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on August 18, 2012
Review updated 2/5/2013. I ordered this tablet immediately when Amazon posted it with 1-day shipping and as of 7/20/2013 I haven't had any issues as a few users seem to have reported. Don't get discouraged if you get a lemon; just return it for another - Amazon has free returns/replacements in such cases.

* Hand Written Notes
- S Notes - Exports to PDF and also JPG. It has templates for various types of productivity. My favorites are the ruled paper, the meeting template (date, time, attendees, meeting notes) and the recipe template (I can imagine this being very useful for the kitchen, propped up in a case).
- Papyrus Beta - This free application is very nice and similar to S Note but has normal paper templates such as College Ruled, Wide Ruled, Narrow Ruled, Blank and 4 different Graph Paper types.
- ezPDF - Costs $3 and is what you'll probably want to make annotations on lecture slides and whatnot.
- MOST applications allow you to rest your palm on the tablet while writing, others are not as well written. This all depends on the author of a specific app.
- SOME applications have nice erasers. Some times you can press the button on the S Pen to erase instead of write and some times you can just use your finger to erase while using the S Pen to write. This all depends on the author of a specific application.

* Hand Writing Instead of Typing - The default keyboard has an option that lets you hand write in any input field instead of typing. Long-press the settings (gear) button on the keyboard to select the T button which enables hand writing. Please see the User Images of this product for a good example of this.

* Multitasking (updated 2/5/2013) - Within the past week I've noticed a number of apps I use get multi-screen support so it's much less limited and a gimmick, now. I can easily be taking notes on one half of the screen while browsing or chatting or whatever on the other half. With more apps supporting the feature now it's a much larger factor in whether or not to buy.

* GPS - Fast and accurate. I am currently on the first floor of a two-story apartment building about ten feet away from the outer wall (sliding glass door) and Google Maps had my position within 40 meters almost instantly after turning on the GPS receiver. Within 35ish seconds it had my position accurate to 10 meters.

* S Pen - Comfortable to hold (I'm a 5'10" tall guy and have normal sized hands). There's an odd button on the side which adds extra functionality with certain gestures. I have no idea how it works because I'm pretty sure the S Pen isn't powered in any way, but it's more than just a stylus.

* Screen - Very sensitive. I've been taking notes for half of my classes on my tablet and it works well. I usually have the brightness set to 10-15% or slightly less in classrooms or at home because that's all I really need but also to conserve battery life.

* Battery - While leaving it on all the time, wifi off when not using it, I manage to only charge my Note 10.1 once a week. Standard usage includes notes during seven hours of lecture each week and using it periodically throughout the day or in the evening.
- To really stretch your battery life you'll need to disable some apps. I disabled Google+ and some of the default/Samsung apps that come with the device in Settings->Application Manager. As of 2/5/2013 I'm still getting ~7 days out of one charge with moderate usage.

* Build Quality - Standard Samsung quality. The case has a lot of plastic and the back gives a little if you push on it but it definitely feels solid. Now that it's in a case the build quality doesn't matter any more.

* Speed
- Very smooth. I updated about 10 apps at the same time in the market, an operation which would nearly cripple my Galaxy S until it was done, and I couldn't tell any difference in the smoothness of the Note 10.1. While I was exploring I ended up having 15-20 applications open at the same time but again I couldn't tell any difference.
- Coming from a Galaxy S phone and hardly ever using a tablet before, I'm amazed by how fast this thing boots/restarts.

* Wifi - No complaints. It connects quickly and hasn't had any issues.

* Sound - Good, loud and scared my cat when I started something on Google Play. She looked around like she does when our surround sound is on because she doesn't understand what was making such a noise. I can't tell any difference in quality between it and my laptop when watching the same video on both (the laptop was ~$1700 before a coupon).

* Rooting Friendly - Check out the forum for this tablet on xda developers for info. This device already has developers that say they'll work on it and I'm sure more will sign up because the Note 10.1 stands out among the crowd.

* Universal Remote / IR Blaster
- Works well enough. I'm going to sell my Logitech Harmony One universal remote because the Peel application works but could be nicer. With my Harmony One I could set up custom activities like Listen to Radio on my Onkyo receiver but the Peel application only has standard actions like Watch Bluray. I can still set it to play the radio but it's buried in the menus.
- Great cable TV interface. We don't watch/have cable, but if you tell it what service you have it'll tell you what is currently playing, what will be playing and provides customized content based on the preferences you specify. It works with DVRs so I imagine you can manage all of that from the Peel application as well.

* Cameras - Amazon removed the images I posted for some reason so just take my word that the cameras work well. Both the front 1.9MP camera and 5MP camera fully live up to their specs.

