Android Central

The Galaxy Note 10.1 sees Samsung bringing the "S Pen" technology developed for the original Note to a 10.1-inch Android 4.0 tablet. The Note 10.1 isn't the only tablet boasting stylus connectivity these days, but it is the only one to use Wacom technology, which results in smoother, more precise input. Besides the pen input, Samsung has bumped the CPU up to a 1.4GHz dual-core Exynos chip, and introduced some new software enhancements, including apps from Adobe.

Join us after the break for our first impressions of the Galaxy Note 10.1, along with an initial hands-on video.

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Physically, the Note 10.1 is very similar to the Tab 10.1 N developed for the German market -- the front of the device is punctuated by the silver trim, which houses tablet's stereo speakers. The edge of the Note 10.1 is home to the usual charging and headphone connectors, and there are also removeable tabs covering external SIM card and microSD card slots. Around the back there's little besides the 3MP rear camera, which unfortunately hasn't been upgraded since the Tab 10.1.

The Note 10.1 doesn't quite match the Tab's weight and thinness, in part due to the extra hardware required for Wacom functionality. But it's still easy enough to hold with one hand, and doesn't feel particularly bulky compared to other Android tablets. The S Pen, of course, returns in a slightly larger (and redesigned) form. It's bigger and a little heftier than before, which makes it easier to grip. And the notch on the side of the control button makes it easier to find without too much fumbling around. Unfortunately, though, there's no way to tuck the Pen away inside the tablet when it's not in use, which was one of our favorite features of the original Note.

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With the Note 10.1 in one hand and S Pen in the other, it's really easy to navigate around the ICS tablet UI at great speed, thanks to the lack of friction between the two. This is also a good way to avoid gunking up your screen with finger grease, if you're a little on the obsessive-compulsive side. But the S Pen really comes into its own when used with the suite of pre-loaded drawing apps. Samsung's S Memo application returns, and the inclusion of Adobe Ideas and Photoshop extends the device's usefulness beyond simple note taking. During our brief time with Ideas, we were impressed with the range of brush effects and other features on offer. If Samsung builds on this type of functionality in the right way, it could make the Note 10.1 an indispensable tool for artists. 

There's no word on pricing or availability for the Galaxy Note 10.1 just yet, but we're looking forward to seeing more of it in the run up to release, and of course we'll have a full review just as soon as it's out.

Android Central


Reader comments

Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1


No quad-core, no good. It is pretty simple samsung. You need to put out a tablet with more power to keep pace with anyone else.

Agreed. When other companies are announcing *phones* with the T3, Samsung's latest and greatest can't manage more than a dual-core? I thought for a minute there I'd found my tablet...guess I have to keep looking.

Bollocks. Dual core at 1.4 GHz is plenty. What's more important is a good synergy between hardware and software.

I call BS on this, videos are usually handled by the GPU, so extra cores on the CPU wouldn't matter, and where did you see those videos?

youve clearly havent seen a quadcore or next gen dualcore device run android....tegra 3 runs smooth as ever same goes for the newer snapdragons.....sure apps dont take advantage of all 4 cores but it leaves more headroom for the OS

Do you seriously think that they will launch a flagship without even a keynote and a big media event??

Simple fact -- how many companies are fighting for front page coverage now? I saw HTC, Sony, LG, Nokia, Acer, Huawei and many more. Why would you think they would launch their flagships in such a crowded environment?? Let the rumble settle down, wait for 1-2 months and then reveal your products. What best then to wait for iPad3, then launch next-gen Tab line and showing how it's better than the iPad. When they are gunning for Apple, it makes no sense for their products to be in direct comparison with HTC/LG/Sony/Huawei etc., It won't give them that mileage in media they need to fight Apple.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual core beats out NVIDIA's Tegra 3. More cores does not mean better performance. It's a fallacy to believe so.

When your talking same architecture it does....Quadcore a9 obviously beats a dual core a9...but next gen dualcores like the S4 will beat quad a9 especially in single threaded performance

This could have been so awesome with quad core. I already have a dual core tablet. Not upgrading to another dual core

And really? The couldn't find room in there to give us a place to store the stylus? Do they *know* how many pens I lose on a daily basis?

Samsung has left out the stylus storage on all of their tablets and slates. It is one thing I wish they would bring back even though I know it would make the device thicker.

Im half expecting them to announce a new 13 inch Galaxy tab with tegra 3/Exynos 5250 and 1920x1200 screen to go along with the announcement of the galaxy s3 at its separate launch event in a month or 2, sliding nicely to fill the slot after the iPad 3 is launched, im hoping for the exynos 5450 in the S3 personally, some quad core a15 love XD

Not getting anything with T3. They are always first out of the block, and the slowest. Same issue with Tegra(1) and Tegra2. Everyone thinks that since it's nvidia, they will have awesome graphics. Nobosy even bothers to think that even Tegra3 has less die size compared to A5 and exynos 4210.

