Last year's Note 10.1 was a first for Samsung. It was the first 10-inch tablet to carry the Note name, and the first consumer tablet that made good use of a stylus. It brought about many innovative, though not perfectly executed, features that changed the way Android worked. Multiple apps on the same screen, handwriting input and palm rejection, and the like were all relative newcomers to the tablet scene. And for the most part, they were all well received by those who bought the tablet.

But this is Samsung we're talking about. This is a company that is constantly changing and evolving, always questioning how can we make this better? Of course, better is highly subjective; while most of Samsung's features are generally thought of as novelties, there's no denying that this is a company constantly striving to stand out in the crowd. To deliver features that people actually want (and, of course, some that no one will ever use). To be innovative.

Enter the Note 10.1 2014 Edition which, coincidentally, will be available beginning in 2013. This is Samsung's second 10.1-inch Note, and the third tablet in the Note series. With the Note 8.0, it fixed a lot of the issues that users found with the original 10.1. The 10.1 2014 builds on that change, adding even more features and streamlining the entire package. New design elements. New functionality. An improved S Pen. That's just to name a few.

But the real question is how much of this is useful, and how much is just fluff?


  • Display: 10.1-inch 2560x1600 Super Clear LCD
  • Processor: Exynos 5420 Quad-Core processor
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 16/32GB
  • Cameras: 8MP rear shooter, 2MP front
  • Ports: microUSB, microSD
  • Wireless: 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi Direct, AllShareCast
  • Battery: 8,220mAh
  • OS: Android 4.3
  • Dimensions/Weight: 243.1 X 171.4 X 7.9mm, 535g
  • Price: 16GB – $550; 32GB – $600
The Good
  • The display. Samsung has, in my opinion, always been known for packing its devices with pretty great displays. The 2014 Note 10.1 is no exception to this – the display is beautiful. Sharp, vivid, and clear, it's an overall pleasure to look at.
  • Loud, clear speakers. Samsung knows what people want out of tablet speakers, and it delivers. The speakers sound pretty phenomenal.
  • S Pen ... most of the time. I've long been a fan of stylus input, and the Note series' S Pen adds incredibly useful functionality over a normal passive stylus. With the new features baked into the Note 10.1 2014, the S Pen gets even better – though it's not entirely perfect. There's lag when launching things like Air Command, which can be frustrating.
  • Stock Samsung keyboard. As far as stock software keyboards are concerned, Samsung's is probably the best I've ever used. It's fast, precise, and is fairly easy to touch-type on. I also love the dedicated number row.
The Bad
  • Slightly choppy performance. I see approximately zero reasons why this tablet should lag, chop, or otherwise do something deemed as unfit in the world of performance, yet here we are. I'm not sure the cause, but it occasionally decided to be choppy during transitions or animations. I expect this from budget devices, not from top-of-the-line hardware.
  • Awkward things. I've noticed that Samsung has a funny way of taking intuitive, simple feature or options in stock Android and making them overly complicated or confusing. Like the Settings menu – why categorize everything? It was fine the way it used to be. Or creating a folder. Dragging an icon on top of the other icon makes perfect sense. But dragging it to the top of the screen to make a folder, then dragging subsequent icons into said folder? No. Just no.
  • Multi-Window is a still kind of hacky and doesn't work all that well. This is another innovative feature that simply doesn't work like it should all the time. When it does work, it's the best multi-window experience Samsung has ever offered; when it doesn't, however, it's clear that MW is still kind of a janky mess. I'm strangely OK with this for the most part, as the steps taken forward with every iteration of the feature display that it's on its way to becoming rock solid ... eventually.  
  • The single notification shade. I realize this may be subjective, but I prefer the dual shades introduced in Android 4.2. Especially on a 10.1-inch tablet. I just makes more sense and looks better to me. The single massive shade looks too phone-esque, and doesn't make the best use of the larger screen real estate.


Build Quality and Design


When I write reviews, this is usually where I start, then skip around for all the other parts. But this section usually consists of my initial impressions of the device in question. The Note 10.1 2014 Edition is an odd sort of beast – there's nothing remarkable about its looks, but it still somehow manages to make you want to touch it. Maybe because it's a Samsung. Or maybe because I knew what goodies it potentially held under the hood. Either way, I simply couldn't wait to get my hands on it when I cracked open the box.

