Back in late February when the Samsung unveiled two new 10.1-inch tablets I believed that neither model would be able to compete against the upcoming iPad that was to be announced in early March, which is pretty much what happened with their predecessor. I am obviously talking about the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and the Galaxy Note 10.1.

The latter, a new member of the Galaxy Note family, appeared to be the higher end model between the two. And with Samsung, alongside Google execs, confirming independently that their tablet strategies have not really paid off in the previous year, I would have expected the Galaxy Note 10.1 to become a flagship device that Samsung will pitch against the iPad 3.

However – in what felt like a deja-vu 2011 moment – Samsung decided not to launch the Galaxy Note 10.1 version it announced at MWC, but instead to keep working on it and re-release an improved model later on. The Galaxy Note 10.1 was re-unveiled at a special event on August 15, and since then the device has started selling in various markets.

If that sounds awfully familiar that’s because it’s what Samsung did last year when it announced its first 10.1-inch at MWC 2011 in February, only to make some significant modifications in the following weeks, once the iPad 2 was launched, to better compete against the new iOS tablet. The first Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet became a Vodafone-only Galaxy Tab 10.1v, while the “new” Galaxy Tab 10.1 was unveiled in March 2011 at CTIA.

But is the new Galaxy Note 10.1 a device a worhy iPad alternative? Based on one exhaustive, and very impressive review published by Android Police the conclusion is that not only it isn’t, but you should stay away from it for the time being. The tablet has some very interesting features, in theory, on the software side, but since Samsung is not in control of the Android core elements, these ideas can be implemented directly.

As for the hardware side, the Galaxy Note 10.1 appears to be a very cheap product, despite being priced at $499 (see videos above taken from the same review), a starting price comparable with the cheapest new iPad available in stores.

Here are some quotes from the conclusion of a very thorough review that calls the Galaxy Note 10.1 what it apparently is, “embarrassing, lazy, arrogant money grab” and more:

So my message to Samsung [on the software side] is: If you can’t do this correctly, stop skinning Android. You’ve been trying and failing for so many years and nothing good has come of it, so just stop. Even when you have a good idea, like split screen and floating apps, you don’t control the right parts of Android to make it work. So just accept it and leave the OS development to the professionals. You can’t add any worthwhile functionality at the layer you normally change, and you have no taste for design. Stock Android is so good now, messing with it is like getting a fully-cooked meal from a famous, 5 star chef, and then smothering it with ketchup. So stop.

And as for the hardware: Please don’t buy this.

Samsung is the world’s largest Android OEM, by a huge margin. They need to get the message that this kind of half-assed, lazy, profit-margin-first style of device building is unacceptable.

The hardware is pure, unadulterated garbage. The build quality is so bad, I think it gave me cancer. Samsung gave us last year’s display tech and saved their best tablet screen for Apple.

It’s been about 1 month since Google forever changed the Android tablet landscape with the release of the Nexus 7, and it’s clear the Note 10.1 was designed and priced in the pre-N7 dark ages. This tablet is bad at any price point, but, somehow, Samsung found the courage to chargefive hundred dollars for it. That’s 2-and-a-half Nexus 7s, and, to be honest, the N7 feels more expensive than the Note 10.1.

The saddest thing is, Samsung can do so much better. The Series 9 laptop guys make beautiful, kick-ass products out of aluminum every day. In fact, they use some crazy aluminum alloy called “Duralumin.” I want that. You guys also make the iPad display, why don’t you just whip up a widescreen version? Is the mobile division entirely run by passionless, cost-cutting bean-counters? Show some pride in your work, pull the best parts of Samsung together, and make something great.

The overall impression I get from this is arrogance. “We’re Samsung. You slobs will buy anything we crap out. We don’t have to try, we don’t even need the latest components. You’ll buy it no matter what.”

If that kind of Apple-fanboy-like Android-product-badmouthing sounds awful, but also kind of exciting at the same time, then you absolutely have to read the whole review, available at the Source link below, because officer Ron Amadeo from the Android Police has some really nasty, yet totally understandable things to say about this Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. And since this review appeared on an Android blog, chances are that it already went viral, with both Android fans and haters using it as ammunition in their mobile debates.

On a different note (pun intended), Apple’s and Samsung’s lawyers should get a copy of this piece, as it could help them better attack/defend against copy claims.

The moral of the story seems to be quite simple though: don’t buy, at least for now. The price will go down in the coming months anyway, especially with that tablet coming out soon.

But let’s hear it from actual Galaxy Note 10.1 buyers, and future Galaxy Note 10.1 buyers: how is your Note acting up?

  • Interesting. Well, we can all agree there’s no substitute for unfiltered opinions. I didn’t buy one, I only tried it for a half hour last week at the press event i hope i can get a Google PR person to extend a Nexus line invite to me because I’ve heard good things about that line. I’m gonna follow you on Twitter because you seem to know lots about Android stuff.

