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Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is loaded with features

Galaxy Note 10.1 is loaded with features, but too many features also mean the device, at times, does tend to lag

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By Vikram Chaudhary

Galaxy Note 10.1 is loaded with features—multi-window, smart stay, air view, etc—but Too many features also mean the device, at times, does tend to lag but, fortunately, this lag is not frustrating

Although Samsung may be bracing for its weakest smartphone profit growth this year since 2007 as arch rival Apple challenges its domination in China’s $80 billion market—according to Reuters, from January 17, Apple will make its phones available via China Mobile through which Samsung has been successfully selling smartphones for seven years, hurting the Korean company’s sales—Samsung continues its strong grip over the Indian market. And though new players such as Micromax and Gionee are eating into the sales of established players in India, products from companies such as Samsung are seeing increasing interest among the buyers. In fact, according to Google India Zeitgeist—which tracks the year’s major events and trends based on Google searches—the Samsung Galaxy S4 was the most searched for mobile device in the country in 2013.

This year, one mobile device that just might enter the Google India Zeitgeist list is the recently launched Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition). Promising what the company calls the “best viewing experience”, the new Galaxy Note 10.1 boasts of extremely high WQXGA resolution with crystal clear viewing quality and big screen. In fact, the resolution offers the user utmost viewing experience and full HD contents are fully supported without compromising quality. This is one tablet in which every image and video is displayed more vividly and more sharply than many other similar devices. The Galaxy Note 10.1 also allows magazine-like experience via its 10.1-inch large screen. You can create your own menu screen by pinning your most used and loved apps, websites, videos, files, and folders to your screen. Then, there is enough screen space to do multiple tasks simultaneously. For example, you can activate two apps at the same time, and you can also draw or scribble while you are doing something else, like watching a movie.

This tablet also gets a new exterior design. The extra space from the bezel is removed, making it smaller in size and lighter in weight without a reduction in the screen size. Then, the leather-like back cover gives the Galaxy Note 10.1 a more classic look. It has got a very solid build quality and is easy to grip. But while this tablet is fairly light at 547 gm, it remains heavy enough for single-handed usage—more often than not, you have to use both hands to operate this tablet. Sadly, there is no case or cover included in the box that can ensure ease of operation.

One can also compose and manage notes easily and quickly on this tablet. For instance, you can quickly scribble notes and then the S Note will edit the same and convert it into digital text. The S Pen that this tablet comes equipped with has a very comfortable grip and is light. As soon as you take the S Pen out of its slot, a feature called Action Memo appears on the screen. This memo connects you to seven things that you are most likely to do—call, save contact info, send SMS or email, search web and location, add tasks. The S Pen itself is a wonder—if you hold it like a pen, the rubberised tip gives a very ‘pen-like’ feel when writing on the screen and the handwriting recognition is just brilliant!

galaxy-note-10-1-angle-greyThis tablet has another fine feature called the Scrapbooker, with which one can easily collect and organise a variety of content, including webpages, YouTube videos, videos on device, etc, in one place called the Scrapbook.

The front of the screen has two capacitive keys to the left and right of the home screen button in the middle, but because the tablet is wide enough at 243 mm, operating those keys with your thumbs, while holding the tablet with both hands, can be an issue at times. There is a speaker grille on each side of the tablet and the sound is loud yet clear. The Galaxy Note 10.1 has a front and a rear camera, both of which are at par with cameras on other tablets in this segment.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 is loaded with features—multi-window, smart stay, air view, etc—some of which Samsung users might already be aware of, but people coming from iOS or even vanilla Android may have to climb the learning curve. And once you get a hang of things, this tablet can be  extremely productive. Again, too many features also mean the device, at times, does tend to lag but, fortunately, this lag is not frustrating. Mention must be made of the 8,220 mAh battery which lasts very long even with heavy usage. Priced at Rs 49,990, the Galaxy Note 10.1 can prove to be a very productive tablet for professionals. It is, indeed, among the few tablets we hate to dislike.

Estimated street price: Rs 49,990

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