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Aug
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A little over a year ago, before I was hired at AP, I wrote about the things I wanted my new Honeycomb tablet to be able to do in the next version of Android. Multitasking on tablets was (and still is) non-existent, and I wanted my tablet to be less of a big phone, and more of a small computer. I wanted split screen, and floating apps, and really, I wanted to just make use of this nice, big screen I had. One task at a time isn't good enough. The big difference between a tablet and a phone should be the ability to multitask.

As it turns out, Samsung gets it. The Galaxy Note 10.1 is actually trying to make tablets useful, productive tools. They've added split screen and floating apps. I've actually got my email and a web browser open side by side right now, and it's like a dream come true.

If that isn't enough for you, this thing also has pen input. A pressure-sensitive pen stows away in the bottom-left corner of the tablet. You can take notes, and select an area of the screen to capture and draw on it.

On paper, it all sounds very good. Reality, however, is an entirely different story. It's not enough to just have a good idea, you have to actually make it real, you need to build it.

I'm sad to report that Samsung failed at execution on all fronts. Samsung has been pushing the skinning envelope further and further, and, with this revision of TouchWiz, they've slammed into a brick wall. Couple this failure with astonishingly bad hardware and a $500 price tag, and you've got yourself a real disappointment. Samsung promised us the moon, and then cut corners everywhere possible, and it's hard to walk away not feeling a little insulted.

Specifications

  • 1.4GHz Quad-Core Exynos 4412 Processor
  • Mali-400MP GPU
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 16/32/64GB ROM (Partitioned as Unified Storage!) with microSDHC slot
  • 10.1 inch, 1280x800 LCD
  • 7000mAh Non-Removable Battery
  • 5MP Rear Camera, 1.9MP Front Camera
  • WiFi A/B/G/N (2.4 & 5 GHz)
  • Bluetooth 4.0+
  • Dimensions: 262 x 180 x 8.9 mm
  • Weight: 600g (3G), 597g (WiFi)
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with TouchWiz
  • Pressure Sensitive Pen and Wacom Digitizer
  • Other Extras: An IR Blaster (a TV Remote), USB 2.0 Host, MHL,


The Good

  • Loud, front-facing stereo speakers. These should be standard equipment on all phones and tablets.
  • A big, long lasting battery.


The Bad

  • The build quality. Terrible even by Samsung's low standards. The back is actually squishy, and you can feel it deform while holding it. It's noisy too, the plastic creaks, groans, and grinds when you pick it up. Regular, strong plastic would still be unacceptable when everyone else uses aluminum, but this... this is insulting for a $500 tablet.
  • An ugly two-tone "please don't ever confuse this with an iPad" design. It's not designed to look good, it's only designed to not look like an iPad.
  • A 1280x800 resolution display on a flagship device is not ok. Asus does 1920x1200, and Samsung makes a 9.7 inch, 2048x1536 display for Apple. They seriously cheaped out here.
  • The pen feels cheap too. It's a hollow plastic tube. It's got a button that doesn't do anything useful, and you can't customize it.
  • No NFC on a device that is, by definition, a secondary device. Have a Galaxy S III and a Note 10.1? Well, guess what? You can't tap to share because Samsung cheaped out. 2 months ago, NFC was all the rage at Samsung HQ. Now, all of a sudden, it's not important enough to include in your flagship tablet. What happened?
  • The new multitasking features, floating apps and split screen, just aren't any good. Compatibility is limited to a handful of not-very-useful TouchWiz apps, and split screen has terrible lag when switching between the two open apps.

Hardware

Design

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More design from Samsung's Legal Department, just like the GSIII. Everything about this is made to scream "I am not an iPad." Apple claims "substantial black borders on all sides being roughly equal in width," so this thing has uneven, "Pearl Grey" borders. Apple suggested Samsung could make a non-infringing device with a "front surface that isn't entirely flat" and "thick frames rather than a thin rim around the front surface," so Samsung fitted the Note 10.1 with hideous, thick, plastic framing.

Samsung didn't design this to look good, they designed it only to not look like something else, and it shows.

Anyway, lets take a closer look:

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Nothing to report along the sides. On the bottom there's a centered, Apple-style charger and on the right you'll see the seam for the S Pen.

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Here's all the stuff we've been looking for. Left to right, we've got the headphone jack, IR blaster, MicroSD slot, volume rocker, and power button. Yes, an IR blaster. This thing is also a TV remote.

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The Micro SD slot is "protected" with a little flap. I don't really like port covers, but this little guy is firmly attached to the tablet. I tried to break it off, and it stood up to my abuse. You can't break this.

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I really love the speakers. Loud, stereo, front-facing speakers. It's such a common sense thing, I really don't understand what's taken so long. Tablets are supposed to be media consumption devices, which means, after the screen, the speakers are the most important component. This is the first tablet I've played with where headphones or "cupping" wasn't mandatory.

Speakers that face your ears need to be a standard feature on all phone and tablets. I feel stupid typing that, yet this is the first device I've seen with them. It just goes to show how low the bar is for all Android OEMs.

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There's not much going on in the back. You've got a 5MP camera and flash, a Samsung logo, and the usual fine print. Other than that, there's just a massive ocean of plastic. And, oh boy, about that plastic:

Materials & Build Quality

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This is a Samsung device, so you just know things in this department are going to be bad, but I never expected they would be this bad. Sure, there's the usual, tame stuff. You get, for instance, the same nasty looking corner construction I complained about in my Galaxy S III review. But this time, Samsung went all out and invented a new, even more horrible form of plastic.

The Note 10.1 is wrapped in the trashiest, most awful, cheapest-feeling plastic I've ever experienced. Sure, the finish is Samsung's usual glossy-plastic junk, but this plastic isn't even rigid. It's squishy.

Yeah, you heard me, squishy plastic. You can easily flex it with a light touch, and you can feel the whole back deform in your hands when using it. It's sort of like holding a marshmallow. Don't believe me? Watch this:

That's a close-up of the back of the Note 10.1. I'm just lightly pressing on the back, right on top of the Samsung logo, and the back flexes up and down like a trampoline. It doesn't even feel like part of the device. The back flexes so much it feels closer to a free-floating skin than a rigid structural component, like how a 3rd party case has a little bit of give to it. The scary thing is that it only stops flexing when it touches the internal components. I somehow doubt the battery and motherboard were meant to be load-bearing.

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To give you an idea of just how ill-fitting the back is, let's take a closer look at that picture I showed you earlier. See the wavy, white reflection? That's the top of my computer monitor. A flat surface would give an undistorted reflection, meaning the top of the monitor would be a straight line. The Note 10.1 is so wavy and uneven that this reflection is more like a funhouse mirror.

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Things don't really fit together well, either. Here's the corner of the grey plastic that houses the camera. It's flush in some areas, and it sticks out in others, probably due to the looseness of the squishy plastic.

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The back is also made of the least durable material known to man. This is what it looks like after 2 days of very light use. The uneven, skin-like back creates pressure points, so the flimsy plastic wears down even faster in some spots. I've been as gentle as humanly possible with the Note 10.1, because I still needed to take pictures of it, but apparently just sitting on a desk is enough to scratch it. Thank god for Photoshop.

For reference, here's the aluminum back of my Motorola Xoom, which I've been abusing for a year and a half.

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Aluminum is better! Samsung's engineers may want to acquaint themselves with this amazing substance.

The Note 10.1 doesn't just feel like crap, and age like crap, it sounds like crap too. The plastic creaks and crackles when you apply any kind of stress to it - for instance, when picking it up with one hand. Listen to the noise it makes from a gentle squeeze:

Expect to hear one of those creaks every time you pick it up.

Asus, Apple, and Motorola are building tablets out of aluminum, and Samsung is doing... this. This is the build quality I would expect in a $100 Chinese-knockoff "Android Tablet" from the bottom shelf of a Kmart, not a $500 tablet from the world's largest Android OEM. Samsung should be ashamed.

S Pen

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The S Pen feels pretty cheap too. It's very light - it's basically a hollow plastic tube. Have you ever played with those hollow, plastic dummy phones in a store? This feels exactly like that. Except it's a real product that you are expected to pay for. The lightness is really off-putting, and Samsung knows it - they will sell you a heavier pen, but it doesn't stow away in the tablet.

The pen has a button, but it doesn't really do anything. It'll turn your pen into an eyedropper in Photoshop, and you can do one or two gestures with it in the OS, like take a screenshot or trigger the back or menu buttons, and that's it. It needs to be customizable. Having it switch to the eraser for drawing would be awesome.

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And here's the pen slot. It holds the pen securely, and even has a sensor so it knows when you take the pen out. It'll either turn the screen on, or bring up a shortcut menu.

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The problem with this shortcut menu is that it's completely un-customizable. I hope you like Crayon physics, because that's permanent.

As far as the pen actually working? It's a mixed bag. Pressure sensitivity works. Samsung will tell you it has 1000 levels of sensitivity, but it seems more like 5.

Palm rejection is possible, but it's up to the individual apps to include it. So far, only the large version of S Note works. There's no palm rejection in Photoshop or the floating version of S Note.

The pen is tracked well, and the Note can even tell when you are hovering the pen over the screen, although they don't really use that for anything. Tracking is just as laggy as a normal touchscreen, which is much more noticeable when you're using a pen.

Screen

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Well, it's got one. That's about the most positive thing I can say about the screen. It's perfectly serviceable - not anything special, not bad either.

The problem is, it is no where near competitive for a "flagship" tablet. It's a 1280x800 LCD. Great. Except that you can get a 1920x1200 display from Asus in the TF700 or a 2048x1536 display from Apple. A tablet is just a screen, so skimping on it is an instant deal breaker.

So what happened here, Samsung? I thought you guys were supposed to have great display technology. You guys manufacture the iPad display, so don't tell me you can't do it. Are you just skimping out on components to boost your profit margin?

Performance

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Hardware wise, the Note 10.1 is really a big international Galaxy S III. You get a 1.4 GHz Exynos quad core, 2GB of RAM, and a Mali-400MP GPU. I usually write something like "performance isn't a concern anymore, everything runs very smoothly," but that isn't the case here. You can run normal applications just fine, Touchwiz, however, is a totally different story.

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A processors worst nightmare.

If you've read some of the early reviews floating around out there, you've probably heard mixed things about the performance. Out of the box, this thing runs like crap. I mean it. I'm talking slower than a Xoom. The home screens, in particular, laboriously move along at around 15 FPS. The reason is the default widget setup. These 4 squares - Clock, Media Hub, Game Hub, and Music Hub - kill performance. So if you see anyone calling this thing slow, that's why. Remove them and everything speeds up to the normal, expected smoothness. It's not as buttery smooth as Jelly Bean, but it isn't slow, either.

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The other reason performance is a concern now is because Touchwiz is pushing the multitasking envelope further than anyone has before. You can float Touchwiz apps around in little windows, or run them in split screen.

Here I'm watching a video in the lower right, monitoring my ram, taking notes, and I've got the browser and a spreadsheet open in the background. Things aren't super smooth, but everything is certainly useable. Switching between the left and right apps in split screen mode, because of the way it is coded, is really slow, but I'll explain that in the software section. This is a ridiculous number of things to have open at once, and, other than split screen, it handles it all rather admirably. It can even run the new, super-detailed Google Earth areas pretty smoothly, and those will crush a slower device like a Galaxy Nexus.

The processor is seriously fast, which makes the initial widget slowness all the more... impressive? Samsung is just really bad at making widgets, I guess.

Camera

I was going to do a thorough camera test, but then it occurred to me that people might see me, and I decided against it. I did manage to get one snap off before the shame and embarrassment kicked in.

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It's your standard, crappy, 5MP sensor they've been putting in everything for the last 2 years. Which is fine, because you should never take a picture with this thing.

What's Missing

...How is there no NFC? You are obviously going to have this tablet and an Android phone, and all of the new devices have NFC, so why not include it? It would be so awesome to be able to tap to share a web page, app, or YouTube video between your devices.

Suppose you're a crazy person, and you're all-in on the Samsung ecosystem. You've got your Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and a Samsung Galaxy S III. You've got no way to send stuff from one to the other. 2 months ago, NFC (S Beam, in Samsung parlance) was all the rage at Samsung HQ. Now, all of a sudden, it's not important enough to include in your flagship tablet. S-Beam on the GSIII had lots of proprietary add-ons that needed a large device ecosystem to be useful, and 2 months later Samsung abandons it. This should definitely make people wary next time they start showing off something that only works on their phones.

TouchWiz

Alright! I get to do battle with TouchWiz again. That's right, just "TouchWiz." I am fairly certain the "Nature UX" branding from the Galaxy S III is gone - the official specs page just says "Samsung TouchWiz." At this point in the review though, I am so jaded with this thing, I probably wouldn't even humor Samsung by repeating whatever wacky branding they've come up with.

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Anyway, meet this version of TouchWiz. The branding may be different, but, design-wise, it's basically a bigger version of the Galaxy S III software. Which is a roundabout way of saying "it's very ugly."

Immediately, you'll notice some strange new buttons in the system bar. The 4th button next to back, home, and recent apps is screenshot. I'm not kidding. Apparently no one at Samsung understands that the previous 3 buttons are for navigation and a 4th button that isn't navigation should probably not be there. I've hit it about a million times expecting it to be recent apps. The usual volume down + power also works, and there's an S Pen button shortcut. I guess Samsung really likes taking screenshots. Thankfully, you can turn off the screenshot button in settings. You can even change it to the app drawer, which is interesting.

The centered  up arrow brings up the list of floating mini-apps, which I will get to in a later section. I don't get how they got the placement of this button right, but messed up the screenshot button location so badly. You need to separate navigation from the other stuff.

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Open a legacy app in portrait mode and wow do things get scary. Just look at all those buttons. That's back, home, recent apps, screenshot, menu, and mini apps. This is why having competent UI designers is important, some spacing here would make all the difference.

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They've managed to make the notification panel even uglier than the GSIII's version. This blue/green color scheme is never a good idea, but now the clock has its own background, a diagonal dark blue/light blue stripe. At least it's useful - you get Samsung's trademark power options.

Mini Apps

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I'm not really sold on 10-inch tablets as a productive form of computing. Sure, they're great for watching movies and reading, but try to make something, or write something, and things start to fall apart. The biggest problem is that multitasking is non-existent. You get a much larger screen than a phone, but you can't actually do more with it. One of the ways Samsung has tried to fix this is with floating, mini-apps.

Like I said, tapping the center system bar arrow brings up the list of mini-apps, which appear as a row of thumbnails. This is part of the system bar, so you can do this from any screen you want. the mini apps float on top of all other UI elements and work just as you'd expect them to. Dragging on the title bar will move them around, and tapping the X will close them. The diagonal arrow on the left-hand side will switch to the full version of an app and, usually, transfer your work with it. It's surprisingly well thought out.

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This floating functionality is no gimmick. The windows actually work well, and there's no limit to how many you can have open at once. The execution here is surprisingly solid. Some help in the window management department would be nice. The windows aren't resizable, and they don't snap to the screen edge or to each other, they're just totally free floating. Being able to minimize would have been nice too.

Of course, you can't just float anything. You can only float a select few TouchWiz apps. Let's take a look at what Samsung has whipped up. Let me know if you notice a general theme here.

Alarm

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You can add an alarm, and turn an alarm off, and that's it. You can't delete an alarm (long press doesn't work) and there's no timer or countdown function. You get these 3 screens, and that's it. This isn't useful.

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The app isn't even useful when an alarm goes off. You get this full-screen mess, while the mini-app obliviously floats over top of it.

Calculator

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Hey! Now we're talking. This a very useful, four function calculator. There's a down arrow that will show you your calculation history since the app has been opened, and you can scroll through it. The top-left arrow will bounce you to the full calculator app, and bring all your work along, so you can use more advanced functions.

Email

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That's "Email," not "Gmail." This is only for the stock email app. You know, the one for exchange accounts, and Hotmail.

I've only got one screenshot here, because this is all it does. You can't actually view a message, or reply, or do anything useful. You can only look at your inbox and star things. Tapping on an email will open it in the full-screen app, and that's about it.

This one is really hard to drag, because tapping on the title bar will switch between your accounts (Gmail, Hotmail, etc) and a combined view. The system is never really sure what to do when you interact with the title bar, so most of the time it just does nothing.

Music Player

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Local music, if you've still got any, can be played through this thing. The big blue Samsung square is album art. You've got a volume slider, and the usual back, play, and next buttons. You can swipe over the album art to change songs, too. There's a playlist button that will change the interface to the picture on the right, where you can tap on a song to play it... and that's about it. You can't actually add, delete, or rearrange playlist entries.

The biggest problem with this app is that it is HUGE. Who needs an always-on-top music player to be this big, especially when all it's good for is a next button? Google accomplished all this with a notification. That's much less intrusive. The good news is that the player keeps going in the background, so you can close the floating app and the music will keep playing. Really though, everything this does can be done in the regular music notification, so there's no reason for it to exist.

S Note

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This note app is actually pretty nice. It's one of the few things that is made for the S Pen, so you can draw on it with pressure sensitivity. The fountain pen button brings up a whole bunch of pen options - you can pick the line style, size, and color, and there are buttons for type, erase, redo, and undo. You can even scroll down and have more room, but, oddly, only after you select the text tool and close the keyboard.

The biggest problem with S Note is the way it deals with data. Closing the app deletes your note, and saving the note clears the notepad. Your note is saved somewhere, but you aren't looking at it anymore. You also can't reopen it from this app. There is also no "would you like to save" prompt, or any notification at all that your note is getting erased when you hit the close button. You are always one errant tap away from total note destruction.

The irresponsible nature with which this treats your data makes it only useful for unimportant, throwaway notes. If you're recording important data, you pretty much have to use something else.

S Planner

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S Planner is Samsung-speak for "Calendar." You can pick a date and scroll through events, or add a new event. That's it. There are no other views. Tapping an event launches the real calendar.

Task Manager

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Ugh. A task manager. The "Active applications" tab shows you thumbnails of your running applications, and the little "X" will kill the app in question. If you really hate your tablet, you can hit "End all" and blow up every running app.

The "RAM manager" tab shows how much RAM you're using, and it has an extremely scary button labeled "Clear memory." I tapped it and it crashed my home screen and reset my wallpaper. I'm not kidding. I'm going to stay way from that button.

World Clock

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Yep. A world clock. You can type a city and see the time. Your places are saved and listed below the map.

Video

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While it isn't listed in the floating app launcher, you can launch a floating video from the video player. Again though, it's for local media only. It's cool,  but I want to do this with YouTube, or Netflix. I don't have any local media.

What's Missing

So, did you catch the theme here? This idea, and even the execution, is great, the problem is all these apps suck. Most of this is just useless. A clock app with no timer or stopwatch, an email app that can't look at emails, a redundant music app that takes up half the screen, a note app that doesn't respect data - this isn't well thought out.

