Originally Posted by BarryH_GEG
I was one of the first on XDA to get a N10.1-12 in August, 2012, when it was launched. It replaced a year-old G-Tab 10.1 (which had the same screen resolution BTW). I've had a N10.1-14 since October. So I have lots of Samsung tablet experience. To say that the display on the '12 is "superior" to the '14 is ridiculous. The display on the N10.1-12 was painful from day one and Samsung was ridiculed for releasing such a high-end device without a 1,900x1,200 display which Asus and Acer were already offering. When I had a N2 going between it and the N10.1-12 was livable. The N10.1-12 was pretty much history after I got a N3 because of the pronounced difference in their displays.
The difference in form factor, design, and materials between the two is another big selling point for the N10.1-14. The N10.1-12 looked just like every other Samsung tablet and not like the flagship it was. And not a single reviewer had anything positive to say about the glossy plastic back and obviously plastic metallized bezel. The only benefit of the old design was front facing speakers but the N10.1-14's are certainly loud enough and most agree that the reduction in size by moving them to the sides was a worthy trade-off.
As for s/w changes the N10.1-14 adapts the same Multi View methods used in the N3. It's kind of jarring coming from the N10.1-12 but after using it for a while the changes Samsung made start to make sense. Using Air View to open apps with Pen Window is fantastic. You can have a browser present and minimized as an icon constantly available no matter where you are in the UI and no matter what you're doing. Leaks have already appeared of 4.4 with Magazine UX for the N10.1-14. In it, the number of Pen Window apps have tripled and the ability to "cascade" multiple apps is being introduced (it was a feature from the N10.1-12 that was missing). There's nothing from the N10.1-12 that I miss s/w wise.
The N10.1-12 is a great device and for people buying it today for $200'ish it's a great value based on the function it provides. Nothing's going to make a 147 PPI display acceptable when even today's low-end 7" tablets have it beat. And that low PPI display is the only reason the performance of the N10.1-12 is still adequate. The Exynos chip and Mali 400 GPU it uses are the same as what's in the SGS3 which debuted in March, 2012; almost two years ago.
And for those with short memories the N10.1-12 shipped with 4.0.4 and wasn't upgraded to 4.1 and the "Premium Suite" until January, 2013. There were tons of issues with the N10.1-12's launch s/w and plenty of lag; especially when multiple apps were open. So the N10.1-14 does have some occasional transition lag but is due to receive a major update this month; less time than the five months it took Samsung to update the N10.1-12 so it performed to its full potential.
You're entitled to your opinion and I'm not trying to change it. But as someone whose owned both devices I wouldn't want someone to buy the N10.1-12 today without some counter point to consider because you and I have greatly differing opinions.
You and I are quite the opposite. I bought my N8000 four months ago, and despite being able to get the 2014 version, I decided not to. I will tell you why.
1/ Yes, the 10.1 2014 is more powerful, but it does not make the N8000 any less so. I moved to my N8000 from the sk17i SE Mini Pro, and the sk17i is the same powerful device as the original Galaxy S, specs-wise: 1Ghz single-core and 512MB of RAM. With the power of the -once- most powerful mobile device, it still had things that couldn't be done, why? Because the Galaxy S was the very best they could give you at its time. The best of that time was simply not sufficient, that was why people longed for more (Btw, the sk17i still completed most of the tasks I expected). When I moved to the N8000, which has four times the sk17i's specs, the tasks I gave to my device mostly remained the same: word processing (not as nicely as the sk17i with its hardware keyboard, though), web browsing and email, plus being my personal drawing canvas, and all of those have always been completed without lag. What I mean is, there was a time when even the best they could offer was not adequate, but now there exists a line in specifications that, when you cross it, it does not make any difference no matter how far you cross it. No matter how many years it has been, either. OEMs always compete; specs have outgrown the actual needs for it, CPUs and RAM outgrown what an average PC once has, and screen resolution/dpi gone beyond what the eye can see. All for the privilege to brag that "My device is better than your device", and do so for, like, a month? Now, tell me what you can't do without the 2014 version's specs, some kind of multi-gigs 3D games that you play for a few minutes each day? No problem, I will live without it.
2/ The 10.1 2014 portrays what I personally call 'Google's major design flaw' and what Samsung has to come up with to improvise: the hardware navigation buttons. I have written this multiple times, but again, since Android 4.2+, the tablet UI no longer exists (though developers still manage to pull it out from the depth of codes till its complete removal in 4.4). Since the Tab 3 generation (including the cute Note 8.0) it has been determined that Samsung tablets will operate with Android 4.2+ as the final update, so all these devices are equipped with hardware navigation buttons as preparation. As for the N8000, can you download the harware buttons from the Internet? Of course not. So if a 4.2+ update for the N8000 ever existed, it would stand out from the rest of Samsung tablets and have to be specially made. Maybe the guys at Samsung was preparing the 4.2 update when 4.3 came out. Maybe when they decided to skip 4.2 and moved to developing the 4.3 update, when suddenly 4.4 came out. Maybe they then decided to once again skip the underdeveloped 4.3 update for 4.4, or decided it was not worth the effort and abandoned ship, whatever took them that long to deliver absolutely nothing. But I can tell you, a flagship device like the N8000 having no update till now is not entirely Samsung's fault, much less the N8000's. Blame Google for releasing Android versions so quickly with little changes, user-wise (Okay, having no Tablet UI is a big change here). Whether or not there is an update remains a test of faith, or even an inside joke, remember Half-Life 3?
With those aside, I agree with you that the 2014 version feels much more premium; it was such a pleasure holding it in my hand. The size, weight and material is admirable, especially from Samsung.