Alongside the highly anticipated Galaxy Gear smartwatch and Galaxy Note 3 handset, Samsung also unwrapped a refreshed Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet at the company’s “Unboxed” press event.
Although Samsung made the Note 10.1 official, the South Korean tech giant declined to provide an exact release date or price. Perhaps misleadingly referred to as the “2014 Edition” during Samsung’s IFA press conference, the new Note 10.1 will hit shelves sometime in the third quarter (by the end of this month).
Meanwhile, Apple is expected to show the world two new iPhones at an event scheduled for September 10. Some tech insiders hinted that the new iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 could make an appearance at that event, but it seems more likely that the Cupertino gadget maker will reveal its new slates in mid-October – within a month of the competing Note 10.1.
Consumers in the market for a new full-sized slate may find it difficult to choose between the market-leading iPad and the increasingly popular Note. While the Galaxy Note 10.1’s specs have been made official, The Diplomat will compare them with the most prominent iPad 5 rumors to aid you in the decision-making process.
Samsung’s revamped Galaxy Note 10.1 will feature a 10.1-inch WQXGA “Super Clear” LCD screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels at 299 PPI. The current fourth generation iPad with Retina display has a slightly lower resolution of 2048 x 1536, but a comparable 264 PPI. Apple revolutionized the higher-than-HD mobile device screen, so it isn’t hard to imagine an iPad 5 that would match or exceed the Note 10.1’s display quality.
Leaks of an alleged iPad 5 rear casing indicate that the device will resemble a blown-up iPad Mini. The screen is likely to follow suit, with a slimmed-down profile over the current iPad 4.
“Each generation of Apple’s iPad has used GG touch technology, but the fifth-generation iPad will be the first full-sized iPad to use the GF2 screen technology which was first introduced in the iPad Mini,” said UberGizmo.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 will offer two different processors depending on whether a user opts for the 3G/Wi-Fi version or the 4G LTE model. Like the Galaxy S4, the chip availability will also be limited by what country the device is purchased in – different markets get different chips and Samsung has yet to share details.
“The 3G and Wi-Fi versions of the Note 10.1 promise a 1.9GHz octa-core chip and 3GB of RAM,” said CNet. “Sadly the 4G LTE model only has a quad-core chip, so you sacrifice some processing power for extra data speed. But the 4G version still has a pretty monstrous 2.3GHz quad-core chip keeping things motoring along.”
Apple’s iPad 5 will likely sport an A7 chip, rumored to be 31 percent faster than the current A6X (which has two cores, a clock speed of 1.4 GHz, and 1GB of RAM). Apple may be reluctant to make such a big jump from the current specs into the vicinity of 2.3GHz and 3GB of RAM.
Samsung’s Note 10.1 will bring back the surprisingly popular S Pen stylus – a feature that has made the Note series popular with artists and creative professionals. The new S Pen will be smaller than the previous version, and it will be stored horizontally rather than vertically within the slate’s shell.
Samsung will also bundle the Note 10.1 with an array of premium partner apps, called “Samsung Content Gifts.” It will include content from The New York Times, an optimized version of Twitter, and a special version of Samsung’s Autodesk Sketchbook.
Although it cannot be confirmed, many tech insiders expect the upcoming iPhone 5S to include a fingerprint scanner embedded in the device’s home button. Yesterday, Australian Apple leaker Sonny Dickson posted high resolution images of an alleged iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner. When asked if he thought the fingerprint scanner would find its way into the iPad 5, Dickson told The Diplomat, “Maybe, if the [iPhone] 5S goes well.”
The new Galaxy Note 10.1 is an impressive device, receiving an update package that places it firmly at the top of the tablet world. But Apple is the originator – and market leader – so expect a worthy competitor to be shown off soon. Regardless of specs, many people have probably already made up their minds – a consumer’s preference for Android or iOS will likely drive their purchase more than anything.