Samsung launched it’s latest ten inch tablet today in the US. It looks like the company is trying to enter an area spurned by Apple in emphasizing pen input. There is a reason many tablet makers are leaving that space alone – read on to find out whether or not Samsung has got the right formula.
At the press event, there were a few guests who lauded the tablet for it’s different approach to creativity and functionality. Baz Luhrmann the Australian Director of films like Moulin Rouge and Australia talked about how it was a “creative toolbox” that helped him to share in real time while Zac Posen, the designer talked about how the tablet facilitated his creativity. Both have upcoming projects, so I think that didn’t hurt either, but I had a hard time fully digesting everything they were saying as it really did seem too good to be true.
Test driving the device was a different experience. Below are a few key elements about the tablet.
• Android™ 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich
• Processor: WiFi®, 1.4GHz quad-core
• Memory: 2GB RAM & 16GB On-Board Memory
• microSD™ Card Slot (Up to 32GB)
• Display Screen: 10.1″
• Display Resolution: WXGA (1280 x 800)
• Display Type: TFT
• Battery Type: Li-Polymer
• Battery Capacity: 7,000mAh
• Color: White
• WiFi®: 802.11 a/b/g/n
• Camera 5MP AF + 1.9MP FF
• Flash (Power LED)
• Bluetooth 4.0 (LE)
• Supports USB 2.0 Connectivity (with an adapter sold separately)
• Audio: Built-in Front Dual Speakers
• Built-in Infrared Blaster (Smart Remote)
• Speaker (Stereo)
• Antenna (Integrated)
• Ear Jack: 3.5mm (Line-in Mic)
• IF Connector: 30Pin
• Video Pop Up Play
• Drag and Drop
• Handwriting Recognition
• Enhanced Customizable Keyboard
• Built-in S Pen
What makes this tablet different from it’s predecessors is – mainly – the pen input. The success of the Galaxy Note seems to have prompted this device. It comes with a built in “S-Pen”. They were careful not to call it a stylus because it has a few more tricks up it’s sleeve. For one, it is pressure sensitive so your strokes look different depending on how hard or softly you write. Second is that i works with “electromagnetic response” which allows for more accurate positioning.
Samsung has a slew of proprietary programs that come bundled with the device like S-Note, Pop-up Play, and its partnership with Adobe for Photoshop Touch. They had some artists sketching attendees. See my sketch below.
My initial thoughts on the device were that it is great conceptually. They really thought about the design with the speaker placement, note-taking capabilities, and true multi-tasking concept. However, while playing around with the device, I felt like the many great things I was looking forward to – just didn’t work the way I expected it to and came away wanting a more polished experience. For instance, it took me forever to get acclimated to the note taking process and didn’t really feel like it replaced my physical pad and pen. The S-Pen did perform fairly well, and writing with it was legible, however, I couldn’t visualize myself using it very often. In the productivity sweet there is the ability to smooth out shapes with “shape match” which comes in handy when drawing diagrams. Yet, I don’t draw diagrams on a regular basis so I wasn’t as excited about that – however, I could see it being useful in an educational setting. That along with the formula look-up which recognized formula’s as you wrote them down. Switching between modes got kind of confusing and you ended up just wishing you could just type it all in. There was text recognition as well which allowed the program to convert your scribble into a legible font. It took a little too long to actually be useful though and again, the machine was slow to my commands which was puzzling given the amount of power under the hood. It has 2GB of RAM and a 1.4GHz Quad Core Processor. I get the distinct feeling that Touch-Flo is the cause for the lag.
I also noted that Palm Block support was helpful with Samsung Apps and totally didn’t work with Adobe Photoshop Touch or any other non-Samsung application which means you have to stay within Samsung’s ecosystem to experience all the benefits. I was super excited about true multi-tasking, but was a little disappointed with it in practical use. It was noticeably laggy while working in two apps at the same time. This makes me sad because I really want a tablet to handle that functionality well and Samsung’s execution seems to have almost gotten it right.
The device launches with Ice Cream Sandwich and not Jelly Bean, which isn’t a huge disappointment, however, the upgrade should come before next year. Lets just hope its not in December!
You can purchase the device tomorrow and it will run you $499 for the 16GB Tablet, while the 32GB version will cost $549 and it comes in white and sexy deep gray. Check the full press release further down.
Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 Has Arrived;
Game-Changing Device Hits U.S. Store Shelves Tomorrow
New York, August 15, 2012 – Samsung Electronics America Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today announced its highly anticipated GALAXY Note 10.1 for the U.S. market. The device will be available for purchase tomorrow – August 16th, 2012 – across the U.S.at authorized retailers.
At a launch event in New York City, Samsung will be joined by fashion designer Zac Posen, who has created looks for the most elite stars, and acclaimed writer, producer, director Baz Luhrmann (William Shakespeare’s Romeo+Juliet, Moulin Rouge and the forthcoming The Great Gatsby). Each will provide a window into their own creative process, and how the Galaxy Note 10.1 will unleash new levels of inspiration in their work.
