Review: Samsung Galaxy Note

Samsung has really tried hard to conquer the tablet market, doing everything it can to rival or outdo the iPad. While the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and more recently the Galaxy Tab 2 have been the flagship contenders for Samsung, a somewhat overlooked tablet also offered by Samsung is the Galaxy Note. It’s a superior device to the Galaxy Tab 2 in nearly all ways, and looks like much more of a challenge to Apple’s dominance. So let’s see whether it’s a worthwhile purchase. Key Specs For The Samsung Galaxy Note RRP: $499-$549 Release Year: 2012 Operating System: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Display Size: 10.1 inches Connectivity: Wi-Fi + Bluetooth Cameras: 8 MP, 1.9 MP Battery Life: 10 hours Samsung Galaxy Note: The Pros Fast: The first point to make about the Galaxy Note is that it’s fast. Not quite as fast as the iPad 3 sure, but not far behind. You’re unlikely to notice the difference. So whether you’re a gamer or just a casual user, you’ll find things keep on going without a moment’s hesitation. There’s no lag, menu navigation and animation is seamless, web browsing is fast with pages taking no time to load. Basically, you really don’t need a faster tablet right now – it does everything there is to do just fine. Multitasking: As with many new high-end tablets, the Galaxy Note has a quad-core processor. Not only does this make the device faster, but it also makes it better able to handle multiple applications at once. That means it’s great for anyone who likes to multitask on their tablet. You want to take notes while listening to music? No problem. You want to watch a movie while browsing the web? Go right ahead. This is a high-functioning device that delivers. 16GB Or 32GB Options: The Galaxy Note has two different storage options: 16GB and 32GB. The 16GB option is good for those who don’t store much on their tablet, using cloud-based storage for the majority of their data. The 32GB version offers a fairly standard storage capacity that competes with the iPad 3’s smaller option, as well as the majority of high-end Android tablets. Most users will find 32GB a sufficient amount of storage for their needs. S Pen: The unique selling point of the Galaxy Note is the S Pen. It’s the S Pen that gives the Galaxy Note its name – a stylus device that can be used for handwriting on the tablet. While other tablets have had pens, they tend to be similar to crayons in functionality – bold and chunky writing, and not particularly responsive. The S Pen is in a class of its own as tablet styluses go. Not only does it offer fine line quality that can capture your handwriting with absolute precision, but depending on how hard you press down with the stylus you can get a darker or lighter line. Samsung weren’t only meaning for this to work as a note-taking tool however. It’s meant to work in a similar fashion to a Wacom designer’s tablet that works with Photoshop software. A special Photoshop app has been designed specifically to take advantage of the S Pen, giving you the opportunity to unleash true creativity through this tablet. Responsive Screen: The Galaxy Note has a very responsive screen, with no delay or difficulty in getting touch commands to register. There’s never a frustrating moment when interacting with this device. Nice Design: The design of the Galaxy Note is also worth commenting on. It’s a sleek looking device that makes a clear statement of quality. From the clean lines and gloss finish to the back-plate, everything on the Note has been designed with care and attention. This isn’t a product that costs a bomb but looks cheap. Great For Games: The high speed quad-core processor on board the Note is great for gaming. There’s nothing you can play on an ipad 3, Toshiba Excite or Asus Transformer Prime that you can’t also play on this. GPS: As with many high-end tablets, this includes full GPS functionality. The GPS is fast and gives an accurate reading within 30 seconds. Not bad! Good Wi-Fi: Some tablets suffer from Wi-Fi signal issues, meaning that you can’t stray too far from your router if you want to use the internet. Fortunately the Samsung Galaxy Note has great signal pick-up, so you can enjoy it anywhere you’d expect your Wi-Fi to reach. MicroSD Expansion Slot: Another real strong-point, and one-up over Apple, is the inclusion of a microSD expansion slot. This allows you to expand the storage capacity by up to 32GB, bringing total storage to 64GB. That’s a respectable amount of storage that rivals the iPad 3. Samsung Galaxy Note: The Cons No 64GB Option: Despite the capacity for storage expansion through the microSD slot, it’s a shame that Samsung couldn’t have offered a 64GB basic storage option as the Toshiba Excite and iPad 3 both do. That’s a definite downside, especially for a device that’s partially designed for image editing – something that can take up a fair amount of storage space. Keyboard: This isn’t a big complaint, but the default keyboard on the Note doesn’t feel quite as nice to use as the Galaxy Tab’s Swype keyboard. Perhaps not everyone will share this complaint, but it does seem like a slight downgrade on the older keyboard. No USB: Perhaps the biggest disappointment with the Note is the lack of any USB ports. Sure, the iPad 3 doesn’t offer these either, but high-end Android devices usually offer USB connection, even if it’s only mini USB. If there’s another Galaxy Note to come, it’d be nice to see Samsung to remedy this. Is The Samsung Galaxy Note Worth Buying? The short answer to this question is yes, the Galaxy Note is definitely worth buying. It’s a solid competitor that stands alongside the Toshiba Excite, Asus Transformer Prime and iPad 3, amongst others, while offering its own unique benefits. The main reasons that you might want to choose a different tablet are the limited basic storage option of 32GB, and the lack of USB support. Otherwise, this is a fantastic product.


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