Samsung plans to launch a full-fat tablet follow-up to its Samsung Galaxy Note hybrid phone-tablet device, but it will replace the 5.3-inch display with a 10.1-inch touchscreen.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 — which also bears more than a passing resemblance to the company’s existing Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets — has been confirmed as destined for release “globally in August”. Samsung did not specify the exact date the device would go on sale in different markets.
While the Note 10.1 looks similar to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and obviously has the same-sized display, it comes with the addition of the ‘S Pen’ stylus for quick notes or sketches, also found in the 5.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Note handset.
“The Galaxy Note 10.1… will offer our customers a new way to use and experience a tablet device. As well as being able to consume content such as videos, photos, document and the internet, the Galaxy Note 10.1 also gives them the power to produce, create and customise that same content,” Simon Stafford, who heads the telecommunications and networks division at Samsung UK and Ireland, said in a statement on Monday.
The device will arrive running the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android (4.0). Samsung hinted. However, it did not say whether it will bring the newer Jelly Bean version of Android to the tablet in the future.
“The rollout of Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, has started with Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ and Nexus S devices. We will announce updates to the rest of our Galaxy portfolio of devices in due course,” a Samsung spokeswoman told ZDNet.
First seen at Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona, the Galaxy Note 10.1 packs a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, giving it some of the best hardware specs of any Android tablet.
Also unlike most other tablets, the device will support multiple tasks on one screen, displaying each side-by-side. For example, it is possible to browse the web or watch a video while taking notes or drawing a picture in the other half of the screen using the S Pen.
The S Pen is housed in its own dedicated slot and, when removed, activates apps specifically designed to make use of the input. For example, it will launch the S Note, S Planner, Crayon physics, Adobe Photoshop Touch or Polaris Office applications.
The device has also borrowed some features from its range-topping smartphone sibling, the Galaxy S III. Examples are the Smart Stay feature, which detects when a user is looking at the screen and prevents it from switching off, and the AllShare Play or AllShare Group Cast features, for sharing content and documents.
Other hardware features include a 1.9-megapixel forward-facing camera for video calling and another 5-megapixel camera on the rear. The tablet will be available in 16, 32 or 64GB variants; it will also support microSD storage expansion up to an additional 64GB.
Initially, the device will be available in Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi plus HSPA+ options, but Samsung said it will also be bringing a Wi-Fi plus LTE version to market at an unspecified later date.