CNET First Look
The Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 arrives just in time for some impressive upgrades.The Verizon Wireless version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 features plenty of useful UI updates to justify a serious look beyond its high price.
-This is the Verizon Wireless version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with 4G LTE. If you've seen the original, there aren't many surprises here aside from a darker color scheme. There's still a microSD slot for storage expansion, an IR blaster, a 5-megapixel LED flash-supported rear camera, and a 1.9-megapixel front camera. The tablet ships with Android 4.1.2 and Samsung has included some clear, useful, UI improvements with the update. For one, the S Pen has a much more useful and logical implementation. Now, whenever you are prompted to type something, like a web address or if you are searching for an app in Google Play, instead of a software keyboard popping up, a notepad does instead. So, instead of packing in your entry, you can simply write it and the interface has a good job of accurately translating chicken scratch, at least it did with mine. Multiscreen view is now more robust, allowing you to alter how much space each app takes up on the screen, only horizontally, however. In certain apps, hovering over a menu option now gives you more information as to its function. This works in an especially cool way in Samsung's video player app. You can now easily clip content and add it to your clipboard, dropping it into S Note or another app to quickly create something cool or ruin something iconic. Samsung also seems to have improved the Note 10.1's palm detection tech in that it actually seems to work now and it has also improved the overall performance of the tablet. Pages scroll much more smoothly and there doesn't seem to be any visual lag when using two apps. The big question, however, is it worth the $600 starting price? That's $600 for only 16GB of storage, by the way, and things get even pricier once data plans are taken into account. And honestly, artists and those looking for something a little different will still want to think twice about buying such an expensive tablet. There is an 8-inch Wi-Fi version of the Note tablet coming soon. Keep that in mind when deciding where to spend your money. I'm Eric Franklin, and for more information, check out my full review at CNET.com.