Android Central

After a hiatus of a few months, during which it's been re-tooled on the inside and outside, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 looks to finally be upon us. As such, we've got the first proper pre-release leak today, in the form of an early unboxing report from South Korean site The Brave Post.

Superficially, it's the same Note 10.1 that we first saw at Mobile World Congress back in February -- a Galaxy Tab with Wacom stylus support. But under the hood and around the back, there are a few changes to be found on the final shipping Note 10.1 hardware. First up (and most obvious) is the inclusion of a slot for the S Pen, something lacking on the Note 10.1 prototypes we've previously seen. And the tablet's spec sheet has been freshened up for the third quarter of the year -- it's now sporting a quad-core Exynos chip at 1.4GHz (same as the Galaxy S3), along with 2GB of RAM (up from 1GB). Screen resolution is an unremarkable 1280x800 pixels, but apparently image quality is impressive regardless. The tablet's rear houses a 5MP camera, which is backed up by a single LED flash. If you're concerned about the Note's general heft, then you'll be relieved to hear that it weighs in at 580 grams (compared to the new iPad's 652 grams).

Software wise, the Galaxy Note 10.1 looks to be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, though that's not specifically confirmed anywhere in the report. We'd be surprised, though, if Samsung had managed to cram Jelly Bean onto there in the couple of weeks since the code dropped. As ever, Android comes liberally decorated with the latest version of TouchWiz for tablets, which seems to have been updated with a few Galaxy S3-style widgets, including AccuWeather.

The most interesting inclusion is phone support, allowing you to text from the Note 10.1 or use it as a giant speakerphone. It's unclear how this works at this stage, though -- whether the device connects to other phones over Bluetooth, or if it makes calls using whichever SIM card is directly plugged in, like some earlier Galaxy Tabs.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 is expected to make its debut at a special Samsung Electronics U.S. event on Aug. 15, though Samsung's not saying for sure what'll be announced there. We also imagine it'll rear its head at the IFA show in Berlin a couple of weeks later. We'll be at both, naturally.

Source: The Brave Post; via: The Verge

There are 21 comments

Cory S says:

Aww.. :(

SoC: Check!
Memory: Check!
Display: Damn

ECOTOX says:

I would honestly rather it have the lower Resolution display so games dont have to be lower quality like they do on the Ipad3 vs the iPad2 (Nova3 on Ipad3 has effects off while they are on on iPad2). More powerful GPU at similar resolution for better IG effects = win to me. pumping up the resolution is gonna need faster memory bandwidth and more power which in the tab/phone space comes at a premium due to size and power constraints. Keeping the 720p resolution for now is the better way to go.

hoosiercub says:

Agreed, the people wanting the bigger, better, hi-res screens have no idea the horsepower and requirements needed to keep up with things like that.

Having 1920x1080 on a ten inch screen is useless anyway. 1280x800 is more than sufficient.

Cory S says:

I am actually very familiar with the horsepower requirements and what the SoCs in question are capable of. The quad core exynos is significantly more powerful than the tegra 3 in games and can handle a 1920x1200 screen easily. For comparison the nexus 7 runs an underclocked tegra 3 and handles any game you throw at it beautifully running at the same resolution as the 10.1 note.

720p works for my 7 inch Nexus 7, but just isn't cutting it anymore for the 10 bracket, that is very much last years tech.

rd_nest says:

Exynos 4412 doesn't support Full HD or WQXGA. It supports max WXGA display.

Let's not talk about Tegra3 and it's abysmal memory bandwidth. Just check the 1080p off-screen GLbenchmark fps for T3. You will know what I am talking about.

Cory S says:

Do you have a source for it's resolution support? Not that I don't believe you, I looked around a bit and couldn't find anything. I would be surprised of it was limited to WXGA being it has far more graphical power than the tegra 3 which is running 1080p+ resolutions.

