back to article Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Proof the pen is mightier?

Bewildering. That’s the best word to describe Samsung’s small tablet range. Since the second half of 2010, the Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, Tab 7.0 Plus and Tab 7.7 blurred one into the other, much to the confusion of the average customer and me. Thankfully, the Samsung fondleslab now sat on my desk is a Note …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Considering the iPad Mini is probably likely to be updated in the coming months this actually looks relatively expensive and is hardly going to claw iOS users away from their iPads?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I like to make statements...

      ...and end them with question marks?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I like to make statements...


    2. Shagbag
      Thumb Up


      Agreed. It does look expensive compared with vapourware.

      And it is going to be difficult to lure away iPad owners when they've already bought a tablet. Especially now with the iOS7 'Barbie' makeover. It's going to be tough for any competitor to go after the 'bulge bracket' Apple owners if, at the same time, they want to stay relevant to the male population.

    3. dougal83

      You cannot always save people from themselves. Sadly true for some(not all) iThing users. Once they are told it is the best device on the planet, they will take that belief to their grave. In reality though I don't think average people care too much; tablet, looks nice, feeds me internets.

    4. Mark .

      Expensive? Same for the article - "The only slight fly in the ointment being that the iPad is cheaper"

      What do we hear when an Apple device costs three times the price, but may (or may not) be slightly better? "Well I'm willing to pay for something better, it's not my fault if you're too poor". Yet, when it's another device that is the best tablet, but costs more, you're first in line to complain that it's more expensive.

      If one wants lower cost, there are plenty of tablets that do better value than a Note 8 and especially an ipad mini (which has specs like resolution and RAM more in line with budget Android tablets). But there's a place for a high end device too. Yes, Apple may have a better device out in 6 months, but then a better Note 8 will be along 6 months after that too.

      The biggest concern may be that the resolution may seem outdated compared to Full HD tablets likely to appear soon (with Nexus 7 rumours for July - then again, we've been waiting on rumours for ages). Apparently this is a limitation of the pen technology. But then this can't be an issue with everyone, after all people are happy to pay high prices for the lower res ipad mini.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stylus = gimmick. It's a step back. Of course some people will say they like them or even need them but for most people it's something to lose and a finger is better. Fast forward 5-10 years and if we had devices that were really good at understanding speed input it's like adding a keyboard for the sake of it.

    1. Thomas 4

      I'd have to disagree. A stylus is infinitely more precise if you have to sketch something on a screen.

      1. Jack Project

        I have a Galaxy Note 2, best bit of kit I've ever bought by the way, and I find the stylus completely unobtrusive when not in use but easily accessible on the off chance it's needed. It makes playing Fruit Ninja a dream.

      2. Tim Parker

        "A stylus is infinitely more precise if you have to sketch something on a screen."

        Absolutely - the sole reason I would consider these over a 'vanilla' tablet is the ability to sketch easily. For me it would actually save carting around chunky sketch pads or, more usually, filling up pockets with increasingly larger amounts of folding up papers with doodles and plans on them - and then having to scan ones I want into the computer. It's not a great reason to go out and buy one - paper and pen or paper is far superior to use - and I wouldn't just for that benefit... but if I was in the market for a new tablet it is something that might tempt me to spend a bit more.

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Having been a Palm user

          I'm seriously thinking about taking a Note 2 as an upgrade on my phone next month. The downside is the size.

          There are any number of situations when using a finger is just not accurate enough (such things as free-form document mark-up and notes, sketching and handwriting recognition). I still find Graffiti easier to use than swipe, which I just can't seem to use accurately on my current phone, and doing something that feels like writing is easier with a stylus than a finger.

          1. Shrimpling

            Re: Buying a Note 2

            I've managed to crack the glass screen on my Note 2 by knocking it off a table onto a wooden floor.

            Its still the best phone I've used and I would recommend one, just make sure you buy a case for it. The size is perfect... after using it for a day i couldn't use my old 3" phone because it was too small!

