The 2014 Note 10.1 has a non-removable 8,220mAh battery. That's significantly larger than the 7,000mAh battery of the last model, but it's needed because of the higher-resolution screen.
To give the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 more of a chance against its competitors, we turned off most of the Samsung extras, such as the eye-monitoring Smart Stay before setting the tablet to play a looped SD-quality video. It lasts for a fairly impressive 12 hours of video playback.
As with most high-end Samsung tablets, the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 has virtually every wireless connection type under the sun. Naturally, you get the basics of GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The latest standards are supported too, so you get Bluetooth 4.0 (aka Bluetooth Smart) and Wi-FI ac. Other connectivity types not seen in every mobile device include NFC, and wireless screen sharing (video transmission over Wi-Fi).
You miss out on the USB 3.0 seen in the Note 3, but that also means you don't have to deal with the weird oversized socket on that phone. We're perfect happy with the Note 10.1's USB 2.0 – transfer rates are snappy and you wouldn't want to charge the giant 8,220mAh from a computer USB port. It'd take an age, even with the increased power output of USB 3.0.
It comes in three storage options - 16/32/64GB and has an microSD card slot for external expansion.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 has stereo speakers. The last model had stereo speakers too, but this time they're mounted to the sides of the speaker rather than the front. They sit fairly high up on each side to avoid you accidentally covering them with your hands.
We love to see stereo speakers in tablets, as they increase immersion when watching movies or playing games. However, the Note 10.2 2014 speakers are only half-way there.
Top volume is loud, and while the sound dispersal of front stereo speakers is superior, it's better than a mono speaker. However, actual sound quality isn't not remarkable. There's not a great deal of weight or warmth to the sound, and the treble sounds harsh when the volume is cranked up. These speakers aren't bad, but we're confident Samsung can do better.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 is a good tablet that will stick on our list of Android tablets that deserve serious consideration because of its well-implemented stylus. Like the last Note 10.1, this tablet makes a fantastic casual drawing gadget – if not one that professionals should really consider as a tool.
It also has excellent stamina, given that its battery is significantly smaller than the unit in the original Nexus 10.
However, it's not without problems. The Samsung UI looks messy in parts – it needs either an editor or a stylist – and there are performance issues that should not be here given quite how much power the tablet has. An Octo-core chip loses its shine when operation isn't as slick as some lesser-powered rivals. This is a good tablet, but given its premium £450 price, we wouldn't put it at the top of your list unless the idea of the stylus appeals.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 is a solid Android tablet with an up-to-date, slim-bezel design and great stylus. However, it suffers from puzzling performance issues that need fixing and the custom interface needs a redesign.