Feb 21, 2012

What do you think about the Samsung Galaxy Note, step forward or step back?

The Samsung Galaxy Note is a bit of an odd duck. It's bigger than a smartphone, smaller than a tablet, and has a stylus. While I don't hate the stylus like Steve Jobs did, it is one more thing to loose, and based on the number of Nintendo 3DS styluses that I have bought, they will be go missing at a surprisingly rapid rate. That said, a stylus is a heck of a lot better than a flat, small virtual keyboard to taking notes, and it's better than a fingertip for drawing...if that's what you use your tablet for. The size is good in some ways (hey, what a nice big screen) not so good in others (hmmm, do I have a pocket big enough to carry it in).

The ability to take notes in a natural fashion does make it more attractive, but that's a heck of an expensive way to replace a legal pad and bic pen. Does the Galaxy Note offer enough to make it appeal to enterprise users, or is it just a slightly larger screen to watch Netflix on?

I agree that styluses are made to be lost. I can't count the number of pen and pencil sets I've lost over the years, and I'm sure the stylus would join them in the neverland of lost things, just like all those left socks I can't find. But I do like the idea of being able to jot down notes easily and without messing around with trying to type on a smartphone screen, even if I have gotten pretty good at it. Of course, couldn't a stylus be use to "write" on any device with a touch screen? I also like the size thing, but with reservations. If I'm to carry the Galaxy Note in my jeans pocket the way I do my current Android phone it's a bit too large. If I'm carrying a briefcase, no problem, and the size is a positive thing. Overall, I think the Note is an interesting subset of the tablet/smartphone, perhaps not for everyone, but unique enough to make it appealing to some.

Incidentally, a friend and I were at a local Best Buy over the weekend and they had the Note in stock. I was checking it out and suddenly my buddy started laughing. When I asked why, he said that when I held the phone up to my ear, I looked like his 3 year old holding his iPhone. The size isn't as extreme as you might think, but there is a little something unusual about the ratio of phone size to head when you use if as a handset.
Ick. It's too big to be a phone, but too small to be a tablet. Apple was wise to stay away from something like this.

I suppose it might appeal to a niche market, but I'd never use it.

You can get a stylus for an iPad and other tablets if you want. I don't really see the need to bundle one with a tablet though, let people buy whichever ones best fit their needs.

Anyway, I'll pass on the Galaxy Note. It's definitely not my cup of tea.
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