POSITIVE: 10 inches of screens has turned out to be the perfect number for me. Itâs generous for web browsing, a huge blessing for games, excellent for business and personal notes and office documents, and spot on for drawing. It was only just big enough to enjoy watching tv shows, but due to my want for a full cinema experience I would probably not watch a movie on this. For those who enjoy watching movies on their mobile device â youâll love it. If my picky attitude can enjoy a TV show on here youâll probably scoff at me and revel.
The Yosemite OS has several malfunctions especially with the internet. It slows down so much that web pages do not appear. At the same time, my vintage macbok works much faster and gets internet results very quickly. I have returned it and am buying one with Mavericks OS.
1) HOME KEY
NEGATIVE: The tablet seems to expect you to hold it in landscape mode (horizontally), as the physical Home button is located bottom center. Which of course means that if you change the orientation to portrait mode (vertical) the button is generally right where your thumbs is going to land on either side. This is further compounded by the fact that the Settings and Back (capacitive) buttons are to the left and right of the Home button.
NEGATIVE: The stylus is rather short and very, very light. As a man with large hands itâs kind of strange to hold something so dainty. The button on the stylus to call up the Air-View features is all-too-easy to press while using it, however this is also a problem with full-size Wacom tablets. Where the Samsung S-Pen fails is that this stylus is rectangular, so thereâs no option to simply roll the buttons away from your fingers as you can with a normal Wacom art stylus.
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I purchased two of the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition (Wi-Fi only version) on November 27, 2013. One was for myself and one was for my fiancee. Weâre both digital artists, avid readers, lovers of technology, and were in need of a portable device with a screen larger than 5″.
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NEGATIVE: It takes getting used to if youâve never held something this large before. This was a double issue for my fiancee who has smaller hands. For her, she finds she loves the screen size for some things (reading and shopping especially) but prefers the smaller screen of her phone for others. Much of this has to do with typing â which I might add I agree with her. Coupled with adjusting to holding it, typing is rather laborious. You end up moving your whole hand rather than just your fingers. However, the default Samsung keyboard and Swype both have options to shrink the keyboard (more phone sized), and split the keyboard (to type thumbs only). For me, these actually give quite a bit of typing relief.
OVERALL: With its size, weight, squarish shape, and glass screenâ¦ this is an accident waiting to happen. Donât misunderstand, it feels very durable to hold, but like all mobile devices these days the ever present fear of dropping is most certainly here in this tablet. I definitely recommend a case for drop protection â even at home. Keep in mind that the front is all glass, and while the back does offer some grip for your hands, its back will slide across a tablet or nightstand faster than a hockey puck give the opportunity.
This is the first deciding factor for me. I needed a tablet that was going to perform lag-freeâ¦ partially for preference but also for performing art. You canât draw effectively if your machine is lagging, and I wouldnât have the patience for it. But on paper at least, it looks fantastic.
This tablet actually has a crap-load of features. Not many of them feel like bloat, either. Your usual Samsung line, of course, but also Autodesk Sketchbook, EverNote, and Action Memo to name a few. The Air-View features are also 98% useful for screenshot note taking and editing. Iâm going to skip the positive/negative on this one, because thereâs still several features I havenât used, such as handwriting-to-text translation. However my overall experience with every feature and setting in this app has been wonderful.
The computer itself was plug and play and works beautifully. It is quicker than I expected and was clean. The thing about plug and play is I expect to be able to plug things in and be able to play with them!
On this terminal there are two USB ports on the rear and two on the front face. Only two in the back work. This becomes a problem because I external hard drive keyboard/mouse (wireless but still needs little receiver in a USB port) and iphone cord, camera cord etc to be plugged in. This is a real P.I.A. To have to unplug from rear of tower every time i need to plug something in.
I contacted customer service which was a "selling point" on this tower how it was offered and even was printed on the invoice and paperwork inside the box when I received the unit. I spoke to them and they gave me two options: give me a credit towards something else or an adapter so I would have 4 USB ports. I am not interested in store credit or even a cash refund…I need USB ports that work!! So I told the man please send me the adapter. Well many weeks later…no over 2 months later and two follow up calls, as of 1/6/14 I have not received my USB port adapter!!
I will update me review if this status should change. The computer works well but has a serious deficit of USB ports.
Suggestions: Iâve read you can simply get a metal pencil holder to extend the length of the stylus â though I havenât tried this yet. Iâve also read that the new Note Pro 12.2 has a redesigned stylus â though I havenât looked into compatibility and shape yet.
