Samsung has been very successful last year, and they seem to be set on continuing the streak through this year. They’ve already sold more handsets than Nokia in the first quarter of 2012, which is very impressive, and they have quite a few new products for the other two big mobile niches – tablets and Ultrabooks – as well.
Among the most notable tablets that have already been announced and demonstrated is the Galaxy Note 10.1, which is basically the Galaxy Note’s bigger brother, and if it’s at least half as successful as it, Samsung will definitely establish itself as a leader in the tablet niche. The 10.1 Galaxy Note may not be as unique as its 5 inch smartphone/tablet hybrid companion, but it does have some unique points that can differentiate it from the dozen or so other Android tablets.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 looks very similar to Samsung’s other tablets from the Galaxy Tab series, although here are a few noticeable differences. The front of the device is pretty much taken by the display, and the back has a glossy black plastic cover that extends around the sides and to the front, making it very sturdy and pretty attractive. The build quality is great – it isn’t worse than the iPad, for example, and it should hold up well to any kind of daily use (I wouldn’t recommend dropping it though).
Performance and hardware features
The performance of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 should be more than enough for anyone – the tablet has a dual core Exynos chip under the hood, with the processor cores running at 1.4 GHz each and featuring the Mali-400 GPU. The Exynos chip is among the top 5 fastest in the world, and it can even hold its own against the new quad core Tegra 3. There’s also a full 1024 MB of RAM to help keep things smooth even when you’re running a lot of apps at the same time.
The other hardware specs are everything you’d expect from a modern, high end tablet – there’s your usual Wifi N, Bluetooth 3.0, HSPA+ and GPS radios, a variety of sensors for normal operation, two cameras with HD video recording support (although the main camera is only 3 Megapixels, but it still takes nice pictures), a micro SD card slot in addition to the onboard Flash storage, as well as a USB port and 3.5 mm audio jack.
But the most important feature is probably the Wacom digitizer that sits atop the 10.1 inch, 1280×800 touch screen, which allows you to use a stylus and is pressure-sensitive, making this tablet a prime choice for anyone who needs to frequently note something down or artists who want to sketch illustrations and ideas whenever they have one.
Of course, the Galaxy Note 10.1 will be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box – it would be weird for Samsung to ship it with anything else at this point. Samsung’s Touch Wiz UI will also be present, whether you like it or not (it’s pretty good, though).
Price and Availability
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 will arrive in stores by the end of this summer, and should cost around $400-500 – a standard price for a high end tablet. There are also rumors that a quad core version is in the works, but whether that’s true or not remains to be seen. Overall, the Galaxy Note is a great device for those who want to be able to take notes with a stylus or sketch, so be sure to give it a go before deciding to go with any other tablet.