* The Wife - Now that I've set it up the way I like it she won't put it down. You may not want your not-so-techie spouse to love it, but at least my wife won't be complaining that I spent $550 on it and then another nearly $100 on accessories =)

* SwitchMe App - When set up properly, if your tablet is rooted, this free application will give your Android device multiple profiles. Normally an Android device can only have one primary Google account to use with Google specific applications and whatnot, but this allows you to have separate profiles with separate accounts and separate applications.
Note: If you're going to use the SwitchMe app, DO NOT clone one profile to create another. Just set up a completely new profile.
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5150+ comments| 1,084 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 15, 2012
I am a long time Apple guy who currently owns 2012 Retina Macbook Pro, 27 inch iMac, iPad3, & iPhone 4S. I stay with Apple products mainly because Mac does the best for what I do. However, I never have been 100% satisfied with iPhone & iPad due to their unnecessary restrictions and limitations. I just couldn't find alternatives - I love Android in terms of features and potential, but the execution(overall user experience) has been lagging.

I guess that the time has come. Galaxy Note 10.1 made big step forward and turned the potential into reality. Just after 48 hours learning and playing around, I am convinced this is the device I want to use everyday. It is the first tablet that actually helps my productivity, no more frustration with restricted toy. So iPad goes to my mom now.

I won't relist pros and cons, since all reviewers already listed them. But I just want to correct a few misconceptions that some biased online reviewers manufactured.

1. Some people lie about build quality and they claim it makes squeaky sound when they grap it. Either they got the defect or it is downright lie. It feels solid and much better material for everyday use. Aluminum on my iPad may "look" better, but not practical without cover or case. I always had to use cover for my iPad to prevent scratches. But if you have to use case to cover, what's the point? It covers "beautiful" aluminum anyway. I don't even use cover/case for Galaxy Note and it feels just right in many hours use. Again, this two tone design(mine is white-silver) looks beautiful, very comfortable for many hours. This tablet is designed to work, not just look.

2. Screen - screen resolution is one of the reasons I was hesitant to try Galaxy Note. All I can say is just go try it yourself. This screen is beautiful! Yes you heard this from the owner who use Retina Macbbok Pro and 27 iMac everyday. Do not fall into john doe's resolution comparison, just go check it yourself! Sure 1920 would be nice, but I'd take Galaxy's 1280 with S-Pen any day.

3. Some say it's expensive. Do you know how much it cost to buy wacom device with this size and feature alone?

Most importantly, this tablet is so fast and responsive and delivers many things in my wish list "today". No more compromising and stuck with iPad. S-Pen, true multitasking (yes limited as of now, but it's already very powerful and useful), and microSD support (I feel like a prisoner who just escaped from Alcatraz!). I suggest you to check this device yourself and never fall into some online reviews.

Don't get me wrong. I still love Apple products and I will stay with Mac unless I see something better for my life and work. I just wanted to share my experience with Galaxy Note 10.1 because there are so many false reviews from Apple or Android fan boys and girls.

*** I strongly recommend you to watch all SAMSUNGmobile's YouTube videos to utilize Galaxy to its full potential. You will see why I think no other tablets can even compete with Galaxy Note. ***

One more thing...I know my next phone will be Samsung Galaxy Note II.
2424 comments| 1,176 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 12, 2013
Brief intro:

Here goes nothing. I took a while to publish this review because I wanted to try and experiment with my Note and to address all the pros and cons of the device that others have posted about. It would have been unfair if I had posted a glowing 5 star review after only owning it for one day. Likewise, it would not have been beneficial to anyone if I had just blasted the device without spending any time using it. I went ahead and tried to learn as much as I could about the Note once I got it. I tried every app, every function, every setting and accessory I could get my hands on. I tried to make notes of what others have said that they did not like about it. I wanted to see for myself if the problems they pointed out applied to me. I won't go into details about specs, or compare my Note to other devices. Sufficed to say, more than enough other people have posted such reviews. All I can say is that I have tried other tablets such as the iPad and even the Nexus 10 and I do not regret my purchase of my Note 10.1.

Before you read any further, you should be aware of the learning curves of tablets in general and the Note 10.1 in particular.

Learning Curves:
Beginner - If you have never used a tablet device you will have a learning curve. You will need to learn how to maximize and minimize apps. You will need how to install apps and visit the app store. You will also have to realize that just because an app is bad, that does not mean the Note itself is at fault. Not every app maker takes the time to customize their products for every device and you need to be aware going in to this purchase that many apps are not maximized to work and be viewed perfectly on a tablet device. If you can handle the beginner learning curve, and teach yourself how to view Netflix and listen to music and play Angry Birds and you feel like your brain will explode from all the new things you had to learn, then you probably don't need a Note. If you don't want to do anything else beside these basic functions I would suggest you save some money and buy a Kindle Fire or a less expensive device. They will be more than powerful enough for what you need them to do. Don't get a Note and then complain it is over priced simply because you do not use it to its full potential.

Advanced - If you learned all the basics about the Note, or have mastered these type of devices and are hungry for more, then get a Note. Keep in mind you will then have to spend more of your own precious free time to learn all the extra things this device can do. It will not magically do everything for you. Just because you get a Note does not mean you will magically be able to edit pictures in Photoshop or master handwriting tools and use the stylus by simply turning the device on. There is a steep learning curve and the manuals/tutorials included from Samsung are terribly bare. You will be left to your own to discover resources that help you take full advantage of your new device. Luckily for you, you can find tons of these resources out on the web!

