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Samsung launches Galaxy Note tablet

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

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 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.

The tablet also comes with universal television remote software and it even offers recommendations based on previous TV viewing habits.

Although named after the company's large S-Pen-based smartphone, Galaxy Note, the Samsung Note 10.1 has twice the screen size of the first Galaxy Note. Unlike the Galaxy Note, however, the Galaxy Note 10.1 does not have phone capabilities.

The tablet has a 10.1 inch (25.6 centimeter) screen, runs on a quad-core Samsung 1.4Ghz processor and has 2GB of RAM. The units will feature either 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage. The Note runs the Ice Cream edition of Android, but will be upgraded to Jelly Bean in the near future.

The Note 10.1 has a suggested retail price of US$499 for the 16GB model and $549 for the 32GB Model

Samsung sells the most Android-based smartphones, with 64 percent market share among all Android phone suppliers, Gartner recently said.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com


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