Notebookcheck

Double-Review Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 Tablet

Daniel Schuster (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 03/19/2014

Spoiled for choice. The latest edition of the 10.1-inch tablet from the Galaxy line is available in two SoC versions. The LTE version sports the Snapdragon 800, and the in-house octa-core is installed in the Wi-Fi-only version. We tested how both devices fare in the following report.

For the original German review, see here.

We were actually pretty sure that Samsung would roll out the Galaxy Tab 4 line on the market this year, but the inventive marketing department opted for a new name. Both current models bear the name "Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1". We are curious as to what has been modified to such an extent that the tablets' name earns the add-on "Pro" compared with its precursors.

A significant difference is the choice of the SoC. The model that features LTE is powered by no other than Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 quad-core with a clock rate of 2.3 GHz per core. Should mobile Internet outside a Wi-Fi network not be needed, the Wi-Fi-only model satisfies with the in-house Exynos 5420 octa-core. It uses the big.LITTLE technology, and features eight processing cores. Depending on the requirement, the tablet either falls back on four A15 cores (1.9 GHz per core) or uses A9 cores (1.3 GHz per core) for lower demands. Another upgrade compared with the precursor is found in the screen. Although it still has a size of 10.1 inches, it now has four-times the resolution (2560x1600 pixels). The next larger version is the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. This high-end tablet also sports the Exynos 5420 octa-core. Whether buying a Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 is worthwhile, and where the differences are exactly found, can be discovered in the following test report.

Case

The looks have barely changed at first glance. The display's bezel still features a brushed aluminum look, and slightly protrudes above the screen to prevent scratches. The back has a much higher quality feel because the polycarbonate is matte and textured. The tablet now features the same haptics as, for example, the Galaxy Note 3 or Galaxy Note 10.1. Both tested models only differ marginally from the outside - the biggest differences are found under the hood.

As expected from Samsung, everything features an immaculate build and makes a high quality impression. The casing is very stiff, and even lighter than that of the precursor (512 grams; ~18.1 oz), but it is almost as heavy as Apple's iPad Air (464 grams; ~16.4 oz). The octa-core model weighs 469 grams (~16.5 oz) and the LTE version weighs 477 grams (~16.8 oz). Compared with the new 12.2-inch edition (750 grams; ~25.4 oz) of the Galaxy Note Pro, our review sample is relatively light. With dimensions of 243.1 x 171.4 x 7.3 mm (~9.6 x 6.8 x 0.3 inches), it is slightly bigger than the iPad Air, and naturally much smaller than the 12.2-inch version (295.6 x 204 x 7.95 mm; ~11.6 x 8.0 x 0.3 inches).

The casings of both versions...
The casings of both versions...
...is absolutely identical, and feature the same high-quality build...
...is absolutely identical, and feature the same high-quality build...
...as is typical from Samsung.
...as is typical from Samsung.

Connectivity

As mentioned, both versions look nearly identical. One detail at the casing's right is however found. Only the Snapdragon 800 tablet has a micro-SIM slot. Like in the octa-core model, the right side also features the micro-SD slot and one speaker. Only a second speaker and the 3.5 mm jack for audio devices are found on the opposite side. The power button and volume rocker are located on the upper edge. The infrared port there enables using the tablet as a universal remote. The micro-USB port is on the lower edge. Users who want a USB 3.0 port will have to opt for the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) or Galaxy Note Pro 12.2.

The USB 2.0 port is on the lower edge...
The USB 2.0 port is on the lower edge...
...and the micro-SD slot and a speaker are on the right.
...and the micro-SD slot and a speaker are on the right.
An infrared transmitter is installed alongside the power button and volume rocker on the upper edge.
An infrared transmitter is installed alongside the power button and volume rocker on the upper edge.
The 3.5 mm audio jack and another speaker are located on the upper left.
The 3.5 mm audio jack and another speaker are located on the upper left.
Pre-loaded home screens with all kinds of news.
Pre-loaded home screens with all kinds of news.

Software

Both models feature Android 4.4.2. As expected, Samsung installs a lot of bloatware. Starting with "WebEx" over to "e-Meeting" up to "Hancom-Viewer" or the in-house developed "Samsung Apps" - there are quite a few pre-loaded apps. Many apps cannot be deleted, but they can be disabled.

Naturally, the launcher TouchWiz is a must in this tablet. Samsung has more tightly integrated the "MultiWindow" feature in the launcher, and either the latest messages or office applications are found left or right of the home screen. "S Voice" can be activated and used by double-clicking the home button.

Communication & GPS 

One of the biggest differences is found in this sector. The model based on Qualcomm's SoC can set up connections to mobile Internet when out of reach of a wireless LAN network. The installed LTE module is responsible for this (800/850/900/1800/2600 MHz). However, should the mobile plan not include an LTE option, UMTS (850/900/1900/2100 MHz) can be used. We did not ascertain anything negative about the connection and transmission quality in the test period.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 with an Exynos octa-core is worth looking at when such a module is not required. All other communication modules are identical. The Wi-Fi module supports the 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards, and can transmit in dual-band mode. The connection quality is also very good here, and there are no problems. Bluetooth version 4.0 is installed, and both models feature an infrared port on the tablet's upper edge.

The GPS module does a satisfactory job. The navigation aid was tested across the federal autobahns. Naturally, the sensor sooner or later lost the connection for a moment, but the sat-fix was quickly reestablished.

The connection's accuracy indoors is...
The connection's accuracy indoors is...
...a bit poorer in the Exynos model than in the LTE model.
...a bit poorer in the Exynos model than in the LTE model.

Cameras & Multimedia

The camera modules in both versions are also the same. The front-facing camera has a maximum resolution of 2 MPs, and the rear-facing unit has 8 MPs. An LED flash additionally supports the primary camera.

The camera on the tablet's back delivers good results in bright surroundings. The colors look natural, and the reproduction of details is largely satisfactory. The 2 MP camera displays the same scene a bit darker, but also surprises with a proper color reproduction. Of course, the pictures of the small unit exhibit considerably less detail, but this module will mainly be used for video calls. The indoor results are slightly inferior. Although everything can be recognized on pictures shot with the 8 MP camera, it is very obvious that the unit struggles with image noise at a very early stage. The front-facing camera underlines this observation even more. All in all, both cameras deliver quite useful results. The numerous photo modes of Samsung's software are noticed favorably. The manufacturer supplies a selection mode for almost every conceivable situation.

8 MP primary camera: Outdoor picture
8 MP primary camera: Outdoor picture
2 MP front-facing camera: Outdoor picture
2 MP front-facing camera: Outdoor picture
18 MP reference camera: Outdoor picture
18 MP reference camera: Outdoor picture
8 MP primary camera: Indoor picture
8 MP primary camera: Indoor picture
2 MP front-facing camera: Indoor picture
2 MP front-facing camera: Indoor picture
18 MP reference camera: Indoor picture
18 MP reference camera: Indoor picture

Accessories & Warranty

Considering the price of the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, the accessories are relatively sparse. Only a few sheets of paper about warranty terms and quick start instructions are found besides the modular power supply. No headset is included even for the LTE version.

The Galaxy Tab Pro comes with a 24-month warranty within the EU.

Input Devices & Controls

The screen responds to inputs made by up to ten fingers at the same time, and is both lightning fast and extremely accurate. The Galaxy Tab Pro needs a second before it rotates the screen's content, but functions without stuttering.

The virtual keyboard takes up approximately 50% of the screen in landscape mode. The view is not quite as restricted in portrait mode. Other keyboards can be installed via third party apps. They often feature settings for the keyboard size and other options. Users who prefer small keyboards should look closer at the app "Minuum Keyboard". Unfortunately, this Galaxy Tab still does not support the S-Pen. Thus, inputs will be made almost exclusively over the touchscreen. Buyers who want the S-Pen should either take the brand new Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 or look closer at the Galaxy Note line (also available in 10.1 inches).

Tight in landscape mode...
Tight in landscape mode...
...but much more room in portrait mode.
...but much more room in portrait mode.
Left: Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 Snapdragon 800 Right: Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 Exynos Octa-Core

Display

The screen's WQXGA resolution makes it razor-sharp.
The screen's WQXGA resolution makes it razor-sharp.

