If you’re familiar with last year’s Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone, you know that its claim to fame was its pen, or stylus, input device, which allows users to write and draw directly on the screen. While pens are not unheard-of on cell phones (or even tablets, for that matter), we typically see them on Windows-based tablets, not Android-based handhelds. The original Galaxy Note, though, was well-received and hailed as an innovative addition to the Android cell-phone market. (See a review of the Galaxy Note smartphone on our sister site, PCMag.com.)
Building on that success, Samsung has released a full-size 10-inch tablet version, the $499.99 Galaxy Note 10.1. Overall, the implementation of pen input on this slate seemed slightly under-developed, as we discuss in detail in the Features & Apps section a little later in this review. However, the pen itself is not the only new and interesting feature of this tablet.
The Galaxy Note 10.1, for instance, is the first slate we’ve seen built around Samsung’s Exynos 4 processor, the first quad-core alternative to the powerful and power-efficient Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU found in most new slates nowadays. Another feature we found interesting was this slate’s ability to run two apps side-by-side, which adds a new dimension to multitasking on a tablet. So do Samsung’s mini-apps, which also allow you to display and use multiple programs on the screen simultaneously. (We discuss these features, too, in the Features & Apps section.)
In addition to these impressive new technologies, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is attractive, thin, light, and comfortable to use. As with most Samsung slates, this model’s screen displayed photos, graphics, and movies with aplomb, and the slate itself performed quite well on our suite of benchmark tests, turning in some of the top scores we’ve seen among Android slatesâ€”especially on our battery-rundown trial.
Samsung offers two versions of the Galaxy Note 10.1: the 16GB ($499) version we reviewed here, and a 32GB model that costs an additional $50. On the whole, these prices are in line with other, competing high-end Android models. And, we should also point out that this slate comes in either black or whiteâ€¦
Overall, we liked this tablet. As with most Android tablets, during our hands-on time with this slate we fingered a few areas that could use improvement, but that’s to be expected. We’ve looked at many Samsung slates over the past couple of years, and the Galaxy Note 10.1 is certainly the most impressive of the lot so far.
Read the review at Computer Shopper.