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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 announced: definitely a tablet (hands-on photos)

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As you'd expect, the Galaxy Note 10.1 fundamentally a 10.1-inch upsizing of the Galaxy Note, but it's also essentially a Galaxy Tab 10.1 with S-Pen support.

Gallery Photo: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 press images
Gallery Photo: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 press images

Samsung hasn't exactly been coy about the Galaxy Note 10.1 here at MWC — it's pictured on a number of giant banners all over the place — and now it's coming totally clean with detailed specs and press photos. As you'd expect, it's fundamentally a 10.1-inch upsizing of the smaller phone / tablet Galaxy Note, but it's also essentially a Galaxy Tab 10.1 with S-Pen support. We're not sure if anyone's been clamoring for either, but Samsung typically doesn't worry itself with such concerns.

Software-wise, the Note 10.1 runs Android 4.0 with TouchWiz and a number of optimizations for the Wacom-based S-Pen, including the quick shortcut to bring up the S-Notes app by tapping twice on the screen while holding the pen button down. Samsung's also pre-loading versions of Adobe Photoshop Touch and Adobe Ideas that have been optimized for the stylus with support for pressure sensitivity, and S Note has been updated with new shape- and formula-matching code that helps you take better notes more quickly.

In terms of hardware, there's nothing here particularly new apart from the pen: there's a 1.4GHz dual-core Exynos, the screen resolution is 1280 x 800, and there's a 3 megapixel camera on the back with a 2 megapixel shooter on the front. Connectivity comes in the form of a HSPA+ 21Mbps cell radio, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, and you'll find up to 64GB of storage with a microSD slot on the side. One notable and insane omission: a slot for the pen. We asked why it was left out, since it seems so obvious and the smaller Note has pen storage, but Samsung just told us users will just have to buy a case with a built-in pen holder.

We had a chance to play with the Note 10.1 in a meeting yesterday, and it really does feel like a Galaxy Tab 10.1 crossed with the Galaxy Note — the tablet hardware is almost identical to the Tab 10.1, but the software (apart from Photoshop Touch) is very similar to the 5-inch Note. Even the pens are cross-compatible, since they're both built using Wacom technology. It's a nice enough Android 4.0 tablet, but the hard task for Samsung will be to convince the iPad-buying public that what they really want in a tablet is a stylus. It's not currently clear that the Note 10.1 provides enough to do that, especially with so few apps that currently support it. Samsung's working on that problem with the official release of its S-Pen SDK, but we'll see how it goes — and how much the Galaxy Note 10.1 will cost — before we pass any additional judgement. Many, many more pics in the galleries below, and we'll be back later today with some video.