Mobile and Wireless: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Tablet: Hands-On Early Review
The Galaxy Note 10.1 arrives in slim, fairly simple packaging. For now, Samsung is selling a WiFi-only version in a 16GB model for $499 or a 32GB model for $549. The tablet measures 10.32 by 7.1 by 0.35 inches and weighs 1.3 pounds. The newest Apple iPad measures 9.5 by 7.31 by 0.37 inches and weighs 1.44 pounds.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 builds on the success of Samsung's original 5.3-inch Note, but the tablet, with its smooth facade and water-droplet sounds, is also a clear cousin of Samsung's Galaxy S III smartphone. The smaller Note found a solid fan base in business users, and while they're certainly not excluded here, it's users with creative inclinations, from bloggers to weekend photographers, Samsung is more aggressively courting this time. With the S Pen, a more savvy stylus, a user can literally leave his or her mark on documents from images to memos to textbooks, and quickly capture a screen shot, making it easy to share their squiggles, brainstorms and art projects. Four keys to this device, Samsung staff have shared, are personalization ("handwriting is more personal, humanizing"), creativity ("everyone wants to create on a daily basis"); productivity (a multi-screen feature allows select apps to run side-by-side); and performance (its quad-core processor "isn't tech for tech sake; it's to enable the first three"). The version going on sale Aug. 16, starting at $499, is WiFi-only, though a Long-Term Evolution (LTE) version will come eventually. Samsung also has an upgrade to Jelly Bean planned for its Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android. About the newest Note, Samsung's director of product planning remarked, "It's the most differentiated product we will have on the market."