Samsung launches Galaxy Note tablet

Samsung has moved its stylus-based computing to a 10.1-inch form factor

By , IDG News Service |  Consumerization of IT, Android, Samsung Galaxy Note

Hoping to inspire tablet users to create more content with their devices, Samsung introduced a stylus-based tablet, called the Galaxy Note 10.1, which the company touts as more interactive than the market-leading Apple iPad.

"We are gong to redefine tablets. People like to lean back to surf the Web. We all love doing that, but we think something is missing. What if there was a tablet to release your creativity? What if there was a tablet that made writing personal? That tablet is here," said Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, at the U.S. launch event Wednesday. The tablet will be available Thursday across the U.S.

The release is timely given that Microsoft, among other Apple competitors, has charged that iPads are not suited for content creation. While tablets are good for consuming media -- watching video, reading books -- they are often viewed as not well suited for content creation, such as writing documents or creating multimedia presentations.

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Tab series of tablets, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 comes with a stylus-like device, which provides more nuanced control of applications, the company said. Although it resembles a stylus, the S-Pen actually interacts through the screen through radio waves, allowing for a much more exact placement of the pen's tip. The company claims that the device's screen can recognize 1,000 different levels of pressure sensitivity, which means the device can more accurately capture and portray what the S-Pen is doing on the screen. The device also is smart enough to ignore the user's palm should it accidentally rest on the screen.

The tablet also comes with a notepad application, called S-Note, that exploits the capabilities of the S-Pen. S-Note provides a surface for users to write or draw on, with a number of features to help sharpen the material being placed on the screen. It can match shapes and remove excess scribbles, and also recognize words and even mathematical formulas. It can convert handwriting to text and search on highlighted phrases.

The Galaxy Note 10.0 also comes with a customized copy of Adobe Photoshop Touch, allowing users to do fine-grained, professional-quality photo editing. In a series of demonstrations, a Samsung representative showed how this touch edition of Photoshop replicated much of the functionality of Photoshop's desktop version-- including the ability to change the background of an image and execute standard retouching effects, such as the removal of blemishes from a person's face.

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