Here are a few of the pros and cons folks have posted about and what I found out.

Pros (and some small concerns):
-Auto rotate for most programs , Netflix, Internet, Facebook. Most apps will auto rotate for you. Great for when you want to view some websites or larger files in portrait mode. I noticed that some of the older apps do not auto rotate. Since I started using this a few have updated themselves and fixed the problem, but it varies by the app maker. I also noticed that a few of the newer apps that should rotate, did not. I then realized this happens mostly for apps that use the front facing camera. I guess it make sense for these apps to not allow you to use the Note upside down, otherwise your camera output to apps such as Skype would result in your face showing upside down to the person you would be chatting with at the time. For the most part this only caused one minor annoyance since I have been using the Note. Mainly, when I try and charge the Note while using it, the charging cable fits into the bottom of the device. I can't then go ahead and place the device on my lap because I will pinch the charging cable. So I just have to make sure not to charge the device while I am using a few camera specific apps. Not really a big bother though.

- Store maps for offline use! Great app feature, specially since you don't have to find WiFi signal or use your phone's hotspot to update the map on long trips.

- Streams from my home media server and allows me to access all my movies and music from anywhere in the house. Even the backyard.

- WiFi works fine. I have no problems logging into both 2.4 and 5 networks. Even at the slower speed I am able to stream videos from my media server and apps such as Netflix with no lag whatsoever. I also connect to multiple WiFi networks at work and other locations and never have an issue trying to connect.

- Cameras are not the best you will see out there but both work nice. Both front and back have decent image quality and so far the video taken on the rear facing camera looks great. I know folks always want the greatest and latest but the cameras are more than ample enough for everyday use. The stock app is ok but I prefer to use one I got from the app store. More about this later.

- TV remote works great. I am able to control not only my home TV and cable but also my folks TV and their satellite service from my tablet. Needless to say it took them a few visits until they realized I was the one messing with their channels and they were indeed not going crazy!

- HDMI output works great but no subtitles! The HDMI out adapter is a bit confusing. You actually have to plug your wall charger into it then then to the TV and once that is done it works great! I am able to save some of my movie files on my Note for offline viewing on long trips and can then output the movie to an HDMI input on any TV. Works great. There is one drawback though and this seems to be universal across most tablet makers. If you are viewing a website and decide to export it to the TV for better viewing, the Note will not export any subtitles. You can see them just fine on the Note, but not on the TV. I have asked Samsung about this but not have had a definite reply yet. It should not matter if you don't use subtitles though.

- Overall performace is great. I can open multiple apps, multi task items and even have a pop up video playing at the same time and have no performance issues. I did test out one of these Notes at an electronics retailer that had the old Android OS and it was not as fast as the one I got. The latest upgrade really helped performance. I have no complaints in this department.

-Not all programs can be multitasked. Samsung is bringing out new software patch for phones that will allow multi task on all apps for their newer phones, maybe it will trickle down to the Note. However, I like the real estate on my Note. I am not sure how many items I would like opened at once.

-If charging while using an app that doesn't auto rotate, charging cable sticks out the bottom. Very inconvenient location.

Here are some the of the apps I use. Most are free, some are not.
- S Note exports to jpg and PDF file formats. However, the handwriting takes time to learn. I was having a rough time of it at first but then messed around with the stylus settings and sensitivity and can whip out notes of all kinds with no troubles. I also adore the S Note feature that ignores your hand if it accidentally touches the tablet surface when using the S pen. Otherwise, I would have smudges on every document I have writen so far. There is a small learning curve for this app. Do not despair.

- PS Touch is awesome! Takes a larger than normal learning curve though. I found 2 great channels on Youtube where the users teach you various functions of this app step by step. It is great to sit in front of the TV and watch someone use the features of this app in real life while you practice on your Note and master them. If you use Photoshop on your PC then you will be glad to know the menus and options for this app are very similar to the PC versions so you are already ahead of the game. It is not a full blown version but pretty good nonetheless.

- Dropbox is great for multiple devices. I have my phone, computers and Note linked to the same account. I like being able to take pictures on my phone and then being able to pull them up and edit them on my tablet. Once done I can toss them back and have access to them from any of my devices or PC's. Also great for moving files back and forth without having to plug my Note into my PC.

- Amazon has two apps. One for their store and one for their apps. The regular Amazon app tracks your Amazon purchases and tracks packages, pretty neat if you use Amazon a lot. However,the Amazon App store offers free apps everyday. I have snagged several apps from this site for free and saved a few bucks from having to get them off the Google Play store. It uses your Amazon credentials so I like the fact that you don't have to enter additional financial info in order to pay for items from the Google Play Store. Also, every app I have looked at seems to be 40-50% cheaper on the Amazon app site than on Play Store. I have this app and log into it every day to see what goodies they are giving away. I don't like the fact it is not part of the main Amazon app but it is still great for getting free stuff!

- Kindle book reader. Great for reading books, I love the settings and while I would not get a Note just for reading books, it is a great addition for an item I was already getting regardless.