The biggest innovation compared with the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is surely the screen's resolution. It is now even four times as high with 2560x1600 pixels. The WQXGA screen is a Super Clear TFT LCD in 16:10 format, and has a pixel density of 298.9 ppi. The bigger Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 features the same resolution, just like the older Nexus 10 from Google.

The screen's average brightness of 367.7 cd/m² is very satisfactory. Unfortunately, we have to deduct a point in illumination because 78% is simply too low. The contenders, in the case of the iPad Air, with an illumination of 90%, score much better here. The screen's contrast could also be higher, but it is prevented by the increased black level of 0.7 cd/m².

388
cd/m²
407
cd/m²
385
cd/m²
376
cd/m²
380
cd/m²
360
cd/m²
341
cd/m²
353
cd/m²
319
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 407 cd/m²
Average: 367.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 78 %
Center on Battery: 380 cd/m²
Black: 0.7 cd/m²
Contrast: 543:1

Following tradition, Samsung offers various color modes in its devices. Using CalMAN 5 software and our colorimeter, we ascertained that the "Standard" mode is the best compromise in color reproduction, color saturation, and grayscale reproduction. The average DeltaE rate of 4.95 (Color Checker) and 4.52 (Grayscale) underlines this. The extremely fluctuating grayscale reproduction quality in the "Dynamic" mode is very conspicuous. They are too bright in the darker part, and too dark in light gray hues. The "Video" mode is not completely convincing either because the "red" and "blue" colors are not rendered naturally.

Color Management "Dynamic"
Color Management "Dynamic"
Color Management "Standard"
Color Management "Standard"
Color Management "Video"
Color Management "Video"
Color Checker "Dynamic"
Color Checker "Dynamic"
Color Checker "Standard"
Color Checker "Standard"
Color Checker "Video"
Color Checker "Video"
Grayscale "Dynamic"
Grayscale "Dynamic"
Grayscale "Standard"
Grayscale "Standard"
Grayscale "Video"
Grayscale "Video"
Saturation Sweeps "Dynamic"
Saturation Sweeps "Dynamic"
Saturation Sweeps "Standard"
Saturation Sweeps "Standard"
Saturation Sweeps "Video"
Saturation Sweeps "Video"

A very high average brightness, a high contrast (resulting from a low black level), and an anti-glare screen is needed to achieve the full score in this segment. Unfortunately, few tablets currently on the market feature a matte screen. An appropriate screen protector can help here. Although the contrast of 543:1 is at an acceptable level, a lower black level could lead to a clearly better result. Using the Tab Pro 10.1 outdoors is possible, in general, by playing with the viewing angles a bit, and making sure that the sun does not shine directly on the screen.

The displayed content remains legible in almost every thinkable position. The LCD screen does a good job here, and only permits a minimum of color distortions. All in all, Samsung fulfills the demands in this segment well, as expected.

Outdoors
Outdoors
Viewing angle stability
Viewing angle stability

Performance

The first major difference to the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 was the screen's resolution. The second is found here in performance and the installed hardware; the difference within the Galaxy Tab 10.1 line is just as striking. The tablet is available in two different versions. When opting for the SoC from Qualcomm, the quad-core model is the Snapdragon 800 (8974-AA) and has a clock frequency of 2.3 GHz per core. It is an old acquaintance among the SoCs. This version is only sold with an installed LTE module.

The second version of the review sample is more interesting. The long-awaited octa-core Exynos 5420 from Samsung is installed here. This SoC consists, in the proper sense, of two separately working quad-cores, and operates according to the ARM big.LITTLE concept. The processing cores built in the 28 nm process are used according to the performance demand. For example, high performance demand is processed by the ARM Cortex A15 cores (1.9 GHz per core), and are disabled when the tablet is idling. Then the ARM Cortex A7 cores (1.2 GHz) power the tablet. The ARM Mali-T628 graphics solution is used as the GPU. The SoCs of both versions fall back on 2 GB of working memory.

We particularly noticed that the performance of the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is on a very similar level in the synthetic benchmarks. That is unsurprising since the SoC is identical, and the device's other equipment only differs from the smaller 10.1-inch version in certain points. Older tablets, such as Sony's Xperia Tablet Z or Google's Nexus 10, can only compete in a few benchmarks - these two models often lag far behind. The very high performance of Apple's iPad Air remains outstanding. Regardless whether it is the 10.1-inch or the 12.2-inch version of the Galaxy Tab Pro, both tablets have a hard time reaching the performance of Apple's flagship.

3DMark (2013)
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
13416 Points ∼9%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
14053 Points ∼10% +5%
Apple iPad Air
14858 Points ∼10% +11%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
13283 Points ∼5%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
14775 Points ∼5% +11%
Apple iPad Air
18868 Points ∼7% +42%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
13903 Points ∼27%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
11999 Points ∼23% -14%
Apple iPad Air
8520 Points ∼17% -39%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
22.9 fps ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
25.5 fps ∼4% +11%
Apple iPad Air
27 fps ∼4% +18%
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
22.8 fps ∼3% 0%
Google Nexus 10
12.4 fps ∼2% -46%
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
12 fps ∼2% -48%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
13.9 fps ∼23%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
17 fps ∼28% +22%
Apple iPad Air
21 fps ∼35% +51%
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
13.9 fps ∼23% 0%
Google Nexus 10
7.9 fps ∼13% -43%
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
12 fps ∼20% -14%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
901 Points ∼26%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
661 Points ∼19% -27%
Apple iPad Air
1479 Points ∼42% +64%
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
943 Points ∼27% +5%
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
2707 Points ∼21%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
2036 Points ∼16% -25%
Apple iPad Air
2687 Points ∼21% -1%
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
2790 Points ∼22% +3%
Linpack for Android
Single Thread (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
391.745 MFLOPS ∼51%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
304.848 MFLOPS ∼40% -22%
Apple iPad Air
557.99 MFLOPS ∼73% +42%
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
349.306 MFLOPS ∼45% -11%
Google Nexus 10
134.173 MFLOPS ∼17% -66%
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
248.76 MFLOPS ∼32% -36%
Multi Thread (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
648.718 MFLOPS ∼45%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
496.078 MFLOPS ∼34% -24%
Apple iPad Air
977.31 MFLOPS ∼68% +51%
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
631.71 MFLOPS ∼44% -3%
Google Nexus 10
189.94 MFLOPS ∼13% -71%
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
516.44 MFLOPS ∼36% -20%
Epic Citadel
High Performance (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
56.5 fps ∼93%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
58.3 fps ∼96% +3%
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
57.8 fps ∼95% +2%
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
57.2 fps ∼94% +1%
High Quality (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
54.5 fps ∼89%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
57.1 fps ∼94% +5%
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
56.5 fps ∼93% +4%
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
55.6 fps ∼91% +2%
Ultra High Quality (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
23.5 fps ∼39%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
27.7 fps ∼46% +18%
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
28.5 fps ∼48% +21%

Legend

 
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version Samsung Exynos 5420 Octa, ARM Mali-T628 MP6, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPad Air Apple A7, PowerVR G6430, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 Samsung Exynos 5420 Octa, ARM Mali-T628 MP6, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Google Nexus 10 Samsung Exynos 5250 Dual, ARM Mali-T604 MP4, 32 GB SSD
 
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
 
Sony Xperia Tablet Z Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064A, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB iNAND Flash

Apple again has the lead in the browser-based benchmarks - with both its iPad Air and iPad Mini Retina. Not much has changed in performance compared with the Xperia Tablet Z or Nexus 10 either, although both older models come a bit closer to our review sample. Microsoft's Surface 2 and the Lumia 1520, as representatives of the Microsoft division, often have a hard time. The score is clearly in favor of the Windows devices only in the "Sunspider" benchmark.

Browsermark - --- (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
2157 points ∼30%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
2492 points ∼35% +16%
Apple iPad Air
3603 points ∼50% +67%
Apple iPad mini Retina
3541 points ∼49% +64%
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
2321 points ∼32% +8%
Google Nexus 10
2254 points ∼31% +4%
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
1731 points ∼24% -20%
Microsoft Surface 2
3012 points ∼42% +40%
Nokia Lumia 1520
2098 points ∼29% -3%
Mozilla Kraken 1.0 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
12708.2 ms * ∼7%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
15959.1 ms * ∼9% -26%
Apple iPad Air
7823.5 ms * ∼5% +38%
Apple iPad mini Retina
8288.7 ms * ∼5% +35%
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
21780.6 ms * ∼13% -71%
Microsoft Surface 2
13489.1 ms * ∼8% -6%
Nokia Lumia 1520
28592.3 ms * ∼17% -125%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
860 Points ∼14%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
652 Points ∼11% -24%
Apple iPad Air
1855 Points ∼30% +116%
Apple iPad mini Retina
1724 Points ∼28% +100%
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
848 Points ∼14% -1%
Google Nexus 10
652 Points ∼11% -24%
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
322 Points ∼5% -63%
Microsoft Surface 2
791 Points ∼13% -8%
Nokia Lumia 1520
515 Points ∼8% -40%
Sunspider - --- (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
1132.8 ms * ∼11%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
1052.4 ms * ∼10% +7%
Apple iPad Air
414.4 ms * ∼4% +63%
Apple iPad mini Retina
310.7 ms * ∼3% +73%
Google Nexus 10
1345.7 ms * ∼13% -19%
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
1887.5 ms * ∼18% -67%
Microsoft Surface 2
390.8 ms * ∼4% +66%
Nokia Lumia 1520
564.6 ms * ∼5% +50%

* ... smaller is better

A mixed impression is conveyed in the storage speed assessment. The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is most conspicuous because it scores poorer than our review sample in three of four tests. Just as surprising is that the Nexus 10 is permanently before the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 in sequential processes. Thus, the review sample is no rocket in regard to flash performance, but it is not slow either.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
90.47 MB/s ∼54%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
96.42 MB/s ∼58% +7%
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
88.55 MB/s ∼53% -2%
Google Nexus 10
99.53 MB/s ∼59% +10%
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
48.65 MB/s ∼29% -46%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
15.9 MB/s ∼28%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
18.08 MB/s ∼31% +14%
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
16.08 MB/s ∼28% +1%
Google Nexus 10
20.02 MB/s ∼35% +26%
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
16.04 MB/s ∼28% +1%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
10.93 MB/s ∼52%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
9.5 MB/s ∼45% -13%
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
9 MB/s ∼43% -18%
Google Nexus 10
10.35 MB/s ∼49% -5%
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
11.1 MB/s ∼53% +2%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
1.5 MB/s ∼51%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
1.56 MB/s ∼53% +4%
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
1.12 MB/s ∼38% -25%
Google Nexus 10
1.27 MB/s ∼43% -15%
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
1.19 MB/s ∼41% -21%

Games & Videos

The hardware faces a challenge that should not be underestimated when rendering videos. We already checked whether the Snapdragon 800 SoC has problems with playing QFHD videos in earlier tests - which was not the case. It did not have problems with rendering current 3D games from Google's Play Store either.

The octa-core still has to pass this test, but we have a few doubts because the hardware is not cleared for QFHD videos. Its performance was examined based on various trailers. Unfortunately, our test video could only be rendered by using a third party player. The soundtrack worked perfectly, but the video track caused extreme artifacts, and did not run smoothly. Regrettably, the SoC cannot overcome this hurdle. In return, Full HD videos, and all kinds of 3D games were rendered without problems. The A15 cores of the Exynos 5420 have enough performance reserves to render all game contents smoothly and flawlessly.

All tested 3D games...
All tested 3D games...
...were no challenge for either tablet.
...were no challenge for either tablet.
This is different when playing QFHD trailers.
This is different when playing QFHD trailers.
The LTE model copes with that, but the Exynos version has problems.
The LTE model copes with that, but the Exynos version has problems.

Temperature

Different performance = different temperatures. The octa-core's average load temperature is approximately 31 °C (87.8 °F) (Apple iPad Air: 34.4 °C; 93.92 °F), and the Snapdragon 800 version's average is 30.2 °C (86.36 °F). The ascertained rates drop considerably when under no or only low load. The Tab Pro 10.1 with the Exynos octa-core reaches an average of 28.6 °C (93.48 °F) on the front in this case (Apple iPad Air: 30 °C; 86 °F) and 27.4 °C (81.32 °F) on the back. The model with the Qualcomm processor unit achieves similar rates (front: 28.2 °C; 82.76 °F; back: 28.5 °C; 83.3 °F). The difference between both devices is barely noticed, and the temperature difference compared with the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is also only marginal. We ascertained a maximum temperature of just over 44 °C (111.2 °F) on the power supplies of both tablets. That drops by about 4 °C (~7 °F) as soon as the two devices are put in idle mode.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version

Max. Load
 28.2 °C38.2 °C34.1 °C 
 27.4 °C30.0 °C30.3 °C 
 28.5 °C32.0 °C30.4 °C 
Maximum: 38.2 °C
Average: 31 °C
33.9 °C36.6 °C26.2 °C
31.3 °C32.4 °C27.1 °C
30.7 °C31.7 °C28.0 °C
Maximum: 36.6 °C
Average: 30.9 °C
Power Supply (max.)  44.2 °C | Room Temperature 21.0 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version

 27.1 °C31.1 °C27.8 °C 
 27.2 °C28.4 °C27.6 °C 
 28.6 °C30.2 °C31.0 °C 
Maximum: 31.1 °C
Average: 28.8 °C
28.1 °C31.9 °C26.4 °C
27.7 °C29.5 °C27.2 °C
28.1 °C29.7 °C28.0 °C
Maximum: 31.9 °C
Average: 28.5 °C
Power Supply (max.)  40.6 °C | Room Temperature 21.0 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

The stereo speakers of both tablets are identical. We appreciated that the speakers are located on the casing's left and right edge. Thus, the openings are only covered in exceptional situations, and the sound does not distort, as is the case in many smartphones and tablets. The maximum volume is sufficient, but music is unlikely to be enjoyed at this level because the sound is not exempt from distortions. The sound of both tablets is impressive up to about 80% of the maximum volume. Users who nevertheless want a better sound can connect external speakers via the 3.5 mm jack. Providing the corresponding infrastructure is available, wireless streaming via Bluetooth 4.0 is possible. Samsung does not include a headset.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Qualcomm's SoC clocks by up to 400 MHz higher per core than the Exynos 5420. This difference of course has a direct impact on the full load power consumption - one might think. The Snapdragon 800 model consumes between 9.1 and 11. 2 Watts under load. Surprisingly, the Exynos version drains between 10.1 and 11.2 Watts from the battery. A difference is seen in low performance operations. The big.LITTLE technology can display its advantage here because the requirement ranges from 2.9 to 8 Watts. The consumption of the Snapdragon model drops between 3.5 and 8.9 Watts in the idle scenario. The consumption when deactivated is an unpleasant surprise because both tablets consume 1.2 Watts.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 1.2 / 1.4 Watt
Idle 2.9 / 7.6 / 8.0 Watt
Load 10.1 / 11.2 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 1.2 / 1.3 Watt
Idle 3.5 / 7.8 / 8.9 Watt
Load 9.1 / 11.2 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

Even if both models do a similarly good job, the biggest difference will likely be ascertained in the battery runtime. It became clear in the previous section that both models require a different amount of energy. A clear recommendation cannot be given here because the tablet powered by the Snapdragon 800 SoC achieves an outstanding full load runtime, while the octa-core model exhibits its advantages in idle applications. The LTE version accomplished an awesome full load runtime of 6 hours and 5 minutes. The Wi-Fi version was drained after about half the time (3:38 hours). This is the opposite in our Wi-Fi test using a screen brightness of approx. 150 cd/m². The octa-core's architecture using four energy-efficient cores pays off because the review sample achieved a runtime of 14 hours and 45 minutes (LTE sample: 12:44 hours). This difference is even clearer when the screen's brightness is set to the absolute minimum and the wireless models are disabled. The octa-core consumes so little power that the tablet had to be recharged only after 21:55 hours. The Snapdragon tablet was drained almost 5 hours sooner. Both Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 models are on a similar level as the iPad Air. The iPad Air is very lasting with an idle runtime of just under 24 hours. However, our review sample managed a better runtime in the Wi-Fi test. The non-removable battery in both cases has a capacity of 8220 mAh.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
21h 55min
WiFi Surfing
14h 45min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 53min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 38min

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
17h 9min
WiFi Surfing
12h 44min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
9h 10min
Load (maximum brightness)
6h 05min

Verdict

The Tab Pro 10.1 is available in two versions. The buyer is spoiled for choice.
The Tab Pro 10.1 is available in two versions. The buyer is spoiled for choice.

The Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 line has been replaced by the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 series. Not much has changed in terms of looks and size, and the build quality remains at a high standard. The biggest differences are surely the WQXGA screen with 2560x1600 pixels and the stronger SoC. Surprisingly, Samsung has decided to offer two processor versions. The well-known Snapdragon 800 quad-core (2.3 GHz per core) powers one, and Samsung's own Exynos 5420 octa-core (1.9 GHz) the other version. Drawbacks of the Exynos model are the unavailable LTE module, and the fact that the SoC cannot play QFHD videos.

Fundamentally, both models do not differ much, and a closer look is needed to find differences. The tablets feature high performance and good battery runtime at the same time - this combination is not a matter of course. Fused with a razor-sharp screen, a good camera, and numerous communication interfaces, the new devices of the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 line are true all-rounders. The LTE version, based on the Snapdragon 800 SoC, is currently available for 599 Euros (~$828 RRP), and the Exynos version without an LTE module sells for 499 Euros (~$690). Their prices will barely differ from the manufacturer's recommended price since both tablets are new on the market. It is difficult to recommend a specific device. In sum, the battery runtime and performance of the Qualcomm SoC is better, and it comes with an LTE module on top - however, it is also more expensive. Buyers who do not need this wireless module or want to play QFHD videos are very well advised with the Exynos model. Looking closely at the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 would be worthwhile when 2 cm more are acceptable, and an S-Pen is a useful supplement. It is also available in two SoC versions.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 is now available on Adorama for $499

Comment this article:

In Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1.
In Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 is now available on Adorama for $499

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version

:: Processor
:: Memory
2048 MB
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
10.1 inch 16:10, 2560x1600 pixel, capacitive, WQXGA, scLCD, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB , 11.8 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 Infrared, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack, Card Reader: micro-SD-Slot, Sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, brightness sensor,
:: Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a b g n ac), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.3 x 243 x 172
:: Weight
0.469 kg Power Supply: 0.058 kg
:: Battery
31.24 Wh Lithium-Ion, 8220 mAh
Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 10 h
:: Price
499 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
:: Additional features
Webcam: Rear: 8 MP, Front: 2 MP, Speakers: stereo speakers, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version

:: Processor
:: Memory
2048 MB
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
10.1 inch 16:10, 2560x1600 pixel, kapazitiv, scLCD, WQXGA, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB , 11.8 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 Infrared, Audio Connections: 3,5-mm-Klinkenanschluss, Card Reader: Micro-SD-Slot, Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Helligkeitssensor,
:: Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a b g n ac), 4.0 Bluetooth, LTE
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.3 x 243 x 172
:: Weight
0.477 kg Power Supply: 0.058 kg
:: Battery
31.24 Wh Lithium-Ion, 8220 mAh
Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 10 h
:: Price
599 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
:: Additional features
Webcam: Hauptkamera: 8 MP, Frontkamera: 2 MP, Speakers: Stereo-Lautsprecher, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
Samsung's Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1...
Samsung's Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1...
...is currently available in two versions.
...is currently available in two versions.
One tablet sports an LTE module and...
One tablet sports an LTE module and...
...Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800.
...Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800.
The Wi-Fi only version is powered by the Exynos 5420 octa-core.
The Wi-Fi only version is powered by the Exynos 5420 octa-core.
The casings of both models only differ marginally, and feature...
The casings of both models only differ marginally, and feature...
...a high-quality build. As known from Samsung, of course...
...a high-quality build. As known from Samsung, of course...
...with a lot of plastic.
...with a lot of plastic.
A visible difference between both models is...
A visible difference between both models is...
...the micro-SIM slot.
...the micro-SIM slot.
Many other modules (camera, infrared port) have the...
Many other modules (camera, infrared port) have the...
...same hardware. Both screens also have a WQXGA (2560 x 1600 pixels) resolution.
...same hardware. Both screens also have a WQXGA (2560 x 1600 pixels) resolution.
Content is displayed razor-sharp on the screen.
Content is displayed razor-sharp on the screen.
Unfortunately, the Exynos version has problems playing QFHD videos. The LTE model, however,...
Unfortunately, the Exynos version has problems playing QFHD videos. The LTE model, however,...
...manages perfectly.
...manages perfectly.
The battery runtimes of both tablets is convincing. The Snapdragon model achieves...
The battery runtimes of both tablets is convincing. The Snapdragon model achieves...
...a full load runtime of over 6 hours, and the Exynos model...
...a full load runtime of over 6 hours, and the Exynos model...
...is a marathon runner when not much power is needed.
...is a marathon runner when not much power is needed.
Both models are well-equipped for daily use.
Both models are well-equipped for daily use.
Of course, the lacking LTE module in the Exynos version is a make-or-break criterium,...
Of course, the lacking LTE module in the Exynos version is a make-or-break criterium,...
...should this feature be an absolute must have.
...should this feature be an absolute must have.
In return, the Exynos version...
In return, the Exynos version...
...scores with a lower price. "Only" 499 Euros are demanded for...
...scores with a lower price. "Only" 499 Euros are demanded for...
...the 8-core (RRP), while the LTE version...
...the 8-core (RRP), while the LTE version...
...costs 100 Euros more.
...costs 100 Euros more.
Both Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 models convince us because the total bundle is balanced.
Both Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 models convince us because the total bundle is balanced.

Similar Devices

Devices with the same GPU

» Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 Tablet Review
Exynos 5420 Octa, 10.5", 0.47 kg
» Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Tablet Review
Exynos 5420 Octa, 8.4", 0.301 kg
» Review Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 Tablet
Exynos 5420 Octa, 12.2", 0.75 kg

Devices with Same Screen Size and/or Weight

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» Lenovo ThinkPad 10 Multimode Tablet Review
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Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

Pro

+QFHD resolution
+Performance
+Screen's high brightness
+Micro-SD slot
+Battery runtime
 

Cons

-Price
-Black level and illumination
-No USB 3.0
-No LTE model with octa-core SoC

Shortcut

What we like

The screen resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels is very high, and renders a razor-sharp Android World.

What we'd like to see

Regrettably, the Exynos model does not feature an LTE module, which is a make-or-break criterion for a wide range of buyers. USB 3.0 would also have been welcomed, especially since Samsung already installs this technology in many devices.

What surprises us

Considering the high degree of performance, the battery runtime of both devices is impressive. The Snapdragon model achieves over 6 hours in full load, and the Exynos model lasts for almost 24 hours with an enabled screen.

The competition

Apple iPad Air

Microsoft Surface 2

Sony Xperia Tablet Z

Gigaset QV1030

Samsung Galaxy Note 12.2

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014)

Rating

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 WiFi-Version
04/29/2014 v4
Daniel Schuster

Chassis
91%
Keyboard
73 / 80 → 91%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
36 / 70 → 51%
Weight
84 / 88 → 92%
Battery
94%
Display
83%
Games Performance
60 / 80 → 75%
Application Performance
50 / 70 → 71%
Temperature
89%
Noise
100%
Audio
77 / 91 → 85%
Camera
71 / 85 → 84%
Average
77%
88%
Tablet *
Weighted Average

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE-Version
04/01/2014 v4
Daniel Schuster

Chassis
91%
Keyboard
73 / 80 → 91%
Pointing Device
94%
Connectivity
44 / 70 → 63%
Weight
83 / 88 → 90%
Battery
93%
Display
83%
Games Performance
63 / 80 → 79%
Application Performance
51 / 70 → 73%
Temperature
91%
Noise
100%
Audio
77 / 91 → 85%
Camera
71 / 85 → 84%
Average
78%
88%
Tablet *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Double-Review Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 Tablet
Author: Daniel Schuster, 2014-03-19 (Update: 2014-03-20)