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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 review

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 V3

A solid tablet, but the S Pen features don't really deliver on Samsung's bold professional use claims.


Light, great performance and battery life


Poor image manipulation software, screen could be better

Overall Rating:

4 Star Rating: Recommended

Price: £400

Manufacturer: Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet is a device that, at first glance, looks custom designed for professional use, integrating the S Pen technology and features originally seen on the Note smartphone with the added incentive of Adobe's new Photoshop Touch software.

S Pen, Photoshop Touch and Note app
Samsung claims that the Note 10.1 is tailored to professionals, featuring an S Pen Stylus and multitasking features tailor made for note taking and graphics work on the go.Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 S Pen

The S Pen is a stylus-like add on that clips into the bottom of the Note 10.1. Testing the pen we were pleasantly surprised how responsive it felt, with the S Pen easily recognising various pressures and reacting accordingly.

It's worth noting though that the S Pen is significantly smaller and thinner than equivalents seen on regular tablets like Wacom's Intuos and Bamboo series. This means that in hand, professionals used to using dedicated graphics tablets will take a while to get used to the S Pen's dimensions.

Another small annoyance regarding the S Pen is that you can't customise the function of its shortcut button while using photo editing software. Instead the button is purely designed to open shortcuts within the Note 10.1's Touchwiz interface.

While the lack of customisation options aren't a real problem for general use, they become an annoyance when trying to edit images using the tablet's preloaded Adobe Photoshop Touch software.Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 doodle

The lack of shortcut customisation options is unfortunately one of many features missing on Photoshop Touch, which features an incredibly stripped down toolbox and filter portfolio when compared to its desktop counterpart. Additionally, the Touch version sets a size limit of 2,400 pixels on any new piece, making it ill-suited to large digital painting projects.

Next: Operating system, design and build.

Processor: 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos
Display: 10.1in 1280x800
Storage: 16GB, 32GB or 64GB storage
Camera: 5MP rear-facing, 1.9MP front-facing
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Ports: MicroSD
Operating system: Android 4.03 Ice Cream Sandwich
Dimensions: 262x180x8.9mm
Weight: 600g

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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