Review – Samsung Note 10.1 tablet – fantastic for taking notes

Image:Review - Samsung Note 10.1 tablet - fantastic for taking notes

I have wanted a tablet PC for years, in fact the strap line for this blog talks about living with a tablet PC.

The problem is that it never really worked for me. I would inevitably need to use my tablet laptop for both doing a demonstration or taking notes. I gave up on the tablet PC and decided to wait until I could have a device that was additional to my laptop,

The iPad came along but without a proper pen – as in a pen based on a digitiser – it didn’t do what I wanted. It was great as a consumption device but not for note taking.

Then I got a Samsung Note 10.1 3G tablet about 2 months ago and I have been really pleased with it. It has a proper digitiser pen and the bundled Samsung Note software seems pretty good. I had hoped to use Evernote but this does not work with the stylus.

The tablet is running Android and is pretty good but it is definitely a flakier experience than the the iPad. Apps available for both iOS and Android seem less refined on the Android, the BBC iPlayer being a good example.

The stylus makes up for it though, it is a brilliant note taking device. There is some text recognition functionality but I am happy with just written notes.

There are options to send PDF copies of my notes to colleagues although it doesn’t improve my handwriting or spelling 🙁

I had hoped to use the tablet as my single unified work device and drop my traditional mobile but that is not really working out. I did get a Plantronics Voyager Bluetooth headset and while I am pleased with some aspects it has not been a brilliant success. I have ended up still having my traditional phone and directing my office number to both devices.

Positives

Stylus
Android 4.1
It takes a normal SIM card
Lots of Apps ( although I mostly use the supplied ones )
Comes with a huge Dropbox Allowance

Negatives ( although the positives outweigh these )

It is hard to get though a busy day of note taking on a single charge. You need to turn the screen brightness right down.
For a work device I would happily trade 25% more weight for battery capacity
The battery is built in ( I always swear I will never buy another device like this but do )
It will only charge from the mains – you cannot charge it from another computer – at best it will stop discharging
It is a proprietary charging socket ( again I always swear I will never buy another device like this but do )
There is confusion around the SD card size limits for the different versions ( 16GB Vs 32 GB etc.. )
It doesn’t feel as solid as the iPad although it is pretty good

Apps I have installed

IBM Traveler
Twitter
IBM Meetings
IBM Connections
Folder Sync ( allows auto sync with Dropbox )
Drop Box
Google Maps
FlickFolio ( Flicker sync tool )
CSip Simple( couldn’t get the native android SIP functionality to work )
LinkedIn
Absolute RC Plane Simulator ( amazing )

Accessories I have bought

Screen Protectors – not great but I am waiting for a better brand to produce some

Case – pretty good and allows pen to be removed

Charging stand Will only charge properly when plugged into the mains rather than a PC. Will discharge slower if plugged into PC  – Device cannot be placed on stand while in case