Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Read on, young captain. From Law Technology News:
The Samsung Galaxy Note, announced last week at the IFA tradeshow in Berlin and already dubbed the "tabphone," has a typical set of smartphone features, plus an extra-large, high-quality display and a pressure-sensitive stylus for taking notes, drawing, and navigating. It seems to invite users to carry just one device, not two.
Immediate reaction to the Note among gadgeteers has been strong but varied, ranging from hopeful to dismissive. While some take an optimistic tone that the device could have strong appeal, some say it's too big as a phone and too small as a tablet. "There's no getting away from the fact it looks really stupid when held up to your ear," said Dan Grabham in his review for TechRadar.com from Berlin.
Others see it as little more than a step backward, a throwback to the PDAs of yester-year, the personal digital assistant -- e.g., Palm Pilot, Apple Newton -- that was a precursor to today's smartphones. PDAs relied upon a stylus applied to a touch screen for data entry, carrying no keyboard, and the Note operates the same way. But, as Harry McCracken points out on Technologizer, at the original iPad launch Steve Jobs said of competitors to come, "If you see a stylus, they blew it."
For would-be Note users in the United States, problems may go beyond fears of looking goofy holding a giant "tabphone" to your ear or having to live without a keyboard. You may not be able to get the Note at all. Samsung, seen as the leader among those playing catch-up with Apple, is offering a rash of new devices, but not all will be made available here -- including the Note and the other Samsung darling of the IFA show, the Galaxy Tab 7.7. Then again, as the speculation goes and the exact wording of statements is parsed, companies are cagey about releases, and the products could yet arrive. Release dates for the devices have not been announced. Pre-orders are available in the U.K. at about 600 pounds, or more than $900 per device.
Should Samsung decide to release the Note in the U.S., a lot more lawyers and law firms will have it as a choice -- but will it be welcome? Of note, so to speak: The device is capable of voice recording via the S Memo app, and will come equipped with several apps. For more information, see the full Samsung Galaxy Note specification list.
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