          2. Windrose

            Re: Having been a Palm user

            Get the Note 2, and install the free Grafitti keyboard replacement from, well, Palm ;)

            Made SO happy, I know that much.

        2. mmeier

          With good software (something the Note-Series is lacking) a tablet pc is a lot more useful than pen/sketchpad. It can do everything paper can plus:

          + Transform a document into text

          + Index / Search in it

          + Send it to co-workers even those with a desktop

          + Annotate/edit documents and send back to "all" without the need to print

          + Send the stuff to the beamer / wall mounted display (Sometimes even wireless)

          It also is a document reader and with the proper OS a full scale netbook / notebook if needed. And unlike a notebook it can be used while standing/walking and in very limited space.

          Add a dock and it becomes a complete PC for all uses except high end gaming and some software development

          1. Anonymous Coward


            I can do all of that with a note. There's a free Android app that scans/digitizes. Can output in a variety of formats, some indexable/searchable some not. My phone can do all that, never mind my note tablet.

            My HTC phone and my samsung tablet will both do all of the above. On either built in or free apps.

            Bar the "it's a whole PC minus a keyboard" point, which isn't really what most people buy a tablet,so, you know, horses for courses.

            1. mmeier

              Used the Note 10.1 for about four month. Had quite a bit of problems with the Software like lack of stability in SNote and most programs not supporting more than one open document at a time. Lack of printer support and notepad file formats that do not work with Windows as well as a lot of other "not as good as Win 7 or Win 8" moments. Back to tablets with Windows.

              Note is cheap and runs longer than a core i based unit but even the Ativ 500 is more powerful and gets a workday endurance. And the software is build in (journal) or for free (Foxit, ArtRage2) as well. And some stuff does not even exist for Android like offline speech recognition (build in btw)

              1. GregC

                And some stuff does not even exist for Android like offline speech recognition (build in btw)

                I don't know about the Note, but my Nexus devices all have this feature. I know this because I downloaded the the UK English pack just this morning.

                1. mmeier

                  Android 4.1 seems to be able to do that since early 2013. Dropped the N10.1 in December so missed that.

          2. M Gale

            and with the proper OS


            1. mmeier

              Only if you like paying for hardware you can not use. No FOSS support for Wacom on tablet pc

              1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

                Erm... yes, there is. Ubuntu on the Surface Pro only has a problem recognising the right-click button on the pen, and I'd be inclined to believe that the same could be said of any other slate or windows 8 tablet.

                1. mmeier

                  Does it recognise the pen as a mouse or does it allow handwriting input into text fields (Handwritting recognition)? Pen as mouse is basically useless. HWR and journaling software at least on MS Journal level is a minimum to speak of works.

                  Oh and it only works if I can use Distribution X Version a.b.c (a.b.c > introduction version) without lengthy mumbo jumbo. After all Linux is about Choice and I choose SuSe. Or maybe RedHat. Or Oracle Unbreakable, or....

                  1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

                    Ah now you're moving the goalposts aren't you? You said there's no support for wacom on tablet PCs when there is (and that support is via the wacom driver, which only the most esoteric and ancient of distros won't have), so now it's not support for wacom per se but for a subset of input methods that make use of pen technologies in general.

                    So rather than saying "no support for wacom on a tablet PC" what you should really say is "no unified handwriting recognition input method" which is a rather different kettle of fish. In addition, rather than being unusable as you initially claimed, a tablet PC with any major distro installed is likely to be very useful. It just doesn't quite do what you want out of the box.

                    1. mmeier

                      To me "Wacom" always means Handwriting-recognition and Journaling. Those are the two main jobs I have quoted more than once. Replace Win7/Win8 was always the stated goal and if it can't do it - there is no support from my point of view since I can not really use it on a tablet pc.

    2. M Gale

      Stylus, gimmick?

      If it's a proper pressure sensitive graphics-tablet type pen, it's far from a gimmick. Those things are damned useful for doing anything more complex than the Windows 8 finger-painting advert.

      Now if Adobe's Android apps will recognise that stylus and act accordingly, that could be a winner for the arty crowd that would normally go for more fruity devices.

      1. Mark .

        Re: Stylus, gimmick?

        Although it's worth noting that the Windows 8 styluses are all pressure sensitive Wacom-style pens too. I guess it's unfortunate that MS have to advertise someone finger painting, to fend off the "oh noes, you have to use a stylus" reaction.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Stylus, gimmick?

          The s-pen on my Note2 is bloody brilliant - excellent pressure sensitivity, instant response, very good accuracy.

          About the only issue I've noticed is a tendency for a slight nonlinearity toward one edge of the screen - but I suspect that's a hardware glitch.

          Good luck fingerpainting that stuff. All done in S-Note, by the way. One bit of advice: If you're going to be doing complex sketching, don't tell it to record your drawing; I nearly sank S-Note when I recorded sketching for 40 minutes!

          1. mmeier

            Re: Stylus, gimmick?

            The non-linearity towards the edges is a Wacom problem. Mostly (not totally) solveable with calibrating the screen. Something the Note could not do in 2012, hope they fixed it.

    3. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      If it was *just* a stylus I'd agree, but it's a wacom digitiser as well. Very, VERY handy for someone like me who likes to sit about and doodle in the off-times. You can also use most older wacom pens with it (the one for my old cintiq works perfectly).

      Incidentally, recommended app for anyone with a Note: Layer Paint. It's a relatively simple but practical art program, very cheap and better than any of the alternatives I've tried up to now. Far better brush engine than Sketchbook Pro, you aren't limited in your canvas size and naturally it works with the pressure-sensitivity of the digitiser as well.

      Samsung (and another tablet that has a digitiser) are so far ahead of Apple on this that it's almost laughable when the fanbois try to belittle a feature like this. Of course it's a "step backwards" to have a superior additional interface!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yeah someone like you - not like most people. Tablets didn't have them - now Samsung reckon it's an 'innovation'.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Yeah someone like you - not like most people…

          Are you Eadon's cousin by any chance?

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            "Are you Eadon's cousin by any chance?"

            I couldn't even work out which post he was replying to!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yeah I'm waiting for Samsung to fit it with a serial port next.

        I wonder who will screw who first - Samsung screw Google and cut ties or drop Android or Google push Motorola / other manufacturers - I'll get the popcorn.

        1. Professor Clifton Shallot

          "Yeah I'm waiting for Samsung to fit it with a serial port next."

          Oh, you know, that would be brilliant to use as a console for set up / maintenance of those headless network appliances.

          Good suggestion.

          1. airmanchairman

            You want to check out the GetConsole serial dongle (wired and wireless) and app for iPad that allows console

            connection to Cisco, Juniper, Brocade and HP routers, switches and servers among other far-out-there Enterprise features that will blow your mind.,.


    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Rubbish. Adding a stylus as a *mandatory* input device to a tablet would be a step back, this is just an add-on.

      What was the problem with the stylus on the old PDAs? simple, the UI design of the old OSes (UIQ, WinMo PalmOS) was designed with the stylus in mind. So buttons, icons and menus were small and not usable with your fingers.

      By throwing away the stylus it forced the interface and application designers to ensure that their interfaces worked well with finger input. It meant that buttons had to be easily clickable with a finger and thanks to multi-touch we could dispense with zoom buttons and other rubbish.

      Adding a stylus to a phone or tablet as an optional input device is not going to undo all of the above improvements.

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        Considering how popular the third-party stylus market is with the iPad I really wonder why there's all this angry hate about it. Perhaps it's because they're stuck with silly capacitive things whereas anyone with a proper digitiser-enabled tablet gets something far superior?

        Ooh, stylus envy...

        @AC: "Someone like me" is a significant enough proportion of the population for Samsung to not only consider this a good idea, but for them to make a fair bit of cash implementing it. Guess I'm not that far from the middle of the bell curve after all eh?

    5. Stilted Banter

      Stylus? Into the dustbin of history!

      I've been happily using a stylus-equipped Samsung tablet for months now. It's really relevant and useful for the work I do. But little did I know that putting a stylus on a tablet is AGAINST PROGRESS. I am so sorry to have stood in the way of history. Which way to the re-education camp?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Only a gimmick

      until Apple copy it, and then it's essential...

      The Note 8 is quite clearly another entry into the impressive array of Android devices.

    7. Brainman

      A stylus is a gimic if you consider a pen a gimic when finger paint works just as well.

      Because of a stylus I can be pretty much paperless at work as I use a Galaxy Note phone with Lecture Notes software at (many many) meetings and then export to Evernote which does the handwriting recognition. Soft copy documents can be emailed straight into evernote. Hard copy as PDFs via CamScanner. Using the stylus I can easily annotate any PDF being reviewed via exPDFReader. I have never bothered with any of Samung's on-phone handwriting recognition or any of their apps for that matter.

      This method works for me and may not work for anyone else but the precision delivered by a stylus cannot be matched by anything else and so enables workflows where a real pen can be mimicked, supplemented or even replaced.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The stylus isn't required though. It's great when you're taking notes in a meeting (straight in google keep or whatever). It's not required to use the tablet, we're not all sat stabbing our Notes with the stylus unless in an app or environment where it makes sense. It's an added feature which you're free to use / not use. You comparing it to older tablets with stylus does indeed suggest you've not used one. It's not required for navigation etc.

      If you think the stylus is a gimmick, conveniently enough for you they offer a full range of devices without it.

      I also don't people making the price comparison with the iPad mini, Other than size the samsung is the superior device specs-wise. Of course a device with inferior specs is cheaper. Apply don't DO an equivalent sized tablet of an equivalent spec. Just an equivalent sized tablet.

  3. Alan Denman

    Wanring, use of the word GPS is not offically sanctioned. - this article is without broad approved

    as you know, most of the media has refused to offically recognise that Android tablets have GPS.

    It even seems mathematics are unsanctioned as of yet so they will probably still tell us 1280X800 equates to 16:9.

    Well done guys for mentioning the GPS and 16:10.

    Maybe best keep your heads down a while

    1. M Gale

      The title is too long.

      I'm wondering if it has GLONASS as well?

      Nice to get quick satellite fixes by using the first available satellite network, instead of standing around scratching your arse while the tower location method tries to tell you you're somewhere in a mile-or-more-wide ginormous blue circle centred on a phone mast.

      1. Al Taylor


        Yes it does.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The title is too long.

        Glonass is supported by most phones, if you don't support it then you have to pay a higher tax rate when selling in Russia.

  4. Jason Hindle

    Once again.....

    The iPad Mini comes out looking the better engineering compromise (at least to me, for what I want to do with a tablet of this side). Then again, I use both OSs, and the Note 8 looks great; an ideal successor to my Nexus 7, notwithstanding the cost.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Once again.....

      I'm almost certain my next tablet will have a stylus. Possibly a keyboard cover type thing as well. But actually although I use my Logitech Bluetooth keyboard with my iPad reasonably often, it's having a stylus that I miss - at times when using a keyboard is still inconvenient. I'm sitting on the sofa, and want to knock out 2 paragraphs of text. The onscreen keyboard is frustrating, I don't want to get up, fetch the physical one, then have to go to a table to use it. Fumbling round trying to do cut+paste would also be a whole lot easier with pen in hand.

      So if Apple won't give me one, I think I'm jumping ship. Sadly Samsung being the only real stylusey game in town, they're charging a nice fat premium for them. Hopefully some nice rivals will knock the profits down a bit. Also making them more common would get more apps working with them too.

