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Samsung introduces a stylus-based tablet

New Galaxy Note 10.1 called a game changer by Samsung

Samsung is trying to change the rules of the tablet game amidst surging competition from Apple, Microsoft and RIM.

Today Samsung will launch the Galaxy Note 10.1 in the U.S. market. Plans for Canada were not announced. What makes this device different is that the pen is the focalpoint of the Note 10.1.

Another surprise was that Adobe’s Photoshop Touch is preloaded on the tablet and optimized for Samsung’s S Pen.

According to Samsung, the device also introduces a “game changing” Multiscreen feature, which allows users to actually operate two different apps side-by-side, simultaneously, on the same screen thanks to a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and 2 GB RAM.

Samsung president Tim Baxter said the goal with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 was redefine the tablet experience.

“The S Pen offers both active content creation as well as passive content consumption, while the Multiscreen capability finally enables true multitasking. For the user, the resulting experience is completely new and quite unexpected,” Baxter said.

At the launch event in New York, creative designer Zac Posen, who has created looks for celebrities and acclaimed writer, producer, director Baz Luhrmann (William Shakespeare’s Romeo+Juliet, Moulin Rouge and the forthcoming The Great Gatsby), commented that the new Galaxy Note 10.1 will unleash new levels of inspiration in their work.

The two app screen experience for example can enable a user to write or sketching ideas with the S Pen on the one half of the screen, while watching a video on the other with no need to toggle back and forth between apps.

Users can also capture and crop images from an app on one side, and drag them to an app on the side.

Apps supported for Multiscreen are S Note, Internet Browser, Video Player, Email, Gallery and Polaris Office. The Note 10.1 also offers the Pop up Play feature, which was introduced on the Galaxy S III Smartphone. With it, users can play back videos in a floating window that can be overlaid anywhere on the screen, providing a “picture in picture” experience.

New for the GALAXY Note 10.1 is the ability to adjust the size of the video window.

In addition, Galaxy Note 10.1 offers a mini-apps tray that can launch a selection of mini-app on top of others apps and freely moved around the screen. These include Alarm, S Note, Music Player, Email, Calculator, World Clock.

Samsung also said that the new Note device with its S Pen technology makes the tablet more personal. The S Pen has 1,024 levels of sensitivity and is designed for natural and intuitive content creation. The S Pen is embedded directly into a slot in the device and when removed, activates a taskbar with quick access to optimized S Pen apps such as S Note, Photoshop Touch and Polaris Office. Alternatively, users can set their preferred application to be launched instantly.

Samsung also added a range of partner ebook tools. Kno, a developer of education software, will offer its e-textbook platform preloaded on the Note 10.1. With it, k-12 or higher education students can say goodbye to heavy backpacks filled with books and instead, download any of thousands of interactive textbooks.

A new Social Sharing feature that can utilize the S Pen to highlight and annotate the texts is also part of the package.

And, the NOOK free reading app from Barnes & Noble will also be preloaded on the Note 10.1 as well as a customized NOOK for Android.

The device will be available in choice of white or dark gray, and in 16 GB or 32 GB memory configurations, for $499 or $549 respectively.