Category Archives: Samsung

galaxytabprosces2016

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S review: OLED hits Windows tablet

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S review: OLED screen, included keyboard

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Samsung Galaxy TabPro S in black with keyboard cover attached

See it on Amazon

Type of Tablet

Windows 2-in-1, detachable tablet
Runs Windows 10 (Home and Pro)
Pen: Not yet released. Bluetooth, pressure-sensitive.

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Samsung TabPro S release at CES 2016, Las Vegas

Features

Display: 12″ diagonal
Materials: Magnesium frame, rubberized plastic back
resolution FHD+ (2160 x 1440)
touch Super AMOLED display
216ppi
Memory: 4GB RAM (not upgradeable)
Storage: 128 or 256GB SSD

Ports: single USB-C, headphone jack, no micro SD
Processor: Intel Skylake Core M3, dual core, 2.3 GHz
Fanless
Graphics: Intel HD 515
Battery: 5200 mAh
LTE (Cat. 6) version available
Front and rear cameras both 5 MP
Comes in black or white
Dimensions: 11.43 x 0.25 x 7.83 inches (290.3×198.8×6.3mm_
1.53lbs (639g)
Wireless 802.11 abg

Why a 2-in-1?

The TabPro S is joining a growing population of Windows 2-in-1s. This type of tablet is all the rage, because it turns out lots of people want a portable device that works well for both entertainment and productivity. Active pens have really hit the mainstream.

Non-Pro iPads and other mobile tablets are most useful for entertainment, full, 64-bit Windows and a pen gives a lot more options. It can replace a laptop and tablet and fit neatly into your bag or briefcase.

You can use desktop programs as well as Windows apps (formerly known as Metro apps). The very high-res screen is the first OLED for a Windows tablet. So this is a milestone. Previously, they have been in smartphones, Android tablets (mostly Samsung’s), monitors, and just recently came to laptops.

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Pen

The Samsung people at CES told me there was not going to be a pen, though one of them said maybe. So either the pen was a weakly-kept secret, an agonizing decision, or an afterthought for them. I didn’t expect to be writing this review.

It’s the big MacGuffin here. Not much is known about it except it is pressure-sensitive, it probably won’t be a digitizer we’re familiar with, and that it uses Bluetooth.

Update: The pen has come out.

 

What’s in the Box

Tablet, charger with cable, keyboard dock/cover, documentation

 

Ports

There’s just a USB-C port and a headphone jack. No micro SD, nothin’. The 2015 MacBook also has this single-port feature and also faced criticism about it, but maybe it’s the future. Samsung says they’re going to release an adapter. Meantime, there are other adapters, but not that many peripherals for the USB-C.

The tablet may be ready for the future, but for now, users are the ones who need to be ready.

Fast-charging

On the plus side, the USB-C offers FAST charging, just 2 1/2 hours from zero to full and the battery optimally lasts up to 10.5 hours on this charge.

 

Display

The display is bright with excellent viewing angles. The colors are more saturated than we generally see.

The colors are rich, and the blacks very deep (because there is no light where there’s black with the OLED),  with great contrast. But this is is made with something called PenTile subpixels, which makes it so the resolution is effectively not quite as high as it says, and there’s a little too much green. Lots of people have been oohing and aah-ing over the display. I just prefer a regular LCD.

The screen is smooth and somewhat glossy, but not high-sheen. It doesn’t reflect so much light that you can’t see the display. Its 400 nits is very bright.

The bezel is relatively narrow, but provides enough of a visual “frame” that makes your artwork pop from the background.

Good proportions

The 3:2 aspect ratio is less oblong than the usual 16:9 or 16:10, and preferable for drawing. Portrait mode is more in proportion to a regular sheet of paper.

 

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TabPro S in white. Note the closeness of the keys.

 

Using the TabPro S

The machine is snappy and responsive, with apps opening quicky. Scrolling is peppy even in memory-intensive Chrome.

A 128 GB hard drive is not that big, so if you get that one, big files are best kept elsewhere. The 256 GB SSD is not huge.

You can run full Photoshop CC with the TabPro S, but you may experience some lag when running heavy graphics, such as filters with high-res files. With 4 GB and a Core M3, it’s not powerful enough for heavy use of Adobe Suite, you would need at least an i5 and 8 GB.

I have no complaints about the RAM and storage, since this is a portable tablet of a certain class and fulfills its duties well. A close cousin is the entry-level Surface Pro 4, which also has a Core M processor but has a lot more ports and a better keyboard. 

It would be nice if the battery were replaceable.

The machine is suitable for light gaming.

Build

The build is solid and feels and looks premium, with a metal frame. The TabPro S is almost as sleek as the luxe Galaxy S7 phone. The tablet’s back is a not-unpleasant black, rubbery, matte plasticky material that is very grippable and lowers the chance of dropping it. And the rubberized texture is not a dirt/fingerprint magnet.

I don’t know how much the rubbery surface protects the device in drops onto its back, but it probably provides a bit of cushioning, along with the cover.

Keyboard dock/cover

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Upright position shows off the thinness of the tablet. Keyboard is not backlit.

Unlike with the Surface Pro line, here, a keyboard dock is included. It’s held on by a Pogo connector in the bottom center edge of the tablet. Once connected, it’s pretty stable, and doesn’t seem to cause lags or skips when typing.

The cover only takes two positions. It’s a trifold, similar to the Apple Smart Cover. It’s thin, but seems durable, and the design is clever: the cover wraps all the way around the tablet, protecting it from light mishaps.

The angles of  two positions are decent, but, they only work in Landscape mode. If they really had an art tablet in mind, maybe they would have designed the cover for Portrait position, too.

The cover’s square camera port lines up well with the camera. The whole tablet has straight lines, except for the rounded edges.

Typing on the keyboard

The keyboard wasn’t really to my liking for typing, I prefer island-style keys. There’s almost no space between the keys, they don’t have great travel at 1.4 mm, which is a bit low.  I also don’t love the look. It was challenging to type accurately. There’s no requirement to use the keyboard; a separate keyboard would work too.

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TabPro S cover in typing position

The keys are larger than most, but to me that doesn’t really help with accuracy. It might be a good for thick-fingered folks. The whole thing feels a bit floppy. It’s similar to the old Surface Pro Type Cover, except that one sat at an angle and this one is flat on the table, and the stand had more positions.

The trackpad works fine and works with Windows touch gestures.

You can use the TabPro S with  the keyboard on your lap, but being so light, it’s not super stable, and may cause worries about it falling. If you get really into painting and move like a digital Jackson Pollack, sitting on a wide, soft surface may calm those anxieties.

Color

The color gamut is standout. It covers 95% of Adobe RGB and  full (or more than full) sRGB, similar to the Vaio Z Canvas  (an N-trig tablet PC with an IPS screen) That makes it suitable for artists and photographers to use it to make their own prints for professional print work, provided they have a strong understanding of color correction.

Without that understanding,  the color gamut can be a source of confusion. According to DisplayMate, a trade organization, “OLEDs currently have the opposite problem of traditional LCDs, too large a native color gamut, which requires color management in order to deliver accurate sRGB/Rec.709 colors.”

If you’re a professional artist, you probably use a printer that uses Adobe RGB or, for photographers, ProPhoto RGB. Consumer printing is mostly done in sRGB. sRGB is also the standard for Web colors.

The high gamut can really make your work pop, and you can adjust settings to avoid the high saturation that can occur. There’s also an sRGB setting. The settings panel also gives you choices of how long the screen will remain bright before it auto-dims to prevent screen burn-in, which can be a problem with AMOLED screens.

Many love the saturated colors of AMOLED, but they are a bit hyper-real.

Samsung Flow

No, it’s not a psychological state, it’s a feature. If you’ve got an unlocked Galaxy phone, you can unlock the tablet by scanning your fingerprint, as well as easily turn on the phone’s hot spot and sync notifications.

Battery Life

Excellent, up to 10.5 hours, or 8-9 with a lot of video or gaming

Portability

Very portable, thin about 1.53 lbs.

User reactions

Most users who have penned a Samsung TabPro S review so far seem to be enamored with the lightweight 2-in-1, calling it speedy and able to handle a lot, and they like the sound quality and the rich display.

One pointed out its use as an e-reader for, ahem, ageing eyes because of its deep contrast. (I still prefer e-ink for reading, because it has less contrast and less glare than a computer).

The biggest complaint about the tablet is about the keyboard. The second biggest is the lack of ports. Wouldn’t it be nice if they included an adapter?

 

Pros

Exceptionally thin and light
Attractive, premium-looking
Choice of black or white
AMOLED screen, wide color gamut
Fast
3:2 aspect ratio good for drawing
Fast-charging,
Long battery life
Keyboard cover included
Keyboard cover wraps entire tablet, providing protection
Multitouch trackpad
Samsung Flow offers syncing options with Galaxy Phone
Good “lapability”
Good speaker sound

 

Cons

Just one port, USB-C
Keyboard cover sits in only two positions
Keys a bit clunky to type on
Keyboard not backlit
Stand only adjusts in landscape position (as with most keyboard covers)
Limited to 4GB
Not everyone likes AMOLED display color
Can’t replace battery (typical in tablets)

 

The Verdict

If you like the screen, then this is the only Windows tablet that’s got it. If you don’t mind the single port, or find the simplicity is appealing, this may be for you. There really are a lot of pros, and the cons are not so bad.

Update: TabPro S Pen is now available on Amazon.

The tablet is pretty peppy and the wide color gamut is appealing. Is the TabPro S overall better than its main rivals, the entry-level Surface Pro 4 and the iPad Pro? I don’t really think so, but the pen will be a a major factor.

But it has got its own unique character, and the field is getting wide enough that there’s something for everyone.

 

Here’s a video of a Samsung spokesman showing the tablet in action. You can get a full look at the keyboard cover.

See more info, reviews, and price for the Galaxy TabPro S on Amazon

 

 End of Samsung Galaxy TabPro S review

samsung galaxy tab a s pen review

Galaxy Tab A with S Pen review: Samsung tablet a fine sketchbook

Galaxy Tab A  10.1 (2016)with S Pen review: portable Samsung great for sketching

Galaxy Tab A with S Pen Review

In Oct. 2016, Samsung released this updated version of the 9.7″ one that’s got an HD screen, more memory, and is larger at 10.1.” This Samsung tablet with pen is one of my favorite portables for art, especially sketching.

2014 Galaxy Tab A with S Pen 9.7"2016 Galaxy Tab A with S Pen 10.1"
Screen size: 9.7"
Resolution: 1024 x 768
Processor: 1.2 GHz, quadcore
OS: Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
RAM: 1.5 GB
Storage: 16 GB, expandable to 128 GB with MicroSD card
Weight: 1.07 lbs.
Micro USB 2.0 port
Battery life: up to 15 hrs. Web browsing


Screen size: 10.1"
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Processor: 1.6 GHz, octacore
OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
RAM: 3 GB
Storage: 16 GB, expandable to 256 GB with MicroSD card
Weight: 1 lb.
Micro USB 2.0 port
Battery life: about 14 hrs. Web browsing




The Galaxy Tab A with S Pen is an affordable drawing tablet you can tote anywhere. Its 4:3 aspect ratio is a benefit for artists. Its size is large enough to draw comfortably on, and you have your pick of Galaxy Apps and apps from the Google Play store.

The S pen is Wacom, and you’ll get pressure sensitivity and palm rejection, which are important for creating art. It has the Enhanced S Pen, which detects angles as well.

galaxytabawithspenreview

 

Galaxy Tab A with S Pen (2016 version)

International Amazon customers

 

Type of Tablet

Android tablet

Features

Runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow
screen resolution: 1920×1080
10.1 inches diagonal
Dimensions: 10.5 x 6.4 x 1.9 in.
4:3 aspect ratio
RAM: 3GB
1.55 lbs.
Smooth plastic casing
16 GB storage
MicroSD slot expandable up to 200GB
8 MP rear camera
Octa-core 1ghz
QuickConnect lets you share back and forth with your 2015 or later Samsung Smart TV

What’s in the box

Tablet, S pen, charger head (power plug), micro-USB cable, Quickstart Guide, warranty info

Reminder: only the Tab A that has “with S Pen” in the name uses an S Pen, and it comes with it. The regular Galaxy Tab A does not have the S Pen and will not work with it, nor get pressure sensitivity.

The S Pen that comes with it is thin, but it’s not a simple stylus. It’s a full Wacom EMR pen, and if you wish, you can use a batteryless Wacom EMR pen meant for penabled tablet PCs.

Using the tablet

Samsung’s tablets have a lot of nifty abilities, such as being able to multitask, with up to 5 windows open at once, use split-screen with apps (you can have two apps open at once and even drag things from one to another), handwriting recognition, a mic, and more.

There are two power-saving modes, one called Ultra Power Saver, which simplifies the interface to save battery life.

When you remove the S Pen from its sheath, Air Command, a steering-wheel-like dashboard, pops up and lets you use the pen to perform operations such as take a screenshot or open an app. You can handwrite something to put into an app, such as email or notes.

The S pen is not simply an addition that happens to make marks; its functionality is an integral part of S pen-enabled tablets. You can draw, write, crop, and capture. The S Pen writing app has digital fountain and calligraphy pens.

Having a wide range of digital pen nibs is a familiar experience to art-app users, but may be new for people who have been stuck with one basic pen in the main tablet interface until now. The Calligraphy and Fountain pens allow you to go formal or lay down a digital signature with gravitas.

The on-screen keyboard has a row of numbers over the letters, which is convenient for typing in passwords, so you don’t have to switch to a numerical keyboard. There is also a handwriting keyboard that converts handwriting to typed text and even a voice keyboard that turns utterings into text.

Screen

The 4:3 aspect ratio is new for Samsung tablets and makes the Tab A resemble an iPad. This aspect ratio is more similar to proportions of paper and canvas that most artists draw on, so it’s preferable for drawing than the more common 16:9 or 16:10 of most Android (and some Windows) tablets. 4:3 also good for reading, as you don’t have to scroll the page sideways when using it in landscape orientation.

The PLS (plane line switching) TFT Gorilla Glass screen is nice and bright, with good color accuracy. It’s not quite as high-end as the AMOLED screen of the pricier Note.

The Adaptive Display feature is a light sensor that adjusts the tablet’s brightness, color, and sharpness to your environment.

The glass surface is slick and toothless and the S Pen’s hard plastic tip glides over it. If you prefer to have a bit of tooth to draw with, try a matte screen protector. It really makes a difference.

Pen

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You must use the pen that comes with it with the Tab A. The Note S pen will not work with the Galaxy Tab A, (hough a regular Wacom pen will work on the Wacom Note devices as well as on the Galaxy Tab A with S pen).

An ordinary Wacom pen made for a penabled Wacom tablet works with it may be a more comfortable choice to draw with. Testing the S pen showed that it has rotation sensitivity. Palm rejection works well.

The pen has a hard plastic tip, making it glide over the Gorilla Glass screen.

Converting handwriting is encouraged with this tablet. With a bit of practice on both your parts, the tablet will recognize your handwriting, and you will learn to tailor your penmanship to what the tablet can read.

Setup is easy, and you can import your data from other Android tablets via your Google account.

Portability

At about a pound and a half, this is quite portable. Of course, you need to carry it in some kind of protective case or sleeve, and that will add weight too.

For Lefties

The tablet controls and setup should be fine for the left-handed. Most controls are on the right, with the S Pen slot at the upper right corner. The rest are on the bottom, leaving the top and left edges with no controls.

Controls

The important Back and Recent Apps buttons on either side of the Home button are hard to see. They are harder to see in the Smokey Titanium color than the white. I would think people would soon remember where these buttons are.

If you’ve never had an Android tablet, these are frequently used buttons. They allow you to back out of an app when you have lost your way. On the right side of the tablet is the volume button.

The tablet recognizes gesture, allowing you to take a photo without actually touching the screen.

Software

Quite a bit oof space is taken up by the OS. Fortunately, the storage is expandable via MicroSD card of up to 128 GB. You can keep apps and media on that.

Many Android art apps allow multiple layers, creating and editing of high-res files, and offer options to adjust sizes and export and import certain file types, just as full desktop apps do. 3-D modeling apps are also available.

No mobile art app offers the power of a desktop program like Photoshop–but not everyone needs all that power all the time. An artist with the Galaxy Tab A with S Pen can do more with than than they can with an iPad because of the Tab A’s native pressure sensitivity.

The Galaxy Tab A with S Pen does have some non-removable bloatware, but not as much as some previous Samsung tablets.

If you’re selling your wares at, say, an art fair, you can use the Square App to accept credit-card payments. (The old-fashioned, pre-app way was to do it in the browser using PayPal).

The Side Sync apps mirrors your Samsung phone, so that if you get a text on your phone, you can answer it on your tablet.

And if you need a break to play Angry Birds, you can do light gaming such as that on this tablet, but nothing too processor-heavy. Sorry, gamers, there is no haptic feedback.

Because of the 4:3 aspect ratio, movies will have a black bar on the top and bottom because movies have a 16:9 aspect ratio. Just pretend you’re at a drive-in.

Battery Life

Excellent. 13  hours of Internet use

User Ratings and Reviews

Customer feedback has been very positive, I got the idea a lot of people who bought this tablet were using a tablet with a stylus for the first time and loved it. Remember that this is a budget tablet. Without the S pen, it’s not the biggest bargain, but when you add the S Pen in, it becomes attractive to artists who want a digital sketchbook, and to those those just dipping their brushes into the digital-art jar.

This is being marketed as a general use, versatile tablet for everyone. Paired with a keyboard, this can be a productive all-in-one tablet.

Gadgets should reflect the organic qualities of humans, and this one really does with the natural feeling of the pen. I do recommend getting a larger Wacom EMR pen, though.

Pressure sensitivity will vary from app to app.

Pros

S pen with ability to edit, hover, use Air Command, copy text or other content between apps
Multitasking–can use multiple apps at once
Affordable
Comfortable drawing size
Wacom-powered; usable with other Wacom pens
4:3 aspect ratio
Fast
expandable storage
QuickConnect

Cons Android navigation buttons are not backlit
No haptic (vibrational) feedback

The Verdict

This Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S Pen 10.1 (2016) with S Pen review is a thumbs up: it’s a great little digital sketchbook. This is a fine entry-level art tablet that offers useful apps such as ArtRage and Sketchbook Pro as well as many others. The size and aspect ratio make it good to draw, read, and write on. Colors are bright.

In addition to reading this Galaxy Tab A with S Pen review, you might want to check out the Galaxy Note 10.1 with S Pen review if you want a more high-end version with better screen resolution.

Also check out the higher-end Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 with S Pen as a drawing tablet.

This Samsung video shows the various uses of the S Pen:

 

ALSO SEE: Galaxy Tab S3

Samsung Galaxy Tab-S3-with-S-Pen

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 with S Pen

-a high-end Android tablet with an upgraded S Pen. See it on Amazon

Optional Accessories: Pens

Staedtler Noris Digital Samsung Pencil (Wacom EMR)

 

 

 

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Wacom pen (Note: there is not a way to store this pen on the tablet, and it’s not an “official” accessory, but it works.)

For other options for a good digital sketchbook, see them in the comparison chart.

If you’re trying to figure out which tablet to get, see this informational article, The Best Drawing Tablet for You.

End of Galaxy Tab A with S Pen review: an affordable drawing tablet

samsunggalaxynotereview

2014 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Review: S Pen in Command

2014 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Review: draw and multitask

by Tablets for Artists
There’s a parsec of products in the Samsung Galaxy line. This review will focus on the 2014 Galaxy Note 10, which comes with a built-in S pen stylus. The 2014 Galaxy Note 10.1 features a 10.1″ screen.

samsunggalaxynote10.1review

2014 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. See it on Amazon.

Note: The Galaxy Note is different than the Galaxy Tab. The regular Galaxy Tab does not have pressure sensitivity and does not come with a pen. If you want to use a stylus to use with a Galaxy Tab, you have to buy one separately, and it will be more like a iPad stylus.

The Galaxy Tab A with S Pen does have pressure sensitivity and a pen, as does the Galaxy TabPro S, which runs Windows.

As of 2013, Samsung has bought 5% of Wacom, so expect a continuing partnership. (Wacom tech is also found in other companies’ tablets.)

Type of Tablet

The Galaxy Note 10.1 is an Android tablet running Android 4.3, Jelly Bean.

For Lefties

It’s fine for left-handers. (The Galaxy Note Edge is another story, as it has a curved screen on one side).

Features

S Pen with eraser and Wacom integration
Wacom digitizer gives you 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity
WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
1.26 pounds
10.1-Inch high-res TFT display
9.57 x 6.75 x 0.31 inches
3 GB RAM
8MP rear camera, 2MP front
(1080p video recording), LED flash
MicroSD card slot can hold card of up to 64GB
USB 2.0
Octacore Exynos processor (eight processors, but they are not all used at once; it’s two four-core processors)
Samsung’s AllShare, which can put what’s on your tablet on a Samsung TV
Dolby Surround Sound speakers

This 2014 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 review is of the Wi-fi model only, but you can get the Galaxy Note 10.1 with 4G from a variety of carriers.

The multi-window function is a great boon to multitaskers. It lets you have two windows open into which you can drag and drop certain apps.  You can also take a screenshot and write or draw on it.

Using a 10″ tablet gives you twice as much screen as a 7″ tablet, so there’s enough space to multitask. The tablet comes with quite a bit of free content. We like the two free years of 50GB Dropbox.

 

Portability

At one and a quarter pounds, that’s not much weight considering how much productivity you can get with it.

 

What’s Included

The tablet, S Pen, USB charging cable, travel adapter, quickstart guide.

 

Screen

The Galaxy Note 10.1 screen is high-resolution, with over 4 million pixels, which is double that of HDTV, according to Samsung. The 299ppi is dense, denser than the iPad Air Retina, which boasts 264ppi. The Note’s resolution is really as high as the eye can perceive high resolution. The screen is so bright that it gets good visibility outdoors. So, the display is awesome.

S Pen

galaxy note 10.1 review s pen

The S pen conveniently fits into the side top.

Wacom’s FEEL technology has been integrated into many aspects of the Note. When you use Air Command with the S Pen, a small round window pops up, giving you five functions. With Air Command you can convert handwriting to text you can then format, also make a call, add contacts (such as jotting down a phone number with the pen and converting it), use maps, search, or add to your to-do list.

A nifty feature called Pen Window lets you draw a square which becomes a small multitasking window where you can then open YouTube, the browser or other apps while remaining in your screen. Multitasking is the name of the game; you can drag and drop content and have multiple windows open. This is a major benefit over the one-thing-at-a-time iPad.

There’s also a side window that slides out from the left that serves up maps, YouTube, Evernote, and other apps. Handwriting works smoothly on the Note, even if you’ve got little tiny handwriting.

As art apps get more sophisticated, artists can do a lot without using full Photoshop, including using layers, creating high-resolution files, and exporting files as JPGs. There are many Android drawing and painting apps.

The Galaxy Note could be a go-to tablet for sketching, general productivity, and for some artists it’s enough for finished art for print. Drawing on it is a pleasure. Though some users reported lag, we did not experience any.

