A mock up of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which should be a niche success for the company. (Photo : Daniel Uy)
A flurry of small, budget-priced tablets are slated to hit the market soon. Priced in the $200-$300 range, these tablets offer an attractive alternative to the more expensive iPad for people who want a mobile, touchscreen computing device bigger and more interactive than the average touchscreen smartphone.
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But an interesting genre lies in between a tablet and the smartphone: the "phablet." Too big for a phone, and too small for a tablet, the phablet category is best defined by the Samsung Galaxy Note. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is set to be released soon, and from the rumors about it, it actually makes the most recent star of the small tablets, the Google Nexus 7, look a little outdated already.
This doesn't mean that the Google Nexus 7 is a decrepit old device. It runs the latest version of Android, Jelly Bean, and sports a powerful quad-core processor. It also comes with a 7-