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“This is a creative tool. … way and above anything else, that is the game changer for me,” said director Baz Luhrmann, speaking of Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 10.1 at its launch press conference, Wednesday in New York.
Aiming to “redefine the tablet experience,” and clearly taking aim at Hollywood’s creative community, the new Wi-fi only Android (4.0) tablet combines Samsung’s S Pen technology with a 10.1-inch display.
Currently, the tablet market is dominated by Apple’s iPad with 50% of the installed base, according to the June 2012 Mobile Content Study conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates. According to the same study, this is down from 2011, when the iPad controlled 72% of the market. While iPad has earned some criticism as a device aimed more at watching content than creating it, it is by far the most widely used tablet in Hollywood production for applications including dailies, reviews, and production management.
With its new iPad challenger, Samsung asserts that its Galaxy Note 10.1 is “a new way of consuming content, a new way of creating content, a new way of productivity.” Available on Thursday, it lists for $499 for a 16GB model or $549 for a 32GB model.
“I’m genuinely thrilled,” Luhrmann said during the press event. “Life is a multitask. I’m a collaborator and surrounded by collaborators.”
He related that 15 years ago when working on his Romeo + Juliet, “to make storyboards we used scissors. … With this, I have been doing this electronically. I’m able to share with my wife [production and costume designer Catherine Martin] and other creatives in real time.”
Also appearing on stage was fashion designer Zac Posen, who said that he has been using the Galaxy Note 10.1 to “building and create pieces … I’ve been able to bring my notes, draping, in instant time, to my team. In my business, time is everything, we are always on a countdown.”
During the event, Samsung director of marketing Travis Merrill, emphasized the “added precision” of the S pen, comparing it with the “traditional” way of using your finger with a tablet or by using a stylus. “With the advanced technology in Galaxy Note, for the first time, freehand writing on a tablet makes sense,” he claimed.
The S Pen can be used with apps including S Note and a preloaded version of Adobe’s Photoshop Touch. The latter also syncs with Adobe’s recently launched Creative Cloud.
With emphasis on multitasking, Samsung also highlighted a “Multiscreen” feature that enables the use of two different applications side-by-side simultaneously. Users can also capture and crop images from an app on one side, and drag them to an app on the other side.
Apps supported for Multiscreen are S Note, Internet Browser, Video Player, Email, Gallery and Polaris Office.
Galaxy Note 10.1 also offers a “Pop up Play” feature that lets users play back videos in a floating window that can be overlaid anywhere over another screen.
Additional features include “Samsung Smart Remote,” which is developed to allow the new Samsung tablet to operate as a universal remote control for home entertainment systems. For reading, the Nook reading app from Barnes & Noble and Kno e-textbook platform come preloaded.
The Samsung tablet is designed with a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of internal RAM. Available in white or dark grey, it includes a 5-megapixel main camera and a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera.
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