Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) Review and Gaming Performance

Posted by B. Johnson
January 19, 2014 | 0 comments
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) Review and Gaming PerformanceHi tablet gamers, welcome back!

Just a moment ago, i’ve already showed you one tablet made by Samsung, which i thought could be a good gaming tablet, but not great.

And that tablet was Samsung GALAXY Note 8, an 8-inch stylus-dedicated tablet and it’s definitely a perfect tablet for people who love taking notes or even drawing professional paintings on tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) benchmarks and gaming performance

However, based on my personal review of that tablet, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is not a great gaming tablet given that its hardware are not that powerful enough to handle the latest graphically demanding games like GTA San Andreas or Asphalt 8: Airborne.

I mean, this tablet is a good gaming tablet, but not that great compared to other rivals around the market, like Google Nexus 7, Kindle Fire 7 HDX, Tegra Note or LG G Pad 8.3.

Well, that’s not surprising because GALAXY Note 8 was genuinely intended by Samsung only as a note-taking tablet, not a gaming tablet.

However, seeing that the other GALAXY Note series that were released last year (Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Note 10.1 and Note Pro 12.2) are more powerful in handling games than Samsung Galaxy Note 8, then as a customer, you should expect the same thing on the entire line of GALAXY Note series, right?

So hopefully, the next-gen Samsung Galaxy Note 8 could be so much better than current-gen device, especially in handling the latest graphically demanding games on the market today.

Anyway, after showing you guys here about the personal review and gaming performance of Samsung Galaxy Note 8, today, i want to show you the other model of Note series.

And that is the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.

However, given that this series consists 2 different cellular connectivity supports, LTE and 3G models, and they both are packing 2 different chipsets, Snapdragon 800 for the LTE model and Samsung Exynos for the 3G-only model, then i will focus first on LTE model, and then followed by the 3G-only model with Samsung Exynos on the next review.

Well, if you’re interested to know more about this tablet, especially its gaming performance, then here you go, my personal review of Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE.

Introduction

Ever since the original GALAXY Note series made its first debut a few years ago, it suddenly became the new era for bigger screened smartphone.

The first Samsung Galaxy Note model got a warm reception by many markets all over the world, especially in the developed countries.

What made people attracted with this big fat smartphone was definitely its stylus, which came bundled with the smartphone.

Today, this Samsung GALAXY Note series finally made it to the latest generation model, Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

And just like what Samsung has already done before in the previous-gen Note, there are 1 other model released in the same generation.

And that is Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.

And recently, Samsung just outed the other Note model in the same generation, Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, which i’ve already showed you in my previuos article.

However, this Note Pro 12.2 is actually the bigger stretched-out version of Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE, given that it comes with the same exact internals and design like the 10.1-inch model, only with more matured and improved software aimed at more professional and productive users.

On the other hand, despite not having the “Pro” nametag plus other software goodies found on the Pro 12.2-inch version, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE is actually still as great and powerful as the bigger Pro model.
  • It has the same Snapdragon 800 processor,
  • Adreno 330 GPU,
  • 3GB of RAM,
  • the same 8MP camera,
  • the same 2560x1600 pixel resolution display,
  • the same design,
  • the same stylus and its port,
  • the same LTE support
  • and pretty much everything on this 10.1-inch model is the same one found on the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, except its UI of course.

And given that this 10.1-inch model is packing one of the most powerful processors on the market today, then we can expect Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE to be a great gaming tablet, just like any other rivals across the market to date, like iPad Air, Sony Xperia Tablet Z and some other more.

Design

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) Review and Gaming PerformanceIn terms of design, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 actually takes some design cues from its older brothers, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Samsung Galaxy S4.

However, the Note 3 is actually the one that has more influences to the design of Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, where it has that round metallic trimming around the side of the tablet, not to mention the faux leather finish and fake stitching on the edge of back cover.

Overall, the design of this tablet actually looks quite nice and elegant, especially compared to the older flagships from Samsung, like Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or Samsung Galaxy S3, which have that bulky and chubby design all over them.

Thankfully, the design of Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is way different than the predecessors.

I think this tablet will look good if used by professionals or even office staff, given its huge screen estate and elegant looking design.

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  • Released October 2013,
  • S Pen stylus
  • 10.1 inch Super clear LCD capacitive touchscreen, 2560 x 1600 pixels, (~299 ppi pixel density)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 CPU (LTE model)
  • Adreno 330 (LTE model) GPU
  • 3 GB RAM
  • Android OS, v4.3 (Jelly Bean) Samsung TouchWiz UI
  • microSD Card slot for up to 64 GB
  • 16/32/64 GB Internal storage
  • 8 MP rear-facing camera, LED flash
  • 2 MP front-facing camera
  • Micro-SIM
  • GPRS
  • EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
  • Radio TBD
  • Java
  • Bluetooth
  • Infrared port
  • GPS
  • USB
  • Battery Non-removable Li-Po 8220 mAh battery
  • Up to 2230 h Stand-by
  • Up to 10 h (multimedia) (2G) / Up to 49 h (3G) Talk time
  • Up to 98 h Music play
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 comes with some heavy monster specs on it, like:
  • a 10.1-inch display sporting the resolution of 2560x1600 pixels,
  • a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor,
  • whopping 3GB of RAM,
  • Adreno 330 GPU,
  • 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash,
  • 2MP camera on the front,
  • microSD card slot for up to 64GB to support the 16/32/64GB of internal storage,
  • 8220mAh power battery,
  • complete set of cellular connectivity from WiFi/3G/LTE,
  • and a bunch of other standard features.
Not to mention, this tablet also comes bundled with the usual S-Pen stylus and its dedicated hole on the back.