The GALAXY Note 10.1 extends the GALAXY Note category, building on the success of last year’s worldwide hit smartphone – and delivering the functionality and precision of a pen and paper by combining the S Pen with a 10.1-inch large display.
Adobe’s premium creative application, Photoshop® Touch is preloaded and optimized for Samsung’s S Pen to deliver unprecedented precision and control.
The device also introduces the game changing Multiscreen feature, which allows users to actually operate two different apps side-by-side, simultaneously, on the same screen.
Thanks to a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and 2 GB RAM, the Galaxy Note 10.1 can handle it all without missing a beat.
“Our goal with the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 was simple – redefine the tablet experience,” said Tim Baxter, President, Samsung Electronics America. “The S Pen offers both active content creation as well as passive content consumption, while the Multiscreen capability finally enables true multitasking. For the user, the resulting experience is completely new and quite unexpected.”
True Multitasking with Multiscreen Feature
With GALAXY Note 10.1’s Multiscreen feature, users can effortlessly utilize two different applications side-by-side simultaneously for true and easy multitasking. Users can view Web pages or videos, or launch other applications while writing or sketching ideas with the S Pen on the other half of the screen – no need to toggle back and forth between apps.
Further, users can even capture and crop images from an app on one side, and drag them to an app on the side – for enhanced creativity and productivity.
Apps supported for Multiscreen are S Note, Internet Browser, Video Player, Email, Gallery and Polaris Office . The Galaxy Note 10.1 thus meets the increasing needs of a growing mobile workforce, from interfacing with customers to creative sharing.
The GALAXY Note 10.1 also offers the Pop up Play feature first introduced on the GALAXY S III Smartphone. With it, users can play back videos in a floating window that can be overlaid anywhere on the screen, providing a “picture in picture” experience. New for the GALAXY Note 10.1 is the ability to adjust the size of the video window.
In addition, GALAXY Note 10.1 offers a mini-apps tray that can launch a selection of mini-app on top of others apps and freely moved around the screen. These include Alarm, S Note, Music Player, Email, Calculator, World Clock.
S Pen & S Note Make it Personal
Featuring an advanced S Pen with 1,024 levels of sensitivity, GALAXY Note 10.1 is designed for natural and intuitive content creation. The S Pen is embedded directly into a slot in the device and when removed, activates a taskbar with quick access to optimized S Pen apps such as S Note, Adobe® Photoshop® Touch and Polaris Office. Alternatively, users can easily set their preferred application to be launched instantly.
The S Note application is a unique tool that gives users the ability to combine notes and sketches with other digital content in ready-to-use templates. Shape Match converts hand-drawn shapes such a square and lines into clean and perfect versions – perfect for creating charts. Formula Match can actually solve formulas hand-written with the S Pen.
S Note is also integrated with knowledge search engines so that users can search for content, obtain information, and easily drag and drop content onto S Notes without having to switch between screens.
Adobe Photoshop Touch – Edit Photos Like Never Before
Adobe® Photoshop® Touch, normally a $9.99 purchase, is preloaded on the GALAXY Note 10.1. Further, since it is optimized for S Pen, users are able to control brush size and opacity by just adjusting the pressure of the pen on the screen.
“Samsung’s GALAXY Note 10.1, with its pressure-sensitive S Pen, truly unleashes the power of Adobe Photoshop Touch and provides a great tool for creative expression,” said Winston Hendrickson, vice president products, Creative Media Solutions, Adobe. “More than ever, people around the world want to create, wherever and whenever inspiration strikes. We look forward to seeing what they imagine with the S Pen and Photoshop Touch.”
Users can also use popular Photoshop features such as layers, selection tools, adjustments, and filters to create mind-blowing images, or use the high quality GALAXY Note 10.1 camera to fill an area on a layer with the unique camera fill feature.
With Photoshop Touch, it’s also a snap to add or remove people or objects from a photo, or blend two photos together.
To get users started quickly, in-depth step-by-step tutorials are provided to help users learn techniques the pros use for great-looking results.
Photoshop Touch is integrated with Adobe Creative Cloud providing users free access to powerful file syncing and sharing features and 2GB of storage space. Files can be synched to the Creative Cloud and opened in Photoshop on the desktop or laptop for further refinement.
The Ultimate ebook Experience
Samsung is adding even more value through a range of partners.
Kno, a pioneer in education software, will offer its e-textbook platform preloaded on the GALAXY Note 10.1. With it, k-12 or higher education students can say goodbye to heavy backpacks filled with books and instead, download any of thousands of interactive textbooks. Even better, with the new Social Sharing feature announced today, they can utilize the S Pen to highlight and annotate the texts, and share those annotations with other students and teachers in the context of their book.
The popular NOOK® free reading app from Barnes & Noble will also be preloaded on the GALAXY Note 10.1 as well as a customized NOOK for Android™ Widget allowing quick and easy access to titles directly from the desktop.
