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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1: In-depth review and user experience

Well, well … what do we have here? Go, if it's a new device that I don't know how or why it ended up in my hands. And it is time, after a few days of intense use (but really intense), to offer a complete review of the latest model in the Galaxy range as far as tablets are concerned. But don't expect a "type review", with the typical characteristics, benefits, what brings and what does not, performance tests, comparatives (some small mention to others there will be), etc.

This time I will do it in a practical way, and not so technical, because I think there is no other way to do it. I'm obviously talking about Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, a really spectacular "tablet" (quoted) and I would even say that it cannot be compared to any other tablet in the sector right now. The first impression before going into details is: AWESOME. That easy. It has left me totally amazed, and much of it is thanks to the S-Pen, which we will talk about in detail below, but which is the icing to be able to catalog this tablet one of the best (if not the best) in the market .

*Clarification: Consider the focus of this analysis, as well as the aspects on which the operation of the tablet is focused.

First impressions

We will start with the first impressions that he transmitted to me when he took it out of the box. Having it for the first time in my hands, my surprise was how "light" it was, since it seems a rather heavy tablet, but they are "only" 600 gr compared to the 680 of the Asus Tranformer or the 650 of the iPad. The difference may not be much, but you can tell when you have it in your hand.

After getting all the protection plastics that I had around, which seemed excessive to me, and proceed to the eye inspection, I must say that even though it is of a plastic material, it is of very good quality, and it does not look like a shabby or "cheap" thing, no matter how much people insist on that.

The screen is great, and the side speakers, even sacrificing some size (increasing it in this case), are very well integrated. It is true that it is not a small tablet, but when we are talking about these types of devices, a few millimeters or so are completely irrelevant. The touch is also very good, and can be held perfectly with one hand without becoming heavy (always within limits). When starting for the first time I was also surprised by the sharpness of the screen, and when playing the video that is prerecorded is when you really realize what it is capable of offering.

First minutes

When we start for the first time, and follow the corresponding steps, there comes a time when it allows us to add our Dropbox account, so we deduce that it is already preinstalled, but the good thing is that if we do, they will give us up to 48GB of space for 2 years, which is not turkey mucus.

Already underway, the behavior is very fluid, with very smooth transitions between desktops and with a very good screen response. The menus and configurations are very similar to the latest models of the house, but the truth is that they have done a good job in terms of the personalization layer. Very intuitive and accessible menus thanks to its screen, and which still differs quite a bit from the "classic" menu of Android, it seems magnificent.

After moving a little through your "insides", see the preinstalled applications, settings, etc, You have the feeling that what you have in your hands is not an Android anymore, it is not a Tablet anymore, and what you have seen so far, while still good, is nothing compared to what this "little" thing can offer. And so it has been.

What's so special?

He has many things special, but the most important is, in effect, the S-Pen. For those who do not know what I am talking about, the S-Pen is a pencil that brings the Samsung Note range (such as Note phones, or Note 2), and that offers us some extra functions that make it really interesting. This pencil has the characteristic that does not work with a conventional smartphone / tablet, which already gives us an idea that it is not the typical standard pencil that we can buy in the Chinese. I wanted to leave a special section to talk about the S-Pen, but it is inevitable to name it continuously, so we will do it together with the review in general.

And after this "brief" introduction, let's really see what Note 10.1 is capable of offering on a day-to-day basis. As I said, I will explain how I have been using it and the impressions it has transmitted to me, rather than giving you data, numbers or the like.

The day to day at work

The first thing I tried were the possibilities that the S-Pen gave me in front of the finger. Obviously you can scroll through menus, desks, etc. both "by finger" and with the S-Pen, but this one It has a small button that gives us access to some extras. To start, if we keep it pressed and then press on the screen for a few seconds, a screenshot will be made, but with a very important difference from a “conventional” capture: by doing it this way, Not only do we take the photo, but it opens in a quick editor that allows us to crop, draw, color or write on it. It also comes with the Polaris office suite, which allows us to create text documents or spreadsheets in a very complete way, almost as if it were a computer. The visualization of PDF files is also possible, but the possibilities are smaller than with Adobe or other programs, since we cannot write about them directly, neither underline nor annotate.

And speaking of text editors, It's time to mention another great feature of the Note: S-Note. It is an application that becomes a notebook, in which we can take notes in different ways, with predetermined templates or a blank sheet to start from scratch. This is, for me, the big difference compared to other tablets, and what makes it really special. I can only say that it is a spectacular, magnificent, incredible tool … I will explain some reasons, and incidentally talk about other very interesting extras.

In my case, I have decided to thoroughly test the Note at the university, checking if it really is as useful and comfortable to take notes and notes as Samsung tells us. On Monday I took her to class for the first time, leaving aside the classic pen and paper, which some looked at me with a weird face to see that I was about to take notes "with that." Here I began to see the potential I was able to offer.

At first I doubted if it would be as fast as with paper, since certain professors instead of blood have kerosene in their veins and their classes and explanations should slow down in half to be able to take a quarter of what they say, but after 2 minutes that feeling disappeared.

The accuracy of the pencil is really good, fast and nothing is missing the traditional. Quite the contrary. With the Note we have at our disposal a whole range of colors, sizes, types of writing and rubbers that even being so large, the change between them is really fast. Leaning your hand on the screen is no problem, since we can activate that you only write using the pencil, which prevents us from accidental writing. When writing we have a floating window (which we can close if we don't need it) from which with a single click we change the color, size or tip, and that we can move to any part of the screen so that it doesn't bother us. With this I have gained in clarity of notes, since with colors everything is cleaner, clear and easy to understand than everything in black or blue. But the thing does not end there.