Finally! I can see by watching that 2 core, 3 core, etc is really not a big deal. I have Wacom pen/touch and this sort of eliminates the extra plugins. Looks good.

Appears no bump in screen resolution or other hardware so maybe they price will come in at the low range of the market. I'm really wanting a tablet with a stylus, but not having anywhere to store it sucks. I might look past that if the price is right.

People need to stop whining about specifications and look at functionality. While we all like the latest and greatest and improvement in general there is little actual need for quad-core when you consider the features, applications and use of these devices.

You can always look at the *current* software, and note that the *current* tech is sufficient to run it...sort of goes without saying. It's the adoption of *new* tech that drives *new* functionality and capabilities, not the other way around. As manufacturers begin to incorporate new tech into their devices, developers can find ways to make use of it. It can't happen the other way around.

Also...whining? The market follows demand, Teso. If we don't let the manufacturers that we're ready for the next gen, and willing to pay for it, what reason do they have to move on? I'm not going to just settle for what they're willing to give...I'm going to hold onto my cash until they produce what I want. And saying so in forums like this is the best way I know of letting them know that.

Now all you need to do to convince us is list the applications that cannot be run on this tablet solely because of the lack of these extra cores that you demand.

Well, first of all, it's clear that the thing is laggy, even in the demo. How many times did she make a touch, wait a couple seconds, then start to make a second touch but didn't have a chance because the tablet finally responded? There's no way to know if this is a hardware or software issue, but it's there.

Also, you need to re-read my post. The whole point I made is that software follows hardware. How would anyone have created software yet that "cannot be run" on the current generation of hardware. Bit of a paradox, don't you think? We won't know what sort of advances are possible on the new hardware until the new hardware becomes common enough for devs to start spending time on it.

I have missed that, according to you, "software follows hardware". It doesn't, never has. We always get software that barely runs on the hardware it's first introduced to, and then eventually new hardware, which runs the old software fine... until the next software "upgrade". You just need to look for the heavier applications, and install enough of them, and you could bring any system down.

And this thing isn't laggy, you have no clue what she is interacting with or what her intentions are. Without first-hand experience, making claims about this being "laggy" is mere trolling.

And seriously, if there is other better hardware that pushes the boundaries so that devs would write their amazing demanding software for it, then you should be able to give examples of this software. Ok?

Of course it does. Every time new hardware comes out - whether PC, phone, game console, what have you - it takes time for devs to figure out what can be done with it, how to get the most out of it.

As far as the lag, I acknowledged that I don't know what's causing it, but it was very clear that she would touch, wait, and start to touch again when the tablet would finally respond. And who am I trolling? I'm just making an observation based on what I saw in the video. Are you really this invested in a tablet that hasn't even been fully announced yet?

All I know is that I like what I see, and I am irked by the baseless criticism which some would call "specs whoring".

I wouldn't mind if this tablet had a quad- or an octacore, however I don't have any real reasons to want that at this point. Enough RAM, at least dual core for multitasking, fast enough CPU, is enough for me until I get some first hand experience.

Same processor and screen res as the 5.3" Note. So I'm waiting for the quad core HD version. ...and I wouldn't mind if they make it AMOLED

If the pressure sensitivity approaches my Intuos, I will seriously consider this tablet. I was going to wait for Win8 tablets to use Photoshop, but this may work. Dual-core Exynos is fine for me. W/ quad cores coming out, hopefully that'll make this cheaper.

I'm getting one regardless, this thing is an awesome start and will be fun to tinker with on the go.

Having one tablet that can do it all will be killer. Right now I carry around a MacBook Pro and a Cintiq 12wx when I work remotely.

The day I can buy an Android tablet with the same level of Wacom tech as is found in at least the second generation Intuos line, and there's a version of Painter available for Android, things will truly be awesome; and it might as well be a larger tablet in the process; and hopefully Adobe reconsiders their whole cloud subscription service BS.

And having rambled that, I'd also like a quad-core though, but it's not stoping me. When I first used Painter, I had a 386. :)

Does anybody have any hint as to when this will be available in the US? I'd love an android tablet that effectively uses a stylys for note taking. Any insight into using a sytlus on other android tablets? thx.

For the price that Sammy charges for the tablets, this new 10" version have better screen resolution (at least 1080p) to at least rival the iPad 3, 2Gb of memory, a Quad core CPU and a decent video chip and, last but not least, a decent longer lasting battery to handle it!

Also, let's throw in timelier updates and an updated Kies software so it's not Sh#t, which it is currently, so it can finally compete against iTunes, which is SIMPLE to use compared to Kies!