New Galaxy Note 10.1 in stores now, and boy is it expensive


WhistleOut
26 November 2013

Samsung’s 2014 Edition Galaxy Note 10.1 is now on sale in Australia, but its price tag might keep it out of reach this Christmas despite impressive tech and features.

Two models are available: the Wi-Fi only 16GB and the WiFi + 4G 16GB for $649 and $799 respectively. This makes the Note 10.1 $50 more expensive than a comparable iPad Air and up to $200 more than most 10-inch Android and Windows tablets in market today.

With pricing for the tablet higher than many of its competitors, Samsung is hoping to sweeten the deal with a pack of pre-loaded goodies including:

  • One month free trial with Samsung Music Hub
  • 8 weeks of free movie streaming with Quickflix
  • Bonus 50GB storage for 2 years with Dropbox,
  • A free 12 month Bloomberg News subscription

The Note 10.1 will be available from today in Samsung Experience and participating retailers.

Under the hood

It might be expensive, but Samsung certainly makes sure that its flagship tablet has all of its best tech. The new Note 10.1 has an impressive display.

The old one was good enough at 1080p (1920 x 1080) with a pixel density of 149 pixels per inch (ppi). The new panel rocks a 2560 x 1600 resolution with 299ppi. That’s double the pixels of not only the previous version, but of most full-HD big screen home televisions.

The 4G LTE version runs on a powerful quad-core 2.3GHz CPU and 3GB of RAM. The WiFi-only model does things a little differently with an octa-core processor comprised of four 1.9GHz cores and four 1.3GHz cores, making it one of the most powerful tabs on the market. Both versions should allow for a smooth experience even with Samsung’s top-heavy Touchwiz UI.

All of this is crammed in to a super-thin profile of just 7.9mm with a weight of 549g (WiFi model). It’s not quite as light or thin as the new iPad Air, but it makes up for it in features and hardware specs.

Other Specs include:
  • 4G LTE: Cat4 (4G model only)
  • 8MP rear camera
  • 2MP front camera
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • 8220mAh battery
  • 243.1 X 171.4 X 7.9mm
  • Weight of 535g (WiFi Version)

Why it might be worth it

The new Note 10.1 may be expensive, but it also offers an experience that other tablets don’t. We’ve already gone over its amazing screen and powerful hardware, but there are also a few features to be considered. Specifically, Samsung’s Multi Window and Pen Window will benefit hugely from having a large display.

Multi Window is a newish Samsung feature that splits a device’s screen between two different apps, with the user deciding the size of each app’s window.

On the 10.1’s larger screen we can see a lot more potential for utility, as well as supporting three or even four simultaneous windows instead of the usual two.

Pen Window opens an app in a smaller separate window. The difference is that the pen window size is decided by drawing a box with the S Pen, in to which the Note 10.1 drops a tab displaying the app you’ve selected. This tab can be dragged around the screen and floats over the top of any other windows or apps.

On a handset Pen Window’s usefulness is limited to quick actions like the calculator, and doesn’t really offer enough benefit to bother with anything more complex like YouTube or Hangouts.

This could be very different on a larger screen. We can especially see the benefit in opening a small hangouts tab that remains unaffected by opening and closing other apps, watching videos, or by browsing the internet.

These two features, as well as the general usefulness that the S Pen brings to the table, are another reason that we think the extra $50 you’d pay for Samsung’s new flagship tablet could be justifiable over buying an iPad.

That being said, it’s difficult to judge a device’s quality just by looking at it on paper. We learned when we did our Galaxy Note 8 review that just because a tablet has great specs and intriguing features doesn’t mean it’ll translate in to a great user experience.


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