One gadget showcased almost everywhere at the Mobile World Congress has been Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1. The Verge reports takes a look at some of the new tablet’s features:
Software-wise, the Note 10.1 runs Android 4.0 with TouchWiz and a number of optimizations for the Wacom-based S-Pen, including the quick shortcut to bring up the S-Notes app by tapping twice on the screen while holding the pen button down. Samsung's also pre-loading versions of Adobe Photoshop Touch and Adobe Ideas that have been optimized for the stylus with support for pressure sensitivity, and S Note has been updated with new shape- and formula-matching code that helps you take better notes more quickly.
In terms of hardware, there's nothing here particularly new apart from the pen: there's a 1.4GHz dual-core Exynos, the screen resolution is 1280 x 800, and there's a 3 megapixel camera on the back with a 2 megapixel shooter on the front. Connectivity comes in the form of a HSPA+ 21Mbps cell radio, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, and you'll find up to 64GB of storage with a microSD slot on the side. One notable and insane omission: a slot for the pen. We asked why it was left out, since it seems so obvious and the smaller Note has pen storage, but Samsung just told us users will just have to buy a case with a built-in pen holder.
We had a chance to play with the Note 10.1 in a meeting yesterday, and it really does feel like a Galaxy Tab 10.1 crossed with the Galaxy Note — the tablet hardware is almost identical to the Tab 10.1, but the software (apart from Photoshop Touch) is very similar to the 5-inch Note. Even the pens are cross-compatible, since they're both built using Wacom technology. It's a nice enough Android 4.0 tablet, but the hard task for Samsung will be to convince the iPad-buying public that what they really want in a tablet is a stylus. It's not currently clear that the Note 10.1 provides enough to do that, especially with so few apps that currently support it. Samsung's working on that problem with the official release of its S-Pen SDK, but we'll see how it goes — and how much the Galaxy Note 10.1 will cost — before we pass any additional judgement.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 was not the only gadget Samsung introduced at MWC. The Post’s Hayley Tsukayama reports:
Samsung is already getting plenty of attention for its Galaxy Note, it’s hybrid tablet and smartphone. The next two items up for splicing? Your smartphone and that office standard, the projector.
On Sunday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung announced the introduction of the Galaxy Beam, a smartphone that lets users project photos and video on the nearest blank wall, ceiling or impromptu screen. The phone has a 5 MP camera and records in 720p at thirty frames per second.
The phone is about a half-inch thick and has a 1 GHz dual-core processor. Unlike some competitor’s phones, the Beam isn’t launching with Android’s latest Ice Cream Sandwich system, opting instead for Android 2.3, Gingerbread.
Samsung also announced the Galaxy Tab 2 lineup of tablets in 7-inch and 10.1-inch flavors. Both will be available in 3G and WiFi models, and will be launched in the global market starting in March.
In other Samsung product news, another rumor about the Galaxy S III has emerged. The latest from the rumor mill is that the phone may have a 4.8-inch screen. VentureBeat.com reports:
At this point, Samsung’s Galaxy S III is beginning to feel like the next iPhone — at least when it comes to rumors.
The latest report pegs the phone with a 4.8-inch screen — 0.2 inches larger than Google’s Galaxy Nexus — and a luxurious ceramic back, sources tell the mobile site Boy Genius Report.
The large screen size wouldn’t be too surprising, especially given how much Samsung is trying to push the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note as a smartphone. And the addition of better rear material would certainly help to improve Samsung’s building quality.