- 24 August 2012
- By John Howell
I recently bought Samsung's latest tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, the tablet version of their pen equipped Galaxy Note phone. While at first glance it appeared to be an incremental upgrade to Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 2, it's a great deal more impressive than I expected. If you've visited this site before you may know that I'm not the biggest Apple fan in the world, but even after taking my brand bias into account, there are multiple iPad beating features you should consider, especially if you're just about to buy. While Apple has the marketing power and "first to market" tablet advantage, Samsung has features and innovations where they count.
Below are seven reasons you should consider buying the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 instead of an iPad.
1. All hail the stylus. The stylus pen that can be tucked away into the tablet's base adds a whole new dimension to entering data. Annotating PDFs and websites is a breeze. Handwriting recognition works almost flawlessly every time. Draw flow charts and diagrams by hand and watch them transform before your eyes. If you're a creative type, you have 1,024 levels of pressure and a pre-installed version of Adobe's Photoshop Touch to turn your creations into life. Like touch displays on Windows 8 desktops, the stylus is not something you'll want to use all the time, but quick note taking, sketching plans and diagrams, annotating PDFs, websites and documents (and more) has never been easier. You can use your fingers if you like, but the pen is there when you need it.
2. Voice and data to go. This is not a heavily advertised feature, but you can use this tablet as a mobile phone too (you certainly can't with an Asus Transformer Infinity or iPad). Take out your phone's SIM and place it in your tablet in an emergency. Take your tablet on a trip without needing to take your phone. SMS people from your tablet while working. Talk to people on the tablet's speaker phone or use the included hands-free headset. The included headset is a cut above the average, with volume controls, an answer button, and comfortable ear buds.
3. Split screen use and multi-tasking. These features blew me away. Inbuilt Samsung apps allow you to overlay video windows anywhere on the screen in whatever size you like. Browse the web or make a call while watching a video. You can overlay other Samsung apps like the S-note, email, and music player too. You're no longer forced to open one application and then switch back to a second app when transferring information or undertaking research. This is a killer feature and something radically different to any other tablet out there. The multi-tasking power is assisted by a super fast 1.4 GHz quad-core processor and a hefty 2GB of RAM. Using these overlays or splitting the display area in two can make a world of difference. This is real multi-tasking.
4. Built in infra-red and universal remote control software. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 has an infra-red transmitter built into the hardware and Samsung have combined this with a fully featured universal remote control application. Control all your home theatre system devices using your tablet. Like the phone features, this ability has not been heavily advertised.
5. Well placed, high quality stereo speakers. Excellent sound quality and volume are another of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1's strengths. The sound quality is a cut above the rest of the tablet world and is aided by perfect speaker placement. Why do designers keep placing speakers on the back or the sides of a device? Front and centre is where speakers should always be.
6. More storage space with little extra cost. There's a Micro SD Card Reader to expand your storage space. I added a $30, 32GB Micro SD Card when I bought the 16GB version of the tablet and now have 48GB to play with. That's a lot of space.
7. Screen quality and video performance. While the resolution does not match the latest iPad (version 3), the touch and pen sensitive display panel is vivid and clear, better than what I've seen on recent Toshiba, ASUS and Acer tablets. Video performance is as smooth as silk, no doubt helped along by the 2GB of RAM and fast chip. I haven't detected any flickering or stuttering, even when two or three videos are playing simultaneously.
Some of the reviews I read before picking up the Galaxy Note 10.1 were decidedly mixed. Now that I've used it myself, I can't understand what type of Apple produced drug those reviewers have been injecting. This is far and away the best tablet on the market at the moment. If you don't want to wait for Microsoft's new Surface tablets, you may want to take a second look.
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