Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition Review – Button Placement is a Deal Killer

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The day that I returned my iPad Air I went out and bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition with a Smart Cover. Although I used to hate Android devices I became a convert when I purchased the Galaxy S4 Smart Phone.  I adore the S4, and figured the Note 10.1 would be a great match.

Overall I found it to be a pretty good tablet.  It was very fast, had a great network connection with 802.11ac, and the screen is amazing compared to my old iPad 2.  The issue was that as I used it more and more I realized how awkward it is to hold.

I’m a guy that cuddles up with my Tablet.  I’ll hold it in one hand as I read before going to bed.  I’ll grab it willy nilly as I move it around the kitchen as I’m cooking.  Sadly what I found doing this is that it was far too easy to hit the buttons on the bezel.

Samsung not only has a “home” button on the bezel, but also a button for “back” and “menu”.  Those two buttons are incredibly easy to accidentally touch while you’re using the device.  Far more time then I can count I would be happily using the Note 10.1 and suddenly the tablet would start doing things I didn’t want it to do.

Being that the Note 10.1 with Cover costs approx. $695 I found the inconvenience to not be worth the cost and returned it.  I’ll keep muddling along with my iPad 2 dreaming of the day that I can find a tablet that is worthy of being its successor…




Eli Etherton

I am Eli "the Computer Guy" and have been in the tech industry for approx. 20 years doing all kinds of odd projects. I started as an electronics tech in the US Army, worked in corporate IT during the IT Boom, was an individual consultant and grew my tech shop to have numerous full time employees and supported small business clients with computer repair/ server maintenance/ web development/ surveillance systems/ telephone systems until the great recession. After that I started creating video training on all the topics I know and now have a YouTube Channel with over 500K subscribers. I am the founder of and my plan is to create a tech "news" site that I would actually find useful if I was still in the server room.

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1 Comment

  1. Shawn Solomon February 24, 2015 at 2:58 am

    I concur with that button placement critique! It’s found on just about every tablet/note product they release and I always accidentally hit that soft-tap back button. If it were more tactile like the home button it wouldn’t be as much of an issue, but at the same time no one wants to have to exert more effort than needed to activate it’s intended action. You could at some point retire the iPad 2 with one of the newer iterations. Add a Wacom Bamboo Fineline bluetooth stylus for nearly the same functionality as the Samsung Note’s Bamboo Feel digitizer pen. Drawback will be charging or replacing the batteries in the pen as well as increased battery consumption on whatever iteration of the newer iPad.

    Could be a solution if you want it to be. I know you hate Windows 8, so I didn’t even bother suggesting any MS Surface products. Personally I decided on buying a used Lenovo Thinkpad X230T Tablet PC since it gave be some tablet functionality, easier to use Windows productivity, and it came almost fully upgraded at less than a 3rd of what it had cost at the time of the unit’s release. I figured with the specs upgraded that it was functionally better than what Surface 3 would have provided me in power and the form factor had more heft so I didn’t feel like it would drop out of my hands as easily. Granted, it’s not as nimble to cook with and to simply take around for e-reading and simple web browsing, but it gets my work done a bit much faster and for about the same battery life as my old Samsung Note. ( You can also use the Bamboo Feel styli from Notes, Surface Pro 1 & 2, and other tablet PCs in a pinch if you need to.)

    In the future, I hope that maybe the nVidia tablets come in a 12in form factor, possibly an Ubuntu flavor OS, preinstalled with art or image software like Krita or Gimp, and is able to use a more mature Directstylus solution with those said programs in addition to normal stylus functionality. Then I wouldn’t be stuck so much with Wacom technology as my mainstay. Then again, Wacom technology is pretty good for what it does and is pretty mature. I think I’d even pay $2000-3000 (or somehow come up with the money) if the Cintiq Companion tablet 2 if it is more mature and came installed something else other than windows 8 (I heard 8.1 resolved some issues, but I’d rather see what the number 2 series can do with windows 7 or 10[More interested in Linux or MacOS] and at least intel HD 5200/6200 video cards) However I’d rather have a Mac or linux based solution if possible for stability’s sake.

    I don’t know, maybe I’m asking too much realistically. For all I know tech can change to allow for remote cloud access to Adobe or Autodesk software through a web api and specs maybe won’t matter much anymore. I guess we’ll see what they come out with in about 3-4 years and hopefully those innovations will exceed my expectations.

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