Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 Review

March 15, 2014
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Get the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1

Alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was also launched the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014), featuring the same faux leather back as the flagship phablet. Following that, Samsung introduced a new PRO line of tablets, in an effort to update its tablet offerings in various sizes, which also saw the introduction of the Tab Pro 10.1, despite there already being a pretty high-end 10-inch tablet around. So, is the Tab Pro 10.1 just a Note 10.1 (2014) without the S-Pen? We find, in our in-depth Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 review!

At a Glance

Pros

  • High-resolution display
  • Great performance
  • Expandable storage
  • Impressive battery life

Cons

  • Magazine UX and TouchWiz somewhat disappointing
  • High price point

Design

samsung galaxy tabpro 10.1 aa-20140314-045-9

From you first glance, you might feel like you know exactly what to expect from the Tab Pro 10.1. The design elements that was first introduced with the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014), is what you get with every tablet in the PRO lineup, with the faux leather back cover that rounds out what is otherwise standard Samsung fare.

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You get the usual trio of buttons at the front, with¬†the physical home button and a couple of capacitive keys, with the noticeable difference being the replacement of the menu button with one to access Recent Apps. You’ll find the power button and volume rocker at the top when in landscape orientation, with a microSD card slot on the left, and the dual speakers to the sides.

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With its thin profile, light weight, and flat sides, it is somewhat easy to get a grip on the device, but ultimately, handling the tablet is definitely more of a chore than a breeze. Typing especially isn’t the easiest experience, but things¬†do¬†get more comfortable over time.

Display

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One area where Samsung didn’t want to compromise in with its latest crop of high-end tablets is with regards to screen resolution, with all the PRO tablets featuring a high resolution of 2560 x 1600. Granted, this isn’t particularly groundbreaking when it comes to 10-inch tablets with the Nexus 10¬†boasting the same resolution, but it works just as well, if not better, on the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1.
A pixel density of 299 ppi provides good sharpness for all the text you may want to read, and colors shine through, as in the norm with the high quality displays from Samsung. While for various reasons we do prefer the sub 10-inch form factor for tablets, the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 provides a great experience, and proves why there is still a lot of merit in the larger tablet size.

Performance

samsung galaxy tabpro 10.1 aa-20140314-062-13 The trend of no compromises continues with regards to the performance as well, with¬†non-LTE version we’re working with here featuring the powerful Samsung Exynos 5 Octa processor with a 1.9 GHz and 1.3 GHz quad-core combo, coupled with the Mali T628 GPU.

As expected, the processing package gets the job done, even with the very demanding TouchWiz UI. That being said, you do face occasional instances of stutter here and there, but that is more an issue of the feature-heavy user interface, as opposed to being a fault with the processor.

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That being said, the general performance and multi-tasking capabilities of this tablet don’t come into question, as you can get whatever you need done, even if you have to wrestle with the software to get there.

Hardware

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This isn’t a comparison with the Galaxy Note 10.1, but it has to be said that without the S-Pen and its added functionality, the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 is made of pretty standard tablet fare, of course, along with everything Samsung could throw into it.

You get the usual 16 GB or 32 GB in-built storage options, with the welcome option of expansion with the presence of microSD card slot. If mobile connectivity is something you need, an LTE variant of the tablet is also available, sporting a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, but apart from that, you get every other connectivity option with the Tab Pro 10.1. Extra Samsung connectivity also makes a return in the form of WatchON, a robust controller system that allows you to manipulate things like televisions, consolidating your tablet and TV viewing experience.

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Dual speakers are always a welcome sight, and in this case, they certainly get the job done. Allowing for very loud volumes, you can easily share your media with anyone around to watch or listen.

No concessions have been made when it comes to the battery of the Tab Pro 10.1, with the tablet sporting a huge 8,220 mAh unit that should keep you going for days. You’ll get at least a full day out of the battery even with heavy usage, and with average use, you may be able to push the battery life to at least a couple of days.

Camera

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Tablets with rear cameras is a given nowadays, even if they are considered rather secondary, but that doesn’t stop Samsung from putting its best forward.

What you get with the Tab Pro 10.1 is an 8 MP rear shooter, that is backed by an app that is packed with an impressive set of features, with quite a few modes available with the Galaxy S and Note series of smartphones making an appearance.

Nevertheless, it’s hardly a primary camera, mostly because you probably won’t want to take pictures with a¬†tablet out in public, but if you do need to in a pinch, the camera will certainly do a satisfactory job.

Software

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If you’ve followed the reviews of the other Pro tablets from Samsung, you would know by now that while¬†the enhanced version of TouchWiz does bring some new features to the table, it’s essentially still TouchWiz, which is perhaps the biggest disappointment for anyone looking for a major overhaul.

samsung galaxy tabpro 8 screenshot aa (1)

The often bloated and¬†otherwise pretty cluttered motif of Samsung’s UI gets the exciting new addition of the Magazine UX, which unfortunately does face some issues. Used primarily as¬†a front end to Flipboard, the second screens don’t provide much more than just glimpses into news sources, and¬†even when you actually want to dive in, it take you¬†through layers¬†of the app before you reach your destination. Along with the hangups that you might run into while trying to customize your experience, the Magazine UX falls short of¬†providing what could have been an amazing user experience.

Outside of the Magazine UX, you still get the same multi-tasking capabilities with features such as MultiWindow, which works as expected, and is very useful¬†on¬†a tablet with this size. If you’re¬†used to a more stock-like experience, the¬†inclusion of a Recent Apps capacitive button brings a more familiar form to multi-tasking to the fray.

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At the end of the day, even with all the small aesthetic¬†changes and the introduction of the Magazine UX, it’s difficult to shake the feeling that you’re still using TouchWiz, and that means¬†that it comes with the same fundamental problem. While the¬†feature-packed software has a lot to offer, it isn’t quite perfect at doing any single one of those things.

