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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 review

Andrew Williams

By

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Pros

  • Good screen
  • Strong stylus implementation
  • Improved design and build

Cons

  • New style likely to polarise
  • Slightly ugly interface
  • Lingering lag despite excellent specs

Key Features

  • Exynos Octo-core 1.9GHz CPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 16GB internal memory and microsSD slot
  • 10.1-inch 2,560 x 1,600 pixel Super LCD screen
  • Android 4.3 with Samsung UI
  • Manufacturer: Samsung
  • Review Price: £449.00

What is the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 is the new version of the 10.1-inch tablet Samsung launched in 2012. Its key selling point remains the same – a digitiser stylus pen that's fully pressure sensitive.

At £450 you do pay a little for this extra functionality, but this is a powerful, flexible tablet that's worth considering if a tablet that doubles as a drawing pad appeals.

Note 10.1 2014 16

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 – Design

The Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 is a 'full-size' tablet just like the previous edition. There are two main changes to the bodywork – one is great, the other pretty questionable.

Starting with the good, Samsung has reduced the screen bezel, making the 2014 edition significantly smaller than the last one. It's 243mm wide, down from 262mm last year. That's a full centimetre cut off each side.

Making the tablet less wide makes the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 easier to handle. There's still easily enough space to each side of the screen to rest a thumb on, and the squarer shape feels much better in the hand. This is still a widescreen tablet, but its actual shape is a little closer to the 4:3 aspect iPad Air. It's an improvement.

Note 10.1 2014

What we're a little less keen on is the style Samsung has adopted for its newest high-end Galaxy-series devices. Where before they were finished with glossy, smooth plastic, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 has a faux-leather effect on its rear, complete with fake stitching. It is plastic. All plastic.

The feel on your fingers is better than the old glossy plastic, and it offers a little more grip. However, it is quite naff. It's a real case of personal preference, but a straw poll of the TrustedReviews team discovered no fans of the new style.

Note 10.1 2014 2

Like the Note 3, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 has ridged silver sides that look a bit like metal, but are – you guessed it – plastic. The Note 10.1's build quality is solid, and the tablet feels much stronger than the last model, but the change of design direction lacks class.

At the launch of the Lumia 925 phone, Nokia stressed that its aim was to make something where if a material looked like metal, plastic, whatever – it would be made of that substance. It's an admirable design doctrine. Samsung takes the opposite approach. Even the box features a wood-style texture. Suffice to say, it is not wood (much as paper/cardboard may be made from trees).

Note 10.1 2014

Down as we are on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014's finishing elements, they're the sort of things you'll get used to quickly. In more practical terms, the design is solid. At 540g it's light for a 10.1-inch tablet, and it's thin too at 7.9mm thick.

It's on the cusp of being a tablet light enough to use one-handed, but we still think this is primarily a two-handed tablet. Of course, the orientation of the logo and soft keys implies this anyway.

Like just about every Galaxy phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 has a clicky central Home button and a pair of touch sensitive 'back' and 'menu' buttons. These were missing from the 2013 Note 10.1. They're real practicality wins for the tablet, and like a Galaxy S4's touch sensitive keys, the back and menu buttons light up. They're handy, if a little little unusual in a tablet.

Note 10.1 2014 4

Like the 2013 Note 10.1, the 2014 Edition is not a beauty. However, despite all the criticisms we've made, it's still a significant improvement over last year's model – in both looks, build and usability.

dpanch_89

September 7, 2013, 6:49 pm

Can't wait to get one of these.

arnold

September 7, 2013, 9:05 pm

Like !

Tippa

September 7, 2013, 10:19 pm

How about Remote Desktop? I imagine that one could emulate a mouse using the S Pen, so you can remote control for example your Win7 computer at home. Does that work well? Which RDP app to use?

maaen

September 17, 2013, 9:51 pm

I just hope that the Note 12.2 will be as good or even better and has an extra large battery...a longer S pen( 7 inches long at least), and I hope that the tablet will be very sleek ....and I would like it to have a beautiful low light capable camera with the flash...and please Samsung ...No BUTTON.....and it would be so good to have two speakers on the top on the landscape format.....please do not make us wait too long

kenneth

November 14, 2013, 4:22 pm

The tablet is a disaster. Crashed just out of the box. Samsung dealer says the OS is unstable. Had to reinstall the OS. Notification bar freezes even with no apps running. I MADE A TOTALLY BAD DECISION!

kenneth

November 14, 2013, 4:24 pm

The OS is unstable. Mine crashed just out of the box. Samsung had to reformat the OS!

skynine

November 17, 2013, 11:50 am

Mine has worked perfectly. It did update the OS automatically soon after startup, no complaints so far.

kinza

November 17, 2013, 1:43 pm

nice

Sharky66

November 18, 2013, 11:59 am

Come on Nexus 10 - hurry up.

