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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition (16GB, White)
|Price:||$438.00 + $5.37 shipping|
- Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS, 1.9GHz Samsung Exynos 5420 Quad-Core Processor
- 16 GB Flash Memory, 3 GB RAM Memory
- 10.1-inch 2560x1600 WQXGA display with 4 million pixels
- 8MP rear camera includes LED flash and shoots video in full 1080p HD
- Pre-loaded with free content including Google Play credit, Businessweek subscription, and more
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|Shipping||$5.37||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||E Distributor||Amazon.com||iTech365||KLAMP Electronics||YourDigitalFriend|
|RAM Size||3 GB||2 GB||1 GB||—||3 GB|
|Screen Size||10.1 in||10.1 in||10.1 in||10.1 in||10.5 in|
|Flash Memory Installed Size||16||16||1.5 GB||16 GB||16|
|Hard-Drive Size||16 GB||0 GB||16 GB||16 GB||16 GB|
|Item Dimensions||6.8 x 9.6 x 0.3 in||6.1 x 10 x 0.3 in||2 x 10 x 7.5 in||0.31 x 9.58 x 6.94 in||7.5 x 10 x 2 in|
|Item Weight||1.2 lbs||1.16 lbs||0.6 lb||1.1 lbs||1.6 lbs|
|Native Resolution||—||1920 x 1200 pixels||1280 x 800||1280 x 800 Pixels||2560 x 1600|
|Operating System||Android 4.3||Android Marshmallow||Android 4.4 KitKat||Android 4.1 (JellyBean)||Android 4.4 KitKat|
|Wireless Technology||Bluetooth||Bluetooth+ Wi-Fi||Bluetooth||WiFi||Bluetooth|
Easy tasking in one viewMulti Window Multi Window lets you view multiple applications simultaneously, which you can move around and re-size. It provides the most freeform and flexible interface for flawless multitasking, suitable for even the most task-heavy users. Cascade View offers a flow patterned view of multiple applications (up to 16) adjusting to your daily tasks for flawless apps management. Dual View allows two main apps to be viewed side-by-side vertically or horizontally-- also resizable. Search the web while jotting down your notes, check email while watching a video, continue working on your docs while fielding calls -- your productivity is sky high.
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The first thing you'll want to know about is the display. It is very, very good. It is very high resolution by today's standards at 2560x1600 boasting 299 pixels-per-inch (think about how laser printers were once the same at 300 dots-per-inch). It is also very bright with great color reproduction and good contrast. The screen uses IPS technology and it has excellent viewing angles - so you don't have to worry about being perfectly aligned with the screen in order to see it clearly and the contrast stays good even at steep angles. The screen has an aspect ratio of 16:10, so the Note is ideal for internet browsing, gaming or viewing HD video. The Note also has very good stereo speakers located along the upper right and left edge (when the tablet held in its native landscape mode) - they produce loud and clear audio and the speaker placement doesn't interfere with your hand placement. Of course there isn't any bass to speak of, but one cannot expect any bass from speakers of this size. Still, the audio sounds good when playing games or watching internet videos. As I previously mentioned, the Note is meant to be held in landscape mode, with the hardware home button closest to you. Of course, the screen content can rotate to portrait, depending on the program. Most of what I use it for works in landscape, which is good because I prefer it that way. Unfortunately, the USB 2.0/power port is located in the center of the bottom edge right under the hardware home button. This can present an issue if you want to charge the battery when using the tablet at an angle on a stand in landscape mode as a USB plug can interfere with the bottom edge. I think it would have made much more sense to have the USB 2.0/power port located on either the top or right edge of the tablet. Located just to the left of the USB/power port on the bottom edge is a microphone. There is a Micro SDXC slot under a cover along the right edge which can currently accept up to a 64GB Micro SDXC card. This is useful for storing large amounts of media such as music, photos and video files, which can be quite large. I highly recommend the Samsung 64GB Pro microSDXC card as it currently the fastest and most reliable 64GB Micro SDXC card available. Moving on, there is an 8MP rear facing camera with LED flash and a 2MP front facing camera. I haven't used the cameras very much at all, so I can't really comment on them. There is an infrared port along the top edge which facilitates the use of the tablet as a smart universal remote control with an integrated program guide (for which the software is included). I know it works because I tried it with my TiVo HD, but I didn't find it very useful for me so I haven't used it since. Depending on your home A/V setup, it may be very useful for you. The power and volume control buttons are located along the top edge on the far left. I feel that those buttons are too difficult to navigate as they are small with very little feel or button travel. As a result, I installed a software volume control which resides in the Android notification shade that I like a lot better. The earphone jack is located on the top left edge. On the top right edge is the slot for storing the S-Pen (along with the actual S-Pen). The S-Pen, which is one of the main features of this tablet, allows you to draw and write directly on the screen. I have used it at times for text input and the tablet will recognize your handwriting (either in block or script!) and translate it into editable text, which is really cool. The tablet feels really good in the hand. For me, it's not heavy at all and I can easily hold it with one hand. The back of the tablet has a grippy, faux leather like finish, which I like, but my tablet lives in an excellent Poetic Slimline case, so I don't get to feel that very often.