I would love good floating apps, but none of these do anything I would want a floating app to do. How is there no instant messenger app? Google Talk/Voice would be awesome like this. Samsung didn't even make a client for its own crappy chat service, ChatOn. I'm also sure Twitterers would love to see a floating tweet stream, and floating video is nice, but everything is on YouTube. I want to float that video.

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Also, guys, usually when you pop up stuff over other stuff, it's good to have some kind of background between them. When you open the floating app list over the top of the home screen, it can get kind of hard to tell what's going on.

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And, uh, you also probably don't want the mini-apps to always be on top of everything. Having stuff on top of system popups like the "Complete action using" window just looks broken. This is probably a consequence of whatever dirty hacks Samsung had to use to make this actually work. Speaking of dirty hacks...

Split Screen

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Wow. Just look at that. Doesn't that look like tablet computing nirvana? Don't be fooled, though. Sure it looks nice, but it actually works like crap. For starters, it's got the same problems as the mini-apps. It only works with the Browser, Polaris Office, S Note, Video Player, Gallery, Email, and that's it. None of those applications are really any good, and I would much rather use Chrome, Google Docs, YouTube, Google Talk, Twitter, and Gmail.

I should probably get into how this works first.

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It's pretty simple, really. Any split screen compatible app will have this "Multiscreen" button in the top-right corner (note: your tablet will not actually grow a second screen when you press this). Press it to view the paltry list of apps you can open. Pick one, and it's it's time to be productive!

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Now we've got our two apps open side by side. The "Multiscreen" buttons loses its nonsensical label, and each app gets a close button. There's a handy, new option under the multiscreen menu that lets you swap sides.

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You can cut and paste parts of a screen capture into S Note, which is really cool. Take a screenshot, tap on it, circle the part you want, and drag it over. It's like I'm living in the future!

The biggest problem with split screen is the performance. Switching from the left app to the right app causes a 1-2 second touch input lag. Just watch:

If you use one app, and stay in one app, everything is fine, but switching to the other one introduces a huge amount of touch lag while it changes apps.

The reason this is so slow is because the two apps aren't actually running in the foreground together. Samsung doesn't have the technical ability to actually make this work, so they used a bunch of tricks to make it seem like two apps are running at once, when really one app is "on" at any given moment. I've got proof:

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The recent app list only shows apps that aren't running in the foreground. For instance, if you have Gmail open, and click recent apps, Gmail won't show up, because you are already looking at it. If you go to the home screen and hit recent apps, Gmail will show up, because it isn't running in the foreground anymore. So, what I'm getting at is that recent apps is a good way to know if an app is running or not.

In this picture we have two apps "open," the browser and S Note. The last thing I touched was the browser, so it's the foreground app. S Note shows up in the recent apps list, because it is closed. If both of these were really running, neither would show up in recent apps. This is why there's such a huge delay when switching between apps, the app your switching to isn't actually running - the delay is caused by it silently opening in the background.

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Recent apps is also totally confused. The browser and S Note are one screen, so really, you should only have 1 thumbnail that says "Internet / S Note," but, because this is a dirty hack, Android generates two recent app listings that both launch the same screen. It also horizontally stretches the half-screen thumbnails. Crazy.

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There are also some cases where split screen doesn't keep its halves straight. Launching a video from the gallery, for instance, opens the video on the wrong side.

Keyboard

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So here's a bad idea: Samsung decided that, instead of a button or something to change keyboard types they're going with a pinch-to-zoom gesture. (Who makes decisions like this?) So if you type to quickly, especially with 10-finger typing, you will accidentally trigger this option. As far as I can tell, there's no way to turn it off.

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You'll be accidentally switching between 3 different keyboard styles: a normal, full screen keyboard, a smaller keyboard, I assume for Palm Pilot-style pen typing, and a split keyboard for thumb typing.

All the keyboards do have a fifth row of number buttons, which I absolutely love.

Auto correct is off by default, and you're going to want to keep it that way, because it has the same awful, confusing, in-field auto correct as the Galaxy S III. Most keyboards have a suggestions bar, but this keyboard puts the suggestions in the current text field. So if you type "Andr," it fills your text field with "Andrew" and it's up to you to resist the urge to backspace.

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There is a handwriting recognition keyboard, too. It works surprisingly well. Though it really needs to have some kind of context-aware correction. Here I didn't open my "e" enough in "does," so it says "It also docs handwriting recognition."

Battery Life

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The Note is packing a 7000mAh battery, so the battery life is fantastic. I would show you more battery screenshots, but the thing lasts for days, that would just take too long!

Samsung really needs to adjust the "low battery" warning. It popped up at 15%, I never charged it, and 12 (mostly idle) hours later, it's still going strong.

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The biggest power problem I have is with the super short, proprietary charger. I understand that tablets need proprietary chargers because USB doesn't put out enough juice, but if it isn't going to be a standard, you've got to stop skimping out on the length. 3 feet isn't long enough to do anything, and I really can't go out and buy anything longer. The only solution is an extension cord.

Conclusion

On the software side: Samsung desperately wants to develop the next version of Android themselves, but they lack the technical ability, vision, ecosystem support, and design chops to make it happen. They want to add features, and maybe even have a good idea or two, but they just can't execute those ideas in a way that makes them good. Split screen, for instance, needed to be a core OS function, but it's clearly a hack that was tacked on at the UI layer. It's a bunch of tricks that look like split screen, but you're never really running 2 apps at once.

Floating apps have got to be the most frustrating thing in the world for Samsung. You try for years to differentiate yourselves with Android. You finally come up with a good idea, and you build it, and it works, and the UI is even almost-good, but it still doesn't matter because you don't control the right parts of Android to innovate in any meaningful ways. I want to float or split screen apps like Gmail, Google Talk, YouTube, and Chrome, and Samsung doesn't control those. Google owns all the good parts of Android, and if they aren't compatible with your new thing, then your new thing isn't any good. Floating apps are a great idea, and the functionality is well-implemented, but Samsung's floating apps can't do anything useful! I almost feel bad for them.

So my message to Samsung is: If you can't do this correctly, stop skinning Android. You've been trying and failing for so many years and nothing good has come of it, so just stop. Even when you have a good idea, like split screen and floating apps, you don't control the right parts of Android to make it work. So just accept it and leave the OS development to the professionals. You can't add any worthwhile functionality at the layer you normally change, and you have no taste for design. Stock Android is so good now, messing with it is like getting a fully-cooked meal from a famous, 5 star chef, and then smothering it with ketchup. So stop.

wm_do not buy

And as for the hardware: Please don't buy this.

Samsung is the world's largest Android OEM, by a huge margin. They need to get the message that this kind of half-assed, lazy, profit-margin-first style of device building is unacceptable.

The hardware is pure, unadulterated garbage. The build quality is so bad, I think it gave me cancer. Samsung gave us last year's display tech and saved their best tablet screen for Apple.

It's been about 1 month since Google forever changed the Android tablet landscape with the release of the Nexus 7, and it's clear the Note 10.1 was designed and priced in the pre-N7 dark ages. This tablet is bad at any price point, but, somehow, Samsung found the courage to charge five hundred dollars for it. That's 2-and-a-half Nexus 7s, and, to be honest, the N7 feels more expensive than the Note 10.1.

The saddest thing is, Samsung can do so much better. The Series 9 laptop guys make beautiful, kick-ass products out of aluminum every day. In fact, they use some crazy aluminum alloy called "Duralumin." I want that. You guys also make the iPad display, why don't you just whip up a widescreen version? Is the mobile division entirely run by passionless, cost-cutting bean-counters? Show some pride in your work, pull the best parts of Samsung together, and make something great.

The overall impression I get from this is arrogance. "We're Samsung. You slobs will buy anything we crap out. We don't have to try, we don't even need the latest components. You'll buy it no matter what."

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • http://cocainemonster.deviantart.com/ Fun With Drugs

    The thing that always gets me in reviews of Android products. Is everyone's complaints about software. Wahh, I don't like TouchWiz, Wahh, I don't like Sense. Well, guess what! Because it's Android, you can change that! Yeah, you can put any desired skin you want on an Android device and get rid of bloatware and improve the speed and usability!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      You can change that. Can your mom change that? Your less-than-techy-savvy brother? Your kids?

      No, they can't, and they don't want to. This is the worst form of Android apologism. You're willing to accept a subpar user experience "because I can fix it." That's bullshit. You shouldn't have to accept it in the first place. You don't buy a $50,000 sports car and say "the handling sucks, but that's OK because I can fix it."

      We all get that Android can be customized. You and literally thousands of other people have told us this more times than anyone can count. We heard you. Now let us have our opinion that these devices shouldn't suck out of the box, because they shouldn't.

      The "customization as hero" philosophy is one that is applicable to a very small group of enthusiast users, and no one else. You know what my favorite thing about the Nexus 7 is? That I don't have to replace a single piece of stock software on it, or root it, or unlock it in order to be happy with it. All Android hardware should give users that feeling.

      Calling out manufacturers for failing to do that would almost constitute questionable journalistic integrity, in my mind.

      • http://cocainemonster.deviantart.com/ Fun With Drugs

        You knew you were getting a TouchWiz device, why get it if you don't like it? Hurr.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          You're looking at it from the opposite side. We review a product for what it comes with - we don't select a product to review based on what OS a reviewer likes.

          Take the EVO LTE - Ron was one of the few people who was highly critical of it, and it got a bunch of fanboys butthurt. I've been using it for the last 2 months, and I can't stand it. You can only form an opinion after using it, and reading a review, and saying "nah, none of these things are an issue - it's still great," is called denial.

        • Mark

          No most customers don't know what touchwiz is. They see a $500 tablet, they think to themselves, wow this tablet must be high quality stuff. Only to turn it on and see the throw up that is touchwiz on their screen.

          • handleym

            If someone wants to be a Samsung apologist, fine.

            For everyone else in the universe, it really does seem like, in one device, this encapsulates Samsung's slow slide into the same irrelevance as Sony. We have both

            - shipping crap, so that your brand becomes worthless because no-one knows if what they're getting is one of the good products or one of the garbage products. This is Mark's point. Whatever you think of Apple, it is almost always the case that you get appropriate value for the money you pay. Pay $500 for an iPad and you get $500's worth of value, pay $1000 for an MBA, and, yes, it's $300 more than a cheaper ultrabook, but you feel you got something for that extra $300. With Samsung it's a pure crapshoot. Am I getting $500 worth of value or $200 worth? WTF knows. Which means that, soon enough, I'm unwilling to spend ANYTHING for a Samsung-branded product.

            - a complete lack of any long term plan. Here we have a tablet full of gimmicks, which we all know will be abandoned in six months. (Heck, maybe, like NFC in TWO months.) Does Samsung have any interest in working hard to integrate pen as a long-term differentiator from both Apple and the rest of Android? Of course not.
            In a few weeks they'll fixate on the next shiny object that flits by. Maybe it's a 3D screen for tablets? Maybe it's some sort of Kinect wave your hands UI? Maybe it's recognizing your mood from your image in the camera? Whatever it is, they'll
            (a) stop work on every previous add-on to their earlier devices AND
            (b) implement it in some useless and crappy fashion that makes it suck on the device with which it ships.

        • Dr Rock

          Do you seriously need people to explain to you what a review is? WTF

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      We review a stock experience, not something 0.01% of the population is capable of doing and 0.001% might actually do. If and when it is supported.

      • http://cocainemonster.deviantart.com/ Fun With Drugs

        Your review is nothing but a butthurt complaint.

      • Ibrahim Awwal

        Certainly more than 0.01% of the population is capable of removing the default widgets, which seem to be the crux of the performance problem, and a smaller proportion is capable of changing the launcher. The custom ROM community probably is close to 0.1% or thereabouts, but that's not necessary to fix the most glaring problems.

        I tried to post this elsewhere, but I feel like for a device like this, it would have been worth spending some time with some alternative handwriting apps that support pen input (Papyrus, Lecture Notes, and Writepad stylus are some good ones). And I wish you guys had put in a full page writing sample (I actually made one myself, but I had been hoping for you guys to do your review before I purchased mine). You can see it here: http://minus.com/lFGDz8vQlZUv3 . I think considering the S Pen is the centerpiece of this device, it warranted a little more coverage in the review.

    • James Jun

      Well, the thing is, installing roms and rooting to get rid of bloatware (somewhat better thanks to 4.0+ disabling apps feature), is for the niche market. It's for people who like doing this, and rarely for people who are new to this kind of thing. Samsung and every other OEM generally make their devices for consumers, for the average Joe who just wants a smartphone that works (in which Apple has much praise about for its devices). As much as what you say is true, Samsung is making products for the average consumers.

      On the other hand, regarding this review, I've been right about Samsung. They've truly screwing up the Android ecosystem with their 'Nature' UX, menu button, screenshot button (seriously), weird implementation of solutions, and just utter disregard for quality. Have a small group of designers Samsung, not tons of them! Design screws up in bigger groups.

    • Ron Amadeo

      My primary problem is with the hardware. There isn't $500 worth of components here.

      Wiping out TouchWiz is a bad idea, the pen would break.

      • Nakel

        Wow, you're really bright! Of course there isn't $500 dollars worth of components. Have you ever heard of profit? Do you understand how it works? What it does have are components better than any other android device and build quality better than the Ipad 3. Again, check the teardown videos.

    • Animejay

      Yeah, but you won't get support. When I had my Vibrant. I ripped out Touchwiz and was very happy, but not a lot of the general users are willing to do that.

  • mikeGsays

    Holy hell, there isn't enough time in the world to discuss this fully, but I think you were way too harsh on this tablet.... I'm not buying one, don't get me wrong, I have an original Galaxy Tab 10.1 for sale and the ASUS TF300T I won from a contest here, but I really don't think this tablet is worthy of you taking a picture with it in a damn trash can!

    The hardware, the pen input, the speakers, and the performance alone are worth keeping even if you hate the skin (anyone who uses Android enough and bitches about UI either doesn't know how to use a different launcher or just likes to bitch, plain and simple). It may look cheap, but saying "This is a Samsung device, so you just know things in this department are going to be bad, but I never expected they would be this bad." beyond ridiculous.... The last flagship Galaxy device that looked cheap was my Captivate, the Skyrocket and now my SGSIII have both pulled so many Apple fans away from that rotten fruit on looks alone, it isn't even funny.

    Anyways, that was really harsh and you need to tone it down a notch!

    • Animejay

      I've played with the two new tablets that Samsung has released. He actually hit it right on the head.

    • Ron Amadeo

      How you say this isn't cheap looking when the back can be deformed with a light touch and the whole thing audibly creaks under the stress of its own weight when you pick it up?

      It's not like I'm making this stuff up, I clearly demonstrated everything.

      • Ibrahim Awwal

        Disqus doesn't seem to like me and my comments aren't showing up, but I have one and I can't hear any creaking, and the back is just slightly deformable.

      • Ibrahim Awwal

        Also, Ron, I really respect you as a reviewer, so when you get a chance could you read my wall of text on reddit and respond to any parts of it that you feel are worth responding to? Thanks!

        http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/ylqm2/android_police_reviews_the_galaxy_note_101and_it/c5wralf

      • JohnDoey

        He doesn't want you to say bad things about the family.

    • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

      "anyone who uses Android enough and bitches about UI either doesn't know
      how to use a different launcher or just likes to bitch, plain and simple"

      That's so true... Not to mention custom ROMs.

      Edit: I'm not saying anything about the rest of the review; just this point.

      Edit2: Reading some mods' comments below I came to understand why they complained and I actually agree with it. Because of custom launchers the tablet itself shouldn't suck at hands that know what to do with it =)

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Missing the point.

      • Slurpy2k11

        What the hell is the point of a custom ROM if it wipes out all the tablet specific touchwiz features like floating apps, split screen, etc?

      • JohnDoey

        This is a consumer device. They sell this to parents who give it to their kids to use when studying math at college. This device is supposed to work out of the box and for the full lifespan of the device without I-T intervention.

    • Ibrahim Awwal

      I agree, and I posted a really long response to this that I was having trouble posting here so I posted it on reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/ylqm2/android_police_reviews_the_galaxy_note_101and_it/c5wralf Please read it (especially Ron, Artem, and crew) and let me know what you think. As a longtime fan of you guys I was disappointed to see this review so clearly miss the point of this device. Apologies for the wall of text :/

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        I'll go and approve any comments that Disqus may have spammed.

        • Ibrahim Awwal

          Sorry, I think it was just a login issue, I don't know if the federated logins were working (tried G+, FB, and twitter, and ended up just making a Disqus account). Thanks though!

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            Yeah, I didn't find anything that got spammed.

  • anon

    Wow I didnt read through it all but the back is visibly horrible. I looked at 3 of these at various stores and have to say you got a DEFECT. Only thing that looked remotely bad in build was the plastic thing that housed the flash and camera. The shape and curve to the face of it was a bit too bulgy for me. But the rest of the back was quite smooth and wobble free.
    Aluminum, have you not lived in 2012? With all the BS going on with antenna's I do not think the material is a good choice. Even with the fixes ASUS did I would still be wary of the material. A nice fiber foamed plastic though wouldnt be so bad. Also alum scratches up badly, glossy plastic tends to deflect (exp if polycarb) Itll scratch but it wont gouge out. I have seen some ugly ass ASUS devices out there in the wild.
    You obviously woke up ready to hate this device.

    • Ron Amadeo

      I woke up ready to LOVE this device. Like I said in the opening paragraph, it does a bunch of stuff I wanted my tablet to do when Honeycomb came out. I really like the ideas here, the execution just isn't any good.

      • Nakel

        Ron, now you're just lying. You said "
        Couple this failure with astonishingly bad hardware" Which is completely untrue. Obviously you were prepared to hate because you made many slams like this without checking your facts. Check the teardown videos. The hardware is
        astonishingly good.
        Many of your comments show an
        astonishingly bad bias against Samsung. Considering just how inaccurate your review is, you are either biased or just too stupid to review tech gear. so which is it?

  • Lionem

    I love this review, great job!

  • Bas

    Whoa, very disappointing review. I thought this tablet would be amazing, well, I was wrong.

  • Bryan

    Seriously AP? This is a pretty poor review, and I usually find your editorial staff top notch. Buying this tablet will not kill any children, or start WW3.

    While I mostly agree with your gripes, overall I think this tablet makes sense to buy. Why? The sheer horsepower and the possibility of CM10 on this beast. The benchmarks are already killing any other Android Tablet you can buy today. I suppose if you lack the ability or interest to install CM10, then avoid this tablet, but purchasing it will not cause some sort of Android apocalypse. Also, the plasticky nature of this tablet isn't THAT bad. It's no transformer infinity, but it sure beats that tablet on specs. (save the screen)

    Sigh.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      It's a poor review or it's a review with a conclusion you didn't expect/want? I think the review is top notch - Ron's middle name is Critic, and that's what he does best.

