Samsung has plenty of tablets on the market now, and it seems like they have something for everyone’s budget these days. Hitting price points from as low as $200 all the way up to a grand – if you count the LTE models. At CES 2014, Samsung announced the Galaxy TabPRO 8.4, 10.1, 12.2 and the Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 tablets. The PRO line of tablets are basically set to be the premium tablets aimed for business users. Which is evident with the pre-installed software on the Galaxy TabPRO 10.1.
Editors Note: I’ve been using this tablet for about a week now. So while it’s plenty of time to go in-depth with the device, there still might be some smaller things that I’ve overlooked. As usual, if I find those things we’ll likely add onto this review in the coming week or two before we have to return this review unit.
As far as the specs here go, we’re looking at a 10.1-inch WQXGA 2560×1600 LCD display, Exynos 5 Octa (that’s a 1.9GHz and a 1.3GHz quad-core processors together), 2GB of RAM, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, 8220mAh battery, Android 4.4.2 KitKat and Touchwiz on top. So it’s a very capable tablet, and one you’re going to love.
The Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 10.1 is about what we expect from Samsung in terms of hardware. We’re looking at a 10.1-inch tablet with the faux-leather backing. Which, obviously, feels identical to the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014. Now on the front we’ve got that WQXGA display along with the front-facing camera up top. There’s also the physical home button, and capacitive recents and back buttons there. On the top there’s the power and volume rocker along with the IR blaster. On the right side we’ve got the speaker and microSD card slot, on the left is the other speaker and the headphone jack. At the bottom is the Micro USB 2.0 port – surprisingly not a 3.0 port like we saw on the Galaxy Note 3 and 10.1 2014 Edition. On the back is your 8MP auto-focus camera.
The specs on the Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 10.1 has a 10.1 inch WQXGA 2560×1600 resolution display, Exynos 5 Octa processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot, 8220mAh battery inside, and running on Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
We have to talk about it. It’s amazing looking. Now I didn’t expect it to be terrible or anything since this is the fourth tablet I’ve used with a 2560×1600 resolution display. I’ve used the Nexus 10, Kindle Fire HDX and the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. Many people think you can’t tell the difference between a 1080p and a 2k display, but you totally can, or at least I can. But that could be because I use all these different devices with different resolutions.
Now we know that Samsung likes to cheat on their benchmarks, which has been fixed in KitKat, but just in case we are using AnTuTu X from now on in all our reviews, which will benchmark the device and keep out the artificial scores.
The battery life on the Galaxy TabPRO 10.1 is pretty amazing. Now for a tablet it’s about what I expect, but since it is a slightly smaller battery than the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, I expected a bit shorter battery life, but I was happily wrong.
The “New” Touchwiz
Touchwiz has been updated a bit in the Galaxy TabPRO line of tablets. the real big differences you’ll notice is the flatter UI. Which looks really nice, at least to me. All the icons are now flat, as well as the toggles in the notification area. Basically all the changes in Touchwiz is the UI colors. If you jump into the settings, you’ll notice everything there is flat and looks really nice. I’ll also say that Touchwiz is a bit snappier, although that’s with me using a Samsung device last October. So I think I could give a better opinion if I had a Galaxy Note 3 in hand to compare the speed of Samsung’s skin.
Now the other area where Touchwiz has changed is the Recents button. Instead of long-pressing the Home button, you can hit the recents capacitive button. Which is actually a new UI. Which is a bit smoother and appears to work better than the old multi-tasking behavior. The task Manager is a bit different too. You’ve got the four sections, for Active Apps, Downloaded, RAM Manager, and Storage. So you can Uninstall apps from the task manager, as well as clear RAM and see how much storage you have left. Speaking of storage, it appears we get about 9-10GB out of the box. Which is better than what the Galaxy S5 has.
Similar to other Samsung devices, you can long-press the back button to open up the Multi-Window feature, which is probably the best feature of Touchwiz, in my opinion. There’s also a lot more apps compatible with Multi-Window now, also you can only do two windows, instead of four which we saw at CES. You can only do four windows on the Galaxy TabPRO 12.2 and the Galaxy NotePRO 12.2.
Those that have used Flipboard will think that the Magazine UX looks familiar. It’s built from Flipboard, and is actually a pretty cool feature on the TabPRO and NotePRO devices. The Magazine UX is on the right side of your home screens. And you can have up to six sections on each page, with up to 5 pages. There are also three groups of things you can add. There are the news sections, which are Arts and Culture, Business, New and Noteworthy, News, Photos and Design, Science and Technology, Sports and Style. Then there’s social ones that are Flickr, LinkedIn, Renren, SINA Weibo, Twitter and YouTube. Finally you can add widgets. Which the ones available are Calendar, Email, Gallery, Hancom Office, Magazine Here and Now, Music, Samsung Apps, Samsung WatchON, and Video.
I currently have three pages on the Magazine UX, which the first page has 6 sections of news, while the second page has Twitter, YouTube and the calendar, then the third page has calendar and a few other Samsung apps. I’ve really become a big fan of the Magazine UX.
There’s not much to say here, because I don’t like people using tablets for pictures. However, it does have a really nice camera on the back and the front. The front-facing camera is a 2-megapixel which takes good pictures and is great for things like Hangouts and Skype.
- Display: the 2560×1600 resolution display is amazing, and probably my favorite feature, even though it’s not technically a feature.
- Battery Life: This battery will definitely get you through the entire day and then some.
- The “New” Touchwiz: Yes it’s on my “pro’s” list. I actually do like the new version of Touchwiz. Sure I’d like for it to be a bit lighter on resources, but it’s heading in the right direction.
- Lock-screen Lag: I didn’t mention this in the review, but I did do a video on it. When waking up the Galaxy TabPRO 10.1 from the power or home button, it would take a good 5-7 seconds to actually turn on. Which is pretty slow in my opinion.
- No S Pen: It’s hard to recommend the Galaxy TabPRO 10.1 over the Galaxy Note 10.1, seeing as the price is only $50 difference. But I’d say grab the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition instead because of all the S Pen features.
What do I think about the Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 10.1? Well honestly, I really like it. And I haven’t said that about a Samsung tablet in quite some time. Aside from the screen, I’m really liking the new version of Touchwiz, I’m a fan of the flat UI that Samsung is using now. I liked everything about the Galaxy TabPRO 10.1, the only thing I didn’t like was the lag from the lock-screen which I mentioned above. Otherwise it’s a fantastic tablet for $450.
Now would I recommend the Galaxy TabPRO 10.1 over the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition? Probably not. The difference between the two is only $50 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 has an extra gig of RAM, as well as the S Pen and a bunch of great features come along with the S Pen. If you’re a Galaxy Note 3 user, than the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition is a bit of a better idea for you. If you missed it, you can read our Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition review from last year here.