updated 04:30 pm EST, Mon December 24, 2012
Stylus-enabled new Note tablet could take on iPad mini
Rumors that Samsung is preparing to roll out a 7.x-inch version of its line of Galaxy Note devices received a boost today, as a device with those specifications showed up in the logs of GLBenchmark. The benchmarking site's logs show a Samsung device with the codename GT-N5100. That device appears to run on a 1.6GHz Exynos 4412 processor, with a screen resolution of 1280x800.
The device in the benchmarks currently runs Android 4.1.2, though it is possible that, should Samsung actually release it, it could see an upgrade to Android 4.2 by the time it launches. The screen dimensions seem to put the device in line with Samsung's largely unsuccessful Galaxy Tab 7.7 line of devices, though the codename implies that it would be part of the Galaxy Note line.
Samsung has been rumored for some time now to be working on a new device to make an impact in the burgeoning 7.x-inch tablet segment. With its Galaxy Tab 7.7 and its successor, Samsung was one of the first major companies to release a product in that size range, but those devices languished and were eventually overshadowed by first Amazon's Kindle Fire, then Google's Nexus 7, and finally Apple's iPad mini.
Releasing a 7.x-inch device under the Galaxy Note brand could give Samsung a major point of differentiation from its competition. The Note line has received strong reviews due to the functionality its S Pen stylus brings to the device. A robust array of stylus-driven features would likely help a new Samsung device stand out from the crowd in a sector that has become quite crowded over the last few months.