Samsung said that its new Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet will be available to purchase here in the States starting Thursday, August 16, at partners including Best Buy, Amazon, Tiger Direct, HH Gregg, CDW, BrandSmart, Conn’s and Fry’s. 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 SRP, respectively.
The company made a big production out of Thursday's launch at a special event in New York City on Wednesday which included fashion designer Zac Posen and writer/producer/director Baz Luhrmann (William Shakespeare's Romeo+Juliet, Moulin Rouge and the forthcoming The Great Gatsby). Customers already in the NYC were able to purchase the new tablet at BBY's Union Square store on Wednesday starting at noon EST.
Given the recent wave of $199 tablets, and the upcoming next wave of similarly-priced tablets spanning Amazon's 2nd-genewration Kindle and Apple's rumored iPad Mini, it's hard to imagine consumers wanting to pay laptop prices for a tablet. But the specs seemingly speak for themselves: a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor, a 10.1-inch WXGA (1280 x 800) LDC touchscreen with digitizer, a 5M rear-facing auto-focus camera and a front-facing 1.9MP VT camera.
As for other features, the new tablet sports 2 GB of RAM, 16 or 32 GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot for adding an additional 32 GB, 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Channel Bonding, Bluetooth 4.0, a USB 2.0 Host port, Full HD playback and recording, Google's Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich," support for the S Pen and more.
"Our goal with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 was simple – redefine the tablet experience," said Tim Baxter, President, Samsung Electronics America. "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."
One of the tablet's prominent features is its multiscreen feature: users can effortlessly utilize two different applications side-by-side simultaneously for true and easy multitasking. Users can also view Web pages or videos, or launch other applications while writing or sketching ideas with the S Pen on the other half of the screen.
The company also claims the S Pen provides 1,024 levels of sensitivity, 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, Adobe Photoshop Touch and Polaris Office. Alternatively, users can easily set their preferred application to be launched instantly," Samsung added.
In addition to the tablet, available accessories include replacement a S Pen, S Pen Holder Kit, Book Cover in Grey or White, Travel Charger, USB Connection Kit to allow usage of thumb drives or USB peripherals, HDMI adapter and Universal Desktop Dock.