I also agree with you on the Tegra 3 memory bandwidth limitations. The SoC doesn't support dual channel memory which is why Asus had to put such fast memory in the Infinity version to handle the display.

rd_nest says:

Looking at Tegra3 1080p off-screen test, it's a lowly 29 fps. What's the point of such a display? Most games would shutter when running at native Full HD resolution. For better performance, you would have to run it at lower resolution -- which defeats the purpose of such a display. Then comes the affect of heat and battery life.

My point is better release something when it's fully baked. The new iPad with it's "heat-effect" is a perfect example..

Cory S says:

The Infinity does fairly well with its faster memory at 1080p. Well, at least as good as the Prime does at 720p (give or take). Again, my point is the Exynos SoC is far faster than the Tegra 3. The main issue with the Tegra 3 is as you pointed out memory bandwidth...which the Exynos is far superior at.

Exynos Benchmarks

Lastly, it is not just about playing games. Web pages look worlds better zoomed out at a higher resolution.

rd_nest says:

That faster memory bandwidth is not exactly so much faster compared to Exynos or other SoC. Exynos4 in SGS2 itself had same memory bandwidth. Samsung didn't improve on memory bandwidth in SGS3.

I am aware that Mali400 in Exynos 4 is more powerful than T3. But Samsung doesn't find it good enough to run Full HD display. Why? We can only speculate, only Samsung engineers can best answer this.

Yes, web page will look good in Full HD. I think that for most operations, Mali400 will be good enough. But maybe it will struggle at some high quality games/apps. Again speculation on my part.

In the AT review you mentioned, the most defining number is for GLbenchmark Egypt (Standard) -- this is running at the native resolution of the screen. 720p off-screen it irrelevant here as the screen itself is of higher resolution and Vsync is not a limiting factor here. 33fps is not very impressive.

And more than that, look at the battery life. Seems that it has taken a hit.

My point is that Samsung probably thinks there is some trade-off for using the Mali400 with Full HD display. I would have definitely loved a Full HD display just like you. But unfortunately it's not there.
To add, I found that Exynos 4412 gets about 59fps in 1080p off-screen GLbenchmark egypt.

E.J.Su says:

It's not useless to artists.

draddo11 says:

Cant wait to use one to take notes in class best tablet for me . The only thing is for it to be officially now ..

xeroslash says:

This will go great with my Galaxy S III. They had me at Exynos.

Jotokun says:

That screen resolution tells me my ordering a Transformer Infinity was still the right choice. The white bezel looks stunning, though. Wish more Android tablet manufactures would offer white bezels.

Dr.Nemmo says:

This ! This will be my new tablet. I skipped the iPad 3 because I want to use a pen.

Magnus#AC says:

Absolutely happy with my Nexus 7. I will not upgrade unless Another tablet is available with size 8.9 inches or smaller,high resolution screen to match or beat that on the iPad 3, thin and extremely light, at least quadcore core A 15 processor, excellent speakers, excellent fron and back cameras and ample onboard storage and of course the latest version of Android.
For now I'm extremely happy with my Nexus 7 just for the unequalled software experience.

Niteperson says:

Is it just me or is there an iPad screen protector on it? You can see the home button hole on the left side.

dude thats one of the funniest things I've seen all day

jazzbassist1 says:

Man, I am so torn. I'm going to be getting a tablet fairly soon, and I can't decide between the Note 10.1 or the Asus Transformer Infinity due to better display on the Infinity. I'll have to look at the displays in person to decide, because all the S-pen applications are pretty incredible

mchan1 says:

Really don't need anything greater than 1080p on a 8"/9"/10" tablet like the iPad3.

The faster processor and larger RAM looks good!

Wonder if it has an expandable memory slot?
Wonder about the battery life?
What's the cost?

Most importantly, will Samsung release their OS updates more or less frequently?!?!

nickmiller71 says:

I'm sorry, but in this day and age, I would not buy a brand new Android 10.1 tablet with 1280x800 res. No way in hell.