Although the 2014 Note 10.1 can be used for a wide range of things, what I got this tablet for is gaming! And boy does this tablet deliver. With it's 3GB of RAM, the latest generation Samsung Exynos 5420 octa-core processor (which is really a dual quad-core) and a Mali-T628 graphics processor, I get excellent gaming performance! I regularly play Asphalt 8, which looks amazing on this tablet with it's real time reflections, motion blur, advanced lighting and particle effects. It looks and plays great! Since I'm a sucker for good racing games, and racing games are a natural fit on tablets since you can usually steer by rotating/tilting the tablet, I also play GT Racing 2, which again, looks amazing playing in the full 2560x1600 resolution of the tablet. I also play Armored Aces, which is a great, WWII 3D multiplayer tank game, Heroes of Destiny, which is a great 3D dungeon battle game, and Dead Trigger 2, which is an super fun 3D first-person-shooter which pits you against hordes and hordes of very unreasonable zombies in locations around the world. These are among the latest and greatest 3D games available and they look and play incredibly well on the 2014 Galaxy Note 10.1. Not surprisingly, 2D games like Clash of Clans also look amazing and play extremely well on the Note. It also plays video very well both from the internet and local files you store on the SD card. This device is a great companion for a trip or flight. Battery life is stellar for me. I get over six hours of screen time when 3D gaming the whole time (yes, I really need to get a life). If I were to use it like a normal person, I could easily see getting over eight hours of screen time on a charge. One minor issue is that I don't feel that the charger is strong enough as it really doesn't charge the battery very much at all when charging while the tablet is in use. It will charge a few percent, but it doesn't really charge well at all as long as the screen is on.
There is one fairly important issue though which I would like to touch on and that is the some buggy behavior with the touchscreen itself. At the moment, there is an issue where if you touch and hold any area of the screen for 24 seconds, your touch will be reset and it will not work well again for about five seconds. Why is this a problem, you ask? Well, say you're playing a racing game that requires you to push an on-screen gas pedal. After 24 seconds, you won't be pressing it anymore, even if you are in fact, still pressing it. If you try to immediately press it again, it will immediately disengage again for about five seconds until it acts normal again for the next 24 seconds, and so on. That is but one example of the issue, but it could happen with controls for direction in a first-person-shooter or some other type of game. But really no matter what you're doing, or what software you're running, whether it is a game, productivity software, music, or whatever, if you touch the screen in one area for 24 seconds straight, it will reset your touch and not work well again for about five seconds. It's a problem. Through the XDA Developers forum, I verified that this problem likely exists on all of the 2014 Note 10.1 devices (model SM-P600) with firmware MK1. I believe it is a driver issue. From what I understand, so far Samsung has not acknowledged the problem. Hopefully, they will discover and fix this with the next firmware release as it can be a really a major issue depending on what you're doing. Luckily most of the racing games I play have the option for automatic throttle, but I wish I could use a manual throttle control. It does affect my Armored Aces gameplay as I have to remember to quickly get off and then back on the throttle prior to 24 seconds in order to avoid a bad situation. *(4/27/2014: The 24-second-timeout issue with the touchscreen was fixed with new ND2 firmware!)*
Overall, it's a great, versatile tablet. I love it. In fact, I own two of them and I gave a third to my girlfriend who also loves it. If it wasn't for the issues with the weak charger and especially the touchscreen, I would give it five stars.
Lets say four and a half stars! In the past week, Samsung released its Android KitKit 4.4.2 firmware update for the US version of the 2014 Note 10.1 (firmware ND2). I applied it a few days ago and I can tell you along with the update from Jellybean to KitKat, it also fixes the 24-second-timeout issue with the touchscreen. The KitKat update has made the overall tablet experience faster and smoother. Samsung made some nice changes to Touchwiz including a better notification shade and a better task manager to name a few. Unfortunately, the KitKat update also introduces the Google-mandated restriction on which apps can write to the external SD card. Even though I'm not a fan of this restriction, it doesn't really affect me (yet) and I don't think it will affect most users. The restriction can be eliminated if you root the tablet. Overall, I'm very happy with the update so far, and I will report back if I find any issues!
One thing I've seen some people complain about is that the speaker grilles either are or get loose and then have a bit of play in them. Mine were a bit loose from the start, but it wasn't an issue until today. Today I noticed that the right speaker grille is very loose. It's not falling out and it doesn't come out, but the top edge of the right grille is literally hanging out. Just to make sure it couldn't fall out, I tried pulling it off using some masking tape, but it held in place. The left grille has some play in it but its not nearly as loose as the right grille (yet?). Since it doesn't snap back into place and the grille is so small and fine, I haven't figured out a way to fix this. I'm not sure I want to use glue as glue could damage the finish and it may make it difficult to disassemble the tablet, if that is ever necessary. I'll update if I fix this or if it gets worse. While this is something to look out for, this is an excellent tablet, and this is not something that should keep you from considering one.
I have found Real Racing 3! (see video) Wow! Hands down it is the best racing game on the Android platform at this time! It has the best physics, the most detailed cars (including interiors) and it is both fun and challenging to play! There are currently 91 different cars and 12 tracks (many with multiple configurations). It looks great and plays really well on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1! Alphalt 8 and GT Racing 2 are out!
I have now had the Note 10.1 2014 for 2 years and 8 months, and am still buying accessories, because it's in regular use. I've never considered owning a different device and try to take extra special care of my Note 10.1, because I would hate to not be able to replace it.
Encryption - Top Performer
I have been encrypting the device since mid 2014, and it has never taken a performance hit. The same cannot be said for all of the cell phones I have gone through in the last two years - many of which I dumped due to encryption caused performance issues. The Note 10.1 2014 has stood the test of time when it comes to handling encryption like a pro.
The are only two downsides I've encountered:
S Pen Design
One is the S Pen, in that it's size and the location of the button eventually grew rather obnoxious. I still use the S Pen and it functions flawlessly, but I never fail to hit the button when I don't want to, which can cause some serious issues when I'm in the middle of a fast-paced meeting and trying to take notes. I've recently ordered a larger S Pen stylus from Samsung that I have rather high hopes for. I would really like to go back to using this device in my work day.
SECURE Note Taking Apps
The other downside is app related. I've had some set backs in finding a note taking app that I felt comfortable using for my work tasks. I had been using EverNote for a while in my previous work, but when I found they were collecting a great deal of information (location, etc.), I grew weary, as privacy and confidentiality is important for my current work - hence the encryption. Since I had that experience with EverNote, I have been hesitant to use a cloud note service, which has greatly limited my ability to use the Note 10.1 2014 like I had been. Instead, I took to taking notes in emails, which was a work-around, but never was a solution. I'm still looking for a secure note app or option that I can have confidence in. I fear I'm too far ahead of the game on this issue and will have to wait a few decades to see this concept come to fruition.
I still use the Note for Netflix and other video watching or for other entertainment purposes. Since my experience with the Note, and it's handling of encryption, I've switch to Samsung for my cell (Note 4), and my husband has also switched for his cell (s7). Samsung has really won us over.
I have now had the Note for 5 months. I have been using it almost daily, especially in my work life. Samsung has finally pushed out the KitKat firmware update and all my lag-type issues are now gone! I am THRILLED. I knew it being a new product when I purchased it that there would be some issues to work out. Samsung has come through like I hoped they would. I have left the rest of my review as it was originally. However, please note, I would not want to give it 4.5 stars any longer. Samsung's amazing product and it's follow-through with firmware updating has definitely earned it a full 5 star rating!
I have had my Note 10.1 2014 for two weeks now and it is everything that I wanted it to be, and more. I had been waiting to buy a tablet, because I wanted one that would help me go paperless. I didn't want one just to surf the web, watch video, or to do all the things on it that I can already do on my smart phone. I wanted more from a tablet, and specifically that was paperless ability. If that is what you want in a tablet, this is the one for you, too.
Other key requirements for me were multitasking ability and stylus usability. The multitasking works pretty well. I'm a huge picture-in-picture fan, and now I can do it on my tablet. Phenomenal! There is no better stylus than one that is fully integrated into your tablet like the SPen is with the Note(s). You can use the stylus instead of typing on the (horrible like all others) tablet keyboard, to write instead of type and have your writing converted to text. This is by far my favorite thing about the Note. I *hate* using tablet keyboards, and now I don't have to!
I take all my notes for meetings, calendar entries, phone call messages, everything that I would have previously used a pen and paper for, now on my Note 10.1. It has required a lot of trial and error to figure out what app I wanted to use the most, which worked best for my needs.
Learning curve for the device:
I have been spending a lot more time on Android forums, specific to the Note 10.1 2014, finding out features I was not figuring out on my own. I watched a lot of youtube tutorial videos when deciding on whether to get the note, and knew there were features used in those videos that I could not figure out. There is a learning curve with this device. You have to be willing to put in some effort to really get everything out of it.
Not pure Android:
I also used forums to discuss changes that have occurred since updating the tablet upon arrival (Android 4.3, Kernel 3.4.39-2040736). Some features are lost or glitched after updating the device, and while that sounds bad, it hasn't been a huge issue. The awesome Ripple Effect that was present on the default lock screen when I first got the Note is now gone and no longer an available feature. This is a disappointment, because it was a neat feature that, simply put, made the display look amazing when unlocking the screen. Obviously, this is just cosmetic. Another issue I'm having is with unsetting a default that I accidentally set. When you navigate web pages or apps sometimes you're prompted to use another app, say for viewing a photo outside your browser for example. The Note will ask you if you want to "always" use the app you choose or if you want to use the app "just once". I found out the hard way that "just once" is the better option, because if you choose "always" for an app, that can cause some issues that no "Default app cleaner" app can fix. This is also not a huge issue, because in my situation it's causing another cosmetic detail issue (I can't change which app I use to crop wallpaper or lockscreen wallpaper photos now), but it is still a minor annoyance and could cause other more irritating issues had I not learned the lesson quickly and on a minor thing. All of these things are software update bugs that should or will probably be worked out over time.
Other things related to this not being pure Android is the relative slow loading speeds. I wouldn't call the device 'laggy', but there is a noticeable delay whenever you try to load anything. And I do mean anything. It's the norm, and a lack of delay is the rare exception. These days, this is not something people tolerate well. I have been using computers for almost 20 years, and have experience with days when systems were *extremely* slow. I think I have more patience for a slower system that others do, which is part of the reason why I went ahead with this device. I knew and expected it to be a little slower. You should too, or you might find yourself a little irritated. It isn't an extreme thing, but it is noticeable.
These issues are always a risk you run when you get away from pure Android. If you have any concerns about software bugs like this causing you too much frustration, you should consider a Nexus or an iPad, as they are 'pure OS' experiences. This is Android with the Samsung software slapped on top of it. There's going to be a few bugs along the way. Not to mention it just came out two months ago. As an IT professional, I should have known not to update so quickly after getting the device, but also I am more tolerant, because my expectations are rational.
If I could give the Note 10.1 2014 a half a star less, making it 4.5 stars, I would purely for the slower functioning and glitchy updates, but I went into the purchase expecting those things, and for that reason I gave it a full 5 stars, because it is meeting all my expectations and exceeding them in other areas. Anything more than what I've got right now would be perfection, and we all know that's not realistic!
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