Galaxy Note 10.1 is tablet to rival Apple’s iPad
Goes on sale on Thursday in US, UK, South Korea
Costs $499 for 16 GB, WiFi-only model, like iPad
Boasts stylus-type pen, and split-screen functions
Samsung Electronics new tablet, unveiled in the United States, is the South Korean electronics latest attempt to knock Apple’s iPad off its market throne.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet launches on Thursday in the United States, Britain and South Korea, just weeks before Samsung is expected to unwrap its revamped version of the original 5.3-inch Note smartphone.
Samsung, which Apple accuses of copying the design and some features of its iPad and iPhone, hopes the enlarged version of its popular phone-cum-tablet Note will resonate with consumers, and the device – with a stylus-type pen and split-screen feature – has picked up positive early reviews from tech bloggers.
The 10.1-inch Galaxy Note tablet is offered up in 16GB and 32GB WiFi-only configurations priced at $499 and $549, respectively.outfitted with a 10-inch 1,280 x 800 TFT LCD display, quad-core Exynos 4 CPU clocked at 1.4GHz, 2GB RAM, microSD storage expandable to 64GB, 1.9-megapixel front-facing / 5-megapixel rear cameras and a 7,000mAh battery.
A key feature of the Galaxy Note 10.1 is the “S Pen” found on the original Note. It can be used as if it was a pen on paper or a computer mouse.
“The mission of this device is personalization — using pen input to create more human communication,” Galaxy Tab consumer business division director Travis Merrill said while providing an early look at the new tablet.
The launch of the Note 10.1 will be accompanied by a massive promotional campaign, according to Merrill.
“We are betting big on this; not just on the tablet but on the Note brand,” Merrill said, indicating that Samsung felt that it struck a chord with its Note smartphone that provides an internet Age note or drawing pad experiences with a stylus that serves as a virtual pen or brush.
“This is the first of its kind when it comes to multi-tasking,” Merrill said. “This is really about being able to do multiple things at once.”
“When you look at the price and overall consumer awareness about Samsung tablets, it’s not likely to be a big success,” said Park Young, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities in Seoul. “Tablets are getting cheaper and even Apple is rumored to be preparing a cheaper iPad. Consumers also tend not to spend much on tablets any more as smartphones can do most of the entertainment functions that tablets offer.”
Samsung has been keen to differentiate the Note 10.1 from rival tablets, which are primarily used to consume media – highlighting the device’s ability to personalize and create. At Wednesday’s launch event in New York, “Moulin Rouge” movie director Baz Luhrmann and fashion designer Zac Posen were on hand to demonstrate how they use the S-Pen stylus in their work.
The Galaxy 10.1 is named after its screen size, which is slightly larger than the 9.7-inch iPad, and has impressed with a split-screen feature that allows users to have two apps active side-by-side.
Samsung hopes the enlarged version of the original Galaxy Note, which has sold over 10 million units since its October launch, can help it narrow the gap with Apple in tablet markets, where it remains a distant second to Apple.
Apple sold 28.8 million iPads in January-June, giving it 64.4 per cent of the market, well ahead of Samsung’s 9.9 per cent market share, according to research firm IHS iSuppli.
The Note 10.1 uses Google’s Android software and a quad-core processor with 1.4 GHz clock speed. It boasts a 5 megapixel rear camera and 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera, which also detects the user’s eye movements to prevent the device from going into standby mode.
A US judge on Wednesday asked for the chief executives of Apple and Samsung to speak to each other before a jury begins deliberating next week in the high-stakes patent trial between the two tech titans.