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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition first impressions

Galileo by Erick Nava Riefenstahl from flickr (CC-NC)
It's not a serious review, just a collection of observations from two day with the tablet.

We need to stop designing for mobiles. When I did some browsing on it, far too many websites autoredirected me to their "mobile" domain which was awful shit compared to the desktop version. There's an option in the browser to make it request desktop version, but it doesn't always work. Every year "mobiles" get closer and closer to desktop quality. Instead of wasting all the time designing "for mobiles" just wait and the problem will solve itself. Remember garbage like WAP early adopters of mobile web did? All gone. Remember all low-resolution designs? All mid-level or higher phones and tablets are 200ppi+ these days, usually closer to 300ppi. 10"+ tablets should be treated the same as laptops today, end of story. For smaller tablets or high-end mobiles it makes some sense to have special mobile version, but the win isn't really that big for most sites. Low-end or old smartphones still sort of need those mobile sites, but unless you're targeting Nigerian market, just wait couple years and everybody will upgrade their phone to something decent.

Samsung should just reassign to another position whoever is coming up with names like "Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition" before they release "Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Early 2015 Edition Gangnam Style Special Deluxe Edition".

It's insane how many passwords I have to enter to get everything running. I'm so grateful for each app which I can just authorize via my Google account. Of course when everything on the Internet can be accessed via Google authorization, NSA won't even have to bother to hack everyone, they'll just hack Google (or find a hole in oauth2) to authorize themselves as you to everything.

VLC for Android does exactly what I want, that is fast playback with pitch correction (you need to turn on pitch correction in settings). I know I probably sound obsessed about that, but there's only 24 hours in a day, and the last thing I want to use them on is slow narrators.

Maximum sound volume of the tablet is surprisingly low, and VLC doesn't go over 100%, which it very much should if the source is encoded at very low volume (like most stuff off youtube).

It's confusing that it's charged via USB cable, but I need to use special charger, not a PC or a regular charger. I understand technical reasons - USB puts limits on how much current devices can request, and tablet's huge battery just wants a lot more - but it's extremely annoying. Wasn't USB3 standard supposed to fix this?

Twitter's Android app is phone-only and doesn't work with tablets, and they don't have official tablet app. That's so weird. I'll have to give all the unofficial client apps a try.

I'll need to get myself some kind of folding case like Kindle Fire has, so I can watch stuff in bed while eating with one hand and petting the cat with the other. That's sort of why I got myself a tablet.

I wanted to read comic books on the tablet, but a lot of scans are very low res, so on high res screen I can see JPEG artifacts better than text itself. Fairly disappointing.

It is way better for reading PDFs (mostly research papers, which tend to be high quality PDFs, not low quality scans) than epaper Kindle I tried for it before.

Airdroid is pretty bad at transferring big video files over wifi, and doesn't know how to resume. It's just faster to connect the damn USB cable than retrying a few times.

XCOM for Android is confused by high resolution and keeps zooming up far too close. It looks like an OK game, but I can't get myself to play with it - not only due to lack of Enemy Within, mostly due to lack of Second Wave options I unlocked ten fucking times on desktop (Steam) version. Absolutely Critical (should be unlocked!!!) and Aiming Angles (unfortunately Enemy Within only) double tactical depth of the game. I wish there were more games on that - most genres don't map that well into tablet interface, but strategy games like Civilization 5 would be just awesome.

My cat likes the tablet a lot more than the laptop. I still need to hold the tablet is awkward positions sometimes for cat's convenience, but it's better than trying to watch something on a laptop while the cat is sitting on its warm keyboard.

SwiftKey keyboard is much less convenient to use than on the phone - on the phone gestures are relatively fast and require just finger movement, but swiping your fingers through tablet keyboard requires moving the whole hand, and it's not great.


BFYBtech said...

I posted some specs and speculations about the upcoming Galaxy Note 4 on my blog @

Sara said...

I prefer the get a smartphone, i think that the tablet still have a lot of limitations a love to get connected all the time, so i prefer my phone where i can get a whats up download

Unknown said...

Does anyone know when the galaxy note 10.1 2015 edition comes out

joan21 said...

for me that is a great tablet, with all the power that we have for this time 100% recommended. Check this link, powerbank

joan21 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

You have done good job on your blog so carry on work more please view Galaxy S7 Edge