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Featured Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 on Verizon

March 31, 2013 - Written By Alexander Maxham

So we’ve had the Galaxy Note which was released in 2011, then the Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Note 2 released in 2012, and the Galaxy Note 8.0 coming sometime this year. At CES in January, Samsung and Verizon finally announced that the Galaxy Note 10.1 would be coming to their network with 4G LTE. So what was the first thing that crossed our minds? How big is that logo going to be? We all know how Verizon branded the home button on the Galaxy Note 2, which if you haven’t you can check out my review of the Verizon Galaxy Note 2 to see how bad it looks. Anyways, the Verizon Galaxy Note 10.1 has a big logo on the back, big surprise right?

Design

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The Galaxy Note 10.1 seems like a cross between the Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, as far as design goes. Despite being plastic, it does actually feel pretty good in the hands. Comparing it to the Nexus 10, it’s a bit heavy, but the Nexus 10 is unbelievably light. You’ve got front-facing speakers, similar to the Nexus 10 and HTC One. It also has a power button, microSD card slow, volume rocker, SIM card slot, IR Blaster at the top of the device. On the back you’ve got your camera and flash along with that big Verizon Logo.

Operating System

The Galaxy Note 10.1 is running Android 4.1 – Jelly Bean with Touchwiz on top. As much as I don’t like Touchwiz, it’s not terrible on the Galaxy Note 10.1. Now it is a Verizon device, so you know there are plenty of bloatware on the device. But most of the apps are able to be disabled. The S Pen works great with many different apps and features, and I think it works better on a tablet than on a phone.

Features

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It is a Samsung device with Touchwiz, so you’ve got S Voice, S Beam, and many of the other same features as we’ve seen in the Galaxy Note 2. Also multi-window is enabled on the Galaxy Note 10.1, which you can see in the image above. My favorite feature on the Galaxy Note 10.1 was multi-window. It brings multi-tasking to a whole new level. The Galaxy Note 10.1 also has an IR Blaster, like several of the newer phones released this year. It uses Peel and you can control your TV from your tablet. Pretty cool right? I Have it set up to control all the TV’s in my house, which is pretty freakin’ awesome!

Bloatware

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The Galaxy Note 10.1 has over 50 new apps pre-installed thanks to Samsung and Verizon. While there aren’t a bunch of Verizon apps, only about 3-5 apps that are Verizon’s the rest are Samsung. Most of these are apps you’d probably never use. But it’s nice to see Photoshop Touch installed on the Galaxy Note 10.1 out of the box.

Battery life

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Battery life has been fairly good for me. Not as good as the Nexus 10, but at the time of writing this I can still get about another day out of it. As shown in the screenshot above. I’ve never gotten less than 2 days out of the battery on this device. Which is pretty impressive, especially for having such a bright LCD display, which is like a light bulb.

Benchmarks

Java Script Performance

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Vellamo is the benchmark we use to test the Javascript and HTML5 of the Galaxy Note 10.1. As you can tell from the screenshot above, it beats every other device out there. But most notably it doesn’t list the HTC One, or Galaxy S4. Which I’d expect both of those to beat the Galaxy Note 10.1 since they have updated internals.

Low Level FP

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Linpack measures the MFLOPS of the device. Which helps us find out the speed of the CPU based on the ROM and device. The Galaxy Note 10.1 scored pretty high, so as expected it’s fairly fast.

GPU Performance

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Finally, GLBenchmark measures the GPU performance of the Galaxy Note 10.1. And it does pretty good overall. This is probably the most in-depth benchmark we run on devices for reviews, as it tests quite a bit of different things on the GPU. Check out the scores above.

Camera

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The camera is a bit awkward to use, since you’re holding a 10-inch tablet to take pictures. But they are at least decent. The pictures above are of my Nexus 4 indoors. As you can see, it’s not the best, but not the worst either.

Display

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The display isn’t the best, but it’s also not the worst. It’s an LCD display with a 1280 x 800 resolution. So it’s not up to par with the newer devices with a 1080p display, but it’s not bad either. As is typical with displays from Samsung it’s also rather bright.

 

Network Connectivity

The Galaxy Note 10.1 has connectivity to Verizon’s 4G LTE network as well as 3G, along with Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth

Pricing: The Galaxy Note 10.1 is $599.99 from Verizon, without a contract.

Pros

  • S Pen, most people think its overrated, but it works really well on tablets. Especially for the creative type
  • Great sound from the Front-facing speakers
  • Fast 4G LTE speeds

Cons

  • Really bright LCD display
  • Huge Verizon 4G LTE Logo on the back

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Overall the Galaxy Note 10.1 is a great tablet, and one I’d probably pick up if I were the creative type. If I didn’t already own the Nexus 7, I’d definitely pick up the Galaxy Note 10.1 Like I said earlier in the review, the multi-window is my favorite feature. It means I can put my email next to Falcon Pro and do some real multi-tasking. Now for $600 from Verizon, I’m not sure I’d buy it with 4G LTE. I wish Samsung and Verizon would sell it a bit cheaper. But it’s not a bad device at all, and definitely something I’d recommend, depending on what you want/need a tablet for.