Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Now in U.S., LTE Version Arriving Later

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, with its S Pen, custom apps, and--later this year--LTE speeds, will no doubt try to compete with the iPad for enterprise and education customers.

Samsung announced Aug. 6 that the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet it introduced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, is now available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Korea, and will gradually roll out to other markets later this month. Checks early in the day, however, have found it to be still missing from AT&T and Best Buy Websites.

While Samsung hasn€™t yet shared pricing information, the company said that the device will come in three connectivity options: WiFi only, WiFi and 3G Evolved High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA+), and later this year, a WiFi and Long-Term Evolution (LTE) version.

Building on the success of Samsung€™s popular Galaxy lineup of smartphones, tablets and in-between €œphablets,€ the Note 10.1 is a large-scale model of the Galaxy Note phablet, with its 5.3-inch display and S Pen€”a stylus that redefines what a stylus can be and sets the newest Note apart from Samsung€™s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.

€œHistory has shown that taking notes, capturing ideas immediately and sketching to realize them is the most personal and natural way to be more productive and creative,€ JK Shin, president of Samsung€™s IT and Mobile Communications Division, said in a statement. €œThe advanced technology and features included in Galaxy Note 10.1 give users the power to produce, create and customize communications.€

The Note 10.1 measures 10.32 by 7.1 by 0.35 inches and weighs (or, the WiFi-only version, anyway) 21 ounces. Its 10.12-inch display has a resolution of 1280 by 800, the processor is a 1.4GHz Samsung Exynos, and there€™s 2GB of RAM on board plus a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and autofocus on the back and a 1.9MP model up-front.

But particularly distinguishing this tablet are its multi-screen features, as Samsung calls them. They include the ability to view applications side-by-side and, with the S Pen, make use of both screens, whether annotating, cutting and pasting between them, editing photos, or simply watching a video on one while otherwise occupied.

The S Pen offers users a variety of templates with which to work. There€™s a Learning Hub for educational materials€”now available in the United Kingdom, Korea, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, China and Singapore, with more markets in the works. There's also a Touch version of Adobe€™s Photoshop application.

The S Pen is embedded in the Note, and when removed launches a series of complementary apps€”S Note, S Planner, Crayon physics, Photoshop Touch and Polaris Office, though users can choose what they€™d like to launch and not launch.

The new Note also cribs a few features from the Galaxy S III. Its Smart Stay gives it the ability to track a user€™s eye and not let the display dim if it sees the user is looking at it; another, AllShare Play, enables users to swap content with other tablets, laptops and HDTVs running on the same network.

While Samsung smartphones have outsold Apple iPhones, Apple€™s iPad still dominates the tablet market and has received a strong response from the education sector, among a number of other vertical markets. Samsung is, no doubt, hoping that the S Pen€™s capabilities make the Galaxy Note 10.1 particularly appealing to professionals.

In a video highlighting the device€™s capabilities, Samsung shows the devices in the hands of folks, ranging from a fashion designer to an architect, marketing guru and a student. Handwritten text in the margin of a textbook may stay that way, as the user grabs an equation from another page to underscore a point, while another user turns her notes and diagrams into printed text and firmer lines and the marketer drags and drops, rearranges page layouts and makes notes for colleagues.

Notably, these professionals are hypothetical and their hands animated. While their tasks are compelling, the Galaxy Note 10.1€™s success may, in part, depend on whether in real life such cutting and pasting and zipping and annotating can be executed with as much speed.

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