Specifications

Display
10.1-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) Super clear LCD
ProcessorWiFi and 3G: Exynos 5 Octa (1.9 GHz QuadCore Ôľč 1.3 GHz Quadcore
LTE : Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.3GHz Quad
RAM2 GB
Storage16/32 GB, expandable
Battery8,220 mAh
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac MIMO (2.4 & 5 GHz), Wi-Fi Direct, AllShareCast, BT4.0, USB3.0, GPS + GLONASS
Cameras 8 Megapixel, Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash
2MP front camera
SoftwareAndroid 4.4 Kitkat
Dimensions243.1 X 171.4 X 7.3mm, 469g (WiFi version), 477g (LTE version)

Gallery

Pricing and Final Thoughts

The Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 is now available with a hefty price tag of $499. While you get quite a few extras in the installed software suite, along with added vouchers for various services, the question that will come up for a vast majority of users is whether the price justifies the core experience.

And the answer to that question entirely depends on how powerful you want your tablet experience to be. Since¬†the primary reason for picking up a tablet¬†is heavily based on media consumption, the Galaxy¬†Tab Pro 10.1 does¬†provides everything you might need to make that fun experience a reality. In many ways, you get what you pay for, with the high-resolution display and the powerful performance, but on the flip side, it’s a little unfortunate that the software experience is so inconsistent.¬†But then again, that’s something¬†you might have¬†expected from¬†a Samsung device, and if you’re willing to look past it and the high price point, you might just have one of the best 10-inch tablets¬†available in the market today.

Get the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1

Comments

  • Maid agencies in Singapore

    I was wondering whether to get samsung galaxy tab or iPad Retina… Both have their strong pros and cons….
    Maid agencies in singapore

    • Michael Samsara

      It depends I suppose on what your intended application of the pad is going to be as well as the degree of freedom you desire in terms of how you wish to use your device. The pricing – I just checked – of an Apple iPad Air with a 9.7 inch retina display and 32 GB of storage (all sealed within and inaccessible – meaning you can’t never, ever – unless you send it back to the factory – get a new battery) is $599.00 at Staples – in the U. S..

      I felt Joshua did a really good job with this review – contrary to what was stated in the rather confusing condemnation given it by Jusephe above. Touch Whiz obviously is not exactly Joshua’s cup of tea but I, personally, like it when a reviewer gives us the good, the bad and the ugly and then leaves it to us to make our own decisions – which of course we will do anyway!

      If I were in the market for a tablet – for business purposes or even personal ones and needed a larger display so I could share presentations or movies with someone, etc – from what is said, I think it would be hard to go too far wrong with this tablet. It has power, a high resolution screen and a long, long lasting battery, which will mean you can leave your charger at home. The iPad only promises “Up to 10 hours” – whereas Joshua said the Samsung can go for possibly 3 days (see YouTube video – if you haven’t).

      Of course, for myself, the thought of buying a “Please lock me up and throw away the key – I never really wanted to be free” Apple product – doesn’t even enter my purchasing consideration equation.

      I like replaceable batteries, micro SD cards and the knowledge that a marketing corporation – disguised – though thinly veiled – as a tech corporation – isn’t dictating to me how I may use my device.

  • Jusephe

    AA you are crazy or what ? You are doing this for some time and I found it ridiculous !

    Samsung galaxy tab pro 12,2:

    “There‚Äôs also an 8MP rear camera and a huge 9500mAh battery to get you through all those meetings,”

    Sony Xperia tablet Z:

    “Moving on to the finer hardware details, the Xperia Z2 fits in a decent 6000 mAh cell behind the 10.1 inch display, ”

    Samsung galaxy tab pro 8,4:

    “As far as power goes, you do get a decent amount of battery life with the 4,800 mAh unit of this tablet,”

    And now again !
    “No concessions have been made when it comes to the battery of the Tab Pro 10.1, with the tablet sporting a huge 8,220 mAh unit that should keep you going for days.”

    I just don’t know to what you compare these tablets to ? To the phones that you call those batteries decent/ huge ? I would compare them to tablets !
    Or you just didn’t got your hand on a truly long lasting tablet with huge battery (eg. iPad) to make a more decent comparison how good those are compared to tablets as a whole ?

    I’m just aren’t getting it…

    • N4

      This site is about devices that run android, not about devices that run iOS.

  • V-Phuc

    @Joshua Vergara, This is the million times I’ve asked you this question and you just seem to dodge it every single time. What is the TRUE available internal storage on the tablet, after all the bloatware? Just seems to me that info can be easily found right after you turn on the tablet, no? IMO, that info is VERY RELEVANT, much more than the camera and software that you devoted an entire section to each one of them. Who cares about camera on tablet? Didn’t you yourself say it looks funny and recommended not to take pics with tablets? Software, isn’t it updated every 6 months? Does it matter it runs KitKat or not, it will change soon. Completely irrelevant info but made into sections, whereas important info was left out. What/s the deal?

    • Later

      A little late here, but I just got one and set it up. After the apps that installed due to Google backup and restore, I’m at 9.82GB. I think it was a little over 10 when I first started, but didn’t think to check before all those installs kicked off.

  • V-Phuc

    Waiting…forever…for an answer. What’s the biggie? Is that info so secret that takes forever to find it?

  • Tran Nguyen

    Joshua, you forget to explain the miniUSB 2.0 plug charger . It’s terrible to plug at day and night because it’s only one way to plug in. The device’s miniUSB will be damaged if you plug it wrong way.

  • Web Design

    I got this and samsung note 3 together for my work purpose. Really awesome products made by Samsung. Go for it guys,

    Singapore Web Design