A range of other partners are involved as well, delivering a complete solution.
To allow seamless collaboration with others, the GALAXY Note 10.1 offers a free two-year subscription to Dropbox, giving users 50 GB of storage space – a $100 value.*
Samsung Smart Remote, powered by Peel, utilizes the built-in IR emitter in the GALAXY Note 10.1 to transform the device into a sophisticated universal remote control that can control an entire home entertainment system and even recommend programs.
Finally, Polaris Office lets provides robust word processing, spreadsheet and presentation capabilities, while S Pen support makes it a snap to mark up and annotate documents.
Superior Hardware Performance and Connectivity
GALAXY Note 10.1 is designed with advanced hardware technology, including a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of internal RAM. Seamless multi-tasking, high-standard graphics, and blazing-fast performance without any lag are essential features of GALAXY Note 10.1. The device also includes a 5-megapixel main camera and a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera.
The GALAXY Note 10.1 carries over several features first introduced with the hit GALAXY S III smartphone, making it an ideal companion tablet for owners of that devices. ShareShot which makes it a snap to automatically share photos in real time between the GALAXY Note 10.1 and the GALAXY S III.
Smart Stay, first introduced with the GALAXY S III, uses the camera in the GALAXY Note 10.1 to prevent the device from going into standby mode while it detects a user in front of the device.
Finally, with AllShare® Play, users can share content with a large group in real-time by connecting GALAXY Note 10.1 to Samsung HD TVs, phones, mobile tablets, laptops, and other consumer electronic devices on the same network. With Group Cast, users can also share and collaborate on documents, presentations, or images in real time, without loading the files separately.
Available Aug 16th Across the U.S.
GALAXY Note 10.1 will be available beginning Aug 16th nationwide at partners including Best Buy, Amazon, Tiger Direct, HH Gregg, CDW, BrandSmart, Conn’s and Fry’s.
In a special promotion, Samsung will also be making the Galaxy Note 10.1 available at BBY’s Union Square store in NYC beginning at noon EST today, Aug 15th.
The device will be available in choice of white or dark gray, and in 16 GB or 32 GB memory configurations, for $499 or $549 SRP, respectively.
Available accessories include replacement S Pen, S Pen Holder Kit, Book Cover in Grey or White, Travel Charger, USB Connection Kit to allow usage of thumb drives or USB peripherals, HDMI adapter and Universal Desktop Dock.
For multimedia content and more detailed information, please visit www.samsungmobilepress.com.
Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 Product Specifications
|1.4 GHz quad-core processor|
|255.8mm (10.1”) WXGA(1280×800) LCD + Digitizer|
|Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)|
|Main(Rear): 5 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED FlashSub(Front): 1.9 Megapixel VT Camera|
|Codec: MPEG4, H.263, H.264, VC-1, DivX, WMV7, WMV8, WMV9, VP8Format: 3GP(MP4), WMV(ASF), AVI, FLV, MKV, WebMFull HD(1080p) Playback & HD Recording|
|Codec: MP3, OGG, WMA, AAC, ACC+, eAAC+, AMR(NB,WB), MIDI, WAV, AC-3, FlacMusic Player with SoundAlive3.5mm Ear Jack|
S Pen Optimized Features
|S Pen Experience (S Note, S Planner)(* more S Pen optimized apps are available via Samsung Apps)|
|Adobe® Photoshop® Touch|
|Shape Match, Formula Match|
|Samsung AllShare Play / Samsung AllShare Cast / ShareShot|
|Samsung Kies /Samsung Kies Air|
Content Features & Services
|Samsung TouchWiz / Samsung L!ve Panel|
|Samsung Hub– Music Hub / Game Hub / Media Hub|
|Samsung S Suggest|
|Samsung ChatOn mobile communication service|
|Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Latitude
Google Play Store, Google Play Books, Google Play Movies
Google Plus, YouTube, Google Talk, Google Play Music
Google Places, Google Navigation, Google Downloads
|Exchange ActiveSyncOn-Device EncryptionCisco VPN (Virtual Private Network)Juniper Junos Pulse VPN|
|Bluetooth technology v 4.0 (Apt-X Codec support)USB 2.0 HostWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz), Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Channel BondingmHL, 3.5mm, IR LED(Smart Remote: Universal Remote Control)|
|Accelerometer, Digital compass, Light, Gyroscope|
|16/32 GB User memory + 2GB (RAM)microSD (up to 32 GB)|
|262 x 180 x 8.9 mm, 597g|
|Standard battery, Li-ion 7,000mAh|
＊ All functionality, features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.
＊ Android, Google, Android Beam, Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Latitude, Google Play Store, Google Play Books, Google Play Movies, Google Plus, YouTube, Google Talk, Google Places, Google Navigation, Google Downloads are trademarks of Google Inc.
* See www.dropbox.com/help/338 for terms and conditions of Dropbox offer.
Adobe and Photoshop are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries