Tablet prices are going down, down, down but there’s always going to be a market for higher-price niche devices. Why? Market intelligence firm IDC has predicted tablets will outsell desktops and laptops in 2015, and that means a diverse customer base will be buying. There will always be a strong market for budget tablets but that doesn’t mean devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 can’t hold their own – especially when a higher price tag brings with it top notch features.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition offers plenty that goes above and beyond competitors and even the original Note – updates to hardware, software and design have been lauded on sites like cnet.com – with just a few very minor hiccups. Here’s what’s new:
More Power Inside
The Galaxy Note 10.1 is fast thanks to its 1.9GHz Quad-core Exynos 5 and 3GB of RAM powering Android 4.3 layered with Samsung’s Touchwiz interface. On the graphics side, the 10.1″ 2560×1600 IPS screen with 299 pixel density is amazingly clear and a huge upgrade over last year’s model. That’s good, considering that along with the 2-megapixel camera on the front, there’s a hearty 8-megapixel camera in back. While this tablet has been marketed as a content creation tool, content consumers will absolutely appreciate these changes, as well.
A Fresh, Higher-End Look
A higher-end tablet should ideally look – and feel – like one and Samsung’s standard glossy plastic hasn’t been cutting it. In the 10.1 they’ve swapped it out for a textured leather-ish material (actually polycarbonate) that’s surprisingly soft. If it’d stopped there it could have been a win but the faux printed-on stitching kind of ruins the effect. But it’s grippy, smudge free and if the worst thing going for this tablet is the back cover, that’s saying something.
The Improved S-Pen Stylus
As before, the S-Pen can replace a fingertip for app selection and scrolling, but the Note 10.1 can also sense when the stylus is hovering over the screen. This is useful when previewing items like photos or to disable touch functionality so you don’t accidentally trip other apps when taking notes. The new Air Command sweetens the deal with a selection of five shortcuts related to the stylus. Don’t worry about losing this handy tool – the S-Pen lives in a slot in the upper right of the case. Surprisingly, it doesn’t add any width to this tablet’s slim profile.
The Multi Window Experience
This tablet’s generous screen is obviously amazing for sketching and taking notes, but it’s also great for multitasking. Multi Window lets users open up two app windows at a time side by side, but it goes beyond split screen. Dragging and dropping items across programs is an incredibly useful action that more of the phablets and tablets out there should allow.
Better App Integration
The features that have made the Note 10.1 so popular are also those that make it such a great platform for apps and games. Speed and screen resolution alone make it a perfect match for programs like AutoDesk’s SketchBook Pro (for the creative types) and apps like Netflix (for the rest of us). Think you can’t play serious games on a tablet? Think again. The Fall, which is the first Deus Ex title for mobile, rivals the gameplay and graphical quality of the Deus Ex games for Xbox 360 and PS3. No kidding.
Ready to buy? Wireless carrier T-Mobile is offering the Galaxy Note 10.1 for the best rate around and is even including some free 4G LTE data so you can get the most out of this clear winner in the tablet wars.
Author Bio: Jessica is a freelance journalist who loves to cover technology news and the ways that technology makes life easier. She also blogs at FreshlyTechy.com. Check her out on Twitter @TechyJessy.