With the Galaxy Note phablet having sold in excess of 10 million units, Samsung is trying to duplicate this success with an even larger screen-size, debuting the Galaxy Note 10.1 at a function held in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, last night.
It could have been yet just another Android tablet, but what makes the Note 10.1 interesting is the inclusion of not only the S Pen stylus as found in the original Note, but also a lot of the cool extras that the Galaxy S3 pushed to market.
These include Pop up play, that lets you resize your video player to continue watching movies while surfing the web for example, and Smart Stay, which enables the tablet to monitor your eyes and refrain from dimming the screen while you are still busy working on it.
As for the 6.5 mm S Pen, the appeal lies in using this stylus to write on the tablet, take notes and sketch. The S Pen’s tip is a lot smaller than those commonly found on styluses, which, coupled with the pressure sensitivity of the stylus, should make life a whole lot easier for digital artists. As such, Craige Fleischer, director of mobile communications at Samsung Electronics South Africa, emphasized that content creation, and not just consumption, plays a big part in the 10.1’s setup.
So, for example, onboard you’ll find the full version of Adobe Photoshop Touch, aimed at photographers looking to edit their creations, while a host of S Pen related apps (S Note, S Planner and others available from Samsung Apps) also make an appearance.
Education also plays a part
Apart from its flair for creativity, Fleischer mentioned a Learning Hub that will soon join the Samsung Music Hub and Game Hub on the unit. This Hub will contain education specific content, including textbooks, video and interactive coaching, aimed at learners both young and old. The unit looks very appealing for students, although its R8500 price tag will be a very big deterrent.
The specs that matters
On the specifications side, Samsung seems to have covered their bases quite well, since it includes not only the 1.4GHz Exynos Quad-Core Processor that does duty in the benchmark topping S3, but also 2 GB of RAM instead of the more common 1 GB helping.
In a brief hands-on session, operation was smooth and responsive, while we also enjoyed multitasking via Multiscreen functionality. This allows one half of the screen to be occupied by, for example, your browser, while you reply to emails in the other half. It’s a very welcome addition, and another benefit the 10.1 Note has above the prestigious iPad. Talking of which, the 1280 x 800 resolution of the 10.1” screen is very detailed, but far away from the Retina display (2048 x 1536) found on the new iPad.
Locally, the unit will only be available in 32 GB versions, keeping in mind that this can be expanded upon via a microSD card slot. The Ice Cream Sandwich running Samsung 10.1 Note includes 3G functionality and is available starting today from Vodacom and MTN with a recommended retail price of R8500.