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Samsung's new tablet unveiled in South Korea

posted 16 Aug 2012, 03:42 by Mpelembe   [ updated 16 Aug 2012, 03:43 ]

South Korea's tech-savvy customers eye Samsung's new tablet - Galaxy Note 10.1.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (AUGUST 16, 2012) (REUTERS) - South Korea's tech-savvy customers have their eyes on Samsung's new tablet - Galaxy Note 10.1.

With functions that include a stylus type pen and split screens it aims to set itself apart from rival Apple's iPad.

The new tablet launches on Thursday (August 16) in the United States, Britain and South Korea, and has picked up positive early reviews from tech bloggers impressed with the S-Pen's writing and sketching performance and the tablet's ability to have two apps active at the same time on a split-screen.

Some customers rushed to a shop to check out the new device and said they're impressed with the new functions.

"The new product's processing speed is much faster than iPad or previous Galaxy tablet model, which was the most impressive thing to me. Also I like it that the product has many more functions than the mobile phone model of Galaxy Note," said 24-year-old Jung Dae-woong, who was testing out the new device.

"I used to use diary notebook and mobile phone together, but with the new Galaxy Note, I can simply use this tablet without carrying the diary notebook. One thing I'm not satisfied with is that the pen for this tablet is too light," said 38-year-old Cho Dae-woo.

Although other customers said they were still loyal to Apple.

"If iPad had a telephone function, I would've bought it instead of buying this (Galaxy Note 10.1)," said 18-year-old Jung Han-seol.

The South Korean firm, which Apple accuses of copying the design and some features of its iPad and iPhone, has priced the new tablet at $499 USD for 16 gigabytes of memory and WiFi-only, the same as the iPad - leaving analysts doubting its impact.

Samsung has emphasised how the Note 10.1 is a "game changer" from rival tablets, which are primarily used to consume media - highlighting the device's ability to personalise and create.

Samsung hopes the Galaxy Note 10.1 can help it narrow the gap with Apple in the tablet market, where it remains a distant second to the California-based firm.

Apple sold 28.8 million iPads in January-June, giving it 64.4 percent of the market, well ahead of Samsung's sales of 4.4 million tablet models and 9.9 percent market share, according to research firm IHS iSuppli.

The new Note 10.1 boasts a quad-core processor with 1.4 GHz clock speed, and comes with a 5 megapixel rear camera and 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera, which also detects the user's eye movements to prevent the device from going into standby mode.

The 32 GB model will sell for $549, versus iPad's $599.

The two firms have gone toe-to-toe in a multi-billion dollar patents dispute mirroring a struggle for industry supremacy between two companies that together control half the global smartphone market.