- Netflix works flawless. Also, if you have Netflix on an external device such as PS3, you can bring that up and log into Netflix on your Note and you can acutally use it as a remote and control your Netflix through your Note. Handy little trick that was added to android devices recently.

- Pocket Cloud is used for VPN connections. I am not sure if most folks would use the VPN feature on the Note but I use it to connect to my work on the weekends sometimes. I then fire up Pocket Cloud and bam! I am logged into my workstation back at my work desk and can access and run everything just as if I was sitting at my desk.

- SuperGNES. Yea, what can I say. A free SNES player that allows me to download free ROMS and play some Zelda to unwind once in a while. Purely for nostalgia purposes though.

- Skype I use mainly to call overseas and to have my mom do video chatting with her grandkids up in Ohio. They love it and it works great. Even better since it is free.

- Video Player that comes with it by default is pretty nice. Plays multiple video formats and is able to pick up my home media servers and stream from them.

- Youtube is a great tool to use. I love to have it up and running and be able to control it from my couch. Yes, like the Netflix app, android users can log into youtube from your device and control playback as well as manage lists and favorites and other preferences. I love it because when you have to search for items it is way easier to type into the Note than trying to navigate through the bulky and not very user friendly text input of my media devices.

- ezPDF Reader is better than just about every other PDF app I tested. Amazon has given this one away for free before on their APP store so keep an eye out. It lets you add notes and tons of other features to your PDF files. Works with the S Pen.

- Camera Zoom FX is a step up from the built in camera app included with your Note. It has some handy camera features and filters that are not included natively on your Note and too much of a pain to apply to your pictures once they have been taken. This app does it while taking the shots. Great time saver.

Notes: Some observations I have made.
- Some apps dont work as well as the full website, it is best to just go to the full website instead. This is for android apps in general, not just on the Note. However, some sites force you into a 'mobile view'. They look pretty horrible and are pretty useless. Make sure you force your Note browser into 'desktop view' and you will be able to view the full site and use all features on it just fine.

- Battery charge. I used it regularly to access web, Skype, few apps and some note writing using the S pen as well as messing around with some videos and pictures. I could go about 3 days or so before I realized I needed to charge the unit. Overall not too bad for what I was making it do. I went ahead and tested it over a few weekends of heavy use to see how it handled the load. I opened videos, web, several apps I did not need and multi tasked to my hearts content. Using this heavy load I was able to run the battery down in about 8 hours. Your charges may vary, but I was overdoing it to test it for myself. As far as charging times go, it will charge about 15%+ per hour when not being used, 12% if used while charging. So yes, you can fully charge it while using it. Just be aware, you will NOT be able to charge this baby by simply plugging the charging cable into the USB port of your computer. You can transfer files but the power output from standard USB ports is not strong enough to power the Note. You will need a direct connection to a wall outlet.


- Screen protector and a tablet leather case are a must. You need to keep this baby safe. I tried many cases and screen protectors before I settled on mine. HDMI out works nice. Just make sure you plug it in properly. Car adapter can come in handy. However, I had a bit of misfortune on the first one I purchased. Aside from that it works well. The charging cable that comes with the unit is very short and does not let you charge the unit while using it unless you sit next to the wall outlet. Get a larger one for charging and use the small one for Note to PC transfers.

*** Special Note***
SD cards! I was at the Samsung site yesterday and someone asked the maximum size of the SD cards that can be used with the Note 10.1. The Samsung rep answered "32GB". This is wrong. I am running a 64GB card and it works great. I have more than one and have the extra ones filled with movies for long boring trips. Since the latest Android update these cards are automatically found by your Note 10.1. Prior to this update you had to go through a painful process of formatting 32Gb and 64GB cards to get them to properly show up. I think that is why Samsung kept folks from trying out the 64GB cards. They work fine! Make sure you get the right ones though and be careful with the hassle free packaging ones offered by Amazon. Buy the retails ones instead.

I have written reviews on the types of accessories I ended up purchasing. I did much research on all of them. One thing I suggest you do is to be careful about your vendor. I had no problems with any of my accessories except one. The rest work great and are Samsung brand items. If you are worried about getting some of the accessories here, go to the Samsung site and register your product. After a few days they will send you a complimentary loyalty coupon that gives you 50% any and every accessory for your Note. (At least they did for me) It is a one time deal though. This makes the prices much more compatible with Amazon and takes the worry out of getting the right item that will work. I have only had one small problem with an Amazon item and I have been shopping from this site for many years. I find Amazon to be very dependable. Please read the reviews (good and bad) on every item in order to make an informed decision.

Response to other reviews:
Here are some notes I added to address the concerns others had when they reviewed their Notes.

-KIES - I am not sure what to make of this. Folks complain about this sayging it doesn't work, while others say it works fine. I use it on my S III, a few PC's and my Note and have no issues. I installed it because my Windows 7 PC would not properly identify my Note until KIES was installed. I have no issues.

