We just sat down at Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 US launch event. First announced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, the Galaxy Note 10.1 brings Samsung's Note brand to a 10.1-inch tablet. The final version uses Samsung's 32nm Exynos 4 quad-core A9 SoC, combined with 2GB of RAM and all driving a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 display.

Samsung got Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann on stage to talk about his experience with the Galaxy Note 10.1. Ultimately Samsung is touching on a major issue with tablets today: the inability to enjoy the same level of productive multitasking we have on traditional PCs and notebooks.

The Note 10.1 brings multi-window support to Android courtesy of Samsung's own software customizations. The bundled S Pen helps on the creation side as well.

I do feel that Windows 8/RT based tablets will ultimately address a lot of what Samsung has been trying to do with Android over the past couple of years. The real question is whether or not Samsung will bring a lot of its Android experiments to Windows RT  later this year.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 will be available for purchase starting tomorrow, priced at $499 for the 16GB WiFi model and $549 for the 32GB WiFi model (white and dark gray colors available). The tablet comes preloaded with Adobe's Photoshop Touch software that's optimized for use with the bundled S Pen.

Android Tablet Specification Comparison
  ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity Google Nexus 7 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
Dimensions 263 x 180.8 x 8.3mm 263 x 180.6 x 8.4mm 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm 262 x 180 x 8.9mm
Chassis Aluminum Aluminum + Plastic RF Strip Plastic Plastic
Display 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 Super IPS+ 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 Super IPS+ 7-inch 1280 x 800 IPS 10.1-inch 1280 x 800
Weight 586g 594g 340g 597g
Processor 1.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 (T30 - 4 x Cortex A9)

1.6GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 (T33 - 4 x Cortex A9)

1.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 (T30L - 4 x Cortex A9)

1.4GHz Exynos 4 (4 x Cortex A9)

Memory 1GB 1GB DDR3-1600 1GB 2GB
Storage 32GB/64GB + microSD slot 32/64GB + microSD slot 8/16GB 16/32GB + microSD slot
Battery 25Whr 25Whr 16Whr 26Whr
OS Android 4.0 Android 4.0 Android 4.1 Android 4.0
Pricing $499/$599 $499/$599 $199/$249 $499/$549

The Galaxy Note 10.1 ships with Ice Cream Sandwich, but a Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) upgrade is coming later this year.

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  • mars2k - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    Well I for one had hi hopes for the Galaxy line. I'm no fan boy for Samsung or Apple so flaming me for what I'm about to say would just be wrong.

    I just returned a Galaxy 3s because of very poor reception across the spectrum, bad 4g and bad wifi. I measured this against my old phone and a wifi connection on my notepad. Side by side the Galaxy was the worst, slipping in and out of the bare minimum of what would be considered any signal at all.
    This terrible reception happened on the first Galaxy 3 and the replacement unit my carrier sent. So guys this was no fluke. 2 Galaxies similar circumstances = poor/unusable reception.

    Next we get to the ergonomic problems. The on/off fell right under my index finger or thumb depending on which hand held the phone. On a call I could turn the phone off in mid sentence. Great business impression that makes.
    Another ergonomic problem was, while talking, my cheek would dial away on the keypad. So picture it…..Talking to a customer, turning the phone off and on while randomly beeping away, oh yeah and poor reception.

    I don’t get it, all this hype about Galaxy and its performance in the real world is a nightmare. Owning this phone set complicated my life not enabled it. What where all the reviewers thinking?
  • voodoobunny - Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - link

    Does Samsung seriously expect to get any traction with a 10-inch tablet that only has 1280x800 resolution (the same as the much-smaller Nexus 7), when their Android competitors are doing 1920x1200 and Apple are hitting 2000x1500? Are they *trying* to fail?
  • warisz00r - Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - link

    Do all the other tablets have a Wacom digitizer?
  • Roland00Address - Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - link

    I pressed a Samsung rep asking if it is a wacom digitizer and he stated he was not allowed to disclose the OEM of the digitzer except to say it has 1024 degrees of sensitivity and it is similar to the wacom tablets we are familiar with.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - link

    Slower hardware, inferior display, inferior app library, all for the same price as an iPad.

    You can be sure that the Apple haters will be calling this the next big thing!
  • abhaxus - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    Slower hardware? The Exynos Quad is signficantly faster than the iPad's A5X. The GPU is not as fast, but for those of us that use our tablet for productivity or web browsing, that doesn't matter in the slightest; and even that slight amount is negated by the lower res display not needing as much GPU power anyway.

    While I love the idea of the retina display, I see no difference at normal viewing distance between it at the 1200p displays, and very little vs the 800p displays. I can tell you from being on the salesfloor at an electronics store that most consumers don't see a difference either. 1200p sells tablets on the internet, but when confronted with choosing one over the other on display quality, people choose the iPad2 over the 'new' iPad, or the TF300 over the 700.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    Productivity and web browsing are a wash between the two, benchmarks have shown this. They've also shown the massive gulf in GPU performance, so the A5X is a net win. The advantages of the retina display are obvious at normal viewing distances. Text in particular benefits huge, to say that it doesn't matter says more about someone's eyesight or standards than it does the quality of the device.
  • medi01 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Yep. "inferior app library", merely 500 000+ apps that can do more than what iOS apps do. Who could get away with just half a million apps eh? I bet iOS has 550k apps, whopping 10% moar.
  • retrospooty - Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - link

    "Does Samsung seriously expect to get any traction with a 10-inch tablet that only has 1280x800 resolution (the same as the much-smaller Nexus 7), when their Android competitors are doing 1920x1200 and Apple are hitting 2000x1500? Are they *trying* to fail?"

    This is more of an extension of the note line with higher res digitizer than any other tablets for people that need that type of detail. It's not a "tablet for the masses". 1280x800 is plenty for a 10 inch screen for most users. Its still better than the iPad 2. The only thing I would say is is should be cheaper based on the low res LCD specs. $399 max.

    It does have the fastest CPU available today in the Exynos, but that is not enough to justify this at $499 vs. the other products available at the same price.
  • medi01 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    I bought a new tablet about 2 weeks ago. Compared Toshiba A series, Acer's (or Asus's, don't remember) thingie with high resolution and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2.

    And you know what? I went with Samsung. While additional resolution on AcerAsus was nice, otherwise screen was just vastly inferior to Samsungs. (contrast/ brightness / viewing angles, colors)

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