The Samsung Galaxy Note which was officially announced at CES this week seems to be an odd device. People are asking whether it is a phone or a tablet. Someone has been using the term phablet to describe this new category of device, but that may not really be what this one is all about. But, Rachel King over at ZDNet has reminded me that this is more like a PDA device than some new category and she is absolutely correct in that observation. The stylus is the key item that moves it from the idea of being a phablet to that of truly being PDA device to meet the needs of users for both a phone and a tablet users as a “personal digital assistant”.
That got me to thinking and I had to pull out my old Sony Clie with its flip up screen and fixed keyboard. My first Palm was great, but the desire for a fixed keyboard led me to the Sony. Using a stylus seemed so natural back then, but it fell out of style as mobile phones took over. But with the Galaxy Note, it seems that having a stylus is cool again and now you have a phone and a great digital assistant to help you through your day. Brings back PDA memories and watching everyone on the plane catch up on work while in the air. The same thing could well happen to the Galaxy Note as this is a very compact device that can do way more than the old PDA.
Since it was announced at CES there has been a lot of talk about it and what it can do. There is an article about someone using the stylus to draw pictures of people at the convention. It seems that they are trying to show that it can be an artistic tool and they are convincing some people of that idea. While Samsung has come up with a different name for the stylus as the S Pen, they have gotten some great software added to the Note which will appeal to the business community.
As an example, you can run Soonr, which is shown in the video below which allows you to share files on the cloud and open one on your Galaxy Note and make annotations on it and save it back on the cloud. That gives you another idea of some of the capabilities of this device that make it unique as your Personal Digital Assistant. I think that the Galaxy Note is going to be successful in the US just has it has in Asia and Europe and re-create the PDA category. Watch this one as it is going to have a number of others trying to imitate it.