-Saumsung is slow to push updates. I have heard this complaint many times. I would have to say I agree with this comment. Samsung is one of the slowest companies when it comes to pushing updates. They could easily just push out the latest Android builds after a few tweaks but noooooooo, not Samsung. They take forever to push these out. However, once they do push them out they add so many extra features than just the stock Android builds! My last phone update took a bit to get here but it improved battery life immensely and added a few tweaks that made the phone even better. The last update for the Note improved performance all around, as well as battery life and many added new features for free. Also improved SD card compatibility. I can hardly wait for their next update which has even more features in store! Oh wait, I can wait, because I have no other choice. They are are slow...

- It is hard to bring up apps from background? Tap the app button and the list comes up much like task manager. You can then bring up any previously opened app. It is located right next to the home button. What is so hard about that? Want to turn off apps? Open the App widget and tap away at what you want to turn off. I run my Note with tons of items running all over the place nad it doesn't affect battery life much. I am not sure why some folks are bothered by this but in my extensive testing I didnt find any unused open apps affected my battery life or charge times.

- S Note has a small space to write in. You can't fit that much on a page? Some have said this, but it scrolls down fine for me. I am able to use all the functions. It did take me a while to practice and get used to how it works though. It works fine for me now that I practiced. However, I had no idea what I was doing the first time. It is a learning curve and I think folks expect it to work like other programs they have tried before?

- Folks have said their passwords are saved in the browser. Once I changed the settings it never saved them for me. So I was unable to replicate this issue.

- The learning curve can be steep for some items. Hard to find tutorials or guides. I have to agree with this comment. Manuals and guides are virtually non-existent for the Note and the built in apps. However, with a little bit of searching you can find them online. The best so far have been the dozens of you tube channels on every app that I have looked for. It takes some effort to get started though. They will not be hand delivered to you.

-Flash upgrade! Many folks complain about the lack of Flash on your Note. This was a decision made by Adobe. They are getting away from all Flash development for mobile devices. Flash was too buggy and caused performance issues so Adobe just decided to stop supporting it and move on to HTML5. It pains me to see how many people post and blast Samsung for this. It was not a Samsung decision. With that said, if you go to the Adobe site and look up the archived Adobe files section, you will be able to download and install Flash 4.x for your Note that works just fine with every website I have been to so far.

I love my Note. I would not get one for my mom. It is more than she needs. I would get her a Kindle. It doesn't mean I don't love her.


Make sure you do your research!

If you have any questions about anything leave a comment and I will try to answer if I can.
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on November 2, 2013
11/1/13 I will review the product itself under Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 32GB. But this review is for this seller 'Good Guys Electronics'. Buyers be warned!!! The tablet I received is GT N8010 which is an older version but the Model numbers on the box have been neatly taped on with a sticker that says GT N8013, was an opened box, and the tablet is scratched on the edges. This item was labeled as New but is definitely Used or Refurbished! Deceptive listing! And beware whenever an item title says '10 1 Samsung Galaxy Note' instead of '10.1 Samsung Galaxy Note' even if it says fulfilled by Amazon because it is still from the same seller. Returned this item and re-ordered a brand new one directly sold by Amazon. What a waste of time!

Update: 11/6/13 The seller called me and clarified that the confusion was how Amazon fulfilled the order. I agree and can see that. Yet what could be the explanation that the Model number on the box was taped on with GT N8013 while the tablet itself is imprinted with GT N8010. I don't think that this one is Amazon's error in processing the order.
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on February 15, 2013
I originally had the 16 gb but sold that to a friend due to my dislike of the limited space, and I bought this 32 gb right after. This device is AMAZING. It does everything you need a tablet to do from watching videos, downloading all kinds of apps, listening to music, surfing the web, reading books, and most of all TAKING NOTES.

My laptop has been gathering dust for a long time now since I got the Note 10.1. I use it on a daily basis for all sorts of tasks from balancing my checkbook to taking notes to playing games and even word processing.

The word processing is a bit of a headache on any device without a good quality physical keyboard. I bought a Logitech keyboard for Android and now even word processing is a breeze on this (especially with good applications like Kingsoft, PowerWriter, and the built-in Polaris). You really can't go wrong with this device. It easily beats out the iPad (which I also own, the third generation) in everything except perhaps display (which is better on the iPad). The multi-tasking is just plain ridiculous on the Note 10.1 (ridiculous as in amazing -- sorry for the slang). You get Android 4.0 on the device initially, and that allows for multi-tasking. But when you update your software to the Jellybean version (4.1, I believe), you feel almost like you're on a computer. For a number of apps, you can use split screen, resize windows, etc. The other day I was able to keep open my Lecture Notes app (for handwriting notes), my Polaris app (for viewing documents), my calculator, a music player, and I'm still able to open more like movies, and YouTube and an Web browser! And if you can't find your window, just hit the windows icon on the bottom and it shows a list of open windows. You can even close out one or more windows (either individually or all at once) with a simple swipe or tap.

