By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Ridgefield Park, N.J. — Samsung announced a $399 suggested retail and April 11 availability of its first 8-inch Note tablet, which was intially unveiled in February at the Mobile World Congress.
The Wi-Fi-equipped tablet will be available through such retailers as Amazon, Best Buy/Best Buy Mobile, hhgregg, Newegg, P.C. Richard & Son, Staples and TigerDirect.com. Availability of a cellular-equipped version hasn’t been announced.
The 8-inch Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet complements Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet and the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II phablet, or hybrid smartphone/tablet. All use an S Pen, or stylus, to let users annotate pictures and files with handwritten messages, draw pictures on screen, and preview files or email messages without opening them by hovering the S Pen over the screen.
With the launch, “we fully expect to ignite the midsize tablet market Samsung pioneered with the first Galaxy Tab,” said Travis Merrill, Samsung Electronics America VP. Though it’s small enough to fit in a pocket or purse, he said, the device “packs the power needed for full mobile entertainment and productivity.”
The Android 4.1.2 device features 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, WXGA 1,280 by 800 IPS touchscreen with 189 pixels per inch, large 4,600 mAh battery said to last all day, 16GB of internal memory, 64GB MicroSD card slot, 5-megapixel main camera with 1080p video capture, 1.3-megapixel 720p front-facing camera, stereo speakers, GPS, and Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n with dual-band N.
The Galaxy Note 8.0 will be the first product to feature Samsung WatchOn, a search and recommendation service that searches across multiple content sources, such as a local live-TV program guide and streaming video-on-demand sources. It also displays complementary content, including actor bios, reviews and related information.
The tablet also acts as a universal remote via embedded IR blaster.
Other key features include multiscreen capability, enabling users to open multiple apps at a time. The feature is supported by 20 different apps, including Google Chrome and Facebook.
DLNA-based AllShare Play lets users transmit tablet content to a TV or remotely access file on a networked desktop computer. Smart Stay tracks the owner’s eye to ensure the screen is always on while being looked at, and Pop Up Play lets a video play anywhere on the screen while other tasks are being used.
Apps optimized for the S Pen include S Memo, which lets users compile pictures, screen shots, voice recordings, typed text, handwritten notes or drawings into a memo for sharing. A one-step screen-capture function lets users instantly capture any screen for annotation and sharing.
With the tablet, consumers also get 50GB of free Dropbox storage for two years and one free month of unlimited music streaming through Samsung’s Music Hub service. For a limited time, consumers will also get a $25 Google Play credit.
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