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8/15/2012
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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Details For U.S. Launch

Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet goes on sale Thursday. The company hopes the revised tablet's S Pen will prove mightier than the swipe.

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Samsung likes its big, splashy product introductions just as much as Apple. That's partially why the company took to the stage in New York City on Wednesday to unveil--for the second time--its Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. The Note 10.1 first reared its head in February, but many details have remained cloaked in secrecy until recently.

Pricing for the U.S. version of the tablet falls in line with the competition. The 16-GB model will cost $499--same as Apple's iPad--and a 32-GB version sells for just $50 more. (Apple charges $100 more for the same storage jump.) The Galaxy Note 10.1 goes on sale August 16 from a number of electronics retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, H.H. Gregg, Office Depot, and TigerDirect. It ships with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but will be updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean later this year.

The Note 10.1 uses the same form factor and screen size as Samsung's previous 10-inch tablets, but adds an active digitizer layer to the touchscreen so that it can be used with a stylus. Combine stylus support with Samsung's S Note software, and you have a fairly powerful device.

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Any hardware changes from the previous generation Samsung tablet are barely noticeable, so similar is the design. The Note 10.1 is a wee bit thinner and lighter than its predecessor, but the screen includes the same 1280 x 800 resolution. The processor has been improved to a quad-core 1.4-GHz engine with 2 GB of RAM, and support for microSD cards up to 64 GB.

Samsung is making the Wi-Fi-only version available first. It supports 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS. A version of the Galaxy Note 10.1 with LTE 4G will hit store shelves--including those of AT&T and Verizon--later this year.

The Note 10.1 has a 5-megapixel main camera with a flash and fixed-focus lens, 1.9-MP user-facing camera for video chats, a bevy of ports for connecting to other gear, and a huge 7000-mAh battery to provide for all-day productivity. Last, it contains an accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, and ambient light sensors.

At the introduction, Samsung spent plenty of time going over the powers of the stylus, which it calls the S Pen. Remember, the S Pen first came to market with the Galaxy Note, a large smartphone that went on sale from AT&T earlier this year.

The Note smartphone was the base Samsung used to develop the S Pen, S Memo, and the other related stylus apps. Together, these tools let owners of the Note smartphone--and now the Note 10.1 tablet--use the stylus for text input, taking screen shots, scribbling notes on top of documents, websites, and images, and a wide array of other functions.

Samsung has said that third-party software developers are working to create S Pen-compatible apps, so hopefully the functionality of the Note 10.1 will improve over time.

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moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2012 | 1:28:47 PM
re: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Details For U.S. Launch
Writing is often times faster than typing on a microscopic soft keyboard, and with a stylus you can also draw much easier than with a finger.
ANON1237925156805
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ANON1237925156805,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/15/2012 | 8:13:09 PM
re: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Details For U.S. Launch
Writing on a PDA is not new or revolutionary for anyone. Think Palm, Clie, etc., etc. When the iPad came out, we were still in the phase ushered in by RIM where not needing to write was a plus.

Now the pendulum has swung to center and it turns out that swiping and typing are brilliant, but writing is preferable in certain situations. I've used a stylus with note taker apps on the iPad for several years; it can also be used to simulate finger gestures in many situations.

The iPad stylus is not as fully integrated as seems to be the case with the Note; also it sounds as though the extra screen layer provides more precision for the use of a stylus?

Perhaps we'll see these refinements on a future iPad. (Unless Son of Steve decides that handwriting is obsolete and should go the way of the 3x5 floppy, the CD drive, etc.)
At which point the question is will Samsung sue Apple for some kind of infringement? Frankly neither vendor seems to be above this unhelpful immaturity at the moment. . .
Mack Knife
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Mack Knife,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/15/2012 | 4:19:32 PM
re: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Details For U.S. Launch
The end of finger painting. The use of a Wacom digitizer is brilliant. First, that means most common tablet styluses can be used. Have an older Windows Tablet around? The stylus will work with the Galaxy. As for people who complain about the stylus being easily lost, they have other issues and the typical ones who always ask to use your pen, can't ever jot down a note on the run and are the reason pens in banks are chained down. Basically, they are mostly unorganized, have trouble with simple things, hence, they finger paint.

Developers will have a field day. While Windows Tablets centered on the stylus for a long time, they didn't break out of niche markets. While the niche remains, even for something like this Galaxy, it is much bigger now and there is now another market for developers to innovate.

With most tablets, especially the iPad, developers are limited to designing apps to work only with touch. Touch is nice but limited in accuracy. Now, developers have another option and since when are options bad.

Had Apple released an iPad with a stylus, the koolaid drinkers would be out in force proclaiming innovation, invention and originality. Apple would then sue Samsung claiming patent issues.

You know that is true.
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