Galaxy Note 10.1 was announced in last February to take the momentum generated by Galaxy Note. This is a wise decision to create a unique tablet with S Pen (and productivity tools). The initial specifications announced in MWC2012 were not impressive and the design was just another out-of-the-mill Android tablet.
So, Samsung decided to re-work it. Now after more than 5 months, pre-order of this tablet was announced by Negri Electronics at $750 (No Jelly Bean, still ICS). Maybe the price will drop to around $500 soon.
After reading the specifications, my first impression is this is just another DOA (death on arrival) Android tablet.
The specifications were bumped up: quad core CPU (initially, dual core), 2GB RAM (initially 1GB), 5MP primary camera (initially 3MP), 2G/3G/WiFi/ USB/Bluetooth connectivity. It sounds nice. But when you read the display, omg, it is still 1280*800 (WXGA), same as your 9-month old 5.3″ Galaxy Note, 17-month old Motorola Xoom, or similar to 2-year-and-4-month old iPad, and 17-month old iPad 2.
This poor display will destroy Galaxy Note 10.1. Two years ago, this was a decent display. But, now it is 2012, and people expect higher pixel density (thanks to Apple’s retina display in the new iPad, aka iPad3).
Don’t blame Android or chipsets. Acer has been shipping the full HD 1080p Android tablet (Acer A700) since this summer at $450. Full specifications of this tablet is here. Another Asian PC maker, ASUS, also is offering full HD 1080p (actually 1920*1200, WUXGA) transformer pad infinity. You can get it at $500 (32GB) or $600 (64GB).
As a comparison, the new iPad (released about 5 months ago, 9.7inches) has a screen resolution of 2048*1536 and the pixel density is 264ppi (pixels per inch). Our Galaxy Note boosts 1280*800 pixels on a 5.3-inch screen. So the pixel density is about 285ppi. This is one of the major reasons users like their Galaxy Note: sharp and vivid display!
Of course, there is a limitation of human eyes. Normally, pixel density higher than about 250ppi will make no differences for most people without using special equipment, if the contrast and brightness are not an issue. If your eyes have been spoiled by Galaxy Note’s display, you will immediately feel 1280*800 on a 10.1 inch screen (pixel density about 150ppi) is very uncomfortable. Putting a 1280*800 screen on a 7-inch screen (pixel density is about 210-220 ppi) is quite reasonable, like Google Nexus 7.
It is really hard to understand why Samsung put such a subpar (resolution) display in their high end tablet. As you may know, Samsung supplies most of the new iPad display for the fruity company. Technology surely is not an obstacle for Samsung to put a full HD display. Just to save $20 in the cost!!
Why can none of the Android tablet challenge iPad in the 10in form factor? Initially, it is due to OS and apps. Android 2.3 is not suitable for 10-in form factor. Honeycomb is a rush product. Now, Android 4.0 (ICS) and 4.1 (Jelly Bean) already surpass iOS 6, and iOS is trying to catching up.
So, the competition is more on display!! Retina display in the new iPad made all Android tablets like a toy when it was announced. Thanks to Asus and Acer, we now do have a few Android tablets in the market: Acer A700, ASUS Transformer Infinity, and probably Google Nexus 7.
We had been expecting Samsung would have brought us another Android tablet. But it turns out to be another Android toy!
What a joke!