Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet is now out in the U.S. The new device, which the company is calling "a game changer," features a stylus and, for working on two applications side-by-side, a split-screen capability.
The Korean company is hoping to gain some traction against the category leader, Apple's iPad, especially before the wave of Windows 8-based tablets hits later this year. Samsung has also been engaged in a legal world war with Apple, over charges from the iPad maker that Samsung copied various patented aspects of the iPad and the iPhone.
'Productive and Creative'
The S-Pen is designed to allow users to write and sketch on the tablet's screen, affording more control than finger-to-screen interaction does. When the pen is removed from its holder, it launches several helper apps, such as the S Planner, Crayon physics, Photoshop Touch, and Polaris Office.
JK Shin, President of Samsung's IT and Mobile Communications Division, said in a statement that "taking notes, capturing ideas immediately and sketching to realize them is the most important personal and natural way to be more productive and creative."
But those potential competitive differentiators are countered by the Android -based Note 10.1's $499 price for 16 GB of memory and WiFi, the same as the newest iPad's price for a similar configuration. The 32 GB version will retail for $549, compared to $599 for the iPad.
Various low-priced Android-based tablets have been released in recent months, including Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire, each of which are priced at $200. More low-priced tablets are expected soon.
Software 'Poorly Designed'
Three months ago, Samsung released the second version of its Tab 10.1 tablet, and it is expected to release a Windows-based tablet soon. Currently, Samsung's tablet product line ranges from its 5.3-inch Note with an S-Pen, which combined a smartphone with a tablet, to the Tab 7.7 inch and now the 10.1 Tab and Note. A key difference between the Tab 10.1 and the Note 10.1 is the S-Pen.
The Note 10.1 has a quad-core processor running at 1.4 GHz, a 5 megapixel rear camera, and a 1.9 megapixel camera on the front. The front camera has the ability to keep the device in active mode, instead of standby, based on detection of a user's eye movements.
Avi Greengart, an analyst with industry research firm Current Analysis, called the Note 10.1 "a marked improvement over the Tab 10.1," and noted that the stylus and included Adobe Photoshop software could appeal to designers.
But, he said, the Note's software is "poorly designed," and, while the pen technology of the physical stylus is "fantastic," the overall user experience leaves much to be desired.
Greengart also pointed out that "there just aren't those many apps out there written for large Android tablets." He said that Samsung is trying to promote the new product as being productivity oriented, at least because of the availability of split-screen apps, but productivity-oriented potential buyers "have to be looking forward to the Windows tablets coming out in the fall."
Posted: 2012-08-16 @ 7:01pm PT
There is too much product diversity in the market. Windows centralized the world. We are headed back to a period of fragmentation. Apple will never design productive machines yet people still have work to do all over the world. LOL. What is one to do in the meantime?