Finally a tablet that has both a stylus AND a touch screen. Wait, you tell me, you can buy a stylus for the Apple iPad as well. Yes, but if you ever tried one, you’ll know that it doesn’t help with drawing or writing much at all. The point of any iPad stylus is very thick and there is no way you’re going to be writing comfortably with it.
My hands on review and comparison between the Newest iPad and the Large Galaxy Note 10.1
So, the reason I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is drawing. I love drawing on my iPad. It has brought out my creative side. However, when it comes to finishing those creations, the iPad just isn’t good enough. I’ve considered drawing tablets like the Wacom tablets out there, but the idea of sitting in front of a screen while drawing (essentially a hobby) just isn’t very appealing. I want to draw on the train, on the couch, on a bench in the park…
S-note on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1: drawing and taking notes
On the right you can see my first doodle with the S-pen in the S-note application that was specifically designed for this tablet. It’s essentially the iPad Paper app, with a few additions. For doodling S-Note has just the right extras.
In the Paper app you cannot choose your colors, in s-note you can. Both Paper and S-note have 5 types of pens: crayon, pencil, marker, 2 brush types. As you can see the ink flows in the pen I used above, which gives a nice effect, I think. As I used the application for further drawings I found that with some practice using the S-pen’s sensitivity to how hard you press it makes for a nice sketch effect. (My first sketch is above, my 7th below).
S-note is also meant to be used for note-taking. I used it on the road with the built in keyboard and that is fine. Nothing fabulous, but fine. However, the length of notes is pre-determined, so when you use more words than fit that first page, a second page is automatically created. This can be quite confusing. At first I thought I had accidentally erased my notes.
Not so: each s-note (called a book) can have several pages. Once you figure it out, it does make sense. However, since they could not duplicate the more intuitive Paper interface, they use small buttons to denote the number of pages, and creating a new one etc. Not as pretty, but decent once you understand the system.
The devil is in the details however. I have a few serious issues with S-note for taking notes: What use is a note-taking application which does not allow me to select words?
Also: I write in two languages, so I need a way to take notes that allows me to easily switch between the two. The iPad has this built in, Android does not. There are third party apps that do add that functionality, but… they don’t work in S-note.
So, for note taking I’m back with Evernote. That’s ok, because Evernote is much faster on (a new) Android as it is on the (first generation) iPad.
Your mileage may vary, but I would not recommend getting this tablet for the handwriting recognition. Sure: it’s good, however the way it’s implemented slows me down. I’m faster swiping than using handwriting on this tablet. Why? Again, it’s the little things. Most importantly: spaces aren’t added between words automatically. The words disappear from the handwriting part of the screen so fast, you can’t correct them. And, again, it only knows one language at a time and although S-note has a setting that allows selecting several languages, I haven’t found a way to easily switch between the two while note-taking.
Last but not least, the S-note application allows for writing mathematical formulas. I’m a math teacher by training, so I like the idea, but since I no longer teach, I won’t be using it. However I did try it in the shop and was impressed: using handwriting recognition for the purpose is smart and every other way of doing it is cumbersome.
Apps on iPad vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
There is no way around it: there are more apps available for the iPad than for an android tablet, including the Galaxy Note. I haven’t tried finding alternatives for every app I use on the iPad yet and think I will continue using it for media consumption.
Specs for specs the Galaxy Note is better than the iPad in most ways.
|iPad 3rd generation||Galaxy Note 10.1|
|Screen||Best – HD, 2048×1536 pixels||Decent: 1280 x 800|
|Memory||Is what you bought||You can expand memory with micro SD|
|Chip||fast: dual core||Faster: quadcore|
|Stylus||None / buggy||Yes – unique selling point for artists and students|
|Handwriting recognition||Some in evernote||Yes – even does mathematical formulas and calculations|
|Multitask||Yes, but not on one screen||Yes, two applications on one screen. A bit slow.|
|Battery||10 hours||8 hours|
|Apps and games||iTunes has the largest selection of apps||Google app store has the essentials, but still far less options|
|Photoshop Touch included|
|Remote control||If you have an apple TV the iPad becomes your remote||Your tablet becomes a remote for tvs without needing an extra device.|
|File management||Your files get copied into every app you use them in. Not very useful.||Your files can be edited by several apps without them having to be copied. For instance, you can add comments to a PDF you have in Dropbox, create an annotated copy and the resulting file will also be saved in Dropbox.In short: Android has a normal operating system, where iPads have a file system in which each app has it’s own list of files.|