Then it also comes with dual speakers so if you don't have earphones, you can still easily hear the video or music you're listening to. It's so easy to watch videos and movies and shows on it in landscape with those speakers when you're with company. Also, let's not forget its main feature: The S-Pen! Another amazing innovation by Samsung. This is especially useful for students, artists, and business people. You can write as though you were using a pen and paper. You might wonder the usefulness of it, but trust me, you can do so much on a tablet with that kind of capability. It comes built in with photoshop which I don't use but everyone I know seems to rave over...and the S-Pen seems to be a natural tool for this app. For apps that I use like S-Note, the ability to type something and then draw an illustration or a chart or write out an equation/formula saves me so much time and effort. The handwriting recognition is also one of those features that when you try it you, you'll wonder how the heck did you live without it?

Going from this to the iPad was a major step down. I own both and use both, but this is a far superior machine with far superior functions. I personally think that this is not only the best Android tablet out there currently, but that it is better than any tablet so far ever made. This device not only makes things like gaming, movies, etc. possible and enjoyable, but goes a step further by making the tablet a serious tool for actual work like writing and note-taking and editing images, etc.

While I can go on and on about how much I love the tablet and how great it is compared to the competition with all its features and capabilities, there are going to be some drawbacks naturally as no device is perfect. The battery life is good, but that's because I rarely take it off Power Saving mode and only occasionally type on it. The built-in S-note is limited to some extent in that it doesn't carry with it other useful features found in ordinary word processors like word count. As a handwriting app, it's great, but I find myself using Lecture Notes more (a couple of bucks on the Play store) because the size of each page on the latter as well as the ability to customize between college ruled or wide ruled (or blank) makes it feel more like paper when writing notes completely by hand. Accessories don't seem to be anywhere near as common (if a lot even exist) for this device as for the competition especially as for the iPad. Keyboard cases designed for the Note 10.1 are horrible made-in-China products that work only barely and are not suitable for fast and/or accurate typing. Even Samsung's keyboard dock for this device doesn't even exist in the US as of yet, and if you're in the States and want to buy one, it looks like you're going to have to settle for one from Europe, like the UK (though I've heard there are some US onlne stores that have their hands on these and selling them here). The display does not match the iPad's no matter how much better the Note is than the iPad. It's not a "bad" display by far, but the Retina Display is simply crisp and beautiful to look at. Also, I don't like the 10.1" design (others may disagree). I feel that a shape like the iPad's is more practical for writing notes and doing things like playing games, but that might just be a very personal preference. (In case you don't know, the Note 10.1 is longer/larger than the iPad by a bit, but it is more rectangular in shape while the iPad comes closer to a square in shape, but not quite a square.)

I don't know what else to say: if you have any questions, just ask and I'll be happy to reply.

My final opinion: I think that this device convinced me that the tablet can be seriously used as a device for work as well as pleasure, and that accessory makers should start focusing on this product for making keyboards, cases, etc. I also feel that this tablet should convince developers to focus more on Android apps than on iOS apps simply because devices like this allow for so much more flexibility and because I see this as leading the way for more innovative Android products in the future.

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on January 27, 2013
I received this tablet from Amazon last Thursday as a "warehouse deal" - it was pretty much brand new - no detectable wear or flaws whatsoever. The top of the box had a "Quality Control" check-off sheet stating that the data had been wiped, factory reset was completed, and everything was inspected. Even the plastic peel-off things on the Note was intact. If a warehouse deal is available, definitely jump on it.

This is my first tablet, but I'm quite a tech-junkie, so I'd rate myself as an "advanced user".

I won't beat a dead horse here. The five hundred or so reviews before mine can give you plenty of insight into the S-Pen, the processing power, the battery life, etc. Rather, I'm here to touch on what has been overlooked by other reviewers, and to rate the entire unit as a whole.

Things I found out after I bought the tablet:

-Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean was released for this tablet only a few days ago. Being able to play with the tablet before and after the upgrade has let me see how much more improved this Android version is... and it is stellar. Besides the obvious stability fixes, it just... works! The applications and user interface is SMART. I can't stress this enough. The apps work with each other (Dropbox and QuickPic are good examples), and the interface is great (custom home-screen, widgets, etc.). When I open a file in Photoshop, it asks me what source I want to use. I have more shortcuts to apps than I know what to do with. I can switch between applications flawlessly. When I downloaded a 3.5gb game, it asked me if I wanted to save to external SD instead of on-board memory (YES!). When I try to charge it from a source that doesn't provide enough power (it needs 5v 2A), the tablet tells me that it is receiving inadequate power. When I plug in a USB external hard drive to the tablet, the tablet tells me that the USB device requires too much power to operate (stick with the thumb drives, or AC adapter powered external HDDs). I even tried connecting the tablet to the USB adapter to a USB SD card reader and finally to an SD card. It accessed the SD card witout any issues. Coming from my HTC Desire HD as my last Android device, these are huge advancements in interoperability and ease-of-use.