As many of you know, the university bases its notes on some hundreds of thousands of PDF files that you have to download at your own risk, so instead of printing them, I put them in the Dropbox and consulted them from the tablet itself. Thanks to multitasking I can switch between the PDF and my notebook, which allows me to have everything I need for class in a very small space. And as I said, thanks to the Adobe application or similar, we can take notes on the same PDF, with the advantage that if we do it from Dropbox, it will be synchronized automatically. Although there is another interesting detail to comment.

If you do not have stunted short-term memory, I have commented that we have a very useful way of taking captures and editing them at the moment; Well, thanks to that, we can capture the PDF’s, trim what interests us and embed it from our note very quickly, which substantially improves our notes. And in addition, all those captures we make remain in the clipboard, so we can use them as many times as we want. This feature has an advantage, and if we use a lot of certain graphics, tables that we must fill in or blank diagrams, it will be enough to make a capture and in a matter of seconds we will have it at hand and we should not draw it every time. And after throwing ourselves 2 hours taking notes, with colors, drawings, images … What do I do with it?

The logical thing is to think that we will use the tablet itself to study or review these notes, although there is still more. We can organize all those notes in folders and / or subfolders, assigning a name to each of them in order to carry a correct order; We also have the possibility to synchronize all those notes with Google Drive or Evernote, although it does so in S-Note format, so with this we make sure we have a copy in good standing.

Peeeeeeero We have the possibility to export that note to PDF’s and send it directly to Dropbox or another service (thanks to the sharing possibilities offered by Android). Now we have access to our notes from anywhere. I repeat that despite all this, its use is VERY fast and you don't waste time doing all that at all(beyond the initial moments of "learning").

Not everything is work

Indeed, not everything is work, so you have to talk a little about the "other side" of the Galaxy Note 10.1, which returns it to the natural "habitat" of the tablets. Starting with the screen, which is what you see most, say it's spectacular, with incredible brightness and superb sharpness. Video playback is great and looks and listens great, including with headphones. Regarding the "internal" screen size, it has a grid of 7 x 8 icons, which is more than enough to have widgets and shortcuts. Widgets also work fancy, allowing them to be large enough to have a comfortable use but without having to have 1 or 2 maximum per screen. And to show this, I leave you below a screenshot so that you see that even having 5 widgets, does not give the feeling of "overwhelm" and everything is relatively broad and at the same time useful. The desks can be sorted at our whim, and we can add or remove whatever we want. Initially 5 come, but we can have more or less, according to our needs.

Another very interesting feature that I could have mentioned before is that of be able to work split screen. What does this mean? Well, we may be browsing the Internet while we are taking notes, viewing a PDF while writing an email, or watching a video / having the music player open while we are working with Polaris. At first it seems very useful to work, but I have the small screen and it becomes unhelpful, although it may be for another person. The negative part of this is that we cannot do it with all applications, but only with those that come by default. Namely: Polaris, Browser (internal), Video / music player, S-Note, Mail (internal). It would be a hoot to be able to use another browser, for example, or to be able to do this with any application.

And for the most artists, the Photoshop application is installed by default, but it is not a simple mobile gift application. It is a really complete Photoshop, and that requires a certain knowledge of the application to be able to take advantage of it 100%; layers, filters, brushes … almost like the desktop version.

I also bought Adobe SketchBook Pro when it was on sale for € 0.25, and I must say that it is spectacular how it behaves with this tablet. The possibilities and properties of the S-Pen with its different levels of pressure are very good, and if we also draw quickly, sharply raising the pencil, a path is left that "fades" as if it were a real brush.

Others and extras

And I think it is another to summarize in a few lines what remains to be commented. On one side, The battery is 7000 mAh, which gives us a real autonomy of at least 10 hours in a daily use. It took me that time to spare while the screen was on and writing. Of course, it takes his time to load; of the order of approximately 4 hours If it is quite downloaded.

The screen appears to be quite hard, because I have put the occasional time with the clock and no trace. At the bottom we will see the classic Android icons: back, home, multitasking and other "extra". Initially it serves to make quick screenshots, but it is customizable. In the center we will always see a small arrow that It opens a pop-up menu with a few applications such as a calculator, calendar, quick note, player … Also customizable.

And back to the S-Pen, as a last trick, if we are surfing the Internet, for example, and want to write something down, pressing the S-Pen button and double clicking on the screen opens a quick note in a floating window; In it we can write, paste a previously cut text, paint, etc. So we do not have to leave what we are doing.

And I think with this You can already get an idea of ​​what this magnificent tablet can offer. Obviously it is not all or much less, because an article would be 4 times longer, but to compensate for what is missing, I will make a videoreview as soon as possible so you can see firsthand how it behaves, but if you have any special questions, You know, comment and I will try to answer as many as I can. To end, I can't do anything but strongly recommend this tablet, as well as covering the "typical" needs of these types of devices, it has other aspects that make it really impressive. I have fallen in love, and I still say that you can not compare at all with another type of tablet.

Here you have a gallery with some photos so you can compare with a Nexus 7 and a Galaxy Nexus, and in a short time you will have the videoreview, so stay tuned.

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