I had originally bought the first Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. I liked it a lot, but there were things that I did not like. For example, I did not like that Samsung had a special cable adapter and it didn’t use a micro USB cord. I was not particularly fond of the placement of the S Pen at the bottom right of the tablet either. The placement of the S Pen kept me from using it as much as I could have because when you have the tablet tilted on a stand, you must lift the bottom of the tablet up to get access to the S Pen.
The movement of the S Pen and the use of a standard micro USB cable were huge factors in my decision to sell the old and purchase the new as soon as I could do it feasibly. The 2014 edition of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 has the S Pen moved to the top right corner of the tablet. It does make it quite easier to get access as long as you have a case that is specially designed for the Samsung Note 10.1 2014 Edition. Best Buy’s own Rocketfish has a nice leather case for it, but there is no cut out for the camera. Obviously that is a fail.
Belkin fared better than the Rocketfish as the company makes 2 different portfolio leather cases for the special tablet. I ended up purchasing the more expensive of the 2 for the face that it stood up easier. The difference was only $10, but the choice of color is as limited as the Best Buy’s inventory of the Samsung Book Cover, only in black. Black is fine, but I did purchase a white tablet to match my white Samsung Galaxy S4. Samsung does sell a white book cover for the newer Note online for $59, which by the way is $20 less than what Best Buy sells the same one in black in the store. I really liked the Garnet Red book cover I purchased for the original Samsung Note 10.1. I would like another color for the new one as well, but know the importance of protection and utilization and is the reason why I purchased the Belkin cover.
The Belkin cover does have a perfect cut out for the micro USB plug which can be used to connect to your computer and/or charging when the cover closed over the face of the tablet. I was really happy that the opening was big enough for a chunky micro USB plug I purchased on EBay. So both of my major gripes about the original one were fixed with the 2014 Edition of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 so let move on to features.
The new expanded features of the 2014 Edition were great, but not a complete selling feature for the tablet for me. I was very happy that you can have the same app opened in 2 different windows side by side… as long as they were a Samsung specific app like the factory browser. It doesn’t work to have 2 Chrome windows open side by side. This feature gets me closer to wanting to ditch my Windows based computer, but not perfect yet. The new and improved S Pen is near perfect with the different functions to add a note directly to your contacts and to open a small window with a task in the middle of what you are doing.
Besides the S Pen and multitask options being improved, you will receive $50 of Samsung Hub credit and $25 of Google Play credit when registering your tablet with your Samsung account. I quickly utilized the credit to rent some movies to watch through Chromecast, but the Samsung Hub would not allow me to save the movies to watch later without using up precious system memory. I thought a 16GB device would be fine and I will just add a big card to the external memory. Chromecast doesn’t use your system memory to watch movies, but the Samsung Hub will run you out of memory very quickly.
To free up memory, I found myself clearing out the Samsung Hub data from the system memory after watching a movie so my device didn’t slow down for other things. The Samsung Hub was even more difficult to use to watch a movie on your TV if you do not own a Samsung Smart TV or Blu Ray player.
Without a Samsung smart device, you have 2 choices left on how to watch the movie. Watching the movie on the tablet wasn’t too bad because the sound from the on board speakers is really good. Unfortunately there were moments of lag which were probably due to the limited system memory. If you still would rather watch it on your HDTV, you just need to get a Samsung HDMI adapter, which requires a micro USB plugged in while in use, and by the way it only costs $42.
Add another $25 to that $42 and you can purchase a Samsung Smart Blu Ray player and just broadcast the picture wireless to your HDTV. I chose this route because I did not want to have to drag a cable into the family room and connect it just to watch a movie through the Samsung Hub. We are not messing with the family VCR from the 80′s. WTF!
I thought I had everything the way I wanted it until I discovered some cool, new, free games through Google Play. As soon as I had a free minute at home I started to download Asphalt 8 and then Injustice. Injustice would not download because I was out of memory. I have a 64GB micro SD card in the external slot so I thought I would just move some of the applications over to it. That didn’t free enough to be able to do anything good. I removed the Dark Knight game, but was not going to remove Madden 25 because I just installed it recently and wanted to try to play it.
It is like having a limit of how many games you can have like when you were a kid asking for a quarter from your mother for a piece of bubble gum. Heaven forbid I decide to use the Samsung Hub to watch another movie. This was the last straw. I did have a problem with the tablet restarting itself over and over before it had its first update. I was about to take it back then but I found something online that said it was being caused the GPS location, so I disabled it. Thankfully the problem appeared to work itself out so it left me still with the problem of lack of system memory.
Being short on memory felt unfair like receiving a brand new Ferrari that doesn’t have 5th or 6st gear. This table is top of the line, but lack of system memory felt like a restricted plate on the race car. I decided that I should have spent another $50 and got the 32GB tablet rather than trying to make due with this 16GB one. I am within my return period, so it is going back tomorrow. Best Buy doesn’t carry the 32GB in the store, so I will wait for the right time and order it online.
Maybe I can wait another month or two for the next Nexus 10.1 tablet?