5 Thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Earlier today, Samsung finally took the official wrapping off of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 which, as expected, officially launches tomorrow in the United States for $499. The Galaxy Note 10.1, while maybe not on many radars back in February when it was first announced, has captured the attention of consumers this time around.

The device has been overhauled since its last appearance. It now features a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM to go along with a 10-inch 1280 x 800 display that not only allows for touch input, but support for a stylus as well.

It also comes with a split-screen multitasking feature that allows users to run two apps side by side on the large display. The feature will unfortunately only work with select apps, like S Note, Polaris Office, the stock browser, video app and a few others, but it’s still a unique feature nonetheless.

We were fortunate enough to go hands-on with the Galaxy Note 10.1 earlier today and we’ll have a full review later. In the meantime, I wanted to share my thoughts about the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, the device that will surely be Samsung’s iPad rival heading into the holiday season.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 3

I’m lukewarm on the Galaxy Note 10.1

Split-Screen Multitasking Is Interesting

Of all of the features that have arrived with the Galaxy Note 10.1 today, the split-screen multitasking is the one I am most excited about. In fact, it’s something I wish that Apple would include with the iPad.

While it only features a select amount of apps, it does feature apps that I use the most on a tablet. Web browser, email, video player, and if I owned a Galaxy Note, the S-Pen notetaking app.

I often have my iPad set up side-by-side with my laptop throughout my work today and I can see the advantages that this split-screen multitasking feature could have.

$500 Is A Lot of Money

Unfortunately, it would be hard to justify paying $500 for this tablet. At least to me. The S-Pen and its unique apps are useful but beyond that and the split-screen feature, this device is essentially the same thing as a Galaxy Tab. The quad-core processor doesn’t interest me. I hate TouchWiz. It has Android 4.0. And the screen resolution isn’t anywhere close to the Retina Display on the new iPad.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Really?

Samsung, for whatever reason, has decided to launch the device with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich while promising an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean down the road.

One, there is no guarantee that Samsung will be able to keep that promise and two, dealing with the rumors and the wait does not seem fun at all. After all, it’s possible that the update could roll out in December.

No thanks.

Consider My Mind Not Blown

While I think the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 might blow my mind, this device did not. It’s not because Samsung already announced the device twice either.


It’s because it doesn’t have Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box and it doesn’t have a killer feature to speak of. I refuse to call the S-Pen and split-screen multitasking killer because there are only a few different applications that work in conjunction with them.

Strip those away and you have a device that appears to be a run-of-the-mill Android tablet.

Good Luck

The Nexus 7 is a fantastic tablet and it only costs $199. The new iPad is a fantastic tablet. And with the iPad mini and new Kindle tablets likely on the way, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is going to have some major competition. Had Samsung launched this tablet in this form earlier this year when it was supposed to, I think consumers might have liked it a lot more.

Read: Nexus 7 Review: One Week Later.

However, now that Android 4.1 is out and there is some serious tablet competition out and on the horizon, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is likely going to find it hard to fit in.