      At the price of this, I could almost get an HP Atom based full-fat Win 8 tablet. Although I haven't checked to see if that has a digitiser, or if only the expensive Win 8 tablets have those. Hopefully the increased tablet competition will have someone building what I want for cheaper than the £600 you need for the 64GB iPad.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Jason Hindle

        Re: Once again.....

        This is where Apple is weak. Not just because of the lack of a stylus, but because you can't change the soft keyboard. On Android, we have Swiftkey, and Swiftkey is vastly superior to Apple's own effort.

      3. mmeier

        Re: Once again.....

        Fa Plaste und Elaste aka Samsung has a Wacom Win8 out in the target price range (Ativ 500, the non UMTS base model) and the Lenovo and Dell Atom based units are around the 600 pound mark as well

        1. M Gale

          Re: Once again.....

          And so long as I can rip Windows out and get a refund for it, that'll be just sweet.

  5. Dave Fox

    PPI - so what?

    I'll never really understand this fascination with ever increasing PPI - a 1280x800 8" screen has a far better PPI than most laptops. Yes, I know higher PPI screens tend to look nicer (I'm writing this on a rMBP), but what is far more important is the amount of information than can be reasonably be displayed on a screen of any particular size and 1280x800 on an 8" is more than adequate.

    I wouldn't want to run my rMBP at its full resolution of 2880 x 1800 and much prefer the scaled resolution of 1440 x 900, so whilst the retina screen looks nicer, in general use it doesn't offer me an more real "information" than a 1440 x 900 panel would.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PPI - so what?

      Smaller screen with high PPI means that when looking at a web site in an "un-zoomed" state you can actually see what the small text represents, so you don't need to pan around as much.

      A tablet is also often used to watch films and HD content looks better with a higher resolution screen.

      1. Mark .

        Re: PPI - so what?

        True, but those are still issues with resolution, rather than PPI. E.g., if I want to watch a Full HD film, I need Full HD whether I watch on a 5" device, 7", 10", or 50". A 50" TV doesn't need ten times the resolution, just because someone made up the metric of "PPI".

        (I'm also curious how many people watch Full HD films on their tablets. I mean, how many Blu-Ray quality films can you fit on a 16GB tablet? Or if you're streaming, what kind of connection/data plan does one have?)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: PPI - so what?

          All my blu-rays are ripped as 1080p MP4s. Average file size of 1.5GB. I've got 17 of them on a 32GB microSD card They look good on my Asus Transformer Infinity and my HD telly.

          1. Windrose

            Re: PPI - so what?

            He did say "blu-ray quality" not "lossy mp4 quality". Different beasts. BD quality with PCM sound and subtitles take around 15gB for 90 min. How far you can unlossily compress that .... *shrugs*

    2. Alan Denman

      Re: PPI - so what?

      Just try on a pair of rose tinited retina sunglasses.

      Then you will understand.

    3. GregC

      Re: PPI - so what?

      I was extremely dubious about high PPI screens until I got my Nexus 10. You may not get any more information on screen, but for reading ebooks/magazines, viewing photos and watching high definition content the difference is massive. I'm a convert.

      That said, I do agree that going much above 300PPI is pretty pointless, you're going beyond what the human eye can physically discern.

    4. Mark .

      Re: PPI - so what?

      I agree - I mean, there's the debate about whether super-high resolutions are really needed, but using "PPI" rather than looking at "resolution" and "size" separate is flawed, because it rewards devices for being smaller - which isn't necessarily what you want.

      If someone took my Galaxy Nexus, made it smaller and reduced the resolution, but such that the PPI was higher, does that make it better? No, because you've just reduced the resolution and the size, both things that I don't want!