-iOS is inherently better. This is a sacrilegious statement, I know, but hear me out. iOS comes out-of-the-box with stellar capabilities and performance, not to mention having great customizability. On the other hand, Android comes with some very, very quirky issues out-of-the-box (How about the fact that I can't set a lock-screen wallpaper that isn't a square? I have a 16:10 screen and you force me to use 1:1... WHY?). But, the upside is that there is an app and a fix for everything. If you find something quirky and poorly designed within the Android OS, chances are, someone else came across the same issue and wrote an app to address said issue, usually for free. On the other hand, while iOS is inherently more robust, the expansion and app-based fixes are much more limited. If you find something quirky and weird in iOS, chances are, you're stuck with it forever. This means that Android is weaker off the starting line, but as you customize the OS and add your own personal tweaks and such, it will eventually surpass iOS.

-This thing is solidly built, with a beautiful screen. Don't listen to the naysayers about how pixilated text is, because it really isn't. 1280x800 with a 10.1" screen gives you 150 pixels per inch (PPI). For reference, the 15" MacBook Pro Retina has 220 PPI (113 PPI for non-Retina), and the iPad Retina has 264 PPI (132 PPI for non-Retina).
As far as the build quality goes, I haven't noticed a "creak" or "squeak" when I flex the tablet. Then again, I don't use my tablet as a torque wrench. I keep it in a book-like case and treat it as if it cost me two car payments (which it did). And I assume most people who buy one of these will do the same. Why worry about things that aren't an issue?

However, there are some quirks to Note (haha, get it?).

-The 3.5mm headphone jack is on the top of the tablet. This makes it kind of awkward to use when the tablet is standing upright with a case, as you have to route the cable behind and around the screen in order to prevent it from obstructing your view.

-You can't choose the location of your Google Play store. I live in Japan and want to shop the American Play store. However, because it detects my IP address as originating from Japan, it forces me to use the Japanese store. The only way to circumvent this is to use a VPN or some other more questionable methods. On the other hand, Apple's App Store lets you select the region you want to shop from. Luckily for most of you this won't be an issue.

-There isn't a solid-quality keyboard case yet. iPads have a plethora to choose from, but this tablet only has a handful, and none are very well reviewed. Your best bet is to have a small Bluetooth keyboard if you need to do some serious typing, until a good case/keyboard combo is manufactured.

The bottom line: This thing rocks. Whatever purpose you need a tablet for, you'll find some unbelievably amazing things that are possible and most likely completely unrelated to what you originally purchased this tablet for. One thing that comes to mind is cloud-based video editing. Edit videos on your tablet, the file is compiled/rendered off-site on a high-powered computer, and the final product is sent back or available on the cloud. The capabilities are literally endless.

Just do yourself a favor, stop shopping around, and buy this tablet. If you don't like it, send it back. But chances are you'll fall in love just as I have.
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on November 15, 2012
I've had this tablet for about a month now and I truly love it! It is truly great for productivity and for minimizing the amount of papers you have to carry. It is great to:

1. Take notes at school on PDFs given out by professors. Before I had to print out the slides before class, take notes, and then carry them around for weeks to be able to study them. Carrying around all those notes was so messy not to mention heavy! I now just download the lecture slides and take notes using annotate or use the multi-screen option by using s-note.

2. I do all my homework on this. I just use s-note to do all my homework (I'm taking several science classes) and before I needed to carry around several color pens, and erasers and papers just to be able to do my homework. Now I just create a document in s-note, export it, and upload it using dropbox, and then I can print it from any of my devices linked to my dropbox account. You also get 48GB of dropbox for 2 years just for purchasing the tablet.

3. It is great to take notes during meetings too.

4. I have a couple of my classes' books in digital format which makes reading and carrying around the books so much easier!

In general I LOVE this little tablet! It is great if you are a student because you can do all your classwork, as well as all the "fun" stuff you can do in other tablets. I also watch Netflix movies , read kindle books and Google play magazines on it. I love not having to carry pounds of paper and textbooks with me! If you are a student you won't regret buying this over the ipad!
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on September 11, 2012
Ok, pretty much the only reason i bought the Galaxy Note 10.1 over other similar tablets was because of the S-pen, so my review is going to deal mostly with that. Keep in mind that this is my first tablet and i am new to android.

First of all, the S-pen is very accurate and works great. After using a Wacom Bamboo for many years i would say that the s-pen lives up to my expectations. It is precise and the pressure sensitivity works very well. I can't say that i notice all 1024 levels while using it, but it does have a nice range of sensitivity.

- The multitasking is great, and so is the pop-out video player.
- Screen looks amazing (even with the lower, 1200x800 resolution)
- S-pen is awesome, the tip is small enough to allow you to be really accurate.
- Sketching and drawing/painting on this tablet is fantastic, especially after Autodesk SketchBook Pro was updated, amazing app that i highly recommend.
- Taking notes on it is a breeze, the only tablets that can even come close to comparing to it are the Windows 8 tablets with Wacom digitizers, but they are much more expensive.
- The peel app makes controlling your T.V. or home theater system quite convenient.
- Battery life is outstanding.

- The fact that it's made out of plastic doesn't bother me, but some people might care. It looks good and is pretty sturdy either way.
- A bit pricey, considering the screen resolution is so much less than other tablets in the same price range, but the S-pen is the trade off.
- Does not have a mini HDMI port built-in. After owning the tablet for 5 months this is the one thing i really wish it had. In order to connect this to a HDTV or other TV you have to buy a separate adapter, and you have to have the tablet plugged into a power source: Samsung EPL-3PHPBEGXAR Galaxy Tab HDTV Adapter
Very annoying and inconvenient, but the only real downfall of the entire tablet.