It feels good; solid. No creaking to speak of, no questionable components. Physically, it's a nice-feeling device. Aesthetically, however, I'm a little torn.

Samsung decided to try something new for the Note 10.1 2014 (and Note 3) – it crafted a faux leather back with faux stitching. The back looks nice, and feels good. The stitching, on the other hand, makes it look cheap and, simply put, kind of tacky. If they would've chosen to use real stitching of some sort, then it could be quite classy. But this imitation stitching just doesn't do it for me. I can handle the wannabe leather – and even that is pushing it – but it feels nice and isn't too overbearing, so it gets a pass.

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The silver band around the outside of the entire tablet is also a sticking point for me – it's plastic, but made to look like aluminum. So, now we're up to faux leather, faux stitching, and faux aluminum. I wish Samsung would've actually used premium materials on this tablet, instead of just crap that looks like premium material. This is a $600 tablet after all, and the use of faux pieces is insulting to those who buy it.

All that said, it still looks OK, especially to those who may not pay that much attention to the aesthetic details. My review unit is white, and I have an affinity for white things. Gadgets, guitars, chairs, etc. If it's white, it generally just looks nicer to me. Thus, I can't speak for how the black one looks, but I imagine it isn't much different.

And now for the guided tour – this is always fun. The front of the device has a white bezel with a Samsung logo, ambient light sensor, and camera at the top; menu, home, and back buttons are found at the bottom. Like most recent Samsung devices, the menu and back buttons are capacitive, while home is a physical key. It's slightly strange using these keys, but we'll get into that shortly.

The sides of the device are where you'll find the speakers; the microSD card slot and S Pen bay are also on the right side. The top houses the power button, volume rocker, and IR blaster. The microUSB port is on the bottom.

The back is nice and clean, with a Samsung logo and the 8MP shooter centered at the top. All standard fare, really.

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Save for the tacky faux stitching and questionable silver binding, the exterior looks pretty good and feels solid. The bezels are just wide enough that you won't accidentally hit the screen when holding the device, granted you always use it in landscape. Switch it to portrait and you're in for a different (and incredibly frustrating) experience. I accidentally hit the back button almost every time I switched to portrait mode, which of course exited the foreground app on most occasions. It's more than just a little bit annoying, and is just one of the reasons I dislike physical buttons on a tablet. The other reasons are fairly straightforward – they're just awkward to use. I'm still not sure why Samsung insists on physical keys all around.


Speaking of the keys, here's how the default actions work:


  • Single tap – opens the menu
  • Double tap – nothing
  • Long press – Opens S Finder


  • Single Tap – Goes home
  • Double Tap – Opens S Voice
  • Long Press – Multitasking, task manager, Google Now, and/or close all


  • Single tap – goes back
  • Double tap – nothing
  • Long press – nothing

It kind of drives me nuts that it takes two taps to get to Google Now (well, technically it's one long-press and one tap). Even after disabling S Voice, there was no way to assign the double tap action to Google Now. It just becomes an action-less action.


Last year, people were disappointed that the original Note 10.1 shipped with a 1280x800 display. It was a tablet looking to offer a premium experience, but most high-end devices at that time were shipping with 1920x1200 screens, so it was sort of a contradiction. Samsung wanted to make sure that didn't happen this time – the Note 10.1 2014 has a 2560x1600 display and it looks great. This resolution is fantastic for a display of this size, and I for one am glad that it's becoming the norm.

Everything is sharp and crystal clear – text looks fantastic. The colors are bright and vibrant, but not oversaturated. Viewing angles are good, but colors become washed out at extreme angles. That probably doesn't matter all that much, because I find it hard to imagine a scenario where an extreme angle is absolutely necessary.

Like with other Samsung devices, there's also an option to tweak the screen color. There are three primary options: dynamic, standard, and movie; but there's also an option for adaptive display. This mode will automatically change the display's color range, saturation, and sharpness in certain apps to offer the best viewing experience. This is the default option (which I left enabled most of the time), and I found most of the changes to be incredibly subtle (read: I didn't really notice a difference). I guess that's kind of the point, though – the change should be gradual.

While we're talking about this display, I want to point out one thing within the Display Settings entry that drives me absolutely crazy: this is where you'll find the option to show the battery percentage in the notification bar. How is this a logical place for that option? It should be in the Battery section of the settings menu, or at the very least, in the Notification Panel settings. Those are at least logical. The only reason I can see for it being in this section is because it actually displays something that wasn't previously there. Still, it's just not and intuitive place.



