Look and Feel
Ah, the look and feel of the Galaxy Note 10.1. This is something I thought I would like more, but to sum it up quick; it feels cheap. At first glance, it may look quite appealing, but when you've held a variety of sturdy tablets like the iPad or Nexus 7, the Galaxy Note 10.1 definitely comes off as feeling cheap.
The back of it feels very plastic-y, and the back of the Note 10.1 can be pressed in ever so slightly. I have no idea why the Note 10.1 has this pressure point on the back, but when holding it with two hands, I could press the back of the Note 10.1 and feel it bounce back somewhat. What was Samsung thinking when this was approved and finalized in design - I have no idea? I really doubt this is something Samsung planned, as the only time that the back stops when pressing it is when you hit the internals of the Note 10.1 - not good, not good at all.
This quality even seeps into the sound of the tablet, and I really can't believe I'm even making this part of my review. I'm now about to discuss what it sounds like to pick up and use a tablet. But, it's something that really needs to be discussed. The Note 10.1 seems to be made from some very cheap material and picking it up over the course of a week or so really started to irk me. When picking up the tablet, I usually grab it and put my thumb behind it and onto the back, squeeze it and start walking, or drag it into my other hand to use it with two hands.
This is how most people will do it, as there are only limited amounts of ways you can pick up and use a 10.1-inch tablet, or any sized tablet for that matter. The Note 10.1 actually gives off a squeaky, creaky kind of noise. This is the plastic backing making the noise, and can come about even from the most careful squeeze. It's annoying, and I don't expect it from a company like Samsung.
The look of the unit itself I have no issues with, it does look great - it has similar styling to the company's Galaxy S III smartphone. We see gorgeous whites, silver trim, the huge 10.1-inch screen; it's all there on the Note 10.1.
The 10.1-inch display is a great size and feels perfect to hold in portrait mode for document or webpage viewing, but its resolution leaves a lot to be desired. Considering I can get a Retina-powered iPad for the same money that the Galaxy Note 10.1 is asking for, it definitely feels behind. I'd really love to see a 1080p (or higher) screen on the next large tablet from Samsung.
The headphone port sitting on top of the device could be moved to the side, which would be nice for viewing content and not having your headphone cord stringing down in front of your screen. But my biggest gripe of all is that Samsung opted for a proprietary connector - why, why, why Samsung? Opting for microUSB would've been a huge plus in my book.
The headphone jack could've been moved next to where the S-Pen sits in the bottom right hand corner of the Galaxy Note 10.1, that would've been where I'd like to have seen it.
The S-Pen also feels a bit too light for my liking; I would like to see some weights in the box of the Note 10.1 like you receive with a gaming mouse. This way you could adjust the stylus' weight with some extra little additions to your personal liking.