  • Nasry Al-Haddad

    I personally disliked tablets not so long after the first iPad was released. A friend of mine successfully persuaded me that tablets are useless. At least for me, I found them useless. But then he seemed to love tablets and bought an iPad which he takes with him everywhere. Tablets might be useful for some people/business, but not me. Just saying in order to mention that I never used a tablet, neither Samsung’s nor Apple’s nor any kind of tablet. So my opinion is based on what people/articles are saying about Apple’s and Samsung’s tablets.

    Back to the subject, I think Samsung is doing some business with it’s tablets, instead of doing some great hardware as in its Galaxy phones. Samsung manufactures several hardware components for several (all?) Apple devices. Even with Samsung grabbing much of Apple’s market share in mobile phones, Apple is still Samsung’s customer for iPhone and iPad components.

    Now Samsung makes profit from its Galaxy Phones and tablets, in addition to making profit from hardware manufactured for Apple’s devices. If Samsung chose to really compete with Apple in the tablet market, I’m 99% sure it will cause much trouble to Apple. Apple might then reconsider its hardware components’ manufacturer. And if that happened, Samsung will only be making profit from its own Galaxy Phones/Tablets. So it will end up in less profits, even if it succeeded in beating Apple in the tablet market too.

    • CrAppleJinxer

      Samsung has made very little profits selling parts for iPhones and iPads. The margins on fabricating chips is really small, since they have been giving Apple a 20% Volume Discount. While also investing 10x more money in R&D and Marketing compared to Apple alone. Plus Apple has NO FACTORIES to invest profits and revenue in. That’s why it only appears Apple makes more money. It’s all part of their delusions of grandeur and thinking they can forever magically turn Other Company’s Money (OPM) investments in CAPEX and R&D Innovation into their own year after year.

      Reality is rather grim for Apple’s future. 1st off they’re still using a antiquated weak and broken down old file system from Apple IIc single threaded chip days! lol…. and that’s precisely why iOS devices are so weak. It’s why they can only run one app at a time, solve one problem with limited Real Time control all locked down in lame backwards compatibility. It’s why Apple will have to do a ground up rewrite, since iOS kernel is not have “Hardened Security” like the NSA wrote in Security Enhanced (SE) Linux. It’s the same Linux kernel that runs 1000’s of Super Computers and IBM’s Watson! ……so Power? Android has all the power in the WORLD AT IT’S FINGER TIPS!

      Samsung? They are the reason Apple’s iPhone project was even successful in the first place with their direct engineering help and they had SGH-Z610 Smart Media phone out a year before it. Well now Apple’s lost that 20% volume discount. Plus worst of all…. the Benefits of having parts made in America, that come with huge fringe benefits in TAX and DUTY FREE Status of SAMSUNG’s FTZ (foreign trade zone) in Austin Texas, will be gone soon. Lose SAMSUNG as a friend and parts supplier and Apple’s profit margins are going to hell in a hand basket! ;-p …….yeah lol… former #1’s DELL, HP, SONY and Microsoft all thought “OUT SOURCING” everything would keep them forever RICH TOO! ^_*

  • anon

    I have fooled around with a bunch of these at various stores up and down Calif since the 16th and have not found one that looked or performed as described in that article. I think many of the poor comments and POOR informed comments stem from people who expect one thing and do not get it and then whine like incessant babies over it. Many of the technical comments made in that post are ignorant of the technology, this goes for much of the body of the comments section too. Understand the key tech and you will clearly see why Samsung did not use a Higher rez display.

    Software side of things is mostly opinion. Some have no issue others venomously HATE anything skinned. I found it ok and worked as expected. However I have not had much experience with android on a tablet.

    Costs are clearly ignorant vomit due to his anger at the defective casing. NO account is taken at the additional costs to develop/license (wacom) the digitizer. Consider a tablet that is just a input device costs nearly half of what the note does. Closest competition is not the Infinity/insert android tablet, it is windows based tablet devices starting in the $1200 range. Some reaching up into the price of $3000.

    In the end he has some valid points but wastes them with childish commentary and clearly biased opinion prior to writing the review or even looking at the device. Anyone would clearly clue in if the thing crack and pops and looks like the one he had that SOMETHING was wrong.

    This does bring up a point. If this was due to defect was it from samsung or from abuse as a review unit like sitting in a UPS truck for hours in the sun? Then becomming this horrible mess that it became? Like those vhs tapes you left in the summer sun on the dash of the car.

    The review has had me pause in my consideration of a tablet. Not because of it’s brilliant writing (or lack of) but because maybe this defective unit is what they look like after a session in the tanning booth. So instead of buying a tablet I will wait and see how opinion of OWNERS are over the long run.

    One example is not of the whole, as a reviewer one should question a device that looks like this.

    Conclusion and opinion of the article itself, a poor FOX NEWS like way at tackling a important issue of quality. His review would have carried more weight without the clear bashing and prior dislike for a manufacturer. I do not mean to kiss ass but unbiased opinion and intelligent opinion vs poor attempts at sounding hip and in to get the popularity points. I saw this as a poor attempt to garner traffic to the site through abrasiveness and controversy than real reporting.

  • Tablet pc user

    What a horribly short sighted, crass, and ironically lazy review. So he didn’t stop for a moment to think he may have had a defective unit? Well, defective or not, I’m going to address this reviewer’s whining about the screen resolution. Does he not realize how friggin expensive wacom screen tablets are? Clearly he has no appreciation of the fact that tablets that use wacom do not offer higher resolutions. His naivete begs the question of what kind of technological experience and credibility he has besides being a writer (social science majors don’t count). Anyways, you’d find a similar resolution I believe on a samsung series 7 slate which is an 11.6″ device. Anyone who’s uses a tablet (mine’s an elitebook hp 2740p, which has the exact same resolution – 1280×800 – as the note 10.1 but with a lower ppi because it’s a 12.1″ screen) will appreciate the note 10.1’s screen. This guy clearly does not use wacom tablets and should not be the one giving advice on the note 10.1. What a quack.

  • karen110

    Well, all I can say is that I went out and bought one and I love it. It doesn’t make strange noises and I can’t seem to get it to bow and deflect when I pinch it — curse my lack of herculean strength. I haven’t notice any lag either but maybe I don’t have enough apps running. Though I did put quite a few third party apps on it.

    What makes this thing great for me is what it can do. Finally I can take notes in my meeting like a human. No carrying a pad and a pen and a tablet and a carppy stylus that skips and drags on the screen. I can take pictures of parts and import part math renderings, edit them by hand, then send them back to the designer for changes. I can draw new part ideas and send them to the supplier to have him mock-up a model in math. I can take pictures of warranty issues, circle problem areas and routing issues and send those back to the plant for review. The uses of this tablet are endless for me. And that’s all the things I can do with it at work. . . now lets talk hobbies. . . for me that would be photography and art . . . need I say more.

    • Jeff Phillips

      Agreed. Bought this tablet last week and so far i love it. Gave my new iPad to my wife. Honestly, I have to wonder if the poor reviewer got a defective test unit? Seriously, I have had none of the issues he describes. Plastic is not aluminum, agreed, but mine has absolutely none of the give he complains about . The screen looks great, apps run fast, I am typing this on it right now. If this is the tablet you want; get it.

      • santisima51

        he got a defective attitude.

  • stfual

    I’m in Singapore and I just went to buy one at the main Samsung store in Vivo. Having dealt with a totally disinterested sales person there I went onto a computer shop and gave up. I have never seen such a poor product launch. 1:they are only selling white 16gb versions. Early adopters for Samsung are not apple lovers. Early adopters want the best stuff and don’t want it in Apple puke white.
    2: the price is a gouging 500UKP That’s with only 7% vat not the 20% the UK pays.
    3: the Samsung brochure proudly proclaims games and video in full 1080p HD which unless they are throwing in an HD adaptor and HD tv is not possible.
    4: the instore specs claim 16gb upgradeable to 64gb. When I challenged them to sell me a 64gb version firstly they told me they didn’t have the memory cards and then admitted no more than 32gb could be added. They don’t know when 32gb black will be available.

    How hard can it be for a marketing group to get 20 features together for a product launch without lie checking and considering the target market. Which now makes me think the best product marketing people inside of Samsung don’t want to be associated with their tablet range.

  • Galactus

    Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is the best tablet on the market right now. It doesn’t have the higher resolution, it doesn’t have a aluminum body, it doesn’t come with Jelly Bean and it doesn’t have the most powerful hardware. Nonetheless, if you want to read scientific articles comfortably, you gonna need a 10 inch tablet, because a 7 inch tablet will not do it with those small letters (unless you like to be scrolling a page around). To read articles and books in pdf on the Note 10.1 is a great experience. But there are other 10.1 tablets with greater specs than the Note 10.1. Why the Note stills the best? Because it allows you to use the tablet for other things than just viewing stuff. You can really take notes (Lecture Notes app), make annotations on pdfs (ezPDF is a great app), draw stuff, make mind maps, etc. The 10 inch screen makes writing on it a pleasure. So, if you actually want to do something with your tablet other then just consume media, the Note is the ONLY option around.

    • CrAppleJinxer

      Don’t ever expect the ignorant morons here at Android Authority to ever get it right as far as SAMSUNG vs CrApple. They still think Steve Jobs is Alive on Apple farm in Oregon taking a bite out of each one to leave his mark on the living, who may be SAMSUNG FANS! lol…..

      Ron Amadeo? The demented iGenius should go to work for Apple. Since he claims to know how everything from SAMSUNG works. He even thinks he knows to code in Java no less. But…. what a crock of shizt that is. The fool thinks Parent/Child windows in Java are how SAMSUNG is doing it’s magic multiple windows tricks on Galaxy Notes. hahaha….. actually if you kill the parent window in Java Apps, you also kill the Child Windows. So obviously Ron knows absolutely nothing about programming! ;-p ……and obviously this iDiot knows even less about SAMSUNG!

      Because Galaxy Note 10 can do things no other brand can and if I was SAMSUNG I’d be suing the **** out of this phoney Android site. They never say a good thing about the largest most successful #1 Smartphone Maker and Electronics Conglomerate in the World!