On the original Galaxy Note 10.1, Samsung went with front-facing speakers, which was a pretty good choice at the time. With the 2014 Note 10.1, it decided to move the speakers to the sides of the device. While some may see that a questionable decision, I think it worked out really well – these speakers are crazy loud and sound very sharp.

The night I got the Note 10.1, I spent some time watching guitar amp demos to see how it responded to drastic and dynamic changes that are meant to showcase how a product sounds. It didn't disappoint. In fact, I had to turn it down a few times, because it can put out some serious volume – I was actually really impressed with how loud it can get.

With that said, I'm not sure I'd go as far as to say that you can listen to music on it without the need for an external speaker, but it should work really well for movies/YouTube or playing games. That's probably a more common use-case for a tablet anyway.



While the camera may be loaded with a lot of Samsung's enhancements and shot modes, it's pretty typical of a tablet camera: it's pretty good outdoors, but basically garbage indoors. Let's take a look at some sample images first, then we'll get into the camera's features.

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As far as the software itself is concerned, the Note 10.1 2014's camera is loaded to the guts with stuff. It has a slew of different modes:

  • Auto
  • Beauty Face
  • Best Photo
  • Best Face
  • Sound & Shot
  • Drama
  • Rich Tone (HDR)
  • Eraser
  • Panorama
  • Sports
  • Night
  • Dual Shot


Most of those should be easily recognized – they're a big part of the camera overhaul on the Galaxy S 4. Despite all that, this camera just isn't good. As always, I'm surprised that manufacturers simply don't care about the camera experience on tablets; one can only assume it's because they don't expect folks to be using their 10.1-inch slate for grabbing a lot of pictures. Or maybe it's some sort of conspiracy to actually prevent people from using tablets as cameras more often. If that's the case, I fully support the crappy tablet camera movement.

Storage and Wireless


The Note 10.1 2014 comes with two storage options: 16GB and 32GB. The system itself takes up 6GB, and after installing just a few basic apps that tend to take up a bit of space (Chrome, Magazines, Music), my 32GB review unit only had ~22GB left available. Given that, it's basically impossible for me to recommend the 16GB model – there's likely only about 8GB of usable space out of the box without even installing anything. That's simply not enough for anyone who wants to get good use out of the tablet. That said, there's also a microSD card slot for optional expansion, and the unit does support Apps2SD... but that only moves the apk, which generally isn't that large. The bulk of the data is still stored locally.

When it comes to the wireless radios on the Note 10.1 2014, they pretty much just work. I say "pretty much" because the Bluetooth settings menu can be laggy – sometimes it takes a good 5-10 seconds to respond to a tap telling it to disconnect the currently-connected Bluetooth device, or enter that specific device's connection options. This is the case in several areas on the 2014 Note 10.1 – it's slow where it simply shouldn't be slow.

Otherwise, all the connections work as they should, and I experienced no issues with any of the radios.

Battery Life

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The first couple of days I had the Note 10.1 2014, I used the hell out of it. Day two was probably the most use it saw – nearly six hours of on-screen time by the time it hit the charger with about 18% remaining battery. I surfed the web, played with the S Pen and all its features, did a little gaming, watched YouTube, and streamed music over a Bluetooth connection. It had been off the charger for about 22 hours after all that, and could've easily seen at least another hour or so of heavy use before going completely dead.

The next few days, I used it a little more sparingly, as I was mostly working on the text for this review. Thus, I only grabbed the tablet when I needed to verify how a particular feature worked or something similar. It easily lasted through two days, and still had plenty of juice left – I stuck it on charge with about 48% remaining battery, just to top it off. It has excellent idle battery life.

Needless to say, the Note 10.1 2014 should easily be able to get you through a couple days, unless you're using it like a laptop for a full eight-hour workday. If that's the case, you'll definitely have to charge it overnight every night. But it should be able to get you through a day regardless, and more than that under what I would think to be "normal" use.

S Pen


I'm not going to discuss the functionality of the S Pen yet, but rather the little pen itself. It's a small, plastic thing, and feels pretty fragile. Of course, you'd have to be doing some pretty rough stylus work to damage it, but I guess freak accidents do happen. The back end matches the silver binding so it blends in while inside the bay, and Samsung redesigned it so it can enter the bay without having to be aligned a certain way. That makes it much easier to quickly insert and remove. And of course it has the small action button where your thumb should rest.