 

Alternatives to the S Pen

Nice as the S-pen is, face it, it’s thin. Though fine for note-taking, doodling, and sketching, it can cramp your hand when drawing for hours on end. And you might prefer the stroke quality of other pens; if you can, try a few and draw holding the pen at different angles.

If you prefer a writing implement that’s a little more solid, there are some alternatives. One is the Wacom Bamboo Stylus Feel for Samsung Galaxy Note. It lacks an eraser, so you’d have to use the eraser in your art app.

Or there’s the the Galaxy Note Genuine Wacom Touch Pen 8pi Stylus. This sports an eraser on the non-writing end.

Since it’s a regular Wacom digitizer, you could use any pen for Wacom-penabled PCs, such as this one, a full-size pen that’s comfortable to write with. This one will not fit into the S Pen slot.

samsung-pen

Samsung pen

One article suggested calibration may be off with non-S pens. I did not find this to be true in testing it.

 

Controls

Since the nifty multi-window lets you do two completely different things at once, you could draw and do image research at the same time.

Besides being your portable art studio, you can use the tablet as an e-reader as well as a universal remote control and TV guide.

The buttons are on the side, so they don’t change depending how you’re holding the tablet, portrait or landscape. You have to be a little careful to not push them by accident.

 

Software

Android apps are available on the Google Play store. Most cost a few dollars, with many free ones. Apps such as Sketchbook Pro and Layer Paint HD will let you open large files, even 10,000 x 10,000 pixels. The number of layers you can create varies with canvas size. Try GIMP for Android; this free, open source alternative to Photoshop is now in Google Play.

 

Battery Life

Long; up to 9 hours, even 10 if you’re not doing power-intensive stuff like gaming. With gaming, the tablet works fine and can go about 4 hours.

 

Customer Ratings and Reviews

Almost every 2014 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 review is positive. The Note is a popular item among both artists and nonartists. The handwriting capabilities receive praise. Most lag issues have been fixed by updates, according to reviewers–some of the first ones out were sluggish. One  2014 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 review calls it “smoking fast,” another “a beast.” At this fairly high price, consumers should demand excellent performance.

TIP:

In Developer Settings, turning the animation scales off or to the lowest setting should speed up performance even more.

 

Pros

Excellent battery life

High-resolution, bright screen

Good handwriting recognition; will convert handwriting to text

Can be used with a Bluetooth keyboard or even an external monitor

Multitasking

Fast

 

Cons

Some experience lag with TouchWiz, or don’t like TouchWiz. There’s no easy way to disable it.

Not cheap

All plastic with the back being faux leather with “stitching.” Depending how you look at it, that’s refreshingly creative or slightly tacky. I kind of like it, myself.

As with any device, some people’s failed, but there is not a high rate of complaints.

 

Should you get this or an iPad Pro?

Update:  (When this article was first written, it was before the iPad Pro). The Galaxy Note is a better choice for artists than a regular iPad, it’s more of a competitor to an iPad Pro. The main advantages of the Galaxy Note over iPad Pro are that the S Pen is included, and the memory is expandable. There is no pen battery to worry about with the Note. It also would not be too expensive to get a new pen if yours gets lost.

However, at this point, I’d recommend the iPad Pro because it’s newer and more up to date. If you’re more of an Android fan, the Note is still viable, but it’s aging. A new Note may be in the pipeline.

With a regular iPad you can now get pressure sensitivity via Bluetooth in certain apps, but you are limited to a fairly small lineup of apps; some iPad styluses for art are more accurate than others.

The Verdict

This is a premium tablet that makes a powerful little sketchbook or portable art studio. It does not replace a Wacom Cintiq or full tablet PC. The pens do not have the tilt sensitivity like the more costly professional art tablets such as the Cintiq or Intuos.

 

Optional Accessories

 

galaxynote10.1review

Professional Ultra SanDisk 64GB MicroSDXC Card

 

 

 

See the Galaxy Note 10.1 on Amazon.

 

Now that you’ve read this Galaxy Note 10.1 review, it’s time to check out some artmaking!

 

 

End of 2014 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 review