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POSTIVE: The stylus works great! Thereâs no leading or drag, it glides smoothly over the screen. The cursor on screen (which can be toggled off an on) is pin-point accurate at virtually every angle and regardless of the above, it gets the job done with seemingly no effort. That the stylus is conveniently stored in the upper right corner (landscape) of the device is awesome. Itâs easy to access and easy to put away. It snaps in firmly and I never worry about it falling out. The Air-View features are mostly very useful and worth leaving on. See a different review for more on Air-View.
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On art: For my first art experiences with this tablet, I took it with me on a week long cruise and was happy I did. I didnât have to bring the entire backpack of my art supplies I was accustomed â just this one lone very convenient tablet. I completed four impressive works and, short of a Wacom/Windows hybrid tablet, it proved to be nearly everything I need for mobile art needs. Lack of needed software prevents me from performing my business art on this device, but for conceptual work and personal art this is a killer device.
POSITVE: There isnât anything positive to say about the design placement, sadly. But the slot works well, the tablet charges (albeit slowly) up just like any device. The charger is the same as any other early 2014 Samsung device, so you can use your S4 charger to charge the tablet. and lastly: my fiancee (who is not a power-user) hasnât mentioned this as an issue at all.
For business: As I understand it, this device can be hooked up to projectors old and new and used functionally for lectures and the like. While I havenât personally tested this, Iâve read a great many reviews from business people explaining how they have and that it was great for it.
Although it wonât ever replace my tried and true TV remote â the IR blaster is cool, and screen sharing with my smart TV makes for a fun experience.This is an optimum device for Chromecasting, thanks to the screensize making the UI so easy to access. I much prefer it for this than my phone.
POSITIVE: The paper was right. I glow with confidence everytime I pick this tablet up because I know itâs going to be a champ. Iâve never once encountered stuttering or lag of any kind no matter how much I run on this thing. Iâve pushed it with multi-window, overblowing apps in the background while running a heavy one in the foreground, and Iâve gamed to death with high-resource graphics-intensive games. Itâs been 5months with this tablet by nowâ¦ and no issues whatsoever. Itâs always buttery smooth. Any issues Iâve run into have been poor internet connection on my end, or software glitches in the app I was using. I do give my tablet an intentional restart every couple of weeks. I donât know that I need to, but it hasnât hurt.
1) S-PEN / STYLUS
I use Wacom technology every day to create art for both business and personal art. Wacom is my go-to for all things stylus, and that they paired with Samsung to give you an authentic, high-quality stylus experience is just phenomenal. I both need to take notes and be able to draw on the fly, so this is my second main reason for purchasing this device.
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POSITIVE: The glare may be a bit rough, but the quality of the picture on the screen is beautiful. Online reviews say comparatively the screen is more washed out, but Iâve not noticed. Watching movies, gaming, drawing, using apps, browsing the webâ¦ all of it looks incredible. Because of this it really makes you want to adapt your usage to account for the screen glare just because the payoff is the gorgeous quality of the 10.1 realestate.
I bought these for my 4 year old son to wear as pajama shorts during the summer. I love the color options and they are a great price, since you get a pack of 5. However, the material is pretty thin and they seemed to fit quite large. I am planning to put them in the dryer and attempt to shrink them. Hopefully that works, because other than that, these seem nice and comfy and should work great as pajamas!!
3) CHARGING SLOT
NEGATIVE: The Micro USB charging slot is perhaps the most goofy, senseless design element of all (and one I still find myself wishing was different). Itâs directly under the physical Home key, on the bottom edge of the device. Holding this while charging becomes an interesting juggle with that cord jutting out. Terribly uncomfortable experience while laying on your back in bed while charging, or even while sitting up to play a game. Add to this the fact that some games force horizontal orientation, and youâre going to expect to be irritated when your battery needs a charge. While I havenât found any great solutions to this, it isnât so bad if youâre holding it in portrait mode. As an aside, if youâre not paying attention in dim lighting itâs easy to try to shove your charging cord into the IR Blaster on the exact opposite end. The blasters even in the same shape as the charging slotâ¦ but thankfully it does no harm apart from making you feel like an idiot that you werenât paying attention.
Having never owned a tablet before, I wasnât sure if 10 inches of screen would be too large or too small. I took the gamble if only based on all the other items on my list of “must haves”.
Those quirks sound intense, but remember Iâm giving you a very detailed account of my personal thoughts and experiences, and there are a lot of reasons to look past them. Weâre going to get to those now. Iâll take the same format as the above where applicable for the good things, though Iâll begin each with a short description on why I like these features.