Samsung also includes a tool to remove the tip, as well as half a dozen or so replacement tips, in the box. This way if you somehow damage the business end of the stylus, or it wears out from regular use, you can simply replace it. 


One of the most challenging things about being a device reviewer is remaining completely objective while still being able to dash a certain amount of acceptable subjective-ness into a piece. If the entire review is completely subjective, then it's worthless to most people. If it's too objective, then it reads like a textbook and not like it was written by someone who actually used the device.

When it comes to overlays like TouchWiz, that balance is absolutely crucial. While I may personally be a little tired of bone-stock Android, I still love it. I can't let that love blind me to the point that I'm not open to new ideas or things not working the way I'm used to. With that out of the way, let's talk a little bit about Samsung's take on Android.

This is, of course, what makes a Samsung device a Samsung. It still feels and (kind of) looks like Android, but everything is somehow different. I'm not sure they leave any part of the system untouched; from homescreens to settings and beyond, TouchWiz is definitely its own sort of beast.

Love it or hate it, it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

S Apps

At this point, I'm sure many of you are already familiar enough with TouchWiz to have a good idea of what it's all about. I don't want to approach this from a "this is what's different from stock Android" angle, but rather "here's what this device can do, and how well it does it." Let's dig in.

The biggest selling point of the Note 10.1 2014 is, of course, the S Pen. Personally, I like to pronounce that as one word – Spen – but that's irrelevant. Many of the apps are catered to the S Pen, and it has a few new tricks up its sleeve, as well.

Air Command


Air Command is one of the new S Pen features for the Note 3 and 10.1 2014, and it's pretty neat. Basically, when the pen is removed from the bay (or when the button on its side is pressed while hovering the pen just above the screen) a small circular window appears with five different options: Action Memo, Scrapbooker, Screen Write, S Finder, and Pen Window. These names are fairly ambiguous, so here's the long and short of what they do:

  • Action Memo: This is essentially quick note-taking tool. Say you're out and need to jot down a phone number, address, or some other third thing, this is where you'd do it. It has nifty little tools that can automatically recognize text and execute various requests, like add to contacts, search the web, email, map, or add to a task list. Of course, your handwriting has to be pretty neat and tidy for it to accurately decipher the text. I'd like to think I have pretty nice handwriting, and it successfully detected what I was trying to say about 70% of the time.
  • Scrapbooker: This is a way to quickly and easily collect and curate things you like or want to keep. For example, I'm in the market for a new guitar amp. I've been looking awfully hard at the EVH 5150 III, and I've read a slew of reviews, watched videos, and the like. If I want to collect this particular information – which is scattered around various locations on the web – and keep it all in one spot, Scrapbooker lets me do that. Think of it as Pinterest meets Pocket, with a side of Skitch stuffed in the middle. The main downside is that if you scrapbook something from the YouTube app, it doesn't actually save the link so all you get is an image. While I often think things like this are a gimmick, I could actually see myself using this one.
  • Screen Write: This is basically a markup and annotation tool that takes a screenshot and lets you write on it. It makes sharing specific content or pointing out something on the page extremely easy.
  • S Finder: Quickly search the system for specific phrases in apps, contacts, calendar appointments, browser history, help, and local files. This replaces Google Search as the default search tool in most areas. It works, but I don't really like it. Google's offering is far superior.
  • Pen Window: This is an interesting tool that allows you to draw a square on the screen and launch various "mini apps" within that area. Among these tools, you'll find calculator, alarm, YouTube, contacts, ChatOn, Hangouts, and Samsung's stock browser (not Chrome). The strange thing here is that they're just scaled-down versions of the full-size app – not reformatted mini apps. It's unclear at this point whether or not Samsung plans to extend this functionality to more apps in the future, or if apps can just elect to support the feature and provide access in an update. Either way, you can run multiple apps at one time, so I'd actually like to see more than just the stock options here.

Air Command is a cool feature, but there's one problem: it's pretty damn laggy. Sometimes I experience upwards of a five second delay from the time I pressed the bottom until the time the menu popped up. That may not seem like a big deal, but if you're in a time pinch, those five seconds can feel like an eternity. Also, there's no reason a fresh-out-of-the-box device with a high end processor and 3GB of RAM should experience choppiness or lag. It's simply unacceptable in my opinion.

