The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 has been making the rounds ever since it was first unveiled at MWC in February, but it looks like the device is finally going to be launched later this month. Samsung has issued invitations to an August 15th press event that appears to be geared towards officially announcing the tablet here in the US.
At this point the announcement seems primarily to be a formality, especially since many sites like Amazon and Negri Electronics have had the tablet up for pre-order with a full specs listed for a few days now. What we don’t know about the Galaxy Note 10.1 is what justifies the $550 price tag, and how it’s going to compete with devices like the iPad and the Nexus 7.
Since the unveiling in February, the Galaxy Note 10.1 has been gifted with a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos processor and 2GB of RAM. This Android 4.0 tablet seems to have AT&T-compatible radios on-board with an LTE-friendly model due out later this year. The tablet has a 5MP camera in the rear, but an impressive 1.9MP camera in the front. The Samsung Galaxy Note was one of the better devices to video chat on during an evaluation conducted earlier this year, and the camera quality boost in the Note 10.1 shows Samsung is interested in maintaining that quality. Like the Note phone, the Note 10.1 will come with a unique pen for navigation and input but does not require you to use anything but your finger if you choose.
Samsung recently released a demo video with a deeper look into the way Samsung has altered the Android UI to support the pen input on this tablet. While you can certainly use your finger for everything, it is clear that Samsung is going to encourage the use of the S-Pen throughout the UI. Several features, including the ability to run apps side by side, show that Samsung is continuing the true multitasking that was demonstrated with the Galaxy S3. The stock Android experience doesn’t natively support this kind of usage, so it will be interesting to see how Samsung handles apps that weren’t designed to be used in this manner.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is going to try to resurrect the stylus, right beside Microsoft Surface before the end of the year. It will be very interesting to see how users respond to having open in their hands again to interact with their computers.
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