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    Samsung takes on iPad with Galaxy Note tablet

    Samsung takes on iPad with Galaxy Note tablet
    Agence France-Presse

    NEW YORK—Samsung on Wednesday unveiled a Galaxy Note tablet designed to make a more personal connection with users and aiming to knock Apple’s iPad off its market throne.
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    A key feature of the Galaxy Note 10.1 was a sophisticated “S Pen” that can be used as if it were a pen on paper or a computer mouse.
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    “The mission of this device is personalization – using pen input to create more human communication,” Galaxy Tab consumer business division director Travis Merrill told AFP while providing an early look at the new tablet.
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    “Receiving a handwritten note from someone you know is so much more emotional and powerful than just receiving an e-mail,” he said.
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    Samsung built technology from Japan-based Wacom into the tablet screen to create a layer that can sense “S Pens” so precisely it can tell how hard they are being pressed or even if they are hovering, slightly out of touch.
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    “If you don’t want to use the S Pen you don’t have to but it is really the heart and soul of the device,” Samsung Telecommunications America product strategy director Shoneel Kolhatkar said.
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    Note 10.1 tablets are powered by Google’s latest generation Android software and feature powerful quad-core processors as well as two gigabytes of RAM for quick handling of videos, games and other graphics-rich content.
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    The tablets are Wi-Fi enabled to connect with the Internet at hotspots and will be available in the United States on Wednesday at prices of $500 for a 16-gigabyte model and $550 for a 32-gigabyte model, according to Samsung.
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    The launch of the Note 10.1 will be accompanied by a massive promotional campaign, according to Merrill.
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    “We are betting big on this; not just on the tablet but on the Note brand,” Merrill said, indicating that Samsung felt that it struck a chord with its Note smartphone that provides an Internet Age note or drawing pad experiences with a stylus that serves as a virtual pen or brush.
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    “We felt it was a real pain point in terms of input mechanism. With a fat finger you don’t always know if you are clicking the link properly – the S Pen adds a lot more accuracy and control.”
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    Software in the tablet lets users hand-write notes or scrawl comments on images or documents and then store them or post them to social networks or send them in e-mail messages.
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    “People today still use Post-it notes and notebooks; you still have people drawing maps or making back-of-envelope calculations,” Kolhatkar said. “We feel the tablet can replace all of that.”
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    A service in the tablet recommends applications designed to run well on the hardware or which are customized to take advantage of S Pen capabilities.
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    “With the S Pen, using pressure, I can get as fine or as thick a line as possible,” Kolhatkar demonstrated. “It is almost like pencil on paper. We really believe this is a game changer.”
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    The tablet also knows to ignore pressure from the palm of someone using an S Pen, freeing users to write or draw naturally.
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    Note 10.1 software can convert handwriting to text or crudely drawn objects to crisp geometric figures, and even correct written scientific or mathematical formulas, according to the demonstration.
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    “You can imagine how students will use this to cheat,” Kolhatkar joked of the unintended consequence of a Formula Correct feature. “I am not encouraging that.”
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    Samsung worked with Adobe to make free Photoshop software that allows people to use S pens to edit images on the Note 10.1 with accuracy and ease.
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    Movies, games and other entertainment content for devices are available at a Samsung media hub, along with a growing “ecosystem” of applications made by third-party developers.
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    Samsung also built “personal computing” power into Note 10.1 by letting users engage in several tasks at the same time, perhaps watching a video while working on a presentation and roaming the Internet.
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    “This is the first of its kind when it comes to multi-tasking,” Merrill said. “This is really about being able to do multiple things at once.”
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  2. #2
    After Apple bruising, Samsung to unveil Galaxy Note 2

    Reuters
    Posted at 08/29/2012 3:09 PM | Updated as of 08/29/2012 7:08 PM


    SEOUL - Samsung Electronics Co unveils the second generation of its popular Galaxy Note phone-cum-tablet at Europe's biggest electronics show in Berlin later on Wednesday, as the South Korean firm comes under pressure to innovate after losing a U.S. patent battle with Apple Inc.

    A U.S. federal jury last week found Samsung had copied critical features of the iPhone and awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages. Apple is now seeking speedy bans on the sale of eight Samsung phones, moving swiftly to turn legal victory into tangible business gain.

    The Galaxy Note phablet, Samsung's second most popular smartphone after its flagship Galaxy S, is not included in the list of the potential U.S. sales ban, and Samsung hopes the phablet upgrade will lift any post-Apple gloom at the South Korean group.

    "There won't be huge innovative changes in design, but the Note 2 will feature quite a few improvements and enable Samsung to carry on its strong sales momentum in the category," said Lee Sun-tae, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities. "With the launch, Samsung will also be trying to turn around downbeat sentiment after the U.S. legal defeat."

    The new version of the Note is expected to feature a thinner and slightly bigger 5.5-inch screen, powerful quad-core processor, the latest version of Google's Android operating system called Jellybean, and improved stylus function.

    It's the latest product to illustrate Samsung's attempts to make bold design changes as it comes increasingly under pressure to differentiate its line-up from the iPhone, whose simple and large touchscreen-based design revolutionised the mobile industry and is still considered the gold standard of design.

    FLEXI-SCREEN

    Samsung is also working to introduce smartphones with bendable screens later this year as it seeks to cement its lead in the $200 billion plus global smartphone market and challenge Apple, which is expected to launch its new iPhone on Sept. 12.

    The new Note comes just three months after Samsung released the third generation of its Galaxy S smartphone, which has already sold more than 10 million, and succeeds the original 5.3-inch Note, which was introduced in late-October and was a surprise hit, selling more than 10 million within 9 months.

    Other firms that offer so-called phablets include LG Electronics and HTC. ABI Research has predicted phablet shipments could reach 208 million by 2015.

    Unlike Apple, Samsung depends on various line-ups, offering a range of models in different sizes and with different software, and keeps its product cycle shorter. Later this year, it is expected to launch a new model running Microsoft's upgraded Windows operating system.

    Samsung shares rose 2.9 percent to 1.23 million won in Seoul on Wednesday - in a broader Korean market that closed up 0.6 percent - and are now down just 3.5 percent from their levels before last Friday's U.S. ruling. The shares slumped 7.5 percent on Monday, wiping $12 billion off the company's market value.

    A U.S. judge on Tuesday set a Dec. 6 court date to hear Apple's request for a permanent injunction against Samsung smartphones, which could delay the potential impact of Apple's legal victory. Also, ratings agency Standard & Poor's said Apple's bruising legal win had not affected the agency's ratings on Samsung.
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