S Note


S Note, or Snote as I like to call it (yes, I do that with all the S apps), is a note-taking application with a few new bells and whistles. It's a simple, capable, and to-the-point note-taker. It allows for pen input that is customizable (pen type, color, line thickness), typing with the stock keyboard, or shape creations via the selection tool. It has been completely redesigned for the Note 10.1 2014, and now allows for resizable and searchable text (via S Finder).

This is actually what I believe to be one of the most useful S Apps, as it really brings functionality that many users are probably looking for in a device like this – handwriting recognition and excellent palm rejection. You can add images, video, charts, illustrations, things from your Scrapbooks, maps, and more to your notes. S Note keeps things very simple while also being highly flexible and powerful. Definitely one of the go-to S Pen apps.

The only downside is that I think the S Pen is too skinny to easily write with. There's an option to write with your finger too, just in case you feel the same about the pen.

The Others

While those are the key apps that basically rely on the S Pen, there are a couple of third-party offerings that incorporate the pen's functionality, as well.

  • Sketchbook for Galaxy: This is basically just Autodesk's Sketchbook Pro application with a bit of enhanced functionality for the S Pen.
  • Twitter: Back at the Note/Gear Unpacked event at IFA, Samsung teased a redesigned Twitter application that would be available exclusively on the Note 10.1 2014 for a limited time. The updated app not only has a tablet-specific interface (finally), but it also has a few tweaks just for the S Pen: hovering over certain elements (like the search box or search function) and Air View will supply a tooltip to let you know what each particular element does. You can also use the pen to handwrite search queries, as well as draw pictures in tweets. Horray for that.


There are also a handful of other Samsung apps that first showed up on the GS4, like Group Play, KNOX, S Translator, Story Album, S Voice, and Video Editor. These are all along for the ride on the Note 10.1 2014 as well, in case you're into that sort of stuff.


While Multi-Window is nothing new in itself, it is on the receiving end of a few upgrades on the Note 10.1 2014. Some of them are functional and work well. Others are frustrating and make me want to throw it out of a window, at a brick wall, or some combination of the two. Let's talk about that.

First up, Samsung added a new "create" feature to Multi-Window. Initially I thought this may be a way to add any app to a window – nope. It simply adds the two open windows to the MW menu, so you can quickly recall both apps simultaneously. While not what I expected, this is still cool. Say, for example, you like to surf the web and look at Twitter at the same time – no problem, just create a MW "preset" that will launch the two side by side. As soon as you tap that entry in the MW menu from there forward, poof – Chrome and Twitter are there.

... But it's not perfect.

Let's say in the above scenario, you're looking at Twitter and come across an interesting link. You tap said link, which should then open in Chrome. And it does. But there's a chance it might open in a full Chrome window.

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During my use, it sometimes killed the Twitter window and opened the link in a maximized Chrome window. Sometimes it worked as you'd expect – both windows stayed in place and the Chrome window just opened a new tab. I tried a few different scenarios, but could never figure out exactly what would cause it to work one way or the other. Who knows. As I've already said, Multi-Window is still pretty hacky.

Ever wished you could open an app using MW and them switch back to a different window within the same section of screen? Now you can. MW allows app stacking, which essentially keeps track of all the windows opened within a certain section of screen and lets you easily cycle between them by long-pressing the circle in the app divider. This is super rad – it's like in-window multi-tasking. It's brilliant.


You can also open the same app in two different windows, though not all apps support this. The stock Samsung browser is one of the few, as is YouTube. So now you can watch a video while you watch a video. Or browse the web while you browse the web. Xzibit will love this feature.

My Magazine


The Note 10.1 2014's launcher is basically the same as other recent Samsung devices, with one distinct change: it has quick access to a magazine-like interface called My Magazine. A simple swipe up from the bottom of the homescreen (or hitting home button while on the main homescreen) pulls up this feature, which basically seems like a Flipboard-esque newsreader of sorts.

It's essentially a bare-bones, no frills reader that shows pre-selected news topics (categories can be set by the user), personal information like calendar, email, recent pictures, etc., local information like movie times and sporting events, and updates from any linked social networks.

Basically, it wants to be an all-you-can-read hub of information that really just seems to cluster everything together. It's like having your living, dining, kitchen, bathroom, garage, and office all in one 15x15 room. It's just sort of a mess. Maybe someone who has very little information in the aforementioned categories can appreciate it, but I found it to be basically a waste of time to try to get anything useful out of it.


