Samsung (SSNLF) has a lot of tablets available right now. A quick check on Samsung’s U.S. website shows 35 different models and that doesn’t include phablets. So much choice can be confusing, but after spending a week with a trio of its latest Pro models — including the time spent on this Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 review — I think Samsung’s best all-round tablet for professional use is this one: the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1.
Probably the best Android tablet I’ve used so far, the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 is thin and light yet boasts a full-sized 10.1-inch display that packs over 4 million pixels. It looks great, feels great and performs well.
If you’re in the market for a new tablet and you want something big enough and powerful enough to use for work (or capable of playing the latest Android games), but you also appreciate sleek design, then you should be checking this one out.
Read on for my Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 review:
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 Review: Right-Sized and Optimized
The gargantuan Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is simply too big (and expensive) for the consumer market, and even professional users are going to think twice about paying the price of a decent UltraBook for a 12-inch tablet. On the other hand, the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 (reviewed here) is going to be too small for many potential buyers — great for portability, not quite so great for extended use.
Of the three Pro tablets Samsung sent, I found the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 model hit the sweet spot: It’s big enough to read documents or scan websites, yet not too big to hold comfortably, carry from room to room or slip into briefcase or large purse.
It still has a size advantage over arch rival Apple’s (AAPL) iPad Air (which has a 9.7-inch display) and Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle Fire HDX 8.9. The Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1’s 2560 x 1600 resolution means a crisp 299 pixels per inch (ppi), putting the tablet ahead of the iPad Air (264 ppi) and the Microsoft (MSFT) Surface 2 (208 ppi). Despite the size advantage, this Android tablet actually weighs the same as the iPad Air.
As pointed out in Gizmag’s Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 review, the display’s resolution, brightness, excellent viewing angles and 16:10 aspect ratio make this tablet ideal for viewing movies.
After doing just that, plus playing some games (all part of the job), I would say that based on the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1’s performance and display, it’s at the very least a contender for best Android tablet.
Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 Review: Prosumer-Friendly Android Tablet That’s Ready for Business
Unless there’s a need for ultra portability or the tablet is being used as a secondary device, prosumers and enterprise users tend to prefer full-sized tablets. At 10.1 inches, the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 checks that box. It’s also big enough to make good use of multi-window capability.
AnandTech makes a good observation in its Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 review: this $549 tablet actually has a better display than many laptops.
Besides the display, a powerful CPU makes the tablet a mobile powerhouse. Instead of going with a Qualcomm (QCOM) Snapdragon, Samsung used its own Exynos 5 Octa-core processor. Keeping with the speed theme, the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 also offers fast Gigabit Wi-Fi and optional LTE — or at least it will once a U.S. carrier like Verizon (VZ), which offers other Samsung tablets, picks it up. Battery life is a solid 10 hours, making it an all-day performer.
Microsoft hasn’t gotten around to releasing an Android version of its tablet-optimized Office Suite yet (the iPad scored that coup last week), but with the included software, options like Google’s cloud-based apps and that high-resolution, multi-window display, the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 might just be the best Android tablet for general business use.
It would be nice to also have the S Pen that Samsung includes with the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, but even without the stylus, this is a very business-friendly Android tablet.
Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 Review: Specifications
- 10.1-inch display at 2560 x 1600 pixels (299 ppi)
- Exynos 5 Octa-core CPU with 2GB RAM
- 16GB storage (expandable using microSD card)
- Available in black or white faux leather finish (Galaxy Tab PRO 10.1 review unit was white)
- 8MP rear camera (with flash), 2MP front camera
- Dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac*
- IR remote
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Android 4,4 (KitKat) with Samsung TouchWiz
- 8220 mAh Lithium Ion battery rated at 10 hours
- Weighs 16.54 oz
- MSRP: $499.99
- Also includes “perks” such as $25 Google (GOOG) Play credit, three months of Hulu Plus and 50GB of free Dropbox space
*Note: my wireless router is not 802.11ac compatible, so I was unable to confirm network speed during my review of the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1; however, this Gigabit Wi-Fi support should result in a much faster online experience when used with a compatible router.
Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 Review: Conclusion
I went looking for a Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 review that had anything bad to say, thinking I might have overlooked something. However, criticism of this device is tough to find. Not everyone cares for the faux leather back cover, but beyond that design choice, this is one very well-received tablet.
Big enough for professional use, with a sharp display equally at home showing two apps running side by side or playing the latest HD movie, the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 would make an excellent choice for business use or to get the most out of the personal tablet experience.
I had the chance to use all three of Samsung’s Pro tablets together, along with key competitors like the iPad Air. Of the three Samsung offerings, I found that I was the most productive with the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 — the tablet simply hits all the right notes, and I didn’t have to work around issues like text that’s too small to read without zooming.
I’m not sure I’d give up my iPad Air just yet, but the combo of the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 and KitKat might just make this the best Android tablet available today.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.