The S Pen is a key feature of the Galaxy Note 10.1. It doesn't require batteries, since energy is generated by the tablet's display, and it's pressure-sensitive, so the harder one pushes, the darker the line it makes. Samsung redefined televisions, smart appliances and smartphones, said Tim Baxter, president of Samsung America. "Today, we are going to redefine tablets, as well."
Baz Luhrmann joined Baxter on stage to sing the Note 10.1's praises. "Most tablets are passive ... but this is a creative tool—a toolbox," he said. You make stuff with it, you create with it, it's light and it's great to hold."
Luhrmann joked that when he's telling stories, he needs someone to yell, "Cut!" But first, he talked about using the Note 10.1 to create "storyboards" for his latest film, The Great Gatsby, which made them easier to share with his team in real time. On earlier films, the boards have been made using paper and scissors and glue.
Younghee Lee, Samsung's head of marketing, told the audience, "At Samsung, we believe that people are creative by nature."
Lee then introduced Zac Posen, who designed the dress she was wearing. Before Samsung played a short film showing Posen collaborating with his team in his design studio, Posen called himself a "cultural receiver dish." He likes the Note 10.1's ability to allow him to collage various inspirations and media, he said.
Adobe executive Jim Mohan also made it onto the stage to discuss the company's collaboration with Samsung to create a Photoshop app specifically for the Note 10.1. Mohan noted that projects started on the 10.1 can be opened in regular Photoshop to "take the project further." Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart called Photoshop Touch and the S Pen the two things that make the Note 10.1 "stand out."
Research shows that, more than anywhere else, people are using their tablets in front of the television. So, said Travis Merrill, director of marketing, "we also included an amazing universal remote for your TV—which we hope is a Samsung TV."
Smart App Challenge
Current Analysis' Greengart says the Note 10.1 isn't the device that will allow Samsung to take Apple's majority market share of the tablet market. First, he said, Samsung will need to further refine its tablet software and help grow the number of Android tablet apps in Google Play—which Samsung is trying to do with its Smart App Challenge. The content involves more than $4 million in prize money and runs through Sept. 30.
Get to Know the Note 10.1
After the staged segment, guests were encouraged to wander around an area of cobbled stations that showed the Note 10.1 at work—including areas dedicated to Posen and Luhrmann—and to get their hands on the tablet eventually.
Journalists and analysts were offered a tutorial on the S Pen and S Note applications.
Caricature artists helped show off the Note 10.1's artsier side.
Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann told a news outlet's film crew, "It's a historical moment for creative people."