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8/16/2012
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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Vs. Apple iPad

Samsung's $499 iPad competitor reaches store shelves across the U.S. Thursday. Look for two main differences.

Tablet Vs. Ultrabook: Pros And Cons
Tablet Vs. Ultrabook: Pros And Cons
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
U.S buyers looking for a 10-inch tablet that's not made by Apple can now pick up the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. It goes on sale Thursday at select online and brick-and-mortar stores, including Amazon, Best Buy, BrandSmart, CDW, Conn's, Fry's, HH Gregg, and Tiger Direct. The 16-GB version costs $499 and the 32-GB version costs $549.

The new tablet features some minor spec improvements compared to last year's model, but the big draw (pun intended) is the S Pen and associated software. The S Pen is what Samsung calls the stylus that ships with the Note and acts as a digital input device. Paired with the S Note application, it can be a powerful tool for people who aren't ready to give up on handwritten notes and other scribblings.

Much of Samsung's Wednesday launch of the device centered on its usefulness as a creative platform. To that end, the Galaxy Note 10.1 ships with Adobe Photoshop Touch, a tablet-optimized version of Adobe's photo-editing software. The app carries over Photoshop features such as layers, selection tools, adjustments, and filters. Using the pressure sensitive S Pen, Galaxy Note owners can flex their creative muscles and save everything on the tablet or via the cloud, thanks to DropBox.

[ Mobile's next question: Can ultrabooks win a place in mobile users' hearts? See Tablet Vs. Ultrabook: 10 Ways To Choose. ]

Power users might be more interested in the Note's multitasking capabilities. The Note includes a novel multiscreen feature, which lets you run two applications positioned side-by-side at the same time. Running two visible apps at once negates the need to hop between them using the clunky app switcher.

At launch, the multiscreen function is somewhat limited in that only a few apps support it. They are S Note, the browser, video player, email, gallery, and Polaris Office. This way, you can browse the web while keeping an eye on your inbox, or take notes when you watch a movie.

The S Pen and Multiscreen features are the two that set the Galaxy Note apart from its competitors, most notably the Apple iPad. Samsung took pains to differentiate this device from the iPad, and it is obvious.

Third-party companies make apps and styli for the iPad, but they are crummy implementations at best. The multitasking trick is definitely one that gets my attention, and is something I'm surprised Apple hasn't already brought to iOS. One of the chief hassles of using any tablet is the method for jumping from app to app to app. While the iPad can do it via the use of several different four-finger touch gestures, Android tablets make use of an on-screen button. The ability to run two apps side-by-side is an entirely different story.

For now, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is only available with Wi-Fi. Versions of the tablet with 3G/4G won't be available until later this year.

Take a look at a Samsung demo of the tablet:

Android and Apple devices make backup a challenge for IT. Look to smart policy, cloud services, and MDM for answers. Also in the new, all-digital Mobile Device Backup issue of InformationWeek: Take advantage of advances that simplify the process of backing up virtual machines. (Free with registration.)

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Mack Knife
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Mack Knife,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/16/2012 | 3:56:18 PM
re: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Vs. Apple iPad
One big thing, how about a comparison between the stylus input using the Samsung vs that of the iPad?

I bet that never makes it into any story.
Mack Knife
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Mack Knife,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/16/2012 | 3:53:36 PM
re: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Vs. Apple iPad
Sorry but the battle for dominance isn't which model of anything will beat the iPad. That is like comparing people who like pies to those that like cakes. Two different markets.

There are lots of people who simply want an Apple product. We'll except of course, those who want an iPad but can't read the word "Samsung" and buy a Galaxy by mistake.

Apple has a huge market and a dominant position in non-Windows tablets right now. Notice I said "non-Windows". The media always compares any tablet or phone to the iPad or iPhone. That is about to change.

Who thinks Samsung is really trying to take a bit out of Apple when the 800 pound gorilla is about to unleash Windows 8 and with that Nokia launches a new generation of Windows phone models complete with sylus input, large displays and a seamless integration to desktops and laptops and corporate IT?

Do you see Samsung trying to compete with the MAC? In fact, does anyone? It simply doesn't matter except in a very short term.

Comparing a tablet that has stylus input and is built for it vs one that doesn't is the apples and oranges thing and while it probably makes for some page views, is that a really good story?
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