Albert

November 18, 2013, 12:33 pm

Sounds like my iPad Air. Screen blanked and bricked the first time I turned it on out of the box. Apple Genius said I had tried to jailbreak it (I don't even have any idea what that is) and would not help as I did not have Applecare. Lucky John Lewis is excellent at returns. I am now waiting for the new larger Nexus.

Chris

November 18, 2013, 8:06 pm

I own old version and only issue I have is battery life / charging time issue. Hopefully that was addressed in 2014 model

dpanch_89

November 18, 2013, 11:04 pm

Got it now, and its great! though its my first android product, so i'm still figuring out how the file system works! Need to find a good PDF annotating app for my PhD too!

cbordin

November 19, 2013, 1:34 am

Have had mine just over a week and it Rocks! I would recommend it to anyone stylus required or not. Super fast and rock solid and for battery life in my case, it lasts all day. Light use days I could get two or three days.
I will never go back to apple and their restricted/moderated software. If anyone disputes this just download Fing for Apple and then try Fing for android.

IT Admin

connor

November 26, 2013, 11:58 pm

apparently nexus 10 2nd gen not happening

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles...

Droid

November 28, 2013, 4:04 am

I personally don't trust a single word coming from an IBTimes article..

Chad

December 8, 2013, 1:58 am

I have had mine for two weeks and I am completely satisfied. Upgraded from the Note 8, which was the best device I have ever had. Was nervous, but now I am glad I went with the larger version of a great device. I would not trade my Note for 10 ipads.

Ilya Feldman

December 10, 2013, 11:08 am

I realize this is an unusual question, but which color would you go with? Does either color serve any specific utility other than just aesthetics?

Tushar Patil

December 15, 2013, 1:40 pm

I would suggest Black would look good, as black border would provide good contrast...But still it depends on your choice.

miginny

December 16, 2013, 7:14 pm

This tablet is awesome! Stylus is not just a footnote; it's the main reason I got this model and it rocks. Feels like a paper notepad, except I can keep all my notes electronically filed. Multi-window, multi-tasking is another brilliant feature (that was not mentioned in this review).

Richard

December 18, 2013, 1:48 am

I got a Surface Pro but I am taking it back to get this tablet instead because of how terrible the user interface is, and this seems to be a lot better. He mentioned performance issues, have you noticed those?

Floyd russell

December 28, 2013, 11:40 pm

Hello,

I presume that you are talking the 2014 model?

James

January 4, 2014, 8:58 pm

On the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014

Just bought this yesterday and am not impressed.
The UI is way too mess/fussy; frequently the touch screen will not respond until 3-5 tries when touching links; the sound is absolutely horrible - tinny and without any depth. useability overall stinks. To me, if useability is crappy, the device is crappy.
My S3 android phone is far better in all of the above.

Of course, it's better points are the video playback (with horrible, unbearable) sound; the screen resolution, size and speed; and the battery.
I hope that the stylus will be useful to me but I have only just fooled around with it so I can't offer useful comment. It does work quite well tho, so I am looking forward to testing that.

The build quality is cheap. The bottom edge is curved and the mini-usb charger connector at bottom edge middle is usually hard to get in/out. It is VERY slippery so a case with texture is essential.
I do not think it is worth near $600 - maybe $400.

My intention, having bought this at Costco, is to further test it, then exchange this unit, and if nothing is better, to return it.
I would give up the super screen/vid playback for a tablet which does not have the above issues.

I may update this lattter as I use it more.

Shontal Ann

January 5, 2014, 4:26 am

I opted for the black as well and it is beautiful :) The black has a sort of frosted sheen that is so enticing to the eyes!

James McG

January 24, 2014, 5:02 pm

I have this tablet and have to totally disagree, the sound is OK not top quality but passable, the UI is excellent once setup for you settings and I have had absolutely no issues with the touch screen. I had the iPad 4 before this and this is way better than it in most things. Maybe your one has a bug or fault hope it works out for you.

D.C. Price, MBA,PMP,MCTS,CNA

July 18, 2014, 4:32 pm

Samsung does not care about their customers or the investment their customers make in their technology. They just want your money, more money. My Galaxy Note 10.1 is less than 10 months old but I cannot fully use it because I am stuck on an outdated operating system. I have called Customer support no less than 10 times asking when the KitKat 4.4.4. OS will be release for my device and today I was told it may not be. Why? Because Samsung is so busy pushing out new $500.00 devices to new customers they fail to keep current customers updated. Now if this were the worst, it would be digestable. But when I ask how much of a trade in value they will give me for my less than 10 month old device, in perfect condition, I am told $40.00! Really? It sounds like they just want my (your) money!. Beware with your money if you are considering Samsung as your technology device provider. I will post this on every website I find to warn everyone of the horrible customer service I have recived by a company that is collecting big American dollars. Thank you very much.

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