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First Impressions: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

When Samsung came out with the Galaxy Note, it popularized the term “œphablet” which simply means you can’t clearly say whether it’s a phone or a tablet. Now they’re pushing it further with the release of the Galaxy Note 10.1, a 10-inch tablet that you can also use as a phone. If having a 7.7-inch tablet pressed against your ear make you look funny, try it with a 10-inch one.


Enough of the intro, we spent some time yesterday with this new tablet”¦ err “œphablet” from Samsung to give you some first impressions.


The Galaxy Note 10.1 doesn’t look much different from the Galaxy Tab 10.1. You’ll have the same glossy plastic white finish with aluminum trimmings for accent. What stands out would be the dual speakers on both sides clearly making this device intended to be used in landscape mode.


Most of the ports and buttons are locate on top side where you’ll see the Power/Sleep, volume control, microSD slot, the IR emitter, audio port and the slot for your regular SIM. At the bottom is just the slot for charging, docking,and accessories like a USB adapter.


At the back you’ll find a familiar Samsung design with the strip of metal running on top which houses the 5-megapixel camera. You’ll also see the slot at the bottom corner where you’ll store the Note 10.1’s S-Pen stylus.


The S-Pen stylus is almost the same light and short one as the one found on the original Galaxy Note but with a button dedicated to take screenshots. It now also has a detachable tip if you want plastic for a smoother glide or rubber for a more pencil-like writing.

Powering the Galaxy Note 10.1 is a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and a generous 2GB RAM. You know what you can do with 2GB RAM on a tablet? True multi-tasking. This device has a multi-screen feature where you can run two apps side-by-side. Available apps for multi-screen are S Note, web browser, Polaris office, video player, gallery, and e-mail. It also has a pop-play feature like the one in the Galaxy S III where you can watch videos on a small screen on top of doing something else. It was cute on the S III but it’s mighty convenient on a 10-inch display not to mention you can also pop-up other apps such as the music player, calculator, etc.


Using the Galaxy Note 10.1 feels like using their Galaxy Tab 10.1 but with the added stylus. And the S-Pen works really good or even better as before. Using the S Note app to do some doodling, the S-Pen was sensitive to handwriting pressure and I liked how the app didn’t register the side of my hand resting above it as strokes. There are other apps available in the Samsung app store that is optimized for the S Pen.


I personally like the IR function of this tablet which works really well with the Smart Remote app turning the Note 10.1 into a universal remote for your TVs (known brands at least). I haven’t tried using other remote-controlled devices such as DVD players and stereos but will let you know once I find out if it’s possible.


This tablet also comes with Adobe Photoshop Touch for your basic photo editing needs. Not entirely the real deal but it can serve its purpose.


Everything else functions as your ordinary 10-inch tablet”¦ well except for having the Call and SMS feature and way more horsepower. I don’t know if this tablet is something you would want to carry with you as your primary phone. I’m seeing the Galaxy Note 10.1 as a living room device which you can pick up and control your TV, while checking your e-mail or whatever you want to do on a tablet with a stylus. The phone is just an added bonus that you would mostly use with the speaker on or have a Bluetooth headset dedicated to it.

The official launch of this Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 will be at the end of the month and it will come with a retail price of Php32,990. Oh it comes in black too!

Samsunng Galaxy Note 10.1 Specs:
1.4GHz Quad-core Exynos 4412 processor
Mali 400MP GPU
10.1″ PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen (1280 x 800)
Samsung TouchWiz UI
Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich
HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps with full phone support
2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, microSD up to 64GB
5-megapixel rear camera with flash, 720p @ 30 fps video recording
1.9-megapixel front camera
S Pen stylus
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, dual-band, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
Infrared port
microUSB (MHL) v2.0, USB Host support (via an adapter)
262 x 180 x 8.9 mm
Li-ion 7,000mAh battery
SRP: Php 32,990
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  • Jason Christopher Indiongco

    I guess it is already under 4.0.4 ics? excited to pair this one with my note 5.3..hays..

  • Desperately needs software optimization for multitasking and concurrent application operations. May or may not be addressed by Android 4.1.1 Jellybean. Hopefully the former.

  • The dude holding the S-pen needs to clip their nails, lololol. The resolution seems like a bit of a letdown. Well, not just a bit. This is a flagship device yet the resolution pales in comparison to something like the Transformer Prime HD. If they’re marketing this to creative professionals, I don’t think they’d be impressed. I really, really, really want to love the Note 10.1 though, it’s just they skimped on everything but the screen.. 🙁

    • that dude holding the pen is actually a lady. yeah that’s the first thing i noticed, the low resolution. the galaxy note is a premium device and i was hoping that the 10.1 had the same treatment.

      • oh crap, sorry. i guess we’ll just hope they don’t skimp on the upcoming Note 2 either. Not that I’ll be buying it. Sucks to be poor. lol.

  • Simpsons

    Hey, how did you know it will be launched in the Philippines by this month? I’m thinking of buying an iPad but if the Note 10.1 is available soon then I might go with Samsung.

    • It was officially announced by Samsung that it will hit the Philippines by the end of the month.

  • Riley

    The Note 10.1 has quite a lot of functionality, and I would like to try it to compare it to the iPad. I can’t say I agree with the pricing. A faster processor and a fancy pen don’t seem worth forking over more money. With an iPad, at least I’d get a better screen and have the option to get LTE. I’ve tried LTE on my Dish coworker’s iPad using the Dish Remote Access app, and streaming comes in smooth. I like watching live and recorded shows on my current iPad through the Sling Adapter that I have connected to my Hopper, and I would like to have the option to watch TV or open a document when and where I want. Hopefully the Note is better than what most others are saying about it.

  • Bottersinc

    Does this support External USB Drive via USB2Go? anyone tested?