      • Bryan

        It's a highly sensationalized "review" that is WAY over the top on bias. This is actually not a review at all, it's an editorial. One that I obviously don't agree with. I just wish this particular editor had a little higher class when writing "reviews." It doesn't give AP much credit when you see "The build quality is so bad, I think it gave me cancer."

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Reviews are personal by nature, and yes, it's not dry - some editorializing is welcomed in reviews too. It just doesn't sit well with you, and it's fine - there has never been a review that appealed to every single person.

          • Bryan

            "Some" is obviously a subjective word here, much like this "review."

            Still like AP in general, but I'm going to avoid Ron's editorials if at all possible.

          • Nakel

            It would be nice though if the review was conducted without the obvious bias this review has. It is so inaccurate as to be useless and completely misleading. So much so that I don't think I could trust anything on this site. It seems to me there is a complete lack of journalistic integrity.

      • hot_spare

        It's obvious that Samsung has stopped paying/advertising in your website. It's an horrible attempt of a review.

        My review of your review: AP is not the biggest android blog by any consideration, and they are trying to grab attention by just creating controversy. How to do that? Criticize the most popular Android OEM. I recall the GS3 review and all your bitching about menu options that Samsung choose to adopt. You guys are exactly like John Gruber, difference is that you act as if you are John Gruber for Android. What is so good about Nexus 7 apart from the price? It's just fashionable for you guys to hate skinning of products. You sound like a typical elitist. You think I care to call spade a spade.

        If stock Android was so great, nexus would have been the go-to brand for Android. Get this: nobody cares about Nexus.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Samsung has never directly advertised with AP or stopped paying us, and we're on a mission. Give me a break. Though, I was waiting for the first conspiracy theorist. Didn't take long.

          "Nobody cares about Nexus" - that's pretty lulz. Thanks for the laugh.

          • hot_spare

            You don't count.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          Yep, that's exactly what happened. Samsung stopped bringing the sacks of money to our respective residences and we all said "Hey Ron, give the Note 10.1 the worst review imaginable, that'll show em!"

          Also, we could never be John Gruber - we post too many things that aren't passive-aggressive rants about how the whole internet is out to get us and that we're just misunderstood and smarter than everyone.

          • mesmorino

            You guys are lameos, where's my cut of these imaginary sacks of money then? Man the UK gets no love around here. The Illuminati will hear of this!

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

            The freemasons stole them.

          • mesmorino

            But... If... But... How... Why... Duuuuuuuude- Ron Amadeo... Amadeus... Mozart... Wolfgang... Wolfram.... Wolfram Alpha.

            Well it's obvious now. Everybody on this site is engaged in a high fidelity simulated conversation with a super computer, which was built and maintained by the Illuminati, until the freemasons stole all the money.

            gorram freemasons

          • hot_spare

            They need to get the message that this kind of half-assed, lazy, profit-margin-first style of device building is unacceptable.

            passive-aggressive rants?? did I hear that right?

            And, you guys are the android version of John Gruber. We see that everyday. Maybe you just don't realize that.

    • Hewo

      Isn't this tablet's main selling point built around TouchWiz and the special apps they created to work with the pen (that more than likely have a dependency on TouchWiz)?

    • GazaIan

      You know the number one wish I always have when buying an Android device is that I won't have to root it and jump to Cyanogenmod. When I buy a device, I don't want to have to hack the shit out of it just to get the performance that should have been there to begin with. Just once I just want to buy an Android device and enjoy it as just that; an Android device. I personally agree 100% on this review. Loved the detail of the review as well, but I felt more like the detail was describe hate, rather than to be detailed. Regardless, I liked it.

    • Kekemonster

      They shouldn't pair shitty software and hardware with specs and a price like that.
      It's stupid and they should feel stupid for trying this.

    • Kekemonster

      They shouldn't pair shitty software and hardware with specs and a price like that.
      It's stupid and they should feel stupid for trying this.

    • cornandbeans

      You mean OEMs are supposed to produce stock crap and flashing CM10 is customers' responsibilities?

  • Drayon

    Whoa!
    Wasn't expecting this!

    However on the back plate, the one on the transformer prime is also made out of aluminium, but in some way asus has managed to make it weak as fck.
    I just can't lay down the tablet on anything other than cloth or I'll have another scratch or two...
    I would assume it's because of the circle pattern they put on it. But still. Even a company as asus has a problem making the back plate stand up to some sort of abuse.

  • Roger

    This is exactly why I root for HTC to succeed! I simply cannot understand why you would not want to put your best effort in producing a tablet or a phone! Samsung has become the number Android seller, but I'm not sure they're building a loyal customer base. I've managed to convince quite a number of people to try Android and of course they usually go with a Samsung device. However, very few have been 100% satisfied and most will switch or go back to an iPhone when their contract is up. I've been using a Galaxy nexus and while I love jelly bean, the device itself it just OK. Even the SIII is just OK and that's their flagship phone!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Compared to the S III, something like an EVO LTE is abominable. Samsung still trumps HTC in almost every way but physical build quality.

      • Kekemonster

        But the EVO LTE had *shivers* carriers messing with it.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          It wasn't the carriers who mucked things up - it was HTC. And the terrible camera that they touted as oh so great - I have a huge list of problems jotted down and why I want to throw it against the wall most days.

      • Muhammad Asaad

        what about software? and ergonomics both in software and hardware? i've seen so many sense-style widgets in the markets but never a tw style widget, besides for non geeks like us build quality and looks are major selling points

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Software on the EVO LTE is why I want to launch it into the ocean attached to a rocket and explode it into a million pieces. It's so buggy in the most unusable ways, it constantly pisses me off.

      • PINJ

        [I Will Just Assume That You Mean Both The Evo And The One X:]

        I Believe That The Tegra 3 Graphics Is Much More Dynamic When It Comes
        To Gaming. [I'm Aware That The Overclocked Mali In The S3 Is Somewhat
        Faster], Which Would Make The Construction Not The Only Thing That The
        HTCs Excell In. Oh And It Doesn't Have The Missing Subpixel.... Or The
        Pricepoint Advantage [Especially At Stock Storage]

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Actually, the EVO LTE does just fine in gaming - it's the OS itself that fails hard, as well as Sense features like the contact book.

  • James Jun

    Excellent review as usual AP. It just goes to show what shoddy design, weird and quick implementation of software, as well as the continued disregard for how Android is supposed to be designed leads to. Pretty much spot on with The Verge, Engadget, and other sites. This was really a lackluster product for Samsung. Along with the Galaxy SIII menu button fiasco and now this, it's tough for me to believe whether Samsung actually takes a look at how Android is designed to run.

  • mesmorino

    Woah woah woah let's not get hasty now; telling people to buy an iPad! Jeez. Like we don't have enough problems without sending the newbies to Apple/The Great Satan. Better solution, instead of telling Samsung to quit it, or sending the newbies, tell them to talk to Google. If Samsung can't do it, Google CAN. At least Samsung is TRYING, unlike what seems to be everybody else. Gmap's icon only just got updated over the past week or so, after how many YEARS?

    If someone's trying and failing (repeatedly, even), I don't think telling them to quit is the right answer, at least not when they're on the right track.

    Also, Alumin*I*um! rackum frackum gorram 'murricans *shakes fist*

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Sorry, we write in U.S. English on the site (at least those of us in the U.S. do).

      • mesmorino

        It was a joke Artem. You know, with the shaking of the fist and the nonsense phrases. :/

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          With some tense moods in this post, it's a little hard to tell jokes today :)

          • jim

            I made an account just t say RUN @ ME BRO

        • ChemLoli

          Boooo bad joke.

    • Slurpy2k11

      Apple is the 'great Satan'? Really? How old are you, 12? These are gadgets. The iPad is universally well reviewed and praised on every serious tech site I've seen, while having the best build quality and screen in the industry- by a long shot. There's worse things than recommending it, believe it or not. Especially with trash like this tablet selling at the exact same price point.

      • mesmorino

        Looks like somebody failed a spot check: the entire comment was meant to be humorous, who even SAYS "great satan" anymore? What, if I'd called Apple a bunch of Jive Turkeys you'd be asking if I was 65? Get a grip

      • mesmorino

        Looks like somebody failed a spot check: most of of the comment was meant to be humorous, who even says "great satan" any more? What, if I'd called Apple a bunch of Jive Turkeys you'd have asked if I was 65 too? Get a grip

        They ARE a bunch of jive turkeys anyway

      • AppleSucksForLife

        The reason iPad is always praised by reviewers is because they were turned into iHypocrites by iBrainwashing them

  • PyroDroidS

    It seems all 10" tablets get mostly negative reviews. I have a TF101, Looking to upgrade and I'm just curious, What 10" tablet would you guys recommend?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I can't recommend one at the moment. But if you had to force my hand, probably the TF700 or the A700.

      • mesmorino

        While you're here, (serious question now) is the Motorola Xoom still worth buying? I just noticed it was still on my amazon wishlist and it's very tempting now.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          No, no, and No.

          • mesmorino

            Compared to other 10in tablets though? The Nexus 7 is cheaper yes, and is also on JB, yes, but what I'm after is a 10in tablet- the 10in galaxy tab was the only other real option, and it's more expensive

          • Ron Amadeo

            The Xoom just isn't fast enough to run Android. It never really was. I've yet to upgrade mine to Jelly Bean, but it has always struggled with basic UI stuff.

            The Xoom was cool when it was the only thing out with Honeycomb, now though, it's just old.

          • mesmorino

            Ah I see. looks like i'll have to keep looking. thanks for the advice!

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          It's a decent device, but it's so heavy and kind of choppy (with Honeycomb) I never wanted to use mine. So I sold it before it even got ICS (or maybe right after).

          • mesmorino

            Alright, ta mate

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

        Don't buy the A700, it's crap. The TF700 is the only 10" tablet worth buying right now, and even that's a bit of a stretch thanks its sub-par I/O performance.

    • Animejay

      ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700. I have it and it rocks.

    • Jon

      Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. This is coming from someone who owned both the Prime and the Infinity. The HD screen is nice on the infinity, but the software is a pain. I love my Note, I'm sure you will too.

    • Magnesus

      Note 10.1. The review is garbage. Especially if you take notes on paper often (during lectures etc.).

      • http://www.technovia.co.uk Ian Betteridge

        If what you want to do is capture digital notes, don't buy any tablet - buy a Livescribe smartpen instead. Cheaper, easier to use, and just an all-round better experience.

  • dlovely

    btw, blackberry playbook had front facing speakers for a while now. loved those things!

  • CSharpAJ

    This makes me happy that I got the TF700. The only thing I wish the TF700 had that the Note 10.1 has is 2GB of RAM. But after seeing the build quality of the Note 10.1 I'm glad I didn't wait. I have a Galaxy Nexus and it's one thing for a phone to be plastic, but a supposedly high end tablet?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I actually prefer my TF300 which is plastic to the TF201 which was aluminum because it doesn't feel as cold and unpleasant to touch. I am all for plastic (but well built) casings.

      • CSharpAJ

        Yeah, I got the wife the A100 back in February and it's plastic, but it's well built.

  • Eric

    For the price ... is this a good alternative to a

    WACOM Cintiq 12WX ($999)

    both have a 1024 levels of pressure... and 12" TFT vs 10.1" PLS

    • Ron Amadeo

      That's an interesting perspective. I'm weary of where the other $500 went though.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

        WARY.

        • Ron Amadeo

          Haha. Thanks for your heroic grammar checking abilities. <3

          And sorry. I'm so, so, sorry.

        • Al McDowall

          Thank you for that David, it drives me nuts but I never correct people for fear of being labled a grammar Nazi (even though it's not grammar, it's spelling/vocabulary) Other pet peeves include 'peeved me off', 'irregardless' and 'should of'.

          Ron, for the record, your posts are usually shining examples of correct English!

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            That's cause we have editors :P

          • http://www.facebook.com/jp.palacio.7 Jp Palacio

            lol.. 'irregardless' made me laugh. I've never seen that one, but I imagine my reaction would not be so convivial.

        • http://www.facebook.com/jp.palacio.7 Jp Palacio

          Good catch. I missed it myself.

      • GraveUypo

        pretty sure it's not the same kind of pen tracking. cintiq is more precise in every way.

    • JohnDoey

      Wacom Cintiq can plug into a Mac running Illustrator and be useful. The Samsung has no creative apps. Java is not where the code is with creative apps.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vanessa-Findley/100003128834063 Vanessa Findley

        not built in. people can and have made them though, its not an ipad so there's freedom with development (without them being ripped off). I would not buy the cintiq 12wx because its been around forever needing an updated version, as well as being stuck in one place and costing twice the price. for the money and portability (despite the depressingly cheap build quality) this is a great option. I am still looking into possible vector apps though so I wouldn't assign it as they almighty of everything creative and portable just yet (so far as current portable tech goes, especially with only 2gb ram).

      • http://twitter.com/harzerpower Photo & Sound

        That is wrong, what you like to tell us. I am professional photographer in Germany and I have an iPad 2 and this new Galaxy Note 10.1 and it is a great device for creative people. There is a photoshop app and some drawing apps and they are very useful for people like me. And they work best for previews on outdoor-shootings! I have to apologize some language gaps I have, so it could be that I do not find the right words for something I like to say.

        But one thing you could be sure. You really cannot compare the Galaxy Note10.1 with iPad 2. or any other iPads. For my work, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is a great device with a lot of possibilites with its S-Pen, what you never will get from Apple iPads!

        Higher resolutions as 1280 x 800 on 10" digitizer displays, what Apple do not have too, are not to pay on consumer tablets! May be, later in 5 years, but not current.

      • mark

        Or you can plug into any computer.

        He said it was an alternative, not necessarily better. With the Note you have the advantage that you're not lugging a separate computer around, and you're drawing directly onto what you're seeing, making it more similar to paper. Although yes, there's less software support with Android (although it's wrong to say there's no creative software at all, and your comment about Java shows ignorance - the language shouldn't be an issue). Windows tablets will be the best of both worlds, full blown PCs, with creative software, and pressure sensitive pens.

      • justintime505

        @JohnDoey Any more completely untrue and stupid statements you got rattling around in that head of yours ?

      • guest 4

        Autodesk pro. I don't think i need to explain why an extensive and well built illustration package from the creators of the software used to illustrate the borderlands game works fantastically with this device, primarily due to the inclusion of the S-pen.

    • kgelner

      I bought a Cintiq but returned it, as drawing on an iPad already works pretty well (and there are a ton of options). Soon there will be pressure-sensitive stylus for the iPad also:

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jonatherton/jaja-worlds-first-pressure-sensitive-stylus-for-ip

      http://www.tenonedesign.com/home.php

  • Dvan

    Damn this review KICKS ASS!

  • Laurence

    "
    Out of the box, this thing runs like crap. I mean it. I'm talking slower than a Xoom. The home screens, in particular, laboriously move along at around 15 FPS. The reason is the default widget setup. These 4 squares - Clock, Media Hub, Game Hub, and Music Hub, kill performance. So if you see anyone calling this thing slow, that's why. Remove them and everything speeds up to the normal, expected smoothness. It's not as buttery smooth as Jelly Bean, but it isn't slow, either."

    Heh, does anyone want to bet on whether the above paragraph will get ripped out of context and posted on daringfireball.org?

    In all seriousness though, thanks for this review. This is what technology journalists are supposed to do: critically evaluate the value proposition that these big tech companies are offering us. If the value proposition is a poor one, we deserve to hear about.

    I get very sick of this whole "gadgets as religion" mentality among commentators, where any negative review of an Android device must be attacked for disloyalty to the cause. You know what really help the cause? Criticising manufacturers when they ship a bad Android device, so that next time they do a better job.

    • Laurence

      Apologies for the grammatical errors in that post. I'm still getting used to the lack of an edit function in Disqus. But anyway, check it out: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2012/08/21/galaxy-note

      I'm good, huh? Admittedly, I got the paragraph wrong.

      • http://foomandoonian.net/ Foomandoonian

        I came here via that DF link and read the whole article - and I don't think Gruber took anything out of context. If there is one thing Amadeo really hammers the Note for, repeatedly, it is the build quality.

        • Laurence

          Fair enough. I certainly don't think Gruber's quote misrepresents the review at all, so perhaps my "out of context" comment is unfair.

          (That said, it's also abundantly clear that Gruber would never link to a positive review of an Android device on this site...)

          • http://foomandoonian.net/ Foomandoonian

            Gruber makes a lot of good points about Apple and Android, but no, I would never accuse him of balance. :)

          • cfountain72

            You sure abut that?

            MG Siegler Reviews the Nexus 7
            MG Siegler:

            I like the Nexus 7. I really like it.

            ★ Monday, 16 July 2012

            http://daringfireball.net/linked/2012/07/16/siegler-7

          • Laurence

            Very well then, we can refine our theory of Gruber Android-device review linkage by adding in an additional principle:

            Gruber links to a review of an Android device if: a) It's negative, or; b) It's written by his friend MG

            I speculate that if someone were to trawl through the DF archive and analyse the results, they would find this theory can adequately explain 98% or more of Gruber's Android device-review linking.

            Also note that, like any good scientific theory, this one has predictive power. If you scroll up, you'll see that I was able to use it to predict that Gruber would link to this article before he actually did so :)

          • OgilvyTheAstronomer

            I'm pretty sure Gruber has linked to a positive review of the Nexus 7, but I can't be arsed to look for it right now.

          • http://www.noisetech-software.com/Home.html Steven Noyes

            He linked to several positive reviews of the Nexus 7. Don't know if any were from this site.

          • Dilbert Asended

            You seem bias against Gruber for some reason. If you actual read his site you'd find favorable reviews of some Android devices.

            You might want to stop misrepresenting his views.

      • Macadactyl

        I followed your link, but I can't find what he took out of context. The quote says the build quality is terrible. I'm pretty sure that is what this author meant to say. Good? No. Not at all. Kind of the opposite actually.

    • Guest1

      Will "normal" users know that they need to terminate the widgets to restore performance? And why would Samsung implement such things if they can see how badly it robs performance? I think Gruber should make hay of such a poor implementation.

      • Laurence

        Yeah, exactly. I thought that Gruber would make the more sophisticated complaint that that Android's flexibility and customisability allows manufacturers to modify the software in ways that harms the experience for the end-user. Instead he went straight for "gave me cancer" quote. Ah well. Fair enough, I suppose.

        • perfectlyreasonabletoo

          Hey now, he danced around getting cancer until the last section.

      • justintime505

        Someone that owns an android device probably knows how to remove the widgets. nobody is going to keep those ugly widgets around. I love this tablet. I'm a student and it's about 10 times more useful than my old transformer. If you have a use for the pen features like I do then you must get this. Otherwise skip it and get a nexus. That's what it comes down to.

