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SAMSUNG Galaxy Note 10.1 Wifi 10.1-inch 32GB Tablet PC – Deep Gray
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Digital Artist Approved 02/04/2014

This review is from: SAMSUNG Galaxy Note 10.1 Wifi 10.1-inch 32GB Tablet PC – Deep Gray

Pros: I've owned this tablet since August of 2012. Samsung has come a long way since then. Software updates are much more regular now and there have been definite improvements in stability and responsiveness in the past year.

I'm a digital artist. I bought this tablet because my Windows tablet PC is heavy and does not have the long battery life. My Note 10.1 can go 12 hours on battery. I've been very happy with it and taken it to several conventions and trips. The Wacom-like pen is the killer feature. I love drawing ont he screen and love how precise the pen is. There was no calibration needed on my machine.

The included Photoshop Touch is a good program. It's good at drawing, although it definitely struggles with larger, soft brushes. The CPU power on Android tablets just doesn't compare to a higher-end tablet PC like what I've also got. The palm-rejection forces you to lead with the pen. Definitely give Sketchbook Pro and LayerPaint a try as those two programs have a better ability to ignore touch input in favor of focusing on the pen.

If you're a digital artist looking for a Cintiq-like experience on the go you owe it to yourself to pick one of these things up. It's not perfect nor is it quite as sensitive as a Cintiq, but you can make art with it easily and it's quite the conversation piece in crowds of artists. I've found this thing is best for sketching and inking. Color requires more horsepower.

Cons: Proprietary Samsung connector on bottom of the tablet. I wish they had just added traditional small USB ports.

There is also a bunch of bloatware on this thing that doesn't really need to be there. Samsung refuses to let you uninstall it. Samsung experience apps, Nook, and the annoying screenshot service all come to mind immediately. I have not rooted this tablet so I have not removed those things. They're annoying, but not distracting.

Samsung's UI also acts really funny with Chrome browser and Dolphin browser. Strange behavior from copy, paste, and tab functionality.

Other Thoughts: I feel that this purchase has been a good buy. I've had it over a year and a half now. The Note 10.1 bests all other tablets at this price based on its stylus pen. Spend several hundred more for a Surface tablet for the next real entry in the tablets-with-Wacom-stylus-pens category.

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SONY VAIO T Series SVT14112CXS Intel Core i3 3217U (1.80GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB + 32GB MLC Hybrid(5400rpm Hybrid) HDD 14
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: I really like the styling of this machine. It certainly is an eye-catcher. There aren't any obnoxious indicator lights. This machine is lightweight, as expected, and provides a good level of performance. It feels sturdy. This machine is quick to boot and shut down. It also runs cool and normally quiet. The fan does spin up frequently, but the sound is at a pitch that is easy to ignore. Having a DVD drive onboard is also a nice positive despite adding some weight and width.

The keyboard will take some getting used to. The keys are spaced further apart than normal. They have a shallow depth to them compared to the ASUS keyboards I've used on netbooks and other ultrabooks. The Sony keyboard is still perfectly usable. It would have been nice if more keys were dedicated instead of left to function combinations.

Cons: The touchpad on this machine is awful. It made using Windows 8 a huge pain. Gestures swiping in from the side or top commonly didn't register, left and right clicks didn't always behave as expected, and taps were commonly ignored. The touchpad is nicely sized, but it needs to be more sensitive.

The screen on this machine also leaves something to be desired. It has ridiculously limited vertical viewing angles. Horizontal viewing angles are tolerable. Even my netbook from a couple years ago has a better, smaller screen with the same resolution. Really disappointed in the screen on this machine given that Android tablets 1/3rd the price of this ultrabook commonly have superior displays. Unfortunately, this appears to be a common issue among lower priced ultrabooks.

Other Thoughts: I purchased this machine as a gift. Unfortunately, I got to know it way better than I wanted to. The new owner decided she hated Windows 8. The lousy touchpad contributed to this problem by making charms bar and metro app gestures a total pain to use. Ultimately, the new OS was too jarring a change and was swapped out for Windows 7. If I wasn't around and knowledgeable about how to get Windows 7 working this machine would have been returned. When the new owner yells at Windows 8 and goes back to her slow, 6 year-old machine loaded with Windows 7 you know there's a big problem!

Windows 7 was a bear to install on this machine. Turning off secure boot for Windows 8 was easy, but the UEFI implementation is old and not supported by the Windows 7 installer. This caused problems with disk partitioning so make the 3 to 6 backup disks before you start in case of a warranty issue. Then the drivers on Sony's website proved to be mostly good except for the wired networking, wireless, and firmware extension drivers. Each of these only worked on Windows 8 or failed Windows driver certificate signature checks. I had to go hunt down the wired networking drivers from Realtek's site and piece together a wireless driver from an HP machine. Very painful process. Sony really should make it easier to switch from Windows 8 to Windows 7.

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SilverStone Sugo Series SG05B-USB3.0 Black SECC / Plastic Mini-ITX Desktop Computer Case SFX 300W 80Plus Power Supply with 2 x USB3.0 ports (Black)
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Plenty of room to work with inside. All of the wires from the front panel connectors and power supply are long enough to reach anywhere in the case. PSU seems to be quiet. Lots of space between the PSU and motherboard, although not enough for a tower cooler.

Being able to remove the optical drive and 3.5 HDD cage is an important feature. I ended up removing those since I have no intention of using an optical drive. I do have a 2.5 SSD, but had nowhere to put it. I ended up drilling a pair of holes along the top rail of the case to install the SSD there. Everything worked out perfectly.

Cons: Could have used some fan mounting holes along the side or top to allow the installation of extra fans. Power button feels really cheap. Bright blue LEDs are annoying.

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Zachary B.'s Profile

Display Name: Zachary B.

Date Joined: 01/01/04

  • Reviews: 14
  • Helpfulness: 9
  • First Review: 03/12/10
  • Last Review: 02/04/14
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