Samsung has released a new iPad-sized tablet and, of course, our Mobile Nations sibling site Android Central has a complete Galaxy Tab 10.1 review ready and waiting for you. Will it give Apple a run for their money in the large-form tablet space? Sadly, doesn't look like it. Here's Anndrew Vacca's bottom line:
The Galaxy Note 10.1 is unique and stands out among a seemingly endless sea of competitors, though not always in a good way. Samsung has stepped back and reshaped its tablet strategy, now focusing on user experience rather than specs alone, and if you keep an open mind about the included S Pen, you just might find it more handy than you would have imagined. However, we believe the $500 you'll spend on a base Note 10.1 would be better spent on two Nexus 7s. However, if you've got your heart set on a full-sized tablet, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is the way to go if you want to keep from breaking the bank.
I've used Wacom tablets for years. When I did design in enterprise software, it was the only sane way to navigate Photoshop and Illustrator on two really large monitors. I like Wacom's technology very much. I haven't had a chance to try the Galaxy Note 10.1 myself yet, but I hope, if nothing else, they've nailed the Wacom experience.
However, nailing the Wacom experience isn't going to do diddly squat against the iPad. They need to nail the tablet experience, and unfortunately it doesn't sound like they've done that. I've been using a Nexus 7 constantly for about a month now, and even that doesn't come anywhere close to the experience of an iPad, so if Samsung isn't even matching the Nexus 7, that's a big problem.
The S Pen-touting Galaxy Note 10.1 will be both a blessing and a curse for Samsung. On one hand, Samsung has created a device that stands out amongst its competitors with unique features and a truly different user experience. In the same breath, the S Pen is sure to scare away folks who balk at the idea of reverting back to a stylus. I’m here to say that love or hate the S Pen, the Galaxy Note 10.1 just may be the best 10-inch Android tablet on the market today.
And if that's truly the case, that's a bigger problem for Google and for Android.
Apple owns the 10-inch tablet market right now. Owns it in a way a market hasn't been owned since Windows began its ascent in the early 90s. Apple will probably never get to 90+% (which is a very good thing -- we want lots of competition), but when the iPad mini launches this fall, they'll likely grab a huge percentage of the 7- to 8-inch tablet market as well. Especially if the Nexus 7 is the best even Google can manage. (The iPad mini won't be a big iPod touch like the Nexus 7, it'll be a small iPad, with all the software implications that involves).
Samsung has been incredibly successful battling Apple on the phone front. They, or someone, needs to bring that same pressure to Apple on the tablet front. And soon please.
In the meantime, go read the entirety of Andrew's Galaxy Note 10.1 review over at AC, then come back and let me know what you think. What will it take to get a real iPad competitor to market?
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