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The Samsung Galaxy Note: Tiny tablet or giant smartphone?
A grandiose Super Bowl ad introduces America to a rather cumbersome new gadget — and its much-mocked stylus pen
 
The Samsung Galaxy Note has a 5.3-inch screen, much larger than the iPhone's 3.5-inch screen.
The Samsung Galaxy Note has a 5.3-inch screen, much larger than the iPhone's 3.5-inch screen.
Samsung

Samsung spent millions on a long Super Bowl commercial that promoted the tech giant's new Galaxy Note device. (Watch the clip below.) But with a massive 5.3-inch screen (the iPhone's is 3.5 inches), consumers are puzzled: Is the Galaxy Note a small tablet? A comically big smartphone? And what of that stylus being roasted on Twitter? Here, three key things you should know about Samsung's new flagship device:

1. Its strange size is dividing techies
The 4G Android device weighs 6.45 ounces — 30 percent of an iPad 2's weight, but 32 percent heavier than an iPhone. The Galaxy Note problematically "straddles the line" between smartphones and tablets, says Tony Bradley at PC World. "It is too unwieldy to be a great smartphone, and too small to be a worthwhile tablet." And who wants to pick their "wardrobe based on which clothing has pockets capable of holding" a gadget? I actually really like it, says Jared Newman at TIME. Even though "using it with one hand is out of the question," I was "mesmerized" by its "crisp, jumbo-sized display." Just don't call it a "phablet."

2. The stylus is an object of mockery
The Galaxy Note Super Bowl commercial "aired during the fourth quarter," says Eric Zeman at Information Week. "Before the game was over, 'stylus' and 'palmpilot' were trending" on Twitter, briefly making the Galaxy Note's seemingly antiquated stylus the internet's laughingstock. "Most people don't miss using a stylus." Hold on, says Jason Perlow at ZDNet. The PalmPilot was no joke. Touch-based applications are "absolutely the way of the future, but the plain and simple truth is you can't do everything by touch." Complex diagrams and handwritten notes all require more accuracy than a fingertip offers. Don't "dismiss the stylus."

3. Good or bad, it's coming soon to an AT&T store near you
The Galaxy Note will be released for sale on Feb. 19. It costs $299.99 with a two-year contract, and will require an AT&T data plan of at least $20 per month. Yes, the Galaxy Note is different, says PC World's Bradley. But you know what they say: "Variety is the spice of life." 

 

 

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