Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition Tablet Review

Article Index

Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition's performance was a mixed bag. Taking all of our benchmarks into consideration, it's clear that the potent Snapdragon SoC at the heart of the device has plenty of power, with some caveats. While the overall graphical prowess of the tablet is satisfactory for the most part, the Note 10.1 2014's high resolution (2560x1600) screen is pushing the limits of the Snapdragon 800 SoC's Adreno GPU. Even in non-gaming use, the Note 10.1 2014 Edition offers plenty of graphically-intense use-case scenarios where it just struggled to run fluidly. Things like streaming a YouTube video while replying to an e-mail in split-screen view, or firing up an S Note and annotating a PDF resulted in occasional lag.

The exterior and design of the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition is superb. The leather-like rear backing adds a nice touch to an industry that's in dire need of design innovation. The 2560x1600 Super Clear LCD is perhaps the most gorgeous display in the tablet universe, and the 8MP rear camera is probably the most accomplished that you'll find on any slate today. Despite the fact that Samsung has added a heavy dose of TouchWiz atop Android 4.3, the feature additions are truly worthwhile, and the S Pen is more than a marketing ploy. Being able to use an intelligent stylus increases productivity in a major way, and if you're on the hunt for a business-minded slate, this one should be atop your list.

Though Samsung gets a lot right with the Note 10.1 2014 Edition, the occasional lag mars the user experience somewhat. Common operations resulted in frequent stutters, and the tablet would occasionally feel bogged down. That's particularly disheartening given just how high-end the device's specs are, but the hesitations crept up on a daily basis nonetheless. With a $500 street price for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, this is no cheap slate. In fact, it's lined up as a premium product in Samsung's portfolio. For us, that kind of MSRP should yield exceptionally smooth performance and a best-of-class user experience, but that's not what you consistently get here. Samsung's clearly on the right path to executing a business-centric slate, but we can't wholeheartedly recommend this particular one given its performance quirks. Perhaps some performance tuning and optimization will come in a future update. At least, that's what we're hoping for, because the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 is a gorgeous piece of hardware with a great screen.

  • Decent battery life
  • Nice design
  • Functional S Pen and associated software
  • Occasional Lag
  • Pricey
  • Lackluster gaming performance

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