With all of these goodies, then Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE is definitely a high-end tablet on the market to date.

Screen

When it comes to display, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 has the best and highest resolution display on the market to date, especially for 10-inch tablet market.

With the resolution of 2.5k or 2560x1600 pixels on a 10.1-inch screen, everything that you throw on the screen will definitely look insanely sharp and extremely clear.

So if you love watching full HD movies, reading books or magazines, browsing the web or playing games, all of these tasks can be accommodated very well on this tablet.

And thanks to the huge screen real estate on this tablet, when browsing the web or reading books/magazines, text can be read and images can be seen perfectly in normal view, eliminating the needs to zoom in zoom out the screen.

Features

As a note-taking tablet, then it’s so obvious if this tablet comes with some features related and integrated with its S-Pen stylus.

If you’re a type of users who love writing notes or drawing something on a tablet, then your hobbies can be accommodated very well on this tablet.

There are some cool features found on this tablet, like the dual multi-window mode, cropping the screen or screen shot with S-Pen, productivity-related apps like Polaris Docs and word editing software and many more.

But one of my favorites is definitely the dual multi-window mode, which allows you to open 2 different apps at the same on the same screen.

In order to activate this feature, you must firstly open the multi-window apps on the left navigation window (which can be activated by sliding the screen to the right from outside the screen, not inside the screen).

Once the vertical navigation window is opened, you can pick any app (like web browser, chatting app, gmail app, video player or anything) and drag it to the screen.

And if you want to activate the dual-screen mode, you need to add one more app through that vertical navigation window, and then drag it to wherever around the screen, either above or below the previous multi-window app that you just opened.

Actually, you can activate this mode even when currently opening any app in one full screen, without the dual-window mode.

So once you add one more app to the screen, the previous opened app will share the window to the new opened app. And voila.. the dual-window mode is activated.

Okay, my explanation is quite confusing, isn't it? But well, hopefully you get my point.

This feature actually can be found on other Samsung GALAXY devices, like Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 > 10.1 and 12.2.

However, only Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 and Tab Pro 12.2 that have that 4 multi-window mode, which allows you to open 4 apps at the same time on the same screen.

Performance

In terms of performance, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 really screams. And really loud. I mean, really.

With the specs like Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor clocked at 1.9GHz per core, 3GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU, this Samsung’s Note tablet is a real beast.

In fact, this tablet is one of the best, or even the best 10.1-inch tablet around the market to date.

iPad Air may be really popular around the market, but still, its display is still lower than the one on Samsung’s note tablet.

Meanwhile, the other similar 10.1-inch tablet with the same 2.5k display (2560x1600 pixels) like, say, Google Nexus 10 made by Samsung, may have the same exact quality display, but still its hardware is not on par with the Snapdragon 800 and Adreno 330 GPU inside this Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.

When it comes to performance, the LTE model of Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is way better than the 3G-only model of Note 10.1, which is packing Samsung’s homemade Exynos 5 processor, which has 8-core CPU compared to the 4-core CPU on Snapdragon 800.

But given that the Exynos processor inside the 3G model actually only deploys big.LITTLE architecture, (with 4-core Cortext-A15 handling the big heavy tasks (like gaming, watching HD movies, etc), while the others 4 cores of Cortex-A7 taking care of the lightweight simple tasks (like checking emails, reading text, etc), then the real life performance of this chipset is not that powerful compared to the Snapdragon 800 quad-core chipset.

As a matter of fact, I’ve actually already seen the 3G-model of this tablet perform, compared to the LTE model, and it’s really buggy and slow especially when browsing to the news feed with thumbnails (sorry, i forgot the name of this feature).

On the other hand, the LTE model of Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, which is packing the Snapdragon 800 CPU, is way much faster and smoother in many ways, either in daily task performance or even in gaming.


So if you’re planning to buy Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 in the near future, i strongly suggest you to pick up the LTE model given that this version is more powerful and smoother than the 3G model.

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Besides really beast in performance, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is also great for playing games.

With the goodies like Snapdragon 800 chipset, Adreno 330 GPU and big fat 3GB of RAM, you can pretty much throw any games on Google Play Store, even the latest most graphically demanding games like GTA San Andreas, Asphalt 8: Airborne or Dead Trigger 2, and play them in buttery smooth performance and the most importantly, in full graphics.

However, there is one thing that keeps bugging me with this tablet, actually not just this tablet, but also the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Based on what i’ve seen and heard from many gamers, these 2 GALAXY Note tablets really struggle when playing GTA San Andreas in full graphics.

According to them, this game can run but not so smoothly in full graphics.

There have been talks that the developer of this game, Rockstar, is the one to blame, because the game still contains bugs which need to be fixed (which have already been fixed by the way).

So in my opinion, i think the TouchWiz software of these tablets, which is heavy and full of Samsung’s bloatwares or pre-loaded apps (given that these are Note tablets and have rich stylus-dedicated features), is the other one to blame if games can’t run smoothly.

This actually contradicts with the other smartphone, Google Nexus 5, which is also packing the same exact Snapdragon 800 chipset, just like these Samsung Galaxy Note tablets.

According to video reviews that i’ve seen on YouTube, interestingly, GTA San Andreas can be played in buttery smooth performance in full high graphics.

I think this is not that surprising because this Google Nexus 5 only comes with the stock UI of Android OS, which is way lighter than the TouchWiz Android OS on Samsung Galaxy Note tablets.

However, overall, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE is still a great gaming tablet.

In fact, it is one of the best gaming tablets that you can find on 10-inch tablet market to date, alongside iPad Air, Sony Xperia Tablet Z (with Snapdragon 600) or the recent-released Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE (with Snapdragon 800).

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Camera

Samsung’s GALAXY devices, especially the flagship ones, have been known to have some great quality camera on them, either it’s 5MP or 8MP camera, the quality of videos or photos taken with these Samsung GALAXY devices is just great.

So you can expect the same thing on this Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.

Even if you’re not a big fan of taking pictures with a huge 10.1-inch tablet, the 8MP camera on this tablet might come in handy especially if you forgot to bring your smartphone or digital camera at your disposal.

The great thing is, there is also the LED flash found on this tablet, meaning that you can take some great shots in low-light condition.

But make sure that Linus Torvalds (the father of Linux) is not around when you’re taking photos with this huge 10-inch tablet, he would laugh at you really hard (lol :D).

Anyway, on the front side of this device, you’ll also find the 2MP front-facing shooter, enabling you to do selfies or video calling in your spare time.

Battery Life

In terms of battery life, it’s great to see that this tablet is packing a rather huge 8220mAh power battery.

This battery capacity is considered as pretty huge for today’s standards of 10-inch tablet market.

To make some comparisons, iPad Air comes with the similar huge 8020mAh power battery, while Lenovo Yoga 10 Tablet and Google Nexus 7 from Samsung are packing a staggering 9000mAh battery, not to mention Acer Iconia Tab A700 comes with a 9800mAh battery, which is the biggest battery capacity around the market to date.

So for doing some daily tasks in mixed usage with screen-on and off, like watching full HD movies, browsing the web or listening to music, you can expect this tablet to last in more than 1 day in one full charge, or even 2 days.

And if you’re gonna use this tablet for doing some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen, like watching full HD movies in marathon or playing games in the row, the battery life of this tablet actually is still really good even in hardcore usage and could even last in more than 1 day.

So if you’re looking for a 10-inch tablet with powerful long lasting battery life, then this Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE can be a great choice for you.

However, if you turn on the LTE all the time and let all the features of this tablet integrated with LTE connectivity (like widgets, emails, etc), then the battery life will drain much faster, although it still last longer for a 10-inch tablet.

My Personal Opinions

So to sum this up, i think it’s really easy for me to recommend you a tablet like Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE given that this tablet has many things that users want from a 10.1-inch tablet, like:
  • an insanely sharp 2.5k display (2560x1600 pixels),
  • powerful “beast” hardware,
  • fast and smooth performance,
  • great gaming capability,
  • awesome S-Pen stylus,
  • S-Pen dedicated features and apps,
  • long lasting battery life,
  • extremely fast LTE connectivity,
  • great camera quality (in fact,
  • one of the best cameras in town alongside iPad Air’s 5MP camera),
  • feature-rich software
  • and pretty much every thing.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is definitely a great, in fact, a perfect choice for those of you who are looking for a 10-inch note-taking tablet with powerful performance, insanely sharp display, great gaming capability and long lasting battery life.

This tablet will be perfect to use for professionals or artists or even just casual people who have hobbies like writing notes or drawing paintings, even professional ones.

However, as i mentioned above, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 consists 2 different models, the one with only 3G connectivity and the other one, which i’m currently showing you here, with the LTE connectivity.

What makes them different are actually the processors inside them, the 3G model getting the Samsung Exynos 5 octa-core chipset, while the LTE model taking the Snapdragon 800.

I strongly suggest you to pick up the LTE model of this tablet because based on what i’ve seen on video reviews on YouTube (the Verge), the 3G model of Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is really laggy and buggy in performance, especially when handling heavy tasks.

On the other hand, the LTE model of this tablet is really fast and smooth, way faster than the 3G model.

So with that being said, then you must definitely choose the LTE model of this tablet if you want to get the best experience and performance of this 10.1-inch Note series.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. So this is just like Read more...
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