Take note: the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 hits shops this month, Samsung has confirmed. The oversized half-brother to the popular 5.3-inch Galaxy Note sports the Note's trademark stylus and a bigger 10.1-inch screen that you can split in half to do two things at once.
We first saw the Note 10.1 in February, but Samsung has thrown out that design and gone back to the drawing board. We've tried out the result -- click here to see what our CNET buddies over in Singapore think of the new design.
Inside the new Note is a 1.4GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM. There's a 5-megapixel main camera and a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera. The software is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, topped with Samsung's TouchWiz interface.
The extra space on the screen means you can multi-task with a clever new feature called Multiscreen. This splits the screen in two so you see and use two different applications side-by-side. You could have a web page on one side and a note-taking app on the other, for example, to make notes about the subject you're researching.
To start with, the apps that support this split-screen feature include the business-like software Polaris Office, note-taking app S Note, and the video player, photo gallery and email apps.
You write notes straight onto the screen with the 6.5mm-thick S Pen stylus -- similar to the S Pen that comes with the original Note. Tap the screen twice while pressing the S Pen button and the S Note note-taking app fires up, or you can set which application automatically opens when you whip the stylus out of the slot in the tablet's casing, making it easy to jot down notes as a thought occurs to you.
There are a handful of S Pen-related apps built-in. Shape Match turns your hastily doodled blob into a proper geometric shape, and Formula Match solves any equation you scrawl onto the screen -- even looking up more information on the formula from brainy search engine Wolfram Alpha. Other stylus-tacular apps include S Note, S Planner, Crayon physics and the touchscreen-friendly version of Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Touch.
If all this sounds more suited to students than pound-a-pint night at Flares, that's because Samsung is aiming the Note 10.1 directly at learners. It even includes a Learning Hub app that helps you learn from e-textbooks, as well as planning your timetable and tracking your results.
The Note 10.1 comes in Wi-Fi-only and Wi-Fi-and-3G flavours, and a 4G version is arriving later in the year for countries that have next-generation data. We were also expecting a Galaxy Note 2, a (huge) phone-sized follow-up with beefed-up internals, but this may be it, as you can make phone calls with the Note 10.1. I'll try to clarify that with Samsung and update this story.
We know the Galaxy Note 10.1 is coming some time this month -- Samsung told us it will confirm the exact date in the next week or so. Does the Note 10.1 hit the right notes, or is the new design a bum note? Give me your notes in the comments or on our noteworthy Facebook page.