It’s not easy to make an Android smartphone or tablet stand out these days, what with virtually every consumer electronics company already offering Android devices of all shapes and sizes. But the Samsung Galaxy Note does manage to stand out thanks to its unusual 5.3 inch screen size and its digital pen for writing or drawing on the screen.

Samsung Galaxy Note
Sasmung Galaxy Note

Stylus input is nothing new — tablets, PDAs, and even some mobile phones have allowed you to tap or draw on the screen for decades. But finger input is all the rage these days for at least a few good reasons:

  • You won’t lose a stylus if you don’t have one.
  • You don’t have to worry about your device failing to recognize your awful handwriting.
  • Steve Jobs said so.

But if you’ve ever tried drawing a picture on a tablet with your fingers, you know it’s not as easy as using a pen. So a handful of companies have decided to bring back the stylus.

The HTC Flyer 7 inch tablet uses a digital pen and an active digtizer as well as a capacitive touchscreen with support for finger input. So does the 10 inch Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet.

And the 5.3 inch Samsung Galaxy Note does as well. It’s a cross between a phone and a tablet… or rather, it’s a phone since it can make phone calls. But the unusually large screen might make you feel a little silly when you hold the device up to your face.

Now it looks like Samsung may be preparing to launch a 10 inch version of the Galaxy Note. It would cleverly be called the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and it would likely support pen or finger input.

The folks at The Verge found a few clues suggesting that Samsung could introduce the new tablet at Mobile World Congress later this month. It was mentioned in a developer day announcement on the Samsung website (and later pulled), as well as a casting call for a Samsung commercial.

So what do you think? Would you be more likely to buy an Android tablet if it had an active digitizer and digital pen support?


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5 replies on “Rebirth of the stylus: Samsung to launch a 10 inch tablet with pen input?”

  1. It was ridiculous getting rid of the stylus. The Pocket pc had soooo many more functions on a screen. Trying to highlight a document, use any app with ANYONE’s fat fingers on a little screen is madness. Even on a little bigger screen it’s madness. Have you tried to use a word processor or excel spreadsheet without a stylus? The number of functions is NOTHING compared to the stylus days… Steve Jobs was so “hip,” people fell into it. Bring the stylus back on ALL smartphones and tablets!

  2. As long as it’s pressure sensitive (the active digitizer would seem to suggest that it is). That’s my biggest issue with capacative screens.

  3. I like having the ability to use a stylus as long as it’s only for things difficult to do with your finger like drawing and writing and can be tucked away in the device.

    1.  Not to mention when you’re wearing gloves and don’t have one of those special capacitive gloves, or just avoid having to clean finger prints off the screen as often.

      While a active digital pen can have click buttons for extra functionality like using a mouse.

  4. I’d prefer a built-in mouse pointer since I don’t plan on inking. It’d be great to have an instant on mobile device (5″-6″ screen) with a slide out thumb keyboard and mouse (left and right buttons too, of course).

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