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As I stepped into the world of tablets, I realized I had to remain focused on my “must haves” otherwise I would get lost in the glitz and glamour of what each device offered.  To narrow the playing field I only entertained devices that were near 10 inches in size.  No 7-inch screens for me.

Galaxy Note

Next, I did an Internet search for the “best tablets 2014.”  My initial research brought me to sites such as PC Magazine and Cnet. I avoided some of the less well-known sites that ranked 1 and 2 in my Internet search.  I’ve learned from years of online writing that just because a site ranks 1 or 2 on a search engine doesn’t mean it’s the best resource.

After perusing a few of the more reputable resources I found several names that kept popping up.  Those names were the Apple iPad (no surprise there), Google Nexus, Kindle Fire, Microsoft’s Surface and Samsung Galaxy.  As a result, I decided to concentrate my efforts on those 5 tablets.Microsoft Surface 2

Rather than spend an inordinate amount of time on each one of the devices, I opted to narrow the playing field so I began a process of elimination.  I used external storage as an easy elimination factor.  Those devices that did not have external (non cloud) storage were dropped from my list.  That eliminated the iPad, Kindle Fire and the Nexus as they do not have slots for SD cards.  Next it was time to focus exclusively on the Galaxy Note 10.1 and Microsoft’s Surface 2.

To be honest, I’m rather biased.  I’ve used Microsoft products for most of my computing life and have been trying my best to free myself from Microsoft’s hold.  However, I had to put that bias aside and do a honest-to-goodness comparison of the Surface 2 and Galaxy Note 10.1 to see which would best suit my needs.

This comparison is based solely on my original tablet requirements. These tablets have a host of other advanced and unique features that fall beyond the realm of my original requirements.  I’ll leave the review of those unique features to the professional tech reviewers.  This review is from the eyes of a freelance writer looking to purchase a tablet that will suit her simple computing needs (and then some).

Here are my results:

Original Requirement Microsoft Surface 10.1 2014 Edition Galaxy Note 2
Portable Yes Yes
Word Processing Software Office Suite Polaris Office
Keyboard Compatibility Yes – purchase separately Yes – purchase separately
Voice Recognition Software Windows Speech Recognition S Voice
Storage Mini SD Mini SD
Camera: Front 2.5 MP 2 MP
Camera: Rear 5 MP 8 MP + LED flash
Video Capability 16:9 wide screen 1080 p HD
Hard Drive Space 32 and 64 GB models 16 and 32 GB models
Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080 2560 x 1600
Durability Only time will tell Only time will tell
Apparent Pros Since this is a Microsoft product so it comes with the Microsoft Office suite of software. This makes it an easy transition from computer to tablet for Microsoft users. This is especially handy for those who work at offices where Microsoft is the preferred office suite.The Surface appears to be a great office productivity tool in a tablet. In addition to being able to type, the Galaxy has a stylus, which allows users to jot down hand-written notes. Galaxy also comes equipped with Handwriting to Text software that transforms handwriting to typed text.
Apparent Cons Cannot avail of the many android apps. Learning a new operating system and the price.
My Decision While both tablets exceed my expectations, I’m going with the 32 GB Galaxy Note. The rear-facing camera along with LED flash will come in handy when taking photos to accompany my work. Additionally, the stylus is convenient for jotting down quick notes and story ideas. No matter how technologically advanced we become, there is always a need for paper and pencil. In this case it’s stylus and electronic tablet.

Here’s a more in-depth comparison between Microsoft’s Surface 2 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition).

FeliciaFelicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low tech blogger.