MWC 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet now official, we go hands-on

Despite not having a big bad press event like last year, Samsung is very present at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona these days. And we mean very present. The Korean company has even unveiled a new product for this occasion – the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.

This has been rumored to come, but it didn’t feel like it had its place in Samsung’s portfolio, especially with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 also announced just yesterday. Yet here it is. As its name implies, the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet basically takes the S Pen technology found in the Samsung Galaxy Note phone and couples it with a 10.1-inch tablet.

The result is all about that stylus. The design of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is very similar to the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, which isn’t really all that bad. It’s thin, it feels good in the hand (with the exception of the glossy back cover unfortunately), and it will come with all kinds of S Pen features built into the software.

For example, it has “multi-screen functionality” which allows you to have Internet pages, videos or other apps side by side while sketching your ideas. You get some ready-made templates for the S Pen, such as meeting minutes, recipe, cards, diary, and magazine. The Galaxy Note 10.1 comes with Adobe Photoshop Touch and Adobe Ideas preinstalled, and Samsung claims that the tablet version of Photoshop is much more usable with the stylus.

Here are some hands-on pictures with the Galaxy Note 10.1 shot at Samsung’s booth here in Barcelona:

For more pictures, just scroll to the end of this post – a full gallery awaits.

If you’re interested in the pure tech specs, you won’t be disappointed either. There’s a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor in there, a 3 MP rear camera with LED flash, a 2 MP front-facing camera, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 1 GB of RAM and 16, 32 or 64 GB of integrated storage space further expandable via microSD cards, a 7,000 mAh battery, and 21 Mbps HSPA+ support. It runs Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich and its dimensions are 256.7 x 175.3 x 8.9 mm. It weighs 583 g.

Here’s a quick hands-on video with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1:

Judging from its press release, Samsung is aiming this at the education market, at least in part (there’s even built-in math formula recognition). It remains to be seen whether the S Pen tech will help tablets really ‘invade’ classrooms worldwide, and just how happy children and youngsters will be once they find out they can sketch over anything.

As for the general public, the Galaxy Note 10.1 like the ‘original’ Galaxy Note before it has a pretty bumpy road ahead. After all, it took a few years until people got off styluses – and some may still associate a stylus with a bad touchscreen experience, despite the fact that the S Pen is a capacitive stylus. So whether or not it will be successful, the Galaxy Note 10.1 remains an interesting niche offering, and it may get favored by certain professionals who do most of their work on the road (aside from students, of course). Only time will tell.

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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