        • http://twitter.com/ShontalAnn Shontal Ann

          Thank you for simply putting it. What's the problem with a 1-2 sec lag when compared to having to carry a heavy laptop around or having to use a tablet and closing the program you are typing on to do research. It is more practical on the note to simultaneously do school papers while doing research on the net. I guess it is up to personal preference but a 1-2 sec lag is not a big deal.

    • Pete_Pete

      Which context, exactly, makes this paragraph sound any different than this?

      • http://www.jv21.com/ John V. Keogh

        I can't tell you exactly but I could reply more generally.

    • Michael Jon Carter

      I can't agree more and I believe that goes for all manufacturers including Apple!

    • http://www.facebook.com/rob.catron Rob Catron

      Runs lime crap? You must have a bad one. I have owned many Android tabs, and this is the fastest one so far by a huge margin

    • Bby Twitty

      GREAT REVIEW. now we all know how plasticky and cheap Samsuck's products are! THANKS

      • AppleSucksForLife

        GREAT COMMENT. now we all know how delusional and pathetic iSuckers are! THANKS

        • Damian Mann

          Opinions are like #@/holes. Everybody's got one......especially on the internet. This reviewer isn't even a decent writer, let alone known ANYWHERE else.

        • Geo Phantom

          The man is on Apple's payrroll and he is not ashamed to scream about it

  • abhisahara

    This is whats called a REVIEW. Thumbs Up ! Kudos ! The reviewer is listing out all the aspects he has seen...what he liked and what not. He gave his own recommendations and even recommending the ipad portrayed how bad the device would be and what worst experience the reviewer might have got. You don't like it go ahead look for some biased review...or better go to some store, check out the device yourself and verify the findings yourself. No one asks you to take the review as is....you all are sound enough to make your own decisions as its your hard earned money that is gonna be invested in the device. Reviews are here to help ya out in making that decision! Stop throwing stones at the reviewers. He did his job...now go ahead explore the device yourself and see whether its worth your money! Peace!

    • Chnng

      Exactly what I thought.

  • solomonjets

    Great review, I ordered an iPad earlier today (got it free through work) and was considering trading/selling it for one of these, but now I'll stick with my iPad until someone makes a decent 10" Android tablet

    • cornandbeans

      I thought ASUS makes great tablets...

  • http://komorkomania.pl/author/michal-brzezinski Michal Brzezinski

    This review is just purely awesome. In general I like your tests, but this one is really outstandingly good. Reading it was pleasure and the final image made my day. Thank you!

    • http://www.facebook.com/toshi.frenla Toshi Frenla

      i agree with you ... purely awesome review

    • Fmtrx

      Why would a bad review for a product would "make your day" ? whay you care so much if Samsung produced a bad product? Oh i forgot, another iStrawberry fan....

      • http://komorkomania.pl/author/michal-brzezinski Michal Brzezinski

        You missed the point so much, I'm not even bothering to explain anything

        • Fmtrx

          You have already explained enough with the "made my day" ;)

  • Eye4Detail

    A note to the reviewer: The two useful floating apps stem from two apps in the market AirCalc (calculator) and StickIt! (video player.) I've had them since long before Samsung's implementations and they're pretty good little apps...oh, and I use the video player for YouTube videos all the time.

    Thanks for not pulling punches in your review. That's what a review is supposed to be, not just praising the good but also calling out the bad. Honestly, the build quality alone would be enough to turn me away from this thing...seems like maybe they outsourced production to Archos on this one.

  • Bariman43

    I'd blame this on the fact that this is what Apple was trying to get Samsung to do with their own products, if it didn't look so cheap. When I first saw pics of the Note 10.1, I thought it would be a really good tablet for drawing, but now it looks like a really good example of what not to do when you make a tablet. Come on, Samsung, you're letting Apple beat you.

    To be at least somewhat fair, Samsung trying really hard to make it look like less of an iPad was not their choice, they were forced to do it by the Big Fruit themselves.

    Anyway, this just enforces my decision to not go with Samsung for tablets. Phones, yes, since Samsung has been making some really nice phones lately (I love my GNex, it just never gets old, and the SIII looks really good), but for tablets I always consider ASUS. I've never gotten a tablet, but I do perpetually consider getting one, if that counts.

    • nutbunnies

      First of all, you can make something not look like an Apple product and make it look good. The Samsung Series 9 doesn't look like a MacBook Air, and the Lumia doesn't look like the iPhone.

      Secondly, Apple has nothing to do with Samsung choosing horrible plastic.

  • Concept

    You were harsh about the build quality and it warranted the harsh criticism. I honestly think you got pre-production hardware because that flimsy back is uncalled for.

    FYI: You can use USB extension cables (male on one end, female on the other) as long as you use the OEM power adapter. I use an Amazon branded one at home and a Nike+ branded one at work and they both work fine to charge my GT10.1 and GT2 7.0

    • Ibrahim Awwal

      You can also get third party cables that are longer (I have some 6 foot ones from my GT10.1).

    • Ibrahim Awwal

      You can also get third party cables that are longer (I have some 6 foot ones from my GT10.1).

    • Ron Amadeo

      I went to the press event and played with about 10 of them. They've all got flimsy backs.

      • Nakel

        So, Ron, what you're saying is Samsung brought out their worst units to the press event? Because everyone that actually owns one of these seems to think it's built pretty well. Even the tear down videos show amazingly good build quality. Google it. Ron, your credibility is in dire question.

  • CeluGeek

    Judging by the quality expected from a flagship product vs. what's
    expected for a budget/midrange tablet, I think the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is a
    better tablet than the Galaxy Note 10.1.

    • Magnesus

      Tablet without a pressure sensitive pen is useless.

  • Darrell

    I love this review. Not only was this tablet bad enough to give you cancer, but it also pissed a bunch of consumers off. Look at these comments. They either can't stand the fact that this tablet is a massive piece of shit or they can't stand that someone's telling them that Samsung is the one doing the shitting. PLEASE, PLEASE JUST TAKE SOME OF IT BACK! YOU WERE TOO MEAN TO THE MULTI-BILLION-DOLLAR-INTERNATIONAL-CORPORATION!!111one~

    On a semi-unrelated note, I'm perfectly happy with my Asus Transformer (TF101) and dock.

    • manaloother

      The TF101 eh? that tablet with ugly plastic backing, uneven screen edges that leaks light everywhere with a flimsy data cable that will soon fail sync on anything. Yeah that's an awesome device.

    • Magnesus

      TF101 built quality is worse than typical Chinese cheap tablets have.

    • taitaisanchez

      What bothers me about the Transformer are the tales of woe of users cracking their screens while in the dock. Some people have blamed it on keeping the thing closed like a laptop, but if that's the case, why even bother?

    • AppleSucksForLife

      It is like you are saying that owners are fooling themselves pretending to like it. If I were you, I won't believe this review and try it out at a store first.

  • Jon Garrett

    I had no plans to buy this tablet because I already have the Tab 10.1 AND the resolution on this is the same as I already have. But after reading this review there's now ZERO chance I will buy this tablet.

    • Ron Amadeo

      This is an excellent example of what I'm talking about. This is barely an upgrade over their previous tablet.

      • zab

        Unless you appreciate having a pen which is the only reason I consider buying a tablet

      • AppleSucksForLife

        Wow! You're stupid! You really do not appreciate nor know anything about Wacom technology and screens!

  • Winterblade

    I think that what kept Samsung and others from using a ipad3-like resolution display was the GPU, you can say whatever you want, but the most porwerful GPU's in the android world are barely on par with the Ipad 2 GPU, and they are really underpowered when compared with the one in the Ipad 3. No I'm not an Apple fanboy, quite the opposite actually but that's the awful truth, also I really don't want uber-res display if they can get a trully powerful GPU to run it properly, hell even a current generation desktop-class GPU will have trouble running 3D intense games at ipad 3 resolution. Altough... a full HD panel could have been a nice middle ground :P

    • Ron Amadeo

      There's no reason they couldn't use the same GPU as an iPad. Apple doesn't own it. It's a PowerVR chip.

      • Winterblade

        Maybe no physical reason, but the amount of retooling and/or redesign involved in either equipping the Exynos chipset with a new GPU or using a whole new chipset might be why... also... I some times believe that apple have some mysterious exclusivity agreement with PowerVR since only Apple seems to be using the SGX 543MP4 and MP2. Or maybe only Apple can ship enough volume to make it a viable option, I just don't know but is hard to believe that no manufacturer other than apple have used it in any phone or tablet even when every benchmark says is the most powerful GPU for mobile

        • Cheeseball

          Maybe it's something as simple as battery life? The iPad 3 does have a big battery to compensate for the 543MP4.

        • Alcedes

          umm, you do realize the PowerVR GPU is used in the PlayStation Vita right?, it's not exclusivity, it's just prioritizing the correct things. Screen and GPU are way more important than a stupid pen for 99.9% of the population.

          • JoonHoKim

            Uhh... 99.9% of the geek and power user population. Not that many regular users notice better screens let alone GPUs.

      • babyfacemagee

        Lisa Gade at MobileTechReview actually explains that the reason they had to stick with the same 1280 x 800 resolution is because the Wacom digitizer in the tablet that makes all the cool S Pen functionality work doesn't come in HD resolutions like 1920 x 1200 yet in a 10 inch size. It was also to keep costs down. When HD digitizers are available they'll probably put it in the next version.

        • http://www.technovia.co.uk Ian Betteridge

          That makes complete sense technically, but illustrates exactly why a pen isn't a great design choice right now for a 10in tablet.

          • Shea Harris

            Except that a full HD display isn't needed on a 10" tablet. Would be nice but while I wish this was higher res, this is the first tablet I've even been interested in purchasing, and it's phenomenal. I'm not sure why more people don't have more interest in digital pens, but I love it. I hate software keyboards with the blinding passion of 1,000 suns. I love being able to write ANYWHERE and never have to use a BS soft keyboard. Handwriting recognition is amazing on the Samsung keyboard.

            Build quality is good on mine, at least. And I like how it looks. This gets it all right, as much as it can considering Android's limitations(would be nice to have multi-screen for any app). I don't like Touchwiz or any manufacturer UI, but supposedly if you use another launcher everything works(except multi-screen I assume). I'll try out another launcher soon. The main thing they get right is the front speakers..one of those things that has kept me from wanting a tablet. Rear speaker placement is just asinine. These Note speakers are very loud. I couldn't be more impressed. Overall this thing is blazing fast, just fantastic, I can't put the thing down(and I probably need to). No other tablet has held my interest for two minutes.

  • Biosfear

    what a great review, i felt it was honest and it said what needed to be said! i am really surprised about the crappy hardware, especially the cheap plastic built, not expecting that from Samsung!

    • http://twitter.com/blahblahyoutoo John Blargh

      Samsung has been known for cheap plastic and build quality for awhile now... even on their LCD TV's.

      • AppleSucksForLife

        What are TVs made these days? Gold?

  • Winterblade

    BTW this was one of the angrier reviews I've read in along time, it made me remember the angry nintendo nerd and his reviews. The saddest part is that if every flaw Ron Amadao found in the galaxy note is real, then he has all the right reasons to be this angry with Samsung. For me it's very clear, the 10 inch form factor is to small for real productivity, to big for true portability. Bring the Galaxy Note 2 Samy... that's the one I'm waiting

  • brian

    Yep nothing worse then horrible performance on a ten inch tablet. The people that are complaining probably have never used an android tablet because I get constant stutters, constant frame rate drops, apps take twice as long to load, and on top of that android is just jot there yet with tablet apps. This review is perfect although they could of used some better wording.

  • PINJ

    Archos Tablets Have Used Front Facing Speakers For A While

  • Freddy

    I do agree with some of the observations made by the reviewr.
    However, I do like the tablet a lot, I really wasn't looking to buy a tablet when I drove to Bestbuy, but since my HTC flyer is not performing as it used to, and I love the pen, I decided to go with this one after testing it for a while.
    And I have to say I like it, it's plenty fast, I do agree that the multi tasking is more a gimmick, but it's really not the reason why I bought it.
    Something I do have to note, mine is not flexible at all, I was really amazed at your video. Mine will not flex or make any sounds. I does looks very plastic, but other than that I have nothing bad to say in regards to the built quality. I do miss the aluminum on my HTC flyer, but the overall construction of this device is really good.
    I don't have misaligned issues or parts or corners that look out of place, it feels completely solid.
    I guess that different people have different opinions and everyone has different needs or expectations for devices.
    I do respect the point of view presented in this article, but also disagree with some of the observations.
    I would recommend interested people to actually go and try it out yourself.
    Also, something I did notice when I started playing with it, is that mine felt much more heavy compared to the one the Samsung representative had at Bestbuy.
    The Samsung lady had a black one what felt surprisingly light, could it bee there is kind of a demo version?

    Anyway, the only point I completely agree with reviewer is that the multitasking is only gimmick... other than that my experiences been completely different and I really love the tablet, its my first 10 inch, and my first Samsung tablet, before I had Dell, HTC, and I also own a Nexus 7.
    I find the built of the Samsung to be vastly superior of that of the N7.

    • Techjourney

      Which model did you get? Was it the 16GB White? Lisa Gade of Mobile Tech Review model was the 16GB White. I wondering if there are some quality issues with different models. Hope to check for myself in store in a couple of weeks. I must say this review was unlike any I've read before. I will be buying my first tablet around October. I've done a lot of research about tablets so that I can make an informed decision. The Transformer Infinity has always been at the top of my list. My main uses for a tablet would be to markup/annotate large PDFs and take extensive notes in meetings. I realize there are apps in the Google Play Store that would allow these features on any Android tablet, but once I knew the Note 10.1 w/digitizer was coming out, I wanted to see how well it handled the needs I just mentioned.

      Something I learned a long time ago: When making a big purchase 1 - Do your research 2- Listen to and respect others opinions/experiences 3 - Make an informed decision and 4 - Do what's right for me

      • http://twitter.com/twospirits David Vega

        Yeah, Lisa's review was the only one out of many that explain why the unit has the screen it does. She is also a pen user (with her smaller note) and appreciated the usefulness of the S-pen.
        As for thinking that it may be an issue with the different models, hmmm maybe, but the darker one I tried out didn't have any of the issues mentioned in the write-up.

  • Ibrahim Awwal

    One random point I should also add is that ICS has built in APIs for pen input, including the side button on the pen. It's up to apps to support any unique hardware (as usual) so I don't see why the side button is bashed at all. You should bash the built in apps for not using it more, but not the existence of the button itself, which I think is potentially incredibly useful.

    • Ron Amadeo

      The button doesn't do anything in Samsung's own apps. The most obvious thing you would want it to do is switch between a pen and an eraser in S Note. It doesn't do that. It doesn't do anything, really. There are 4 system wide gestures, and all they do is replicate system buttons (back, menu, etc).

      • Ibrahim Awwal

        I agree that it's stupid that Samsung didn't use it for more, but in the review you said "It needs to be customizable," and it certainly is (from my perspective as a software developer). It's just up to the app developers to utilize it. Apparently Samsung is not so good at app development (what else is new, right?).

        • http://www.technovia.co.uk Ian Betteridge

          "Customisable for a software developer" isn't the same as "customisable for an end-user" :)

  • babyfacemagee

    Funny, Lisa Gade at 'MobileTechReview' completely disagrees with you. She loved it. Watch her video review and see why. You sure you didn't get out of the wrong side of bed this morning? :)

    • hi

      Women and technology ;)

      • http://twitter.com/twospirits David Vega

        Really? You going there. That woman knows more about technology than most so-called male writers out there. Her reviews are always to the point, fair and unbias. That has to be the most stupidest reply beside the cancer comment here.
        Get informed before making such comments.

  • http://them3blog.wordpress.com/ Abel

    GREAT REVIEW!

    DEFENDING READERS

    honestly guys you have to be blind not to see the point their are making, you cant mod low quality hardware, this tablet has been "under construction" for quite some time its not supposed to be a sub pair experience and if you buy this instead of the Transformer, you need to get your head checked, honestly I was looking forward a device I could recommend to an artist (I Really Love The SPEN) but this tablet is not that device, no matter how amazing the pen could be, it screams "I need A better quality body and better features" about the OS yeah Google should introduce an API and android update that allows this to be done with any app, maybe with a Nexus 10 we see that too.

    Now excuse me while I Go Make up rumors about a 7" note priced 250-300 and pray Samsung thinks its a good idea

    • Nakel

      LOL! Yeah, I guess I need my head checked. Try loading a 50MB PDF file on the transformer infinity. OK, now wait a couple of minutes because your Infinity is locked up while it tediously loads the file. OK, now that you've wasted that much time, try turning the page on that PDF. Sit back, relax and have a cup of coffee 'cause you're going to be waiting 10 or 20 seconds for the new page to render. Every page turn. Every 3 pages you've wasted a minute. Every 180 pages and you've wasted an hour. Time is money and I can't afford to waste several hours a day waiting on the Infinity. BTW, the Note 10.1 handles those tasks quicker than you can get your eyes focused on the new page.

  • http://androidcowboy.com/ Android Cowboy

    Just got the tablet on Sunday and been playing with it. Some thing in the article are correct like the plastic back but somethings are wrong. The tablet is actually fast. I noticed in the store that it had a lag but at home it had no problems. I think some of the tablets come with powersave on default so check those setting. Otherwise I flipped through the homescreen apps several times and it's as fast as my GS3.

    Second, you can say anything bad about this tablet but the pen is absolutely amazing. It is hands down the best writing on a tablet. The palm rejection works 100% but only in S Note. You have to push the little pen button on the top right which it then only accepts pen input. I have tried other stylus and apps and the S Pen blows it away. I can write as fast and accurately as on paper and never had that experience on anything else. This is the one part that Samsung got right.

    Okay, the problem is not too many apps are optimized for the S Pen but it just came out so I think that will change soon. Otherwise the S Pen technology is spot on and one of the best things on the tablet. If that's not that important to you then maybe this is not the tablet for you.

    • Ron Amadeo

      I defended the performance. I told you why it was slow (the widgets) and that once you remove them the thing speeds up considerably. I also said "The processor is seriously fast" and that "It can even run the new, super-detailed Google Earth areas pretty smoothly, and those will crush a slower device like a Galaxy Nexus."

      • GazaIan

        Hey @ronamadeo:disqus, since you disliked the tablet so much, I don't suppose you mind selling it, giving it away or trading and paying the difference, would you?

        • Ron Amadeo

          It's a review unit. We don't keep them.

          • Petal

            So I can't come and clear the rubbish today?

    • Ron Amadeo

      I updated with the Palm rejection thing, thanks.

    • Magnesus

      I believe you can configure S Pen to block other input in ALL applications when used.

    • Stocklone

      Quill also has 100% palm rejection. And is a fantastic note taking app.

      • http://androidcowboy.com/ Android Cowboy

        With the Galaxy Note it won't accept any input besides the pen. Meaning you can swipe with your fingers all you want and it won't register. That's more than palm rejection.

        Agree that there is good note taking apps out there but the problem is the stylus. An app is worthless when the input doesn't register fluently. That's is the point of this tablet. The pen and app have been optimized for an experience that is unmatched with any other tablet or app.

        • Stocklone

          You can set it to recognize gesture support so you can interact with your fingers to move and zoom around the page while still only using the pen to draw. And you have a pinch and zoom tool that works with your fingers for fine adjustments. Finally, you can always work the UI controls with your fingers. Do you really need to do anything else with your fingers? And the pen works beautifull with Quill.

          I'm not understanding what the problem is.

  • Orio

    It gave you cancer? watch your lip FAGGOT, you review android gadgets, take a breathe and step back buddy.

    • Ron Amadeo

      u mad?

      • http://cocainemonster.deviantart.com/ Fun With Drugs

        This post screams irony.

  • spydie

    I had a G-Note and loved it. I have SGS3 now and I miss my S-pen. I'm going back. That said, I looked at this tablet and thought, "if it just had a keyboard dock..." I'm afraid that tablets are just too useless unless you have a keyboard dock so you can actually use them in pseudo-laptop-computer fashion. I have the Transformer Prime and I have the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7". I don't use either of them, and wonder why I bought them. They were a novelty, but really they are nothing but a large phone that doesn't phone. That's why I love the Note... a small tablet that really phones... the best of both worlds. Most people with tablets are still trying to find a use for them.

  • lostboy 145

    Great review! BTW...you can turn off that screenshot button on the lower left corner or just change it to something else. It's in settings under the display and quick launch.

    • Ron Amadeo

      ooo that's interesting. I updated with the review with that. Thanks.

  • Freak4Dell

    "We're Samsung. You slobs will buy anything we crap out. We don't have
    to try, we don't even need the latest components. You'll buy it no
    matter what."

    So, uh...they're basically copying Apple. I'm guessing they found out
    that Apple doesn't have a patent on overcharging for pieces of junk, so
    they went that route with this thing. At least Apple makes their devices
    physically solid, though (minus all the glass on the iPhone). This
    thing just sounds terrible. HTC needs to get back in the tablet game.
    The Flyer was terribly overpriced, but it was also probably the most
    solid Android tablet I've ever held in my hands.

    I found it kind of funny that you ripped on the design, but loved the
    front-facing speakers. While front-facing speakers are certainly more
    practical than side or rear speakers, they're also ugly. I always
    figured that was the reason nobody put speakers on the front of a
    tablet. What they need to do is figure out how to put speakers on the
    front without needing a grill, like a lot of laptops have them these
    days.

    I completely agree with you on the general usefulness of tablets. I'm
    not a big tablet fan, because I see no overall use for them. Sure,
    there's specific uses that they're great for, and the newer cheaper
    tablets are fine for that (I have one that's used primarily for one
    specific purpose), but these expensive tablets are still a waste of
    money. They can't replace a laptop or a desktop if you're looking to do
    more than browse Youtube and Facebook. Tablets need to have true
    multitasking capabilities. With dual and quad core CPUs, there's no
    reason they shouldn't be able to handle running multiple apps at the
    same time. This is something that needs to just be built into Android.
    You should be able to snap any app to a split screen view, similar to
    how you can on Windows 7. Long press in an empty area, and you should be
    able to drag the window around, snap it to the edge, resize it, etc.,
    just like you can with widgets. I'll admit that I haven't really kept up
    with the news about the Windows 8 tablets, but I'm really hoping they
    solve this problem once and for all. An ultrabook that's really a tablet
    with a keyboard dock would get me excited about tablets. I probably
    would have bought an Asus Transformer if there was sufficient
    multitasking capability in Android.

  • Jonathan

    Never have I been disappointed with an AndroidPolice article, until today. It's got kind of a Verge-ish vibe to it, I would swear this was an i-fan site had I not seen the OP.

    • Slurpy2k11

      So, you're dissapointed because he didn't mindlessly slather praise on it? You 'swear' its an i-fan site, because.. it's a negative review? Did you even read the damn thing? Did you witness the build quality? Did you disagree with his conclusions based on his experience with the device. Or is your 'dissapointment' a kneejerk, fanboyish reaction because a Samsung/Android device didn't get a positive review? You're the worst kind of fanboy/troll, someone who attacks the author and his opinion without a shred of justification. Some products just suck. This is one of them. It doesn't matter what OS its running, who made it, or who you're cheering for. The author was brutally honest, something one should respect and encourage. But not, not from people like you, with the 'us vs them' mentality. No need for honest reviews, its automatically awesome because it's not an Apple device, right?

      • Nakel

        Really, this device sucks? Wow, I guess everybody that owns one must be pretty stupid to like it. Fanboy? Troll? Look in the mirror. You haven't spent any time with the Note 10.1, that's obvious. If the Note 10.1 sucks, then what doesn't? The Asus Infinity or the Acer Iconia must REALLY suck then, because they are completely and utterly useless when it comes to reading large PDF files. (Minutes to load and 10 - 20 seconds to turn a page.) I guess the Ipad 3 sucks because it has no microSD slot and is heavy to boot. Honest review? Not even close. The Note 10.1 is the fastest tablet on the planet, bar none. Thanks to a beautiful screen, perfect video redering and front facing speakers it is the best tablet for watching movies--without a headset-- period. Thanks to it's speed and the pen it is the best tablet for reading and annotating PDFs and for retouching photos. For these--and other--uses it is the best tablet money can buy. If there was one better, I'd return my Note and buy it. I don't care who makes it. Show me a better tablet and I'll buy it.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    That squeaking plastic sound for a $500 tablet is a crime.

    • ProudOwner

      It is also not true :D

    • Hidde

      Ever seen a glass or metal phone drop? Yeah the screen shatters immediately. Samsung designed the plastic to be something that catches the drop. So love it or hate it.

    • Adham Said

      Have it and this never happened with me

    • inventorman

      You are inferring that the plastic squeaks on its own? I own this device and have never heard a squeak from it ;)

    • Cory Ducey

      Don't know where he gets the squeaking plastic. From. I got one and it certainly doesn't do that. You have press fairly hard to bend it. Either a defective make or he is really pressing hard on it to the point he's going to break it.

      • sir_john

        Mine squeaks a lot. I put sticky tape along the sides to stop it. Still, after some time it starts again and I replace the tape.

  • Inky69

    The author is cute. And knows what he is talking about

  • dobvlr

    Sound fish. Honestly, I do not trust this review.
    I must buy this and check all by myself.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      As should everyone to really form an opinion.

  • Anne Moore

    Timely & ironic. I spent nearly 3 hrs. in Verizon today trying to get help with a badly working 7" Sams. Galaxy Tab. purchased 11 months ago. Saw the new tabs & was impressed with one but your review and my experience has ended any future interest. I'm off to Apple.

    • Alexander Berkman

      not ironic.

    • Fmtrx

      Another viewer who read this article and was persuaded with pure biased comments and went to an iShop. This journalist is a gem for Apple. Apple should give him a job to its marketing department. LOL.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Phillip-Martin/100000077199240 Phillip Martin

        Or you should be upset at Samsung for making cheap overpriced garbage. I think some of you would like sites to lie instead of publishing negative Android reviews, smh.

        • AppleSucksForLife

          Or you should try it out first before praising this review.

        • justintime505

          Have you even used this device or are you just blindly spouting this garbage because the reviewer told you to jump and you just can't help to ask "how high ?" Read reviews from actual users and not this overfluffed pigeon and maybe try thinking for yourself.

  • Qnfauf

    You are downright wrong on palm rejection. Only select apps have option to completely ignore non-spen inputs (including S Note like you said). However, palm rejection works everywhere all the time. Just bring the pen near the screen and try hand (or palm) input. Basically, it detects if the pen is near and if it is, it rejects all other inputs. What S Note has as an option is rejecting other inputs even if the pen is not near the screen.

  • Qnfauf

    You are also wrong on multitasking. If you actually switch away from a browser without multitasking feature, it stops running javascript, playing flash video, etc. However, when you are using the multitasking feature, they keep running even if you are working on the other side. I agree that recent apps is a bit messy and that there is some lag switching between split screen, but you are completely wrong on thinking that it isn't actually running.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I am going to guess here, but I think for multitasking apps Samsung has the system enter onPause instead of onStop and onResume instead of onRestart. Either way, as Ron said, I'm pretty sure it's a hack, and the Android framework team wouldn't approve. But they only have themselves to blame for not providing this functionality in AOSP yet.

  • zab

    I am interested in the pen functionality and that's why I am looking at the Note10. I've been reading a lot in forums about it and do not find users to report issues like this review mentions. At least not in this severity. Some say the Note10 lags, others say it's smooth enough. I remember people saying the small N7000 would lag, but mine doesn't. This seems to be either subjective or there are huge differences between devices.
    What I understand very well is if I paid $XXX for something and it is all plasticky and cheap and makes noises it would infuriate me no end. I would hate that thing.
    But I did not see users report about this (enough, for me to remember it being a major issue).
    And some days ago iFixit made a teardown which revealed the device being well constructed inside.
    12800x800: some say it is due to the costs of the wacom digitizer. I don't know enough about it to verify this assumption but would have liked to see someone reviewing that thing to at least consider the thought.
    NFC: Honestly, I don't care about it. There are security issues and I probably would try to disable it on any device that has it. If this was possible. Last time I used wifi direct to share some files with a friend and it worked like a charm. Good enough for me
    One thing I really really dislike in this review is blaming Samsung software for android's shortcoming. Before the N7000 I was using Nokia'S N900 and when switching to Android I was shocked by how primitive and behind this OS is. No multitasking in 2011. Android is based on Unix and there is no multitasking. Google is one of the world's most successful companies with lots of power, money, resources and their Android OS has no multitasking. Whoa.
    Now Samsung tries (and no one else does) to work around these shortcoming. It may not be excellent (I am not at all impressed with their software but I don't find anything better), but there is nobody out there who does better. Nobody out there (companywise) even tries. Those who develop floating apps can be found on XDA, for example. What do Sony, Asus, Acer, HTC, Motorola, Huawei do in this respect?
    Nothing
    Plus they are the only ones with a decent stylus. For some time I was considering the Thinkpad tablet and read a lot about all it's issues, and: No, thank you. That is no competition at all. Anyone else? No!
    From what I understand you may get a Note10 device that is of inferior build quality, but if it is not, it may do what you need it to do if you want something with a stylus and minimum weight (compared to a tablet notebook). From what I understand the Note can fulfill its purpose. (And leaves room for improvement. So what?)

  • TinmanTinman

    I approve this review :) . Thanks for calling a spade a spade . Samsung should really step up their UI and hardware design . Instead of coming up with just silly colorful icons and cheap feeling hardware .HTC a much smaller company beats them in hardware design.

    They should hire and encourage UI and hardware designers who are avant-garde [hopefully from outside Korea , just to break the mold] .

    Also they should let new ideas like the split screen and S-voice fully bake until they are perfect before releasing them.

    • George T

      He isn't "calling a spade a spade" - he's an AP writer who is loved by the Apple community for constantly slamming and smearing Android. This site almost certainly sees far more interest from people who desperately want to hate all things Android than by those actually interested in it.

      When has AP last had relevance in the Android community? I can't recall them ever being relevant. They're super relevant for people like John Gruber.

      • The_Incomparable_Douche

        And yet here you are.

      • selonmoi

        "When has AP last had relevance in the Android community?"

        I'll bite: When they broke the story that gift card and wish list support had been added to Play Store? Or perhaps when they discovered and reported on the larges pieces of multi-user support present in Jelly Bean?

        • hot_spare

          [considering AP actually reported some leaks] what would have happened if AP didn't find the leaks? you are acting as if AP actually developed/designed them. They are a tech-news site, this is their job to find leaks. Even gizmodo once got hold of a pre-release iPhone from a bar. that doesn't make gizmodo any more relevant to iOS community. It's basically same. If they leak something, they get page hits. If not, those "leaks" would be launched officially when the time is right. leaking a news doesn't help anyone apart from these tech-news sites. they are not helping anybody by leaking google gift card is being launched. you just know it a week early before launch. your life remains same.

      • gjgustav

        It's time to grow up and get off this Apple vs. Android nonsense. If you have issue with the article, argue with points in the article. How well the author is known in the Apple community (not that well) is irrelevant. Even if you believe the author is the biggest Android-hater in the world, it's still irrelevant.

        The only thing that matters is the points the author made in the article. If you can't refute those, then don't bother with the fanboy/hater nonsense. This isn't high school.

      • mark

        I must admit, as someone who just found this review through a web search, I was confused why the Apple-loving or Samsung/hating comments were getting modded up, and the opposite getting modded down (as shown with your comment too). I mean seriously, any other tech site, even not Android specific, the overall consensus from commenters and those modding is that Samsung are generally great with Android, and claims that they just copy Apple is absurd - yet look at the moderation of the comment above. Unless it was a joke, and I'm missing the sarcasm...

        It's sad how much of an effort there is to smear Android in this way - yet with Android approaching 70% market share, it's a failed attempted thankfully.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Phillip-Martin/100000077199240 Phillip Martin

          If Apple made sub $199 and free on contract phones that would vanish over night. If people were buying high end Android in the same numbers as iphone's the Android gaming market wouldn't suck.

          Cheap shit sells and Android is proof of that.

          • AppleSucksForLife

            Overpriced shit sells and iOS is the proof of that.

          • justintime505

            IPhone 4s are free with a two year contract.... meanwhile android is still gaining market share. Your apple kingdom is becoming a third world county. In a few years I believe iPhone users will be as scarce as blackberry users are today.

    • hot_spare

      hmm, what kind of hypocrite are you?? so you are using android, a google-sponsored half-baked product from beginning. Why do you need project butter if android was so smooth? how many google products have been in BETA stage for years? did it stop you from using them? why did you not cry about HC which was an abomination? half-baked?? that thing was not even quarter baked. what about stock GB/Eclair/Froyo? Which company released those? Was it Samsung that released such pathetic and utter garbage?
      You are not in a position to advise Samsung what they should do. HTC is so good that they will be running out of business like Nokia and RIM within no time. how about HTC"s implementation of multi-tasking? i am sure that is full-baked. so good is HTC that woz recently commented HTC Thunderbolt was the worst device he used. HTC is not a small company, but in near future that won't even exist.

      going by your logic and google's work on project butter, google should have have released android only after JB. Clearly ICS and other versions are laggy, else why would they need project butter?

      • TinmanTinman

        Never felt Android was half baked .Maybe lacking a bit of polish in earlier versions but never half baked.

        I criticize Samsung in hope that they will listen to customer opinions and improve their products which they are capable of.

        • Erik Franken

          That may be, but the correct way of using the Android os definitely involves using the task killer properly, regardless of which Android version you're running. If you're either too lazy or too dumb to use the task killer, it's really no surprise things will slow down eventually.

          I actually own the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and must say that apart from a VERY slight lag when scrolling through homescreens (something that might annoy some people indeed), I have yet to encounter any true performance issues. This tablet is seriously fast.

          Doesn't mean the review is all wrong though, the Samsung apps definitely do make the homescreens slower, but I can certainly live with the few less than perfect things.

          The overall build quality is a little bit less robust indeed. But hardware-wise is gives a lot of bang for the bucks, even when it's not perfect or the highest grade stuff. Yeah, so they have yet again chosen to include a less incredible 5.0 megapixel camera, but it's still useful and it actually does an OK job at filming HD video and shooting much better photographs than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

          I don't think you can really go all that wrong with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, especially when you realize that the system as a whole is very stable.

  • JohnDoey

    At first I was confused, but then I realized that when you say tablet you mean Android tablet, you don't mean iPad. That's why you think laggy touchscreens are normal?

    The reason you are having trouble making stuff on your Android tablet is the lack of creative apps. Running GarageBand on iPad is both multitasking and making stuff. Same with iMovie and Keynote and Brushes and the many musical instruments. A keyboard pairs easily — lots of writers on iPad.

    If all you want is a big iPod, that is fine. But that is not how iPad is used. Users do not even run iPhone apps, they are running iPad-specific apps ported from other PC platforms.

    The reason this tablet looks like hell is that Samsung did not invest in their own unique tablet design, something that could carry them through a few generations. Instead, they simply copied Apple prototypes they were working on. Now, that has stopped and we see Samsung's lack of creative assets. 100% Samsung's fault. That is their crappy brand on this device. It is their responsibility.

    • orthorim

      I agree - apps make or break the iPad, the iPad would be totally useless without apps, and without lots of absolutely excellent apps. Apps that have been optimized specifically for the iPads screen size.

      I have never missed "multitasking" - there's notifications that alert you to incoming IMs, emails, and whatever the hell else you allow notifications for; there's the four finger up swipe to instantly switch between apps. Between those two things, there really is nothing I could think of where I'd want apps running side by side, or overlapping.

      The reason both Android and iOS don't do that is that it's no good on the small screen, that the usage metaphor is much simpler, and in some ways more efficient, than a desktop computer. Reduced complexity and more focus.

      Samsung should give up software and just put jelly bean on some excellent hardware. But we all know that's not gonna happen - Egos are too big in Samsung's management.

  • http://williamjudd.com/ William Judd

    "tablets need proprietary chargers because USB doesn't put out enough juice..."
    The Nexus 7 charges at 2A (same as the Note and near the iPad) and uses a standard micro USB connector. Standard USB 2.0 ports on a computer will only produce 500 mA, but everything else (USB 2.0 high speed, USB 3.0, wall socket, car auxiliary power) will provide enough - saying "USB doesn't put out enough juice" isn't really correct.

    • PINJ

      -_- Ehhhhhh My USB Charger Sometimes "doesn't put out enough juice.." For My HTC One PHONE... How I Know That? Because My HTc Tells Me Per Notification That My Phone Wastes More Than The USb Can Provide...

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    I agree - I love the Galaxy Nexus design and build. Yes, it's plastic, but it feels pretty damn solid, and I much prefer using that phone overall to something like EVO LTE. Samsung doesn't always screw up designs, but I'm not sure what they were thinking with the shell on this one.

  • Ali

    Maybe it sucks so much because it's not gonna be the flagship for long with the GTab 11.8 coming later this year..

  • ews05

    "Samsung gave us last year's display tech and saved their best tablet screen for Apple."

    Re the screen. Samsung only manufacture the iPad's screen, they didn't design it or have a license to use Apple's tech.

    • http://techwhack.com operamaniac

      They cannot use Apple's tech of course. But they can surely develop their own? I mean they are the world's largest maker of display panels... They should have to tech to develop something that can match or beat Apple's stuff right?

    • Matti

      The current iPad's screen is a Sharp design (with Apple having some input, probably). Samsung just builds the bulk of them due to their high manufacturing capacity.

    • JaM

      Display is theirs... Apple doesnt design screens... they dont have capacity for that....

      • JBDragon

        Apple has thousands of engineers Designing their Chips, Screens, the device it's self! Samsung has the Factory to Mass Produce those parts. Samsung is just 1 of 3 company's that are making the screens. That's Samsung, LG and Sharp!

        • http://www.facebook.com/MasamangOso Japhet Herrera

          Please... Apple commission Samsung (just like Sharp and LG) to make them a 53 PPD display so they can call it Retina display.... and no one can use that except Apple (part of their contract) ... Apple can't make there own, they can conceptualize an idea and ask the manufacturer like Samsung if it is feasible .. Apple don't have the means and tech to do so... Samsung, LG and Shape 1st had Display Technology and Facilities to invent new display and collaborate with others way before Apple decided to make the Iphone... have you ever heard about Samsung, LG and Shape TVs early 80s and 90s????

    • howard24

      you must be a delusional applefanboy. retina display? just rubbish
      marketing mambo jambo. retina displays are made by samsung using its pls
      display technology. and also LG make it by using its ah-ips technology. both
      technologies are originated from hydis(which is another south korean display
      company) if you don't know what you're talking about, then why don't you just
      shut up. you idiot. you love apple too much so you spread this kind of lies ?
      pathetic.

      • Scruff

        Nope. As the parent said, Samsung only manufacture the display. The tech behind it is all Apple.

  • Magnesus

    Based on discussions on XDA: the reviewer got a bad unit.

    • Sergio

      I love how the comments always get filled with people claiming that the reviewer just got a bad unit… Samsung must gather up all of their "bad units" to send out to reviewers.

    • walloftext

      Thumbs down? Why because it is true? GO and look at one in a store befor taking a side. I have looked at nearly 9 of the things and have not seen one that looks so SHIT as the one in this review.
      Performance issues are subjective, I have not run across lag in use of the UI. There is lag at times in the pen, it is not a $900 wacom cintique. But I have not seen the issues that "reviewers" have had. OWNER reviews speak the opposite. Are owners fooling themselves? or are these reviewers biased and not giving the product the chance it deserves? Maybe they do not want android to push into the productive field and stay media consumption devices only? I do not count posting pointless vomit to social networking sites.

  • Gabriel

    Dear Android Police, make someone that actually uses a pen for a daily basis to do or add to this review, example artist, engineers, students, or anyone that uses a wacom tablet for work.

    The target of this tablet is for people who needs and uses a pen daily, is you dont this table is not for you get any other tablet like nexus 7, is the only way to make this review fair. I agree the bad construction quality is an issue, but the screen is better than many tablets and laptops, also you speak fo the screen and the cost of the tablet as is the pen technology did not added any cost to the tablet, a wacom cintiq 12wx cost 999$ bare that in mind when you talk about the price of the tablet

    Check the review in engaget they also wrongly focus on the same problems you did, but I suggest you to check the comments area, where people who already own the tablet and actually use and need a pen, express their opinion about this tablet and it seems to be quite oposite to yours

  • grawlix

    Of course the new multitasking features, floating apps and split screen, just aren't any good. Apple hasn't done those features yet, so Samsung doesn't have a design reference.

    • orthorim

      sadly, it looks that way. same with the design - OK so you have to make your phone *not* look like an iPhone, but does that really mean it needs to be fugly?

      Now front facing speakers - I sure hope that Apple, and everyone else, will copy that. Speakers facing my ears - it just makes too much sense!

      Build quality issues are surprising. But, this is Samsung. They're not Apple. They don't release one carefully considered new product every year - they shoot out five in quick succession and hope one will stick. I am sure that internally they're long working on their Nexus 7 competitor and this is merely an afterthought - they've got something to copy so should be no problem.

      • Steven Smyth

        And Apple isn't going to a multi window version of iOS ever. Their rationale is that the iPad "becomes" whatever app it's running. It removes a level of complexity that's very appealing to non-geeks. Samsung is a trying to appeal to the other end of the market and have a competitive product. Competition is good but Android is Google's take on the standard computing model for mobile. The vast majority of folks now associate "tablet" with "iPad" and if a tablet isn't like an iPad, its not gonna get bought.

        • mark

          Yet it's Android that is by far the most popular OS, just mainly on phones. Apple only have the advantage with Ipads due to all the free hype and advertising the media have given it, whilst Android non-phone tablets are almost entirely ignored.

    • Ed Zactly

      ^This!

    • hot_spare

      So they didnot have a design reference, yet they made a product? licking ishit must have made you a funny guy.

  • http://everydaypanos.com/ Everydaypanos

    What's a floating or mini app

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      It's an app that floats on top of another app.

  • Hak

    "You guys also make the iPad display, why don't you just whip up a widescreen version?"

    No they don't. The iPad screen is Apple technogy not Samsung. Samsung can't just use the technology because they just manufacture the screens for apple but they don't have the license to use Apple's technology used to build the high resolution screen by elevating the pixels in a different plane. Apple has its own screen technology and SoC technology and they use Samsung facities to manufacture them.

  • orthorim

    Very entertaining review, even if it's quite surprising Samsung dropped the ball so much. I guess they're focusing on where they're making money, phones.

    I want to point out that Apple has apparently won in their lawsuits against Samsung. Even if the courts have not decided yet, Samsung has stopped copying Apple hardware. I guess nobody was expecting that to go quite so badly though. Samsung is a huge company, surely they can afford some designers, and surely they can borrow some quality materials from their laptop unit... a tablet that takes design cues from the Series 9 laptop would look great, and also wouldn't look anything like an iPad.

    • LALALA

      I feel a little skeptical about that.. a US company such as Apple wining a law suit IN the U.S, WITH U.S juries against a KOREAN company such as Samsung... just saying? Fair or not? Who knows?

  • Fightcrazy

    This tablet is a beast, does more than aby other Tablet including Apple. This is a very good Tablet that has a soft feeling back and screen rez could be better. The choice of going with the current screen rez is for battery use. Not defending Samsung but extreme high rez screens suck battery life. This clown who obviously is an Apple fan boy, do yourself a favor and check the Tablet out yourself before buying anything. You will be glad you did.

  • Gabriel

    Dear Android Police, please make someone that actually uses a pen as daily basis, like artist, engineers, students, teachers, or anyone that uses a wacom tablet at work do or add to this review, this reviewer is not the right person to express his opinion about this tablet, because he doesn't fit the kind of people this was made for.
    Check the engaget review (the reviewer also doenst care about the pen) in the comment section you will see opinion of people that already owns the table and do use and need a pen in their daily basis , they give very good comments about it
    Also the pen technology has a cost, so dont compare this to tablets at the same price that dont have a pen because part of the cost is use for the pen technology which is not cheap, the wacom cintiq 12wx is 999$ and has almost the same size and same presure sesitivity than this tablet, 500$ is a very good price for the specs of this tablet

  • Mark

    If you buy those two Nexus 7s, you could stick them together and actually run two apps side by side!

    • chandradithya

      Double battery life and double NFC too :P

  • AntiApple98

    I say: fuck you !
    This device is a good Tablet the Revolution is not the best but this Review suck.....
    The S Pen is the Highlight , Screen locks really good like the colours and Brightness , Camera is good for Snapshots , Design is innovative and looks pretty good , i like the Speaker- Position , Performance is the best ......
    The Exynos kills the Tegra with the 2GB of RAM it's a wonderful Hardware , i have senn some tests , the Gaming is also really good with the Mali 400.....
    I like it ....
    @Androidpolice Sorry but you have no idea !!!

  • jwjvh

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1838739&page=1

    There are real owners of GN10.1 in XDA forum, They says their experience are quitely positive.
    unlike author, they recommend this device.

  • SonyX

    Cripes, clips your nails man!

  • stegerl

    Thank you Ron Amadeo for this great review! It's too bad that Samsung doesn't get several things right. This thing has so much potential and would be really great with some software tweaking and better materials. Full ack for your conlusion.
    I wouldn't be surprised if google implements some of this stuff (maybe splitscreen) in one of it's further Android versions.

  • Canucker

    It's not just the crappy plastic though. Clearly, Samsung is trying to innovate with Android and is failing because TouchWiz is a superficial skin. This is a real problem and kludges to add functionality that are not hardwired into the core system will never be reliable. If Samsung wants to differentiate, it will either have to work much closer with Google or fork. I'd bet they are hedging their bets right now because they have to know that trying to work through TouchWiz is not the way forward.

  • crankerchick

    I LOL'd. Great review.

  • George T

    Not at all surprised to discover that this is from the same guy who claimed that the Galaxy S III was designed by lawyers. That you see a lot of hits from the Apple community shouldn't drive your writing, though it clearly has.

  • pcdfwma

    I own a Note 10.1. Nothings perfect. I have no problem with the plastic and have none of the quality issue you experienced. I did not have the 1 second lag you describe, no more than 1/2 second at the most. I like the software and have no problem with TouchWiz. I have owned tablets since the Newton, I had on original Ipad, gave the the wife when I bought a Xoom. Own a Samsung Series 7 Slate. Own a Nexus 7, Playbook, HP Touch Pad, and several atom base table (they do have a significant performance problem, no touchscreen problems though. I collect tablets and build my own PCs (can't build a Mac legally). Yes I have owned mac book pros and iMac, gave them away just did not like them. Except for the Series 7 Slate, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is the best tablet I have owned.

    • rolleyes

      i.e. "you have no taste"

    • gjgustav

      You have no problem with it does not mean it doesn't behave the ways described. By the way, a half second lag is still a pretty big lag.

      Though given all the devices you go through, I have to wonder how you have enough time to get familiar with any of them, and whether you actually use them or just collect them. What do you use a tablet for anyway, and why did you feel you had to buy so many?

  • Andy

    With the display, they didn't "cheap out" - they did proper systems
    engineering. An ultra high resolution display has more cons than just
    cost. It requires significant extra GPU fillrate - The end result is
    you either have poor graphics performance (Asus Infinity) if you don't
    beef up the GPU, or you have poor power management performance (Apple)
    if you beef up the GPU. The new iPad is significantly heavier to permit
    acceptable battery life when driving that wasteful display. In
    addition, while battery life was not changed significantly due to the
    battery being beefed up by around 50%, the battery recharge time was
    increased significantly - Yes, that's right, Apple made the battery
    significantly larger, made a device that consumes far more current from
    the battery, but *didn't increase charge current at all* - so the
    battery takes far longer to recharge.

    Quite a few TF700 users have hopped over to the Note 10.1 due to
    unhappiness with the TF700's performance - The reduced resolution of the
    10.1 (which is still more than high enough, 1920x1080/1200 is for the
    most part spec epeen-waving) is one of the main reasons for this.

    Maybe when the Mali T604 hits along with a die process shrink to reduce
    power consumption, 1920xwhatever will make sense. Right now, it entails
    far too many compromises beyond just cost.

    • kgelner

      How does the iPad have "poor graphics management", when I can still get ten hours from a charge, and your complaint is all about battery? It takes somewhat longer to charge, but what does it matter when it's charging overnight? In the end all the user really cares about is, will the battery last as long as I need it - and there Apple made it work. You seem to assign zero value to having a high resolution screen but it makes reading much nicer and also image review is fantastic (I use the iPad as a rough preview for results from using a DSLR).

      • AppleSucksForLife

        iPad 3 is said to overheat because of the very high resolution screen

      • AppleSucksForLife

        And there Apple made it work. How? By giving you the clunkiest device known to man

  • MrHaroHaro

    I have a like-dislike relationship with Android Police. For many articles I read here I think "gosh I could have written that way better". This article is damn near perfect though. Well researched and thought out.
    It's always been my feeling that Samsung could "do so much better" especially in the mobile space but just in general. I was a bit of a fanboy back in 2005 when I felt that their specs (on TVs, PMPs, phones etc) were good and their hardware and software design was "almost there". But it seems it's gone from almost there to "fuck it we're successful, why bother?" for many of their most popular products. Still in love with their appliances though!

  • Bleakvision

    AP is my favorite Android site, because they have the guts to express strong opinions, be they positive or negative.

    This was an outstanding review. Keep up the good work!

  • BrianBreniser

    Wow, i'm so happy I read this review. I've seen a couple commercials for the note 10.1 and Samsung made it look pretty usable. I thought that floating apps might be well integrated and 2 screen multitasking a realistic future. But now I know that Samsung half-assed this POS and if anybody will bring Android into the future it will be Google themselves (like it always has been).

    I enjoy a thoroughly in depth article with clearly thought out arguments with accompanying evidence. This hopefully (but probably not) will shed some evidence Samsung's way that they F*d this one up.

    Unfortunettely I can't help feeling that Samsung's current (and past) litigation might be part of the half-ass problem. Litigation is stifling innovation and I'm unhappy with the current generation of tablets failing to move foreword significantly from Gen-1 devices (like the first xoom or original galaxy tab, etc.). I only hope that the case for/against Apple/Samsung/Google/Motorola/etc will end soon (although Motorola just opened up a new case against Apple. Apple might deserve it but I still hope things end soon and companies get back to building awesome stuff).

    Edit: I'm glad that Android police is keeping up the police work and not just drooling over the Android part. Android fans should be the biggest critics about Android stuff!!! Good going.

  • http://www.thegraphicmac.com/ JimD

    And yet people will buy this garbage, simply because it isn't an Apple product. When you read a review like this, you begin to understand why Apple fans are willing to pay a little more for their products.

    • AppleSucksForLife

      And yet people especially the iTrolls will praise this review yet they did not try the device yet!

  • http://www.bloise.co.uk Frankie Bloise

    Loved this LOL!!

    "the build quality is so bad, I think it gave me cancer."

    • http://twitter.com/twospirits David Vega

      Just proves to show how bad and bias the write-up was by making stupid comments like that. I'm sure the countless number of folks dealing with cancer wouldn't appreciate it.

  • Sigivald

    I understand that tablets need proprietary chargers because USB doesn't
    put out enough juice, but if it isn't going to be a standard, you've
    got to stop skimping out on the length.

    Well, not strictly true.

    Oh, you can't be USB-spec compliant (and thus have to be careful with your branding and lagnuage, but seriously - who cares about the USB logo anymore?), but you can use a USB cable - the iPad charger, for instance, is a USB A receptacle on the wall-wart.

    (Apple uses a non-USB connector on the tablet not for more power, but for audio/video output on those other 26 pins of the Dock Connector.)

    (And on the keyboard gesture-to-split? "Who makes decisions like that?" Some moron at Apple - Samsung copied that from the iPad, as far as I know.

    It's a stupid decision on the iPad, too, and I hate it for the same reason you do.)

    • http://twitter.com/twospirits David Vega

      I agree with you, the review is beyond rubbish. its downright unprofessional. Besides the cancer comment and the sensational grabbing headline to grab readers, with comments such as "The build quality. Terrible even by Samsung's low standards." it just shows that the writer has a pre-concieved notion in his head that Samsung makes low standard products even before reviewing the device. Yet it's funny how the Galaxy S3 and the Note have sold so many. I guess those buyers like low standard products too.

      Although the videos above shows creakiness, lag, soft back cover, I took my own advice of telling folks to check things out themselves and went to the store to check out if what the writer says is true. I've looked over the device and do not see any. In fact, it was quite fast, and smooth even in multiview mode. Speaking of which, one cannot blame Samsung for applying the multiview mode only to their apps. Google does not (or more like, has not) given their blessing to do that in their flagship devices. In fact, the only manufacturer that I can recall trying something like that was Notion Ink with their Adam and its' Eden UI and even back then Google did not give their blessing. So fault Google, not Samsung for not having other apps that most people use (like maps, Gmail etc) in multiview mode. At least they are innovating and trying something that makes sense for android to be doing from the get go.

      While every person has likes and dislikes of what a tablet should look like, I actually think the design is very well done. The two tone look is actually nice. The resolution is adequate considering that its hard to produce a wacom digitizer at a higher resolution at that size.

      Bottom line, unless the potential buyer goes into a store and tries out the device, the buyer cannot really come to a self determination of whether the device fulfills their needs and or expectations. One shouldn't rely on reviews whether casting a favorable vote for it or not. It's just setting one up for failure and disappointment. But at the very least readers expect to read a unbias review without sensational headlines, politically incorrect cancer statements and an obvious dislike for the brand.

  • http://twitter.com/EricSeale Eric in Milpitas

    My Note 10.1 touchscreen is dead after 45 minutes of use.

  • howard24

    Apple fanboys seem to be so desperate. now they are even saying Samsung is making retina displays by using Apple's technology. what a malicious childish and pure fabrication.
    samsung uses its pls display technology. and another supplier LG make those displays by using its ah-ips technology. by the way, both technologies are originated from hydis(which is another south korea-based LCD panel maker).

  • agenius

    reviewers are funny and odd creatures. the note 10.1 has the same camera as an ipad 3. it has a better screen resolution than my ipad 2, and a better processor than pretty much any other tablet out there. it has a freaking electronic pen attached (NOT a stylus, a stylus is a mouse for pdas..or are those from before your time..? : P ) at the very least, it should be in a top 3 list along with the transformer and ipad. and yet you want to disqualify it before it even competes?!

    • d00d

      Specs alone do not add up to a good experience.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.catron Rob Catron

    I have been on the road for the past several days so have just now been able to sit down and respond to this rubish review. Did you actually review the Note or the Tab 2? Geez.

    After spending 3 full days with the Note, I can say, 100% that this is the best Android tablet that I have owned -- hands down (and I own/have owned many).
    The first thing that is most apparent is the speed. It is amazingly fast. From startup time to browsing. The first android tablet that I have owned that compares in overall speed with the iPad 2 (and new gen iPad).
    By far much faster than the Prime that I owned for about 6 month (which I was finally able to unload as it was by far the worst tablet experience that I have ever had). Not sure the compaints with the build quality or screen, either. I love the graphite look of the dark gray model that I own (I cannot speak to the white model).

    Readers of this review - do not be fooled. It is not this tablet that needs to be in the garbage can, but this review. Absolute tripe, and ultimately misleading. If you own this tablet, you will have the fastest Android tablet out there

    • Stocklone

      I own this tablet. And I am amazed at the difference in opinion between owners and reviewers. The press could not be more wrong or have any concept of why this tablet rocks so much.

      • http://www.facebook.com/rob.catron Rob Catron

        I know. I'll say it again: the fastest Android Tablet out there. Much better than Tegra3 crap

    • Chnng

      Ummmmm, Note is actually classified as a phone and not a tablet.

      • Freak4Dell

        The original Note, maybe, but I doubt the 10.1" Note is classified as a phone. I mean, somebody good with words could probably convince me the original Note is passable as phone, but saying the 10.1" one is a phone is a bit of a stretch.

  • Cybrboss

    Nice article - apreciate your review. It is what I feared unfortunately. Big disapointment since it almost had me sold. What is sad is that the consumer is ready for greatness, and these guys have the tools to pull it off...but fail. Doesnt seem like any of the manuf read any articles...are they not being traslated correctly?? Sorry but people figure rightully that if we are going to spend the money we want it to last. And tired of having better cameras on phones, yet tablets are just bigger less gizmos than their phone conterparts, cheaply made, uncustomizeable, filled with bloatware on a small drive. The only time Corp will ever get it together is when it comes to the bottom line and people stop buying this junk. Even the Nexus I would have bought if they had at leat a SD card slot...seriously? Keeping my money in my pocket till I can find something worthy.

  • Daniel

    After reading this review I had to go to Best Buy to see if it was as bad as you said. Let's just say that I laughed as I picked it up lol

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Was the laugh maniacal? More importantly, do you mean you bought it and you love it or you picked it up to look at it and found the flaws?

      • KyleRay

        No it was iMagical.... because he's really a CrApple Fan at heart and laughing at this Lame Perverted Review's diss on an Android device, had him getting his nutz off in the parking lot after leaving the store! Sad really.... when you think about the fact Android is completely obliterating CrApple 4 to 1!!! ...most like Android Police is under new ownership. Backdoor ahmmmm.... funded by CrApple's Tim Cook!

  • ck

    FYI: The Blackberry Playbook has had multitasking since day one.

    • ack

      The Playbook also has (excellent) front-facing stereo speakers, which apparently the Note 10.1 is the first and only tablet to have?

      • KyleRay

        Huge difference between a 7" and 10.1" and when in the World did Samsung ever claim to be first. But if you want to talk about first, Playbook is BB's first and last FLOP... in tablets. Thank God!!! Bye Bye Blackberry you done F****d up not going with Android in the first place and now you're only ripping off their Apps!!! ....as if that would un-bury your arse from the grave predicament you're in!

  • Stocklone

    Bought not 1 but 2 of these tablets. No buyers remorse. No wishing I would have went with any other tablet. Why? No one else has a Wacom digitzer on a 10" screen. End of story. If somebody bought this and the pen wasn't the main driver, I don't think that's a good purchase. There are other compelling options. If the pen is the main driver, there is no other choice.

  • ( . ) ( . )

    This looks like was wrote by an itroll, even the comments are pointless. Samsung, that is what you get when you create something diferent... just wait'll Rothen apple "invented" the multitasking on the ithing to say you copy them. Yes, quality is bad. Something to work with.
    Who oesn't like the SIII... just play with your little screen in your igarbage!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Can you be any less cohesive?

      • AppleSucksForLife

        Can you be less iBiased?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Why am I iBiased all of a sudden? I own only one apple product - an old nano that I don't use anymore.

  • perfectlyreasonabletoo

    What a bloody mess.

  • edude03

    Second device with front facing speakers, the galaxy tab 2 has them as well. Seems like an obvious thing but yet every tablet I've had other than the HP touchpad has speakers that get covered up when I hold the device.

    That said I'm really disappointed in this tablet, I've been waiting for it for months, but I guess I'll just have to stick to my TF201 :/

  • John

    While I do agree with most of your points, they almost have to have an ugly design like that since a sleek rectangular electronic device is apparently enough to get you sued by a certain group of bad fruit.

  • GeorgeS

    "In fact, they use some crazy aluminum alloy called "Duralumin." I want that."

    Duralumin has been around a long, long time--try 1903. Maybe the author should have done a little checking before writing that sentence. It's actually an obsolete name and, per the Wikipedia article and my mechanical engineering education at MIT, usually used today for the 2000 series of aluminum-copper alloys, which includes "2024," one of the more common aluminum alloys in use. I'm not sure just what alloy Apple uses for its laptops and the iPad.

    See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duralumin

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    @Pete_Pete:disqus I'm not sure but it seems like you're replying to Foomandoonian or Laurence thinking one of them is Ron. Just wanted to point out neither of them is.

  • http://twitter.com/shamus_carter james kendall

    What's the big deal with tuch wiz I love it on my tab 2 7.0

  • jc

    I got no idea what kind of idiot wrote this review. Definitely, brain washed isheep.Even the comment section cant use swype. Has to type one letter each at a time like ipad or iphone.

  • teandro

    Appalling, childish review. I bought the tablet a few days ago, installed a screen protector, started to install my apps and loaded a ton of widgets on the screens. Played with video, music, the pen, tried some heavier games, etc. while installing a tons of apps in the background. Amazing. Everything is wow, even the simulated multitasking (I won't be using it long-term, but it is quite interesting, even as a hack; might push things in the right direction!). The pen is absolutely outstanding.

    Yes, it is a little plasticky, but that makes it light and it's surprisingly easy to handle. Otherwise, people, please please try it for yourselves. This tablet is a beast, a super-monster, nothing even gets close to it. It's like butter even without JB. It connects to my 5Ghz Wi-Fi (no tablet I tried ever did that) and I can't even see when most apps download, it's so fast. I cannot believe people here even daring to allude to the Transformer series. Or, the Xoom?! You kidding me? Have you just landed on this planet and learn stuff just by reading past reviews?!

    Please try running the browser or anything that loads data, on the Transformer, on the 201 or Infinity while Google Play is installing stuff. Or, try Google Earth just by itself. Watch a few videos in HD on YouTube. Are you embarrassed now? I had two Asus tablets and they both rebooted twice a day on any Rom I tried, including factory. None could repeatedly handle the YouTube app or even lighter stuff on ICS. I gave up. Both had really bothersome screen problems (stuck pixels, bleeding). The Note 10.1 has none. Then, aluminum bends, scratches and it is not elastic. The issues are just endless, the Transformer series is an Android embarrassment, I cannot believe Google went with Asus for the Nexus. I don't love Samsung unconditionally, and yes they could do better. Yep, Touchwiz UI is ugly and mostly unnecessary. But for better or worse, they keep innovating and this tablet is again the Android flagship just like the original 10.1 was when it first came out. Please go to XDA and count the people who switched from the Infinity.

    I do have the bad habit of loading 700 apps and 10 screens full of widgets, so far I am up to loading half of them on the Note and it's like the first time I booted it, no kidding. I look at memory and have 600mb free with all the stupid bloatware (haven't frozen anything yet) and additional resident apps. It is unbelievable. It puts Tegra to shame even if I abstract from the Transformer's appalling I/O. This is the tablet to get, people. Oh and Android Police, you are not on my Reader, bookmarks or social media anymore. I never got any useful info from you and this was the last drop.

  • Sinepa

    Your degree of arrogance is such, I think it gave me cancer.

    "They don't have the technical ablility"

    "Samsung should leave this to the professionals"

    "My message to Samsung is: bla bla bla"

    Samsung is the biggest electronic company in the world and yet an unknown teenager, journalist wanabee has the ability to teach them a lesson?

    You hate Samsung, we figure it out from your first sentence but come on, next time try to be smarter and make us think you're not biased, do you think you have the ability to do so?

    I suggest to anyone who is interested in the Note 10.1 to just go to the shop and try by themselves instead of trusting one of the most biaised review I have ever read.

    • Fmtrx

      this is the most logical comment i have read. The <> is obviously a Samsung hater and it shows. AndroidPolice should learn a lesson and be more careful when choosing their personnel...

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Phillip-Martin/100000077199240 Phillip Martin

        If the review was pro Samsung you would not have posted about ignoring this review. Face it your upset fanboys. If you ignore this review, ignore all reviews

        • AppleSucksForLife

          Makes me wonder what you will say when reviewers will hate apple

        • Cory Ducey

          My problem with this review is that there are things he is stating that is simply not true. My 10.1 does not creak, the back cover is not wavy, nor is the camera casing uneven with the body's casing. I have used this device now for the past week and it is working very well.

          Did he say some things nice? Sure because it a was obviously true, but when he wanted to point out something bad in his view, he went out of his way to make a paragraph on every statement.

          I can almost hear the hate of Samsung in his writing so a review that is blatantly biased deserved to be ignored.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1015970618 Jan Pristusek

      couldn't agree with you more. There were some really disrespectful comments he made, that really pissed me off. And yes, the Note 10.1 isn't bad, it's actually quite good, as i have tested most of them Galaxy Tabs

      • Kay

        Yes - i agree. I have one after having apple products for several years. I have to confess - this tab is really good.

    • Internal Affairs

      I totally agree with you.

    • Nukejet

      I totally agree.After i bought it in my office,6 of my coworkers got it and gave their ipads to their family to play angry birds and browse .No more lost pens and note pads in our meetings.Note works for both office and home.The plastic body is fine,myself got a good cover and dont see the plastic at all.But samsung should look into this since it is premium product.
      These days any tom dick and harry becomes a journalist and tech reviewer.Everyone,its a great product far more useful than any other tablet.

  • daviporciuncula

    this is just like a 10.1 GSIII. No design taste, imagination and quality materials. samsung only has the incredibly insane courage to skin android, with a horrible, horrible one...

    this is why the galaxy nexus is the only samsung device worth buying, despite its many flaws...

  • neozen

    this review is a crap
    how can an apple fanboy became a reviewer in this site?
    im buying this tablet, no matter what happen

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.andries.5 Daniel Andries

    http://www.galaxy101note.com/get/?link=ea6da2a8fe90afc4398912ab98bbd293&logtype=mobile just share another features about samsung galaxy note 10.1 :)

  • Paul Drake

    Dude, best review I've seen so far.. you actually posted videos and stuff of the 'build quality' issues and went into detail with pics in regards to software.. all other reviews just said "its shit" with no visuals or info, pretty funny article too.. Even though the split screen doesn't allow true multi tasking, I still think its a big step forward. I mean the ease of copy and pasting elements between screens is pretty huge for productivity. I would rather have it than not.. but totally agree, the lack of gapps & Chrome in split mode is a HUGE drawback. It would be cool to see Android adopt these features at the core level. That would be massive.

  • KyleRay

    Absolutely the most Retarded, Asinine, Verbose, Morose, Childish Review I've ever read in my entire life. You might want to get an education in using hardware and just what makes it tick, before you attempt to review hardware that's meant for people with a far more intelligent perspective on what and who this device is targeted at.

    Definitely not some numb and dumb freak without the talent or intelligence to fully utilize the hardware they got handed. You should never have been handed this device in the first place. I mean.... NFC for a full size tablet? hahaha.... that's like two Sumo Wrestlers bumping butts you fool. If you absolutely don't have a technical bone in your body to even remotely understand what it takes to get that split screen off one SoC processor, you should never even think about dissing it in the place. YOU ARE A COMPLETE EMBARRASSMENT TO THE ANDROID COMMUNITY AT LARGE! .....get a freaking outside anything having to do with TECH! ;-P

    BTW.... absolutely no doubt about it...... YOU ARE A CLOSET CrApple TROLL!!!

  • mike t

    Whoever wrote this article is a complete idiot and a fool. The galaxy note is by far the best tablet on the market. I am a double major in applied mathematics and physics. I take all of my class notes on it and it works great and has an overall great design. I love apple products; I have a MacBook pro, iMac, iPhone 4, and apple TV. I originally bought an iPad and returned it because it was a piece of shit. If you are looking for a tablet you should definitely buy this one!

  • Tablet pc user.

    What a horribly short sighted, crass, and ironically lazy review. So he
    didn't stop for a moment to think he may have had a defective unit?
    Well, defective or not, I'm going to address this reviewer's whining
    about the screen resolution. Does he not realize how friggin expensive
    wacom screen tablets are? Clearly he has no appreciation of the fact
    that tablets that use wacom do not offer higher resolutions. His naivete
    begs the question of how much and what kind of technological experience and
    credibility he has besides being a writer (does he even have a science degree or any industry experience??). Anyways, you'd find a similar resolution I believe on a samsung
    series 7 slate which is an 11.6" device. Anyone who's uses a tablet
    (mine's an elitebook hp 2740p, which has the exact same resolution -
    1280x800 - as the note 10.1 but with a lower ppi because it's a 12.1"
    screen) will appreciate the note 10.1's screen. This guy clearly does
    not use wacom tablets and should not be the one giving advice on the
    note 10.1. What a quack.
    People!! Don't take this guy's review as gospel or be impressed just because it's "critical." Try out the unit in the stores first and see for yourselves! And take the damn tablet off power saver for goodness sakes.

  • Yiankun Lee

    Show me a better android tablet at that price range with a wacom digitizer in it. And then, we'll talk. Until then, I'll take this review with a lot of salt.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OFZJVWBVJMHTZUYBUGYOQYXEA4 Jinzx

    You are just one ignorant fella and this an unprofessional piece of junk!! Thanks for your subjective review anyways... :)

  • Joshua

    This seems like a very biased review. I don't really care for tablets in general, nor do I care much for Samsung devices (Although I love my Nexus!). However, it does seem like you just straight up hate samsung, which shows in your review. Not one of your better reviews compared to past reviews, IMO. Step it up! Might be losing sight of the characteristics of a good reviewer.

  • KyleRay

    Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 beats Apple's iPad 3 hands down! ^_^ ...sending your freaking lousy review to the dump!!! .....also on Multitasking... You know the feature iPad can't do and this device does in spades??? lol.... Well takes less tech intelligence than a circus monkey to figure out why and dude it has nothing whatsoever to do with Touchsense UI. It's all in the Custom Exynos QuadCore meant only for this Galaxy Note! ;-P Bet you don't even know what these UI's are based on. Ever heard of a compositing engine? Naw.... You don't even know why the screen is locked to a lower resolution. Ron... you might want try to get a better education before you do another review this lame and ignorant! http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/20/ifixit-samsung-galaxy-note-10-1-beats-out-new-ipad-in-repairability-test/

    btw.... even Wacom themselves don't make a dual mode digitizer with any higher resolution at this size!
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=30429189

  • Magster

    For the record, let me just say I am not fanboy to any product/company. I like to decide based on what meets my needs and is affordable. Whenever I can I get the best bang for my buck. If it's not possible then I dish out the dough if the product is worth it. That said, I felt that this review was super harsh. It was detailed harshness. The good to bad ratio of this review is 2 to 6. I dare say, there are for more appealing features than the speakers and the really good battery. For that reason alone I see why some folks are making the comments they are but I don't know anything about the reviewer. I'm just making a comment based on what I read. This is my first time to this site.

    Anyway...

    Now thirty minutes may not be enough time to decipher or maybe I'm just a knuckle head but this plastic on the back is really not such a big deal to me. I spent some time-30 minutes or so-messing around with this device and didn't encounter that issue. It's plastic, of course it will make some kind of noise. But i'm not going sit around and press the heck out of it. At this point I'm not ready to be locked into a decision but this one is on my list of finalists. I still need to test the TF700.

    One thing I completely agree with is that the price is a bit high. That is the consensus on any tech or customer review.

  • Choda Boy

    "Multitasking on tablets was (and still is) non-existent"

    Not correct. The TouchPad has true multitasking with webOS. Android and iOS still lack true multitasking.

  • Walter Iego

    I will skip this one for sure.

    http://www.fz.se/bloggar/iegocentric

  • http://twitter.com/SBatesKC Sean

    Thanks for a cancer comment

  • http://twitter.com/SBatesKC Sean

    Thanks for a poke at cancer...

  • http://twitter.com/SBatesKC Sean

    Stoop low and poke at cancer for a few cheap laughs

  • imnoone

    U hate samsung.U REALLY DO i dont think u should write samsung review. U should go and write review about appl. I have this galaxy note 10.1 its the best tablet of android market. The pen is not a cheap one, its same pen as galaxy note.It is fast for me. Since i only use for taking notes and other. Only way to make them slow is either u have virus or bad app runnin on ur tablet. This thkng may be expansive but its worth it. Its better than buyin ipad3 which will be like 600bucks that does not have great feature as Samsung does. The back is too squishy u said? Its to freakin protect the tablet when u drop it. U think it runs like crap? Ipad sometime run like crap too. Why u gotta be so mean to all these people who are trying to earn money?

  • JDSoCal

    Wow, if this is Samsung "innovation," I think they should just keep copying,er, license from Apple.

  • John

    The plastic garbage sounds like my old ZTE Blade - Orange San Francisco

  • AmigaKnight

    Is this real ?
    I've received mine 3 days ago and i don't see any of your crap on my device ?
    Have you reviewed a working device ? Have you been corrupted by Apple ?
    You review is a joke ! And like your last picture, your review can go to trashcan !

  • KyleRay

    So what is this ignutz'd reviewer going to say after he realizes his own stupidity and ignorance when it sells Millions? ".....duh I done goofed. Gee.... I guess I shouldn't be allowed to do tech reviews on hardware, I don't have the brain power to understand in the first place! *_^

  • Anonymous

    Weird... I must have gotten a better version of this tablet, because mine doesn't squeak like that and the back is perfectly solid on mine. Then you list the speakers and battery as the only pros and then claim retarded attacks on the rest of it, then through the long review you desperately try to talk bad about it while still having plenty of "pros" slip through the review that somehow didn't make it onto the main "pros" list. And the S Pen is actually pretty nice, it may be light, but it feels strong to me, and works absolutely perfect. It's like you knew you would hate this tablet before you even used it. This review was not aimed at reviewing the product, it was aimed at trying to make it look bad. Everything about this review was retarded attacks on the product and the company while trying to make it long and detailed so it would seem legit.

  • mik

    This review is by far the worst review I have ever read, you sir are an idiot...

    • http://www.facebook.com/alan.scantlebury.75 Alan Scantlebury

      I totally agree, I've had my device for a week now with frequent use, and have not had any of these issues. Obviously this person hasn't a clue and is attempting to trash Samsung, also only the Samsung S3 LTE has the these specifications. He hasn't even got a clue on what he refers too.

    • krisboats

      I couldnt have said it better myself. I read this review before trying one out in a shop and when i tried it i was amazed. This guy exagerated most of his points to push them completely out of scale. Yes, there was a slight amount of flex in the back but its plastic. And its a fairly big piece of plastic. It isn't an aluminium back, but then why is aluminium deemed to be the holy grail of cases? Its cold, it block wifi signals more and its heavier unless its super thin, in which case it is just as flexible as plastic only without the elasticity. Once its bent, its bent.

      The shop model didnt creak. It wasnt incredibly slow, and the screen resolution was fine unless you're sat with your eyes 2 inches from the screen.

      What i did notice was the spen is incredible. All tablets should have this. It's so inuitive to use a pen with a tablet when you want to draw something. And this tablet doesnt only make it intuitive, it makes it useful. I ended up buying the note, as after a cashback deal i was able to purchase it for just £200 compared to the new ipad at £350. And the first app i downloaded was autodesk sketchbook pro. Having used this program on my mobile i knew how good it could be, but with the note and its S-pen it is fantastic and i've already done some great artwork with it.

      Sure its not got retina display, but its lighter and has a better battery life whilst at the same time having something the ipad can't even dream of having. The s-pen. Little stylus pens don't even come close to having a wacom display.

