Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 will hit store shelves on Thursday complete with a stylus, PhotoShop Touch and a feature to run two apps at the same time on one screen. But two questions linger: Is this device really a game changer? And can it be a business tool?
The first Galaxy Note, which sold 5 million units, was interesting and I've noticed people either love it or forget it. Ditto for the stylus.
Eric Franklin at CNET gives the Galaxy Note 10.1 high marks, but did note that few apps exist to take advantage of the stylus.
With the inclusion of a stylus, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 attempts something different for full-size tablets. In certain apps the S Pen (as the stylus is called) does improve precision and can make note taking a much faster affair. Also, if you're willing to put in the time learning the apps and gestures, the S Pen can deliver a useful and rewarding interface experience. But if you've no artistic aspirations and typing out your notes is your preferred method, does the S Pen offer any real benefit?
However, Franklin added that unless you have a need for an electronic pen, the Galaxy Note 10.1 and the stylus isn't for you. Vertical industries---health care, insurance and transportation---could certainly use these devices. The Galaxy Note 10.1 supports Exchange ActiveSync, on-device encryption, Cisco VPN and Juniper Junos Pulse VPN.
In other words, the stylus---assuming developers can target apps at it---could be a differentiator for the enterprise. The real wild card, however, may be price. The device runs $499 for a 16GB version and $549 for 32GB. Businesses may opt for the iPad 2 at $399.