      It also doesn't work as an argument for quality, because people tend to use larger devices further away - phone close to face, 7" tablet in hand, 10" tablet lower down, laptop on lap or desk, monitor further away, TV across the room. So a TV doesn't need the same PPI as a phone, when despite being much larger, it's taking up the same space in my visual field.

      This nonsense started when Apple tried to spin their phones as being better displays than the competition, even when the resolution was lower, simply on the grounds that it was also a small display.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a Note 2 10.0. Great device. Other than the obvious feel/build quality i've found it superior and more flexible than the iPad. Wouldn't mind a play with one of these.

  7. Rob Quinn

    I have the Note 10.1 which I thought was a great bit of kit which lead me to me getting the Note 2 as my current phone, again another good bit of kit with a good build quality, I wonder how I ever managed with a Sony Mini Pro now.

  8. Big_Boomer Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Note 10.1

    I've had the Note 10.1 since Xmas and when it came time to buy my better half a tablet i ended up buying her a Tab2 10.1. Why do some manufacturers release a tablet without GPS built in? All the other options I looked at were without GPS or had stupid power connectors. Yes the Note/Tab uses Samsungs own 30pin connector but at least it's solid. I considered the Nexus 10 but at the time there weren't any to be had. Google really missed the boat on that release. Next time Google, make sure you can ramp up production. So, we are now a mostly Samsung house due to great build quality, excellent performance, and none of the "locked down" s**t that Apple are so enamoured of. As for the Stylus, useful on occasion but it wasn't a deal maker or breaker for me.

    1. Mark .

      Re: Note 10.1

      "Why do some manufacturers release a tablet without GPS built in?"

      Same reason they skip on cameras - most people buying them will have smartphones that already have GPS, and they'll have the phones with them all the time. Why do I need two GPSs/cameras? True, sometimes having location is useful for having applications, but it's not a fundamental requirement. And using sat-nav instructions means there's little advantage for a larger screen to look at a map, since you don't need to.

      Though I agree high end tablets might as well include GPS as standard - but I can see why it's missed on some lower end ones.

      1. mmeier

        Re: Note 10.1

        I could do without cameras on tablets and phones. Video calls are best left to SF and security officer Jaglowsk forgetting to close the robe...

        UMTS or LTE look more interesting the longer I use tethering. GPS x a nice to have for smaller ( up to say ten inch) units that double as navigation systems

  9. Alienrat


    I have had many tablets from the newton, palm, wince, pocketpc, tablet windows up to where I currently use an iPad. I have tried a few androids but never really got on with any of them much and normally ended up not using them for an (apparent) lack of decent music apps but the stylus is something I have always missed. I can't imagine it will ever come on iOS, and most of the work things I do involve diagrams or plans and they were just always much easier with a stylus.

    The note 10.1 and now this is something that would make me look at it seriously, the stylus is far from being a gimmick.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    I loved my Scrote 1 but I'll never buy another Android.

    I won't touch Android, Iphone or Phone 8 with a barge pole. Who wants a Yank spy in their pocket?

    No, my FirefoxOS phone is on order!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: I loved my Scrote 1 but I'll never buy another Android.

      Yeah, that's right! You tell those Americans who's boss and take your business elsewhere! Like, to, uh... Mountain View... hmm... well...

  11. Alan Denman

    PPI flawed as ever but hey it was all Appley

    Yes near useless.

    8" and 1280 x 800 tells you the whole story.

    It is quite weird the need to do what everyone else does even when its is so so dumb ass.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: PPI flawed as ever but hey it was all Appley

      Could you repeat that in English please?

  12. CmdrX3

    I don't think I could be bothered

    "Since the second half of 2010, the Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, Tab 7.0 Plus and Tab 7.7 blurred one into the other,"

    Therein lies the problem. Competition is good, however between Samsung and Asus, they have released so many different devices that they just can't support them all with new OS releases and the more they release the less likelihood of it, so why bother buying one when the chance of them fixing any bugs in a year are slim to none.

  13. Pristine Audio

    Undocumented feature?

    I got a Note 8 last week (I've been using a Note 1 phone for about 18 months) and bought a leather cover/stand thingy from Amazon to go with it.

    Very nice and all that, but when I close the cover the Note 8 switches itself off automatically (well, screen off, you know what I mean), and when I open the cover it switches itself back on. The cover doesn't touch the on/off button, and I can't replicate the behaviour with pieces of paper/card held over the screen and/or front-facing sensors.

    I don't know how it's sensing it, but it's useful, and I've not seen it referred to in any of the reviews I've read so far.

    Beers all round at Samsung HQ...

    1. mmeier

      Re: Undocumented feature?

      Magnet in the cover? The inductive digitizer reacts to that

  14. Alan Denman

    re This is where Apple is weak.

    It is not that you want something, it is that it is allowed and always there at the ready.

    The fact that sycophantic sheep shearers are telling us choice is the new bad says it all.

  15. MacGyver

    The Penis Mightier

    Sounds like a porno flick.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. attoman


    Styli are older then man, witness the use of pointing sticks as tools by chimpanzees. We have every reason to believe that such use predates Homo Sapiens .

    Artists, and scholars have used styli, pens and brushes from the dawn of history down to today. The combination of control via the opposed thumb and forefinger represent some of the finest human motion control possible.

    Although the Samsung device fails to fully accommodate the real possibilities of styli at least the desirability is supported and the user world is not led to believe the stylus somehow died with the introduction of the iPad.

    1. the-it-slayer

      Re: Styli the FIRST PRIMATE TOOLS

      That's the problem. The tech community in the early days of touch-screen products (such as early PC-tablets) didn't create a simple framework to integrate stylus actions effectively. It was all bespoke/customary solutions that all worked different. The Samsung tabs with this stylus is the same framework model. Can I use the stylus on another device and it work? Probably not. It's a slim USP that really serves no function because the apps that is it properly is limited.

      Apple created an effective SDK framework alongside its finger-based controls to make apps work seamlessly and similarly regardless to what app you purchased. No-one wants to have to relearn a whole load of different actions for different devices.

      It would be the same if we had different protocols and web standards to do the same thing. HTTP is a collaborative effort and all browsers use it. Regardless of hardware/software implementation. If the stylus had that, then we may not have the iPad ruling around as the king of tablets. Or at least no-one is interested in creating a common framework for the stylus. Especially if you think it's so naturally embedded to our predecessors to use a styli.

      Still, I need my hand to operate the styli. Why not cut out the learning step of the styli and just use the finger to do the basic controls? There's simplicity at its finest.

      1. mmeier

        Re: Styli the FIRST PRIMATE TOOLS

        Actually Microsoft (the only tablet pc maker for a long time) did create a simple framework. The stylus just works EVERYWHERE in Windows since XP. HWR window works for every text entry field, pen is recognized in all programs at least as a mouse. And a stable API allows the (few) digitizer vendors to put pressure sensitivity etc. by writing a HID driver

        A full featured inductive stylus(1) as used by tablet pc for more that a decade offers a lot more possibilities than the fingers and needs less learning and less specialist programming. since it is as precise (actually more precise) as a mouse so no need for special gestures and "enlarge on hoover" or similar tricks to make the average internet forum finger useable.

        Fingers can be a nice add-on for some simple tasks like changing pages on an ebook but if you need precision - you need a inductive stylus

        Oh and styli are somewhat interchangeable. There are basically two systems for tablet PC (Wacom and Ntrig) so a stylus for an Ativ-500 will work on a Fujitsu T902 in example.

        (1) That compares to the "sausage in condom" capacitve "styli" like a fine pointed pencil to a house painters brush

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Styli the FIRST PRIMATE TOOLS

        "HTTP is a collaborative effort and all browsers use it."

        You're quite the optimist!

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