      • Tom

        Yeah this guy seriously exaggerates. And as for the plastic, yes it's cheap and all, but does it really matter? It doesn't affect functionality at all and once you have it for a while the novelty of fancy material wears off anyway. As for the performance, it does run slow out of the box but once you delete the widgets it runs faster than anything I've seen. I can easily run 5 apps at once and I clear my cache once a day. I ran this device continuously without powering off for the last 4 months and have never had it slow down or crash. As for the s-pen, it is just as good as current mid-range professional artist tablets, and at the time it was the same as high-end ones! The only issue I had is that it took a couple years for decent art apps to come out/upgrade.

    • aamir

      ok TBH, i actually am replying u with a Note 10.1. i got a Nexus 10 and Yesterday, i got my iPad 4. I HATE APPLE! just because i dont like iTune shit of apple. i love the "desktop like" Android where u can just copy ur file to or from the device.(file manager)
      been using Note 10.1 for like 3 months now.and YES IT DOES MAKE SOUNDS! yes it is the MOST UGLIEST AND THE MOST WORST PIECE OF TECH EVER MADE BY ANY ONE! u know what, even my Samsung Wave has better build, better screen and better camera which is now 3 year old device! Nexus 10 is ALMOST the same but its like 10% better in terms of material used. this is the best review ever.
      one more thing last week i just put my Note 10.1 up for sale and u know what not many people are interested in getting this shit.
      i can only and only imagine recommending to anyone who:
      1- has LOADS amount of money to spend and is a Sammy-boy (like i used to be)
      2- any one who is an orthodox designer and wants to draw pics of shit
      3- any one who is Completly lame.

      its now upgraded to 4.1.2 and still things have not changed software wise and forget the hardware... i never found a single accessory for this shit and failed.
      AND ONE MORE THING WHICH IS NOT EVEN MENTIONED IN THE REVIEW, IT REALLY GETS HOT WHEN THE SCREEN BRIGHTNESS IS TURNED ALL THE WAY TO 100% FOR LIKE 3 MINUTES! THE TOP LEFT SIDE OF THE DEVICE, NOT ONLY FROM THE BACK BUT ALSO THE SCREEN!

      so all in all, DONT BUY ANY OF THE NOTE SERIES PRODUCTS.

      • Ellen

        That is only your opinion. I have both the Note 2 and Note 10.1 and I love them. It might not work for you or maybe you don't know how to use the note series properly. This has worked great for daily use and for school.

    • Kislota

      Totally agree that author is....... Regarding the screen resolution its defenitely could be better but the screen is good enough. Regarding crack noise, almost everyone use some case protection and when in case there is no such problem... Performance was smooth even with default widgets. New Android 4.1 introduced improved multitasking which is not limited to certain apps and windows are resizable. And more and more and more... I did not used extensively other tablets so I could not really compare, but I am more than satisfied with Note 10.1.

    • jj

      Yes , a long winded review from an idiot.

  • LegalAmerican

    Looks like Ron was anticipating this to be made of cast iron. Dude, if you want a dutch oven, then leave best buy and go to Bass Pro Shops. When I read a review like this where the guy can't even try to find ONE positive, then I chalk it up as a bitter, useless review from a guy who got burned once by Samsung and can't move on. I own this Tablet and it is FAR better than this joker makes it out to be.

  • vikings football

    who gives a sh/t about a one mans review/opinion? i have found negative opinions/reviews to be the opposite from my own experiences, and vice versa...just becuase someone likes it doesnt mean everyones gonna like it, vice versa.

    i dont need a review of a product to determine whether or not i gonna buy it...i just to go to my local retailer, try it out...if i like it, i'll buy it. easy as that.

    i bought this tablet a few days ago after tryiing out the display floor model, and have been loving it. i have no problems with the build, the display res, or the touchwiz, etc...that the other reviewers or people are whining about.

  • Clayton Jones

    Hey Ron Amadeo, F U. Be original, you are boring and a sheep.

  • lsatenstein

    Regarding build quality, is it possible that Samsung wanted to limit the weight of the unit? I have a Samsung laptop, and the thing weighs a ton. It is however, well constructed. It is modular, that even the keyboard could be replaced.

    After reading the article, I am still left with the opinion that physical weight target to be under 1 kilo or something similar, was the intent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nyandresg Andres Gallo

    The whole floating apps idea is actually a capability of android app development. There are actually some apps on google market that can do this.

  • mark

    Regarding multitasking and viewing multiple windows at once, it sounds like you'd be happiest with a Windows 8 x86 tablet, in windowed/"desktop" mode :) Yes, I do find it odd that large tablet OS developers are falling over themselves to throw away the traditional interface and make it so that we can do one thing at once, but at the same time, slowly reinventing the UI that computers have had for years (e.g., both Samsung and Windows 8 Metro having the split screen thing, basically a tiled window manager - maybe after that we'll get windows that can overlap, be resized and moved around...)

    Tablets are just handheld computing devices that aren't phones btw, historically there have been small tablets as well as big ones.

  • mark

    How do you know if someone has an Ipad? They tell you. Thanks for fulfilling the stereotype!

  • stealthware

    I did a little quick review of the tablet after having it for about 1 week go here to watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvbYdDcWM-o

  • mitchellvii

    I am doubting whether the author of this article or anyone in here has actually used this device. I own one and LOVE it. There is a reason why actual owners are giving it 4.5 to 5 stars everywhere you go.

    Lets start with the build quality. Mine has never flexed or creeked or groaned even once. That is just complete BS. I prefer the slightly soft feel of the back as compared to the "chunk of metal" feel of an iPad. I suppose if you intentionalky wrenched it in your hands you could get it to make a small sound but when would anyone do that in daily use?

    Regarding the screen quality. it is designed for speed. This is a productivity device, not a toy like an iPad. The s pen would lag on a true HD screen i promise you. Id rather give up a little eye candy and experience perfect pen input any day. Over at xda we have many many Imfinity owners who have returned their for the SGN10.1 and happy they did. The Infinity has serious performance issues.

    If the JB OTA on this offers the same software as the Note 2.0 it is going to be pure amazing. No reason it shouldnt as devices are quite similar.

    Anyway, read the reviews of real users not these ivory tower iPad fanboys.

  • stealthware

    Own it and love it, this is the closes people get to digital paper :) no more backpack full of notebooks for school fastest tablet yet, couldn't be more happy

  • Nakel

    I bought the Note 10.1 2 weeks ago, and I gotta say your review isn't even a little bit close to accurate Ron. This is by far the best tablet available for a number of uses. The Asus and Acer flagships stumble so badly as to be unusable with large PDFs. (Several minutes to open and over 10 seconds to turn a page.) The Note 10.1 handles these tasks virtually instantaneously. I travel a lot, and for watching a movie--without headphones--there is but one choice, the Note 10.1. Flawless video and excellent sound. The front facing speakers blow every other tablet--including all the Ipads--away. I initially thought I'd have no use or the pen, but I was mistaken. It's incredibly useful to have. And no, adding a stylus to a different tablet is not the same. The Note 10.1 can differentiate between the pen and your hand/fingers, so palm rejection is perfect. Just set edit to pen only. That way you can scroll/zoom with your fingers and write with your pen. It makes annotating documents easy. I don't know why your Note 10.1 creaks, mine does not. What did you do to yours? I get it, you don't like polycarbonate. I do. I prefer not to have connection issues and Aluminum blocks WiFi and other signals. The Note 10.1 gets outstanding WiFi, BT and GPS reception. Better than my Wife's Ipad 3 and much, much better than my friends Asus Infinity. I could go on and on Ron, basically just about everything you wrote was wrong. What a horribly bad review. Maybe you got a bad pre-production unit or something? I don't know, but I do know that this review is worthless when you look at my experience and the rave reviews the Note 10.1 is getting on XDA... I mean come on Ron, you write "docs" and then whine that it doesn't know you mean "does". Makes me wonder what your motivation is. Is the Note 10.1 perfect? No, of course not. Would a full HD screen be nice? Sure. But I prefer to compromise there to get light weight, far better battery life and far faster rendering than the competition. The only place you really notice the resolution is in very small text. No biggie for me as I enlarge or zoom rather than read small text anyway. The microSD slot is recessed a bit too deeply. The power and volume buttons aren't recessed deeply enough. Samsung should have had accessories available at launch. I'd prefer dedicated HDMI and USB ports. This is the first tablet that's just as smooth as an Ipad, but without the Ipad's limitations. Everything just plain works. As a multimedia machine it is unrivaled if you care at all about sound. Movies look and sound great. When we travel, guess which tablet everyone wants to watch movies on? My wife's Ipad 3, or my Note 10.1? Yep, the Note 10.1. As a business machine, it is unrivaled. Between it's speed--beating every tablet on the planet-and the pen, it is my clear cut choice for business use. For photo retouching, it is unrivaled amongst tablets due to it's speed and the pen. Unrivaled comes up a bunch, huh? I'm still within my 30 day return window at BB. If I thought for a second I could find a better tablet for my uses, I'd return it in a heartbeat. I've tried or owned the best from Asus, Acer and Apple. None of them cut it. The Ipad 3 is a great machine for a toy, but for business use it just can't do what I need it to do. (My wife has been bugging me to sell her Ipad and get her a Note 10.1....) Asus and Acer failed so miserably at large PDFs that I didn't go any further than that with them. Totally useless to me. Perhaps they might be good for someone that never needs to read, let alone annotate, PDF files. The Note 10.1 is built well and runs better than any other android tablet I've tried, by a huge margin.

  • Talha Arif

    i totally disagree ..

  • :p

    The writer is a retarded apple fanatic

  • KyleRay

    Ron Amadeo's Review: is Embarrassing (for anyone with a BRAIN), Lazy (Even illegal aliens work harder), Arrogant (MEGALOMANIC), Money Grab (on the Dole w/ Apple Payola), just to get page views. It's the most asinine display of Technical Ignorance any writer could ever produce on the web.

    A really sissy fit and childish attempt to glorify his hatred of SAMSUNG.... ever posted to the Internet. Why is Android Police even paying this retarded "ignoranimus" as Bugs Bunny would say? "What a Maroon"! hahaha... hope you lose all your readership, considering that the percentage of people buying SAMSUNG devices Obliterates EVERY OTHER COMPETITOR IN THE WORLD..... INCLUDING CrApple!

  • Yogesh

    Great review boss. I have never seen such review. I think purchasing it will not be worth.
    Website: http://www.newaboutindia.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/larsgbnielsen Lars Gyrup Brink Nielsen

    After a little month of use, I have noticed six small areas on the back which are scratched/worn down. I guess they put some spacers between the cover and the hardware to prevent you (somewhat) from breaking it due to the poor choice of build material. I'm yet again disappointed in this "high end" tablet, which already looks like it's been used for at least a year, even though I've been gentle to it.

    The marks are there because I actually write notes on it, which should be one of its main uses (hence the name?). The people who are responsible for developing the software on this thing should be ashamed. Nothing works fully, and I already abandoned all the stock apps, even though they should be one of the main reasons for buying this expensive device in the first place.

    Shame on you, Samsung!

  • Non synical human.

    Wow, someone should really go outside and play more. Take a break

  • Conan

    Frankly, this is an embarrassing, lazy, arrogant, and stupid review. I have iPad 2, new iPad, and the note 10.1. I have been happy with the iPads, and when I was picking up the note, my threshold for not returning it was very high. In fact, I was pretty sure that I would return it. Oh well... after a week, I like it better than my iPads. OK. There are a few shortcomings everyone is aware of. It is encased in plastic, therefore it's much lighter than new iPad. Resolution is not so good, therefore the S-pen works very smoothly. Speedwise, it is about the same level as new iPad. A few things I like over iPads. The S-pen works really well. I can quickly jot down my ideas or doodles. MiniApps are very helpful when I need these features while browsing internet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.molina.7 Jon Molina

    I have this tablet I am writing on it right now Im a college Student and getting this device has completely saved me this device is powerful and offers various advantages Over the competition I will say the plastic is cheap but this tablet wasn't built for what he's reviewing it for it was built for note taking its not the Samsung galaxy 10.1 media Receiver its the note it was made for Students, business profs, and artists' and you could even include gamers also question if you need a tablet for twitter your Retarded

  • hd94

    this review sucks!!!!! i owned it n it is amazing. NOT LAGGY AT ALL! installed apex launcher, played gta, dead trigger etc with ps3 and no lag at all even selected best graphic!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tricky-Martin/632441301 Tricky Martin

    Amazing review. What you bash - I find it quite intelligent. What you dislike about the tablet - I utterly want all those things! - First thing I am going to do after this amazing review - sell my ipad3 and get this. Thanks a lot -what an eye opener!!

  • alex

    Guess what dude..ur such an apple fanboy idiot....i appreciate ur review..but ur rudenes....it just goes to show what kind of a person you are and that you never really gave this tablet a chance...and so i personally think you should never do reviews again....moving on..the things that you disliked like the color of the background of the time bar in the notificationpannel are the dumbest things i have ever heard...and unlike u most other reviews have said its speed and 2gb ram make it one of the fastest tabs just that it lags during the multiscreen because it has so much to handle....im not a samsung fan but dissing the company like that...thanks to u im never visiting this site again....lol at least ur review topped something.....rudest review evr. I hope u patiently think over this topic..........p.s i own the ipad 3 and it rocks....but because of some features of the note10.1 ive been considering that too..even though the resolution would pinch..i think its not a big deal... ...never coming to this site again....waste of time...everything written was trash...literally lol............and still to other readers......ipad is the best..but if you like d spen go for it

  • KL

    I'm SOOOO glad I didn't listen to this review!!!! I bought one and couldn't be happier with it. Also tried out the leaked Jellybean build, and it's even more awesome now. Ron, you seem like a very "glass-half-empty" kind of guy. Doesn't help you, man. Start being more positive! :)

  • Aitua Ogiamien

    Are we talking about the same tablet? I own one and it is completely awesome!

  • Nuugame

    This is a very emotional review. However, I beg to differ and I would like to point out several issues from this review:

    1. The Plastic Design: I have had an iPad, Xoom, Transformer Prime and I just got the note and so far, it has been the most comfortable to hold. I'm down with "different." This is a user's preference. If you want aluminum build, buy a Transformer Prime or an iPad.

    2. Multi-tasking: So what? It's slow? Then don't use it! This is GREAT for school when sometimes I have to make a post and then make reference back to my textbook. It has a purpose that again, may appeal to certain users. If you want real multi-tasking, use your laptop.

    3. The S-Pen: The S pen is simply brilliant! The review made no mention of the hover feature which lets you hover over drop-down menu on websites. Sure, the Transformer Prime has the touchpad which turns it into a mini-laptop but the S-pen gives you that hover feature right out the box. The gestures can be tricky but the idea speaks innovation.

    4. The SD Slot: I was STOKED to find that not only does this tablet have an SD card slot, it can be COVERED! I have lost 2 16GB SD cards from using my Transformer Prime! I like the fact that it's deep. This is another user preference.

    5. NFC: Really? I guess you haven't heard of Dropbox!

    6. Floating apps: At least it's possible. This isn't available on princess iPad. I'm never going to use this but if I needed to, I can accept a little lag. Besides, whats the rush? This is....you guessed it...user preference.

    7. The Infra-red sensor: You didn't even go into the details of what this cool feature does. Using my GNOTE, I was able to control ALL my devices in ALL the bedrooms in my house and it took less than 10 minutes to setup. This feature even synchronizes with your TV provider's guides and can show you whats on without turning on your tv. It does require a little attention during the setup process.

    8. The Screen: I'm surprised that a tech person like you wouldn't know that the screen is made this way to handle the use of the S Pen. It has a rubbery feel to it which is well suit for it's purpose. The resolution is good enough to be deemed as sharp and clear. Are there better resolutions out there? Yes.

    My overall conclusion is that Samsung took a bold step with this one. Yes it is made out of plastic but it's confortable to hold and it is different from all the other tablets out there. The speaker is brilliant and samsung deserves some praise for this one. This review is biased. Check it out for yourself. If I where to recommend anything to Samsung, I would suggest taking $100 off the price.

  • Hallian

    Seems like this guy is really against samsung ... i have been using galaxy note 10.1 for almost 2 weeks now and 90% of what is written in this article is wrong and baseless..

  • Kurtis235

    Maybe this guy got a bad model. I just bought one today from best buy and there is NO lag. Its just smooth as my gs3. In regards to the plastic, have no idea what he is talking about. I had an Asus Infinity which had air pockets throughout the screen and lagged like a pentium 1 pc. Yes I'd prefer aluminum but who cares when it gets the job done. You don't buy a tablet to look at the back of it . That's just my opinion.

  • Wing

    I really like this tablet and love the hand writing system so was very disappointed to read this review. However, when I tried to recreate the creaking case in the shop I just can't. It feels quite solid.

    The only reservation I have is not the build quality nor the performance because I don't think either is an issue. (At least not to the extend this review has said) but the proprietary software that will work with the writing system.

  • http://twitter.com/Mizzopi Mizzo

    Wow. Do you people even own a Note? This is by far the best tablet I've owned ipad3 and transformer 700 included! FAST responsive and amazing productivity tool. Dlna support spen and connectivity all top notch. Actually prefer the backing not being metal feels great to hold for long periods of time. Battery life great and web browsing beats any tablet hands down! Good outdoor visibility..why would you need a power sucking hd display on a tablet? Ipad is a toy when compared with the note. It cant even read files from an attached flash drive or sd card. Constricts user to use their closed environment. Jailbreaking makes it even more laggy and unproductive. Whoever says they are experiencing lag on the note is DEFINITELY must be joking. Best android tablet available!!!

    • amitks

      I agree. This is easily the best tablet I have owned. There is no squeaking, and a lot of the BS in this post is untrue. This is the first time I have owned an Android product which I have not rooted in 15 days of purchasing it, because it is so awesome out of the box.
      Reference: My Asus Transformer has seen 40+ flashes of different ROMversions since I purchased it

    • lmsart

      Haha! Good for you! I couldn't agree with you more. I too own an iPad that I never use. I love my Note 10.1... finally, a tablet that is actually useful, and not just a novelty. If the back bugs you, put it in a protective case...I use a Zenus and I didn't notice the back, but I did notice how much lighter the Note is, so it's much, much easier to carry around. As a long time Apple user, I think Apple needs to get off their buts and face the competition -- Samsung is really giving them a run for their money on this one.. I use my iPad as a hotplate now...I should have never had my name engraved on the back...;D.

  • jj

    I agree but disagree. Samsung came up with a revolutionary idea. My only real disappointment was the screen, but I came from a tablet with the same resolution and size, so I'm not downgrading in display, but given the technology available, they should have coughed up a full HD display, I would have paid extra for it. But, this thing is really nice though, and I'm interested to see how Samsung listens to their customers in their next iteration of this device. If not, then I'll have to sit down and drink my Kool-Aid.

  • dedalo

    This guy "reviewer" his problem is taht he did got a free Galaxy Note from samsung for his won use!! The whole review is crap!

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