This might be the thing that surprised me the most about the Note 10.1 2014. I was expecting a top-notch, blazing fast, melt your face off tablet. But that's not what this is. In fact, sometimes it seems to struggle with itself to execute many of the things that set it apart – like Air Control, for example.

Don't get me wrong – as a "normal" tablet, it's fast and fluid. Benchmarks are good, and third-party apps run smoothly. Ironically, it's the Samsung proprietary stuff that tends to be laggy and/or choppy – like I said earlier, on average the lag when executing Air Command is upwards of five seconds.

But the worst part is in the Gallery – it's insanely slow. Unbelievably so. When trying to change folders, the wait was sometimes more than 45 seconds. Yeah, three-fourths of a minute. It took 27 seconds to delete a picture on one occasion. It took seven seconds to load an image. It's absolutely unacceptable. I honestly can't believe Samsung would let a product out the door with that sort of lag. Hell, that's not even lag, it's just bullshit.

The animations when swiping between homescreens or changing apps are also choppy at times. I just don't understand how this level of performance can happen in a device with a top-of-the-line quad-core processor and 3GB of RAM.

With all that out of the way, here are some benchmarks for you number junkies.


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Geekbench 3





I've never been so torn about a device at the end of a review before. Under normal circumstances, I have a strong sway one way or the other about a device, but still remain as objective as possible in my final judgment. I can easily see the redeeming qualities in most devices, but never overlook the downsides. The Note 10.1 2014 Edition has been a different experience, as most of its faults are found within the device itself, or Samsung's added features that are supposed to make it a better tablet.

Still, I see what makes it appealing to many people. The S Pen makes the tablet superior for many applications, and Samsung has software like S Note to add even more utility. But then there's the other side – laggy Air Command, the basically unusable gallery, the choppy transitions. That is beyond off-putting, as are all the faux materials used. In a premium tablet like this, I not only expect a premium experience in the software, but premium materials in the build. Not lookalike plastic. Like I said before, that's pretty insulting to the consumer who just spent six-hundred dollars on the product. Forgive the comparison, but that simply isn't something Apple would even consider on its tablets, and I hold Samsung to the same – if not a higher – standard. Why? Because they're building what many consider the best devices in the Android scene, and they need to back that reputation up. Plastic parts simply aren't the way to do that.

Don't get me wrong, though – the Note 10.1 2014 is a good tablet. I wouldn't say it's great, but I will go as far as to say that it's probably the best tablet I've reviewed this year. Maybe even the best 10-inch Android-powered tablet to hit the scene overall, especially when considering the sheer amount of features packed into one slate. But the year isn't over, either.


Here's where the Note 10.1 2014 sits with me: it's probably good for students who need to take notes and/or see multiple things on the screen at once, or professionals who need similar features. The average user can, of course, also benefit from mutli-window, S Note, and the S Pen in general, but I personally think those users would be better off with the Note 3 or waiting to see how NVIDIA's Tegra Note devices fare in terms of stylus compatibility and the like. Ultimately, if stylus support is all that you're after, the latter could save you quite a bit of money ($200 vs $600).

Naturally, there will be users who just want a 10.1-inch screen, and that's OK. There will also be those among you who will not only buy, but unabashedly defend the Note as if it were the greatest thing since mac-n-cheese. But that's OK too – there's something to be said for someone who stands by a manufacturer and a device purchase, mac-n-cheese haters be damned.

Ultimately, I know people will buy – and love – the Note 10.1 2014 Edition. With that said, I'm having a hard time giving it an overall recommendation. It's a good tablet, though not great. I just can't in good conscience recommend a $600 device with lag and stutter out of the box and with such poor build materials. Of course, the former are things that can (and may) get fixed in a future update. While the build materials can't be changed, a better software experience would go a long way in making this a much, much better tablet; though I'm still not convinced it'll be $600 worth of good.

Alas, the functionality offered here is simply unmatched at this time, and Samsung knows that. If natural handwriting, an active stylus, and multi-window are things that you absolutely need in a tablet, you won't regret buying the Note 10.1 2014, despite its high price tag. The experience may be mildly frustrating at times, but you'll love it when those flukes aren't happening.

If, on the other hand, you can't see yourself using the S Pen, you're much better off with a different, more affordable device.