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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 - Android 4.3 and Interface

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams



Our Score:


Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 – Android Software

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with the TouchWiz interface (not often just referred to as the 'Samsung UI') used on just about every Galaxy phone and tablet. Note devices benefit from the feature-packed TouchWiz more than others thanks to the interface's often-clever stylus integration.

However, TouchWiz isn't the best-looking UI we've seen. In the past we've called it colourful, jolly and a little toy-like, but it's not a look that sits 100 per cent happily with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014's style. Note 10.1 2014 7

Several oversized interface elements just don't look that good, such as the oversized green feature switches of the drop down notifications menu. They don't fit in well with the blue used elsewhere in the Settings menu, and generally don't look good.

TouchWiz has been added to and added to over the years, and that shows in its visuals. It's not particularly coherent or cohesive. It's particularly evident now that we've experienced the pure and simple style of vanilla Android 4.4 KitKat in the Nexus 5.

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Like the visual issues we had with the hardware, you can get used to the look of of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014's TouchWiz – it just takes a little more effort and patience than some rivals. It's mostly down to having to learn how to use the immense wealth of features on offer here. We'll do our best to detail a few of them without boring you to tears -

My Magazine is a very deep, custom integration of the popular newsreader app Flipboard. Just swipe up from the bottom of a home screen and you're taken to a magazine-style interface of updates from your favourite sources. It's not hugely different from the normal Flipbook app, but it's deep rooted into the system.

Multi Window is a feature shared with many other Samsung Android products, but it's particularly useful in the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014. It lets you run two apps on-screen at once, by dragging them from a sidebar. Not all apps can be used like this, but there are a few obvious uses. The most likely – we think – is opening two web pages alongside each other. However, you can only run one instance of an app, so to do that you'll need to use both the Chrome and Android browsers (continued use of dual web browsers is another sign of the overcomplicated nature of TouchWiz).

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Multi Window lets you read two of our reviews at once

Smart Stay is a little feature that keeps the backlight on when the screen senses your eyes looking at the screen. The idea is that you'll be able to read an article on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 without having to worry about it switching the screen off. In typical Samsung fashion, it alerts you with a notification whenever it thinks you've moved away, making it less invisible than it would be is executed by some other manufacturers. This is really the sort of feature that should work in the background silently.

Blocking Mode lets you turn off notifications during certain hours, ensuring the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 doesn't wake you up. These are just a few of the many extra features in the tablet. And they vary between being extremely useful and things that simply complicate matters.


All the extra bloat doesn't seem to help performance either. Despite being extremely powerful, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 is not entirely lag-free. There are fairly common stuttery moments when navigating through the system. This shouldn't happen in a tablet with specs like the Note 10.1's – it certainly wouldn't be like this with vanilla Android 4.3 or 4.4. We did notice a few glitches too, particularly in the camera app, which booted us out to the home screen on a number of occasions.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 processor varies depending on whether you're using the 4G, 3G or Wi-Fi only model. We're looking at the Wi-Fi edition, which has the Octo-core Exynos chip first seen in the Samsung Galaxy S4 (not the UK model, though).

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The AnTuTu benchmark shows where the Note 10.1 2014 sits

It's a very interesting chip that employs four 1.9GHz Cortex-A15 cores and four lower-power Cortex-A7 cores, used when full power is overkill. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 also has 3GB of RAM, an extra gigabyte over most other top-end Android devices (which makes the performance glitches all the more unfathomable). Benchmarks show that the tablet has roughly the same power on tap as a Tegra 4 or Snapdragon 800 tablet, though.

In the Geekbench benchmark, the Note 10.1 2014 scores 2756 points, close to the scores of the Snapdragon 800-powered Sony Xperia Z1 and Nexus 5 phones. In the 3D Mark, the tablet comes out with 14276 points - just a bit under the performance of the Galaxy Note 3.


September 7, 2013, 6:49 pm

Can't wait to get one of these.


September 7, 2013, 9:05 pm

Like !


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?


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


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!


November 14, 2013, 4:24 pm

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


November 17, 2013, 11:50 am

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


November 17, 2013, 1:43 pm



November 18, 2013, 11:59 am

Come on Nexus 10 - hurry up.


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.


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


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!


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


November 26, 2013, 11:58 pm

apparently nexus 10 2nd gen not happening



November 28, 2013, 4:04 am

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


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.


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).


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


I presume that you are talking the 2014 model?


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.


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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