I have in my hands one badass freaking tablet. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, the dream of many a tablet artist that have longed for a standalone pressure-sensitive tablet. I can only speak for myself, but I don’t care if it was Apple or (some sort of Google-allied manufacturer) makes it, first one past the goal wins the prize. And in this case, it was Samsung.

This is the “I’ve only just turned this thing on and have been using it for 2 hours” post; a more detailed and less chaotic version will follow in due time. Onwards!

I don’t want to compare this to the iPad 3 because that’s not really fair– the iPad’s OMG resolution is going to blow the competition out of the water for the forseeable future. Instead, let me spin it like this: For $500 (the price of the 16 GB model, the 32 GB is $50 more), you get the equivalent of a Wacom Cintiq 12WX, a tablet-sized Logitech Harmony (via IR blaster), and an otherwise fully-fledged Android tablet, all smashed together into one tablet. If that doesn’t sound like a steal, then I don’t know what would convince you, considering to get all of those separately would total at LEAST $1500. :P

If you’ve never used Android before, it isn’t THAT much different from iOS. The App Store of choice is Google Play, though Samsung pimps its own, albeit miniscule app store if you wish to make use of it. You get Netflix out of the box, but you’re on your own if you want Facebook and Twitter. I looted Tweet Deck again, but it seems this particular variant was made for phones rather than tablets.

For some reason, and maybe I’m just overlooking a setting, I cannot charge over USB if I’m plugged into Dinah– it just goes into USB connect mode. If I use the bundled wall adapter, then the tablet will commence charging. Bah! I’m spoiled on being able to use my computers as power outlets. I’m going to need an extension cable since the bundled USB cable is too short.

Do you have Dropbox? Are you a cheapo like me and have been running on the free version? Guess what: because you looted this tablet, you get a free upgrade to a 50 GB account for the next two years, no questions asked. That’s right. All you have to do is log in and, pow, instant awesome. Of course, if you don’t have an account, you can create one and you still get the free upgrade.

Now, the most important part: how does this thing perform as far as a drawing tool? Well… you get Photoshop Touch for free. If you are anything resembling a serious digital artist… just forget that this app even exists. No, really. Photoshop Touch SUCKS, and isn’t even worth the $10 that you would have had to pay to get it otherwise. Instead, go to the Google Play store and loot Autodesk Sketchbook Pro– for now, it is the closest you’ll get to a real drawing/painting app, and it’s only $5.

Why does Photoshop Touch suck? It’s promoted as a drawing app, but it’s not exactly set up to function like one out of the box. You have to manually activate the pressure-sensitive features, and that’s per-tool, and changing tools is very awkward, and you can’t memorize specific tool configurations. Hell no. F that noise. Get SketchBook Pro and you’ll really be packing heat. :D At least, until Corel gets off its butt and ports Painter… >_>

Things to further investigate:
– exploration of Sketchbook Pro
– video playback (this claims to support MKV files, and if you know what they are, this is a very good thing)
– the IR blaster
– Hey, isn’t there Slingbox for Android, too? I could use that…

It looks like I may be able to fling PSD files back and forth over the LAN. Cool! I was otherwise expecting to have to Dropbox my work files, but if I can do it over the house LAN, that’s even better. :D

And since Neo is going to ask: I consider things like iPhones and, well, this tablet to be weapons/hand armor pieces rather than full characters. Just as my iPhone/iPod Touch were twin ninja swords for Dinah, this tablet is, by virtue of size, a shield for Blastoise. Well, maybe more like a MWS (Multi Weapon System) from Xenosaga… aka the Pocket Knife of Doom. Shield + taser + grenade launcher + what-have-you. Anyway, I’ve dubbed this tablet the Aegis… as in, the shield. Though I suppose a Gundam SEED reference is fine too. :P

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