In Conclusion:
I would definitely recommend this tablet to anyone, especially if you will make good use of the s-pen with taking notes, drawing, or anything else. The quality of the product is very nice.

On a side note, I you need the Full Pro version of Autodesk Sketchbook to be able to use pressure sensitivity, the free version (express) doesn't have this. But the tablet comes with Photoshop PS Touch which has full pressure sensitivity support.

The tablet does have a couple downfalls (the screen resolution is a little low, but it still looks nice even with lower resolution). And the android 4.1.2 update increased the amount of apps that you can run in multi-window mode, so that is no longer an issue. The human eye (someone with great vision) can recognize a dpi of up to 300. Apple uses a number very close to this in their Retina displays, but no one is holding the device right up to their face to use it. Having 150 dpi is still on the higher end of things. To put that into perspective, my full HD 21" 1080p monitor that i am looking at right now has an excellent display at 105 dpi, granted i do sit further away from it than a tablet. A typical laptop (15.6" at 1366 x 768) only has 75 dpi and no one is complaining.

****EDIT:**** I've had the tablet for just over 5 months now and i am still very satisfied with this tablet, even after seeing all the Windows 8 tablets out there i would still buy this one.
review image review image
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on January 5, 2017
I've never purchased a tablet before, but as a grad student whose office had already been scolded for using too much toner (we're all first-semester Master's students as of Fall 2016) I figured that maybe it was time to invest in a product that would allow me to annotate my PDFs digitally. While I could probably do this with my computer, it's not the most portable device and I love the note-taking features my Samsung Galaxy Note 5 phone offers with its S pen, S Note, and Write on PDF features. Because I do a lot of reading, the phone's smaller screen wasn't suitable for a lot of late-night annotating, so when I went looking for tablets (on a budget, mind you, I certainly can't afford a Microsoft Surface Pro or anything), I knew that I essentially wanted a larger version of my Galaxy Note phone, and this tablet fits the bill perfectly, as the name would imply.

Because this version of the Samsung tablets is older, I couldn't download all the apps I have on my phone, namely the Microsoft Office Suite and Write on PDF functions, but I've found ways around both these obstacles. The tablet comes with its own suite of Microsoft Office-like products which I've found are passable for looking at (if not editing) Word Documents and because I mostly use Google Docs and Google Drive for writing papers and saving documents, this aspect hasn't really been an issue for me. The inability to install the Write on PDF app was a little more tricky to resolve because I use that app a lot on my phone, but ultimately after some searching I found an app that works even better: Xodo. This app lets you open multiple PDFs at the same time and switch between them with no problem, will read you passages out loud, lets you actually rotate weirdly scanned PDFs (all of which Write on PDF doesn't let you do), and does all the other things that the Write on PDF app does, so in some ways, I'm quite happy that I couldn't download my Write on PDF app.

All in all, while the tablet has the drawback of an older OS and an inability to download more recent versions of apps, it's a wonderful and affordable device (I bought mine for less than $200) and works fantastically for a grad student looking to take handwritten notes on it and watch Netflix. I would highly recommend this tablet and its S Pen to anyone looking for a tablet for note-taking or grad school purposes and who is on a budget.
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on December 5, 2012
I debated between the iPad and Note 10.1. I’ve had an iPhone for three or four years, and my initial inclination was to stick with the familiar, but I ultimately decided on the Samsung and couldn’t be happier with my purchase. This is my first Android product and I must admit there was a learning curve as I was getting it all set up the way I wanted, but that’s all behind me now.

One of the things I love is the flexibility of configuring screens with the various widgets that are available; it gives me so much more control over how the tablets looks and even works. I’m also big on the memory card slot. I haven’t used the S-pen a lot, but in the little experimentation I’ve done, it works as advertised, and it’s high time someone developed a stylus with a fine point rather than those stupid, rubber-nosed things that are like writing with a clown’s nose.

One of the magazine reviews I read criticized the Note for its plastic case, but I’m finding I rather like it. It’s very light for a large tablet, so I don’t mind holding it for long stretches while reading or watching a movie. It also feels very secure in my hands. With the iPad, I felt as though I had to be extra cautious for fear of it slipping out my hands.

On the minus side are the location of the headphone jack and the Google Play store (formerly Android Market). The jack sits along the top of the tablet (if you’re holding it in landscape mode). This is mostly a problem when watching videos, as I have to consciously move the headphone cord off to one side and hold it there so it’s not dangling across the screen. Putting on the jack on the side or bottom would have made more sense. Also, I’d heard of the shortcomings regarding the Play store, but figured certainly I’d have access to the apps I most wanted. By and large, this is true, but there are some apps I have on my phone that I’d like to have on my tablet, however they aren’t available for Android. It’s more of an annoyance than an actual problem, but worth noting.
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