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There are a lot of great cases out there for this device. My fiancee and I both prefer different cases for different reasons. Iâm using the official Samsung Book Cover, because itâs slim, protects the corners, offers multiple angle stand, and is very light. She prefers a case with a hand-strap on the back to assist in holding, with a multiple angle stand-cover, and business card/pen holder. We both also have alternate cases with Bluetooth keyboards for travel â though we rarely use them.
At first I found this to be very very awkward. Iâve read other reviewers who were so frustrated they returned theirs because they couldnât stand it. Indeed my fiancee went through the very same feelings, as did I. However, I gave it some time and after a couple weeks of constant use I became quite comfortable with holding the unit and itâs not even close to a problem. I think of it now as a learning curve. My fiancee solved her issues with the button by investing in a tablet cover that acts as a stand, but also has a hand-strap at the backâ¦ which helps her not to have to hold the unit by the sides.
Having read and watched several reviews online, I knew what to expect with some of the odd physical design choices. Iâve had several month to adapt to this tablet and by now I feel like itâs absolutely worth putting that kind of time into adjusting to itâs quirks. Iâll first run through the negative aspects, the positive aspects, and how we adjusted to said quirks.
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OVERALL: With the external speakers Itâs just okay. Speakers are in the back and often get covered up. When using a cover I often have to move the flipped cover away from the back to better hear audio. This is improved when the covers is used as a stand as the sound bounces backâ¦ but like any mobile device the speakers arenât as ace as just using headphones.
TIP: Make sure you Software Update your tablet as soon as you get it. I did right out of the box and I had nearly 5 updates waiting for me. Itâs now on auto-update for those and Iâm anxiously anticipating Kit-Kat to give even better performance.
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Your normal slew of Samsungâs latest line of misc. features is here. Air-gesture, Smart Stay, Smart Pause, Smart-Scroll, Multi-Window, Screen Mirroring, Power Saving Mode, etc, etc! So many in fact that it may take awhile to remember all of your settings. Iâm 5 months in and Iâm still finding new things about optimizing my experience.
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Alternately you could invest in a compatible Bluetooth keyboard. I purchased a tablet cover which came with one and it was easy to set up, easy to reconnect, and felt very close to a laptop typing experience.
POSITIVE: Now that Iâm accustomed to holding this tablet with the Home Key placement. I use the tablet as effectively as any other device I own. I rarely run into any “accidentals”. My fiancee doesnât use her tablet as often as I do, and thus isnât as studious about holding hers a certain way. Thus she does get some “accidentals”, but sheâs getting used to it as the days go on.
2) SCREEN GLARE
NEGATIVE: Thereâs a lot of it. This is a high-gloss, premium glass screen. If you expect to have heavy lighting overhead (especially fluorescent ) youâre going to spend a lot of time seeing the lights above you or looking at your own reflection at certain viewing angles. The screenâs brightness however is fantastic, so moving it up to full will help some. The best answer however is to just slightly change your viewing angle. You can do this as your holding it, or invest in a tablet cover that has a multiple angle stand. Once I was aware of the glare I worked around it and like, the last issue was a minor learning curve.
OVERALL: Battery life is one of those things every mobile device struggles with. Iâm a pretty heavy tablet user, and in just a few hours of drawing, gaming, and movie watching, Iâll have the battery down to about 30%. I can assume about and extra hour or so past that depending on what Iâm using. But itâs just as easy to plug it in and power use, which has become my usage habit when home.
Having compared several tablets, I was intrigued by this version of Samsungâs tablets based on a number of things â most notably: familiarity with Samsung products (we both use Galaxy S4 phones), the awesome specs and wacom-powered S-Pen capabilities. Major website reviewers at the time were saying that based on price, this tablet was gimmicky and an unnecessary purchase for those not in need of a stylus. Seeing the powerhouse specs of this device, consistent performance in reviews, and knowing the stylus was exactly what I wanted â I chose this one. Iâm glad I did.
Headphone experience is killer. Samsungâs integrated software for improving headphone sound is magnificent. Music and other media sounds superior even with just your included Samsung ear-buds. I highly recommend getting your audio this way â however itâs not a complete fail on using the external speakers.
My fiancee, who Iâd deem a moderate tablet user, gleans a full-day+ out of hers before deciding it needs a charge. On standby alone it will last around a day and half. Considering the size and quality of this screen, and that itâs fairly light for itâs size, I really think this is good battery life. Power users like myself may want to look into an external battery extenderâ¦ as this battery cannot be removed.