updated 01:18 pm EDT, Wed August 15, 2012
NYC event showcases multitasking, S Pen apps
Samsung has officially launched the Galaxy Note 10.1, with the US version going on sale tomorrow. At an event in New York City, company executives were joined by fashion designer Zac Posen and director Baz Luhrmann to show off the tablet, which unlike the secrecy surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S III announcement earlier this year, was known about well in advance. The event also revealed that the original Galaxy Note, released nine months ago, has sold over 10 million units worldwide.
Running on Android 4.0.4 with TouchWiz and powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM, the tablet builds on the work done for the original Galaxy Note and its S Pen stylus. Multitasking and side-by-side apps (billed as "Multiscreen") are seen as its main improvements, aside from the larger display. Users can put two different apps on the screen at the same time, for example viewing a webpage on one side while sketching on the other. The web browser, video player, email client, gallery, S Note app and Polaris Office are all compatible with Multiscreen, while Pop up Play for a floating video window also makes an appearance.
S Pen has been upgraded to have 1,024 levels of sensitivity, and when removed from its slot, activates a taskbar for quick access to S Pen-enabled apps. S Note uses the previously shown Shape Match capability to convert drawings into charts and graphs, while Formula Match can solve hand-written formulas with the S Pen. Adobe's Photoshop Touch is also preloaded onto the Note 10.1, adding in optimizations for the S Pen and also including a unique camera fill feature, where the Note's camera can be used to fill an area on a layer.
Although the 5-megapixel rear camera is a lower resolution than the Samsung Galaxy S III's 8MP version, it does share some of the same camera-based features. The 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera can prevent premature hibernation with the eye-detecting Smart Stay function, and ShareShot automatically shares photos with the Galaxy S III.
Educational software pioneer Kno will be including its e-textbook platform on the Note, allowing k-12 and higher level interactive textbooks to be viewed and S Pen annotations to be shared with other students using the service. The Nook reading app will also be preloaded, along with a customized Nook for Android widget for accessing titles from the desktop.
A two-year 50GB subscription to online file storage service Dropbox, a Peel-powered Samsung Smart Remote app, and Polaris Office are also included with the tablet.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 goes on sale tomorrow across the US, although the Union Square BBY store will stock it today. White and dark gray versions are available, with the 16GB and 32GB versions selling for $500 and $550 respectively.