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?