 7, the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 from a little more than a year ago. I have an iPad 3. I have the Kindle Fire and the Galaxy Tab 7" series 2.

The problem with all tablets so far as been that if you want a stylus for whatever reason you'll find they have a point surface roughly the size of a pencil eraser. Imagine trying to draw not with the tip of a pencil but with the edge of an eraser. That's what it is like on the iPad 1, 2 and 3. Same for the original Galaxy Tab 10'. Not to mention most older tablets just didn't have the processing power to make it work well.

On the iPad there is a drawing app called, "Paper by 53" which is pretty good at guessing where you intend to draw despite the huge stylus edge. It has been my favorite app up till now. When I got the Galaxy Note 5.3" phone with a normal stylus I was sort of shocked that Samsung got a normal stylus to work with a phone surface. And then I heard from the rumormill that the Galaxy Note 10.1 would be much better. And it is.

Adobe also has a whole suite of apps for creative pros. PS Touch, Ideas, Adobe Debut and Adobe Collage. There are more but those are the ones I find useful. These are all on Android. With PS Touch, there are built in lessons. Just try one or two of the build in lessons and if you aren't impressed I'd be very shocked. This latest Samsung tab has enough processing power to really make these higher end apps shine.

I myself had been contemplating getting a full PC tablet so I could run the full version of Autodesk's Sketchpad Pro. This new tab has given me pause of that idea now. So far it has enough power to do what I want, which is draw, edit and of course play games and respond to company and personal emails. It does everything. Took Android a while to get it right, but I think it's finally evolved into a very nice platform.

Posted on Aug 18, 2012 9:11:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 18, 2012 9:18:21 AM PDT
R. Olsen says:
Total tablet newbie here. Based mostly on advice from a cousin and a friend more in the know, I'm leaning toward this one, but at the same time trying not to rush into things. Your review does reassure me.

My two main concerns up to now:

1) Would you say the fuss over the less-than-state-of-the-art resolution is overblown? I expect to use this mostly for reading, browsing and drawing in the early going, and wonder just how much of a factor the screen would be for me [then again, if this is the only real option as far as stylus functionality, circumstances may have already made my choice for me; a slate would be too pricey and large for my needs/purposes].

2) One reviewer claims the back panel is flimsy enough that you can touch the circuit board with it. What's your take on that, having handled the thing?

Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2012 9:34:47 AM PDT
There are only two devices on the market with really high resolution, which is the iPad 3, which I have, and the Asus Transformer Infinity, which I ave been so close to buying so many times. I like the keyboard they have integrated. I wish Samsung would do something like that. Getting a good keyboard for these tablets in an exercise in madness.

Chances are everyone using Photoshop on a PC or a Mac is still likely doing so on a 96dpi or 131 dpi display. At 10.1 inches with 1280 x 800 that calculates to 149ppi with a dot pitch of just .17. That's superior to must PC and Mac displays. A MacBook Pro with a 15.4" 1440 x 900 display is just 110ppi in comparison. You'd have to get an iPad 3 or a Retina MacBook Pro to get a good ppi display. And yet we've been and still continue to create artwork with these lessor ppi displays. So it's not the hardware, it's a software issue. You can choose to use 300 dpi with Photoshop on your Mac or PC. But until recently you weren't actually seeing that because the display simply wasn't good enough. And yet it worked fine.

The issue is really more about Adobe increasing the dpi settings of these mobile apps. And I would say, though I don't know for sure, that Adobe would likely increase it as mobile processors get faster. Right now, it's likely not a great idea to have 300 or 600 dpi images on a mobile device because they are huge and take a lot of processing power. These tablets are using very low power CPUs. So I think those raising a stink about this need to realize there are hardware constraints. I'm not looking to edit poster art on the Android tablet. I'll do that on a core i7 based PC or Mac. But I do love to draw and I love the idea of a 1.3 pound device for $499 that comes with a stylus and PS Touch all in for that cost. The apps for Android are either free, or they cost maybe $9.99 or less. So I don't really understand what everyone is expecting. It's a mobile device. It's not a desktop computer with a 90 watt CPU and a blaring fan. It's just a little pick, not a jackhammer. But personally, I think it's pretty awesome for what it is.

Okay #2, ever since Apple stopped using molded plastic, they started to give it a bad name. And now all we hear is plastic bad, metal good. The back panel feels thin. You can pick one up at BestBuy and feel it for yourself. But then my Blackberry was the same. And guess what, it works. My original Galaxy Tab 10.1 is now about 1.5 to 2 years old. It feels even thinner than this one and it still runs fine and has never been a problem. I'd like to ask everyone who claims anything made with plastic is junk to say exactly what it is they think is going to happen? Do they think the tablet will bend in half or something? It wont. Do they think if you sneeze on it, you'll break it? You won't.

Now perhaps one day Darth Vader will swing the Death Star around the moon and get into perfect firing range, fire up that big laser and shoot Earth with it, only to the see that huge laser beam bounce off something shiny on the planet. Perhaps that shiny object that deflects the laser is someone's iPad made of metal of glass. But until that day, I think your going to be just fine with devices that have plastic backs. Just remember to pack an iPad if you plan to go to Africa to beat a rhino to death with your tablet. Your Galaxy Note might not be up to that challenge. But for everything else, I can assure you plastic or rubber, you'll be just fine.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2012 9:44:20 AM PDT
R. Olsen says:
Thanks for the chuckle! :-) I did in fact plan on going to Best Buy tomorrow to get a close-and-personal, but you've already put me at ease. I also have to thank you for reminding my of my initial thought process: just get something portable that will do X-Y-Z, and leave the rest for my eventual desktop upgrade. I can't say I'm happy about the KB news, but as of right now this looks to be as close as I'll get to what I want.
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