Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014

In May 2014 I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition tablet (wikipedia page [1]) with 32G of storage. It’s display is 2560×1600 resolution which still compares well to the latest tablets. The Galaxy Tab S8 [2] is the latest high-end tablet series from Samsung and the 11 inch tablet in that series also has a 2560×1600 giving it a slightly lower DPI! The latest series also has 12.4″ and 14.6″ tablets with resolutions of 2800×1752 and 2960×1848 respectively. Obviously if you want a 14″ tablet then the latest offerings are good, but if you want a 10″ or 11″ tablet then Samsung hasn’t improved much. The Note 10.1 has 3G of RAM and a choice of 16G, 32G, or 64G of storage. The latest Tab S8 tablets have 8G to 16G of RAM and 128G to 512G of internal storage, which are great if you need such things. For many tasks 3G of RAM is quite adequate and as I chose the 32G model I haven’t had a problem with storage. The s-pen is a feature of this tablet which is also on the latest high-end Samsung tablets, it is useful for accessing small elements in web sites designed for desktop use and for graphics editing.

One noteworthy feature of this tablet is the fact that when in “landscape” orientation it has speakers on each side, which is the correct layout as the vast majority of video with stereo sound is in a landscape orientation.

After using that tablet for about 4 years I bought myself a newer tablet and gave it to my wife. She has since passed it on to another relative who is using it regularly. That tablet seems to have lasted well still being quite usable when it’s almost 9 years old. The price including delivery was $579, that works out to about $1.30 per week (disregarding interest and inflation). According to the Reserve Bank of Australia inflation calculator [3] $579 in 2014 is equivalent to $652 in 2021, they don’t have results for later than 2021 so I’ll assume it would be $675 in 2023.

Currently the main problems with this tablet are lack of USB-C support (which means it’s difficult to connect to an external display among other things) and lack of a recent version of Android, 4.4.2 was the latest OTA update available. The XDA Developers forum has a section for this tablet [4] which includes discussion of updates to Android 5.x for devices which didn’t get it automatically and for upgrading to very recent Android versions in LineageOS. I’m idly considering one of those options, but for the current user the Google Play store is a requirement.

Newer Samsung Tablets

The current equivalent Samsung tablet is the Galaxy Tab S8 which is currently being sold for $1055 which is 56% higher than the inflation adjusted price of my tablet. I don’t think this is reasonable given that I bought it 7 months after release and it’s now 11 months since the release of the Tab S8. The Tab S8 has more RAM, more storage, and a faster CPU due to improvements over the entire computer industry – replacing old parts with newer versions of the same things (including changing to USB-C) doesn’t justify a price rise. Increasing RAM size by a factor of 3-5 and increasing storage by a factor of 8 over the last 9 years doesn’t match the industry trends for PCs, also as an aside my latest laptop only has 8G of RAM and works well for much more demanding tasks. The Tab S8 series also has significantly better cameras, but I don’t think that’s a big deal, the 2Mp front camera in my tablet can provide adequate quality for video conferencing and usually saturate the upload bandwidth and again that’s an issue of the entire industry moving to newer hardware. I don’t think it’s bad to take a form factor and display that works well and put newer versions of the CPU, RAM, storage, cameras, and OS on it. But asking for 56% more money for the updated tablet seems unreasonable.

The current S8 Ultra is going for $1760 and the S8+ is $1479. I think those are ridiculous prices for tablets as there is a decent range of new laptops that are cheaper. I believe that the purpose of a tablet is to be easy to carry and quick to start using (no waiting for a laptop to connect to wifi after leaving suspend). The largest of the S8 Tabs is about the same length and width as a Thinkpad X1 Carbon with the benefits being that it’s thinner and lighter, but if you got a tablet case with keyboard then it would be thicker and heavier. The S8 seems like bad value for money and the S8+ and S8 Ultra don’t seem to compare well to laptops and Chromebooks with touch screens unless you have a specific need for Android tablet apps.

If Samsung are going to just make new tablets without any significant improvements other than refreshing to the latest CPU, RAM, storage, and Camera technology and force users to upgrade via a lack of new OS support then they shouldn’t charge so much. Stick well below $1000 and people will be more inclined to replace items, expensive items are expected to last.


Buying this tablet was definitely a good choice. It has performed well for many years and after a couple of years of light use it’s back in daily use again. The value for money it offered was significantly greater than newer tablets, when it was new it was really high-end, the current S8 Tab series of tablets aren’t anything special when compared to other tablets.

2 comments to Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014

  • I’m not sure whether a device that hasn’t gotten security updates in around 8 years (based on 4.4.2 release date) is really usable. I might be paranoid, but for me, 6 months stretches it, and past a year it’s unusable.

    I totally agree that the hardware is good, actually very good – few devices still work after 8 years. It’s a shame that the software/firmware part fails to keep up with, though.

  • I agree that the lack of security support is a massive issue with Android which is inherent to the design of the hardware platform. They should have a boot interface like UEFI that allows separating kernels from the hardware. There’s no reason why installing a different OS on a phone should be any different from installing a different OS on a PC.