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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 review

Great for doodling and multitasking, but don't give up your Wacom tablet for professional tasks
Wed Aug 22 2012, 16:37

Product Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
Website Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
Specifications 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos processor, 2GB RAM, 10.1in 1280x800 touchscreen, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 16GB or 32GB or 64GB internal storage, microSD storage expansion up to 64GB, 5MP rear-facing camera with flash, HD 720p video, 1.9MP front-facing camera, mobile and 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi connectivity, 7000mAh battery, 262x180x8.9mm, 600g

THE SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 10.1 isn't your average Android tablet. Instead, it's a tablet that looks to fill a niche already captured by Samsung's popular Galaxy Note smartphone, thanks to its innovative included stylus and preloaded productivity features. However, we're not sure Samsung's target audience of graphics design professionals will be quite so impressed with the tablet's feature set.

Samsung claims the Galaxy Note 10.1 is a device aimed at professionals, thanks to the unique multitasking features baked into its Touchwiz user interface and its preloaded productivity tools. However, its real target audience is those in the graphics design industry, given that the device comes with an included pressure sensitive stylus.

The stylus, named the Samsung S Pen, is nice and compact and slots easily into a dedicated compartment on the bottom of the tablet. Its extreme lightness is both a good and bad thing, as while the pen is easy to use, it doesn't have the feel of top-end quality that styluses included with Wacom's Bamboo tablets have, for example, quality wanted by design professionals using the device.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 stylus

Another niggle we found was the physical button on the stylus, which didn't seem to do much. Sure, it can be used for firing open shortcuts within Touchwiz, but other than that it seemed fairly redundant.

However, we really enjoyed using the S Pen. Samsung's dedicated S Note app is great for knocking out quick doodles and making notes and we were impressed with the pressure sensitivity of the pen.

Samsung Galaxy Note S Note app

Sadly, the preloaded Adobe Photoshop Touch application isn't quite as intuitive and the scaled-back app is by no means on a par with Adobe's desktop counterpart. Key features are missing, it's much different from the application's desktop version and we found ourselves - as will most users, we imagine - having to sit through a tutorial before we knew what we were doing. Once we got going, it was okay, although a number of quirks and difficulties mean we'd rather stick with the desktop version.


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