For all of Samsung's high-end smartphones and phablets, the company's tablets have always leaned a bit towards the mid-range. That changed today, though, as the company finally unveiled a ten-inch slate that does the Galaxy brand proud. Unveiled alongside the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear, the 2014 edition of the Galaxy Note 10.1 has hardware that's as solid as any you'll find in a full-sized tablet.
Unless you count the Samsung-made Nexus 10, the 2014 Note 10.1 is the company's first high-resolution tablet. Staying true to its name, it has a 10.1-inch display, and packs over four million pixels. We're looking at 2,560 x 1,600 resolution, which comes out to 299 pixels per inch (PPI). That's quite an improvement over the previous Note 10.1's 1,280 x 800 display.
The new Note 10.1 should be no slouch in the performance department either. The LTE version packs a 2.3 GHz quad core Snapdragon 800 processor, while the HSPA+ and Wi-Fi only models have an octa-core processor clocked at 1.9 GHz. All versions of the new Note 10.1 ship with an impressive 3 GB of RAM.
Despite its upgraded specs, Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 presentation focused more on its features. Being a part of the Galaxy Note line, the tablet sports an "S Pen" stylus, along with a bag full of note-taking software goodies. These include carry-overs from the Note 3, like Action Memo (for quick notes), Scrapbook (for storing various saved content), and Screen Write (screenshots that you can annotate).
Multitasking is also a big focus here, letting you open multiple instances of the same app at once. This opens the door to things like running multiple chat windows side-by-side. Like the Galaxy Note 2's Multi Window software, though, we're a little concerned that the list of compatible apps on the version will be scant and largely Samsung-made.
The new tablet also joins the Galaxy Note 3 in switching from Samsung's glossy plastic to a soft-touch finish with stitching. It isn't real leather, but it's certainly "leathery."
All of this adds up to a 535 g (18.87 oz.) slate. That's 18 percent lighter than the iPad's 653 g weight, though Apple is also expected to release a much lighter iPad within the next few months. The Note 10.1 measures in pretty thin as well, at just 7.9 mm.
The new Note 10.1 will begin rolling out globally later this month. Samsung hasn't announced any pricing for the new tablet yet. If the previous model is any indication, though, it starts at US$500 for the 16 GB model.
Gizmag is on the ground at IFA 2013, where Samsung's new trio of devices were announced. Keep an eye out for more Galaxy-related hands-on coverage soon.