Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Vs Microsoft Surface 2 review

By Alan Ng - Dec 7, 2013

We have been featuring all sorts of tablet comparisons throughout November, as it’s clear that a lot of you are on the hunt for a new tablet to see you into 2014. Earlier this week you told us that the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 has been favored over the missing Galaxy Nexus 2013, but now it’s time to compare the Samsung Galaxy Note 2014 Edition Vs Microsoft’s Surface 2 tablet.

The obvious underlying difference between these two tablets is the fact that one is running Android and the other is running on Windows 8.1 RT. Both are considered high-end tablets though, with both well over $500 to buy although Samsung’s device being the cheaper of the two.

As we’ve told you in the past, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 is proving to be a very popular tablet after its recent release. A $550 retail price gets you some wonderful hardware specs, such as a 1.9GHz Exynos quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM an 8MP rear camera which is new territory for tablets and a gorgeous 10.1-inch 2560×1600 WQXGA display with 4 million pixels.

In comparison, the Microsoft Surface 2 comes with 32GB storage as its minimum option – hence one of the reasons why it’s much more expensive at over $600. Unlike the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014, the Surface 2 instead has a quad-core Tegra 4 setup, along with 2GB of RAM and a 5MP rear camera and 10.6-inch 1080p 1920 x 1080 display.


While the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 may edge the battle of hardware specs and price, we think it is still going to come down to which operating system you feel comfortable with the most. Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is included out of the box on the Note 10.1 2014, with an upgrade to Android 4.4 Kitkat inevitable.

Meanwhile, Windows 8.1 RT is also gaining huge popularity among consumers, although it isn’t the full version of Windows 8.1 on the Surface Pro 2 that allows you to run full PC programs.

To help you decide which one you think is better, we have included a useful Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Vs Microsoft Surface 2 review below. Take a look and let us know which tablet you prefer.

Is it an easy win for the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition or not?

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Also See: 2015 Galaxy Pro 12.2 Edition & Note 10.1, no show at MWC

  • Daaku

    Here’s my personal experience with both. I’m a field engineer hauling 2 field backpacks with my work laptop and tools. My thought was to replace the work laptop with a tablet…a tablet that offered more productivity than iPad which is too user limiting, imo.

    I bought the Samsung Note 2014 from Bestbuy. Used it for a week and liked it but here are my issues in terms of what I EXPECT from a tablet…
    – Slight mysterious lag which is rumored to be related to the touch wiz (s-pen) and the Samsung UI sitting on top of Android OS is not currently optimized for the powerful hardware that’s driving it.
    – Compatibility with MSOffice suite/docs. I tried several apps from Google store but never was able to open my work docs 100% of the time.
    – Similar experience with PDF files (I think iPad is probably the best tablet right now for pdf editing/viewing)
    – Remote desktop works well via app, which was my main concern but somewhat laggy at times.

    But after a week, I still felt the Note 2014 was not 100% suited for my needs, considering the price I paid for it. So I returned it to Bestbuy and got the Surface 2.

    And kept the Surface 2. Here’s why:
    – mstsc.exe works straight from desktop mode (just like PC). And fast unlike Note which would hang at times and was laggy.
    – Surface 2 is VERY fluid and barely any lag.
    – Office compatibility is GREAT! I can download my work docs to SD card, work on them on the Surface, and then copy them back.
    – Full fledged browser unlike iPad/Android with flash support. I’ve never been a fan of Internet Explorer but the Surface experience makes me a believer.
    – Easy file management from desktop mode…just like a PC.
    – Decent apps. I’m not a ‘app freak’ and I tend to use few like Flipboard, weather and news. What most reviewers don’t mention is the full fledged browser on the Surface 2 eliminates the need to have ‘apps’. I tend to browse 4-5 forums/websites regularly so instead of having 5 separate apps, I use the browser..easy, simple and no fuss. Why do I need 15 apps for websites/forums when I can access all of them from a single web browser?
    – Printing works excellent.
    – Multiple user profile. I’ve set a separate profile for my kid with his own transformer wallpaper which he loves.
    – MS integrated apps for photos/magazines are very well done. Windows 8.1 finally matches the hardware and makes the tablet really fluid.
    – Gestures and voice commands work very well (almost like Siri).
    – Last 2 client visits, I was able to do my site work completely from the Surface 2 (rdpe’d into servers, did stuff, updated my excel spreadsheet on the tablet and saved it to a SD card). Then had some downtime so streamed TV shows off my SD card.
    Packed up and left job site at 3pm and battery was still around 40% remaining.

    If you look at Surface 2 reviews, you’ll find ‘official’ reviewers often slam it down BUT the actual user reviews from Bestbuy, Walmart, Staples, etc are much higher. Fanboyism? Or Political move against MS products?

    As a consumer, I don’t care for brands nor editorial rating..all I need is a tablet that’s affordable and suits my needs and the Surface 2 does that.

  • At the time of writing, the price of the Surface 2 was heavily inflated due to a shortage in supply, which, in my opinion, shows homage as to its (largely unknown) popularity. The actual MSRP is $450, making it the cheaper of the two tablets.

  • AZ

    This information is not accurate. The surface 32gb version is only $450, not $600. Secondly, this seems very biased against surface. You failed to mention surface’s amazing productivity options (i.e. full office 2013 rt, split screen apps) as well as its media options (Xbox live support) while the note 10.1 is really only good as a media tablet. I speak from personal experience when I say that surface knocks it out of the park.
    Before making a comparison, you should research both tablets equally and not exaggerate specs and prices in favor of your personal choice.

    • Brandon

      He is comparing it to the surface 2, not the surface. They are 2 completely different tablets. Next time you might want to do your research before posting a negative comment on your own bias opinion.

      • Me

        Hey Brandon,
        He is talking about he Surface 2. He is accurate on the price point as well as Office 2013. Next time you might want to read someones post completely to understand it before commenting like a smart a$$ on it.

  • Henry

    I bought usd. 600, look reasonable for the price, no need to buy additional programs

  • nppe

    The tablet starts at $449 you liars.

  • Jingle Male

    Excellent discourse. Very helpful!

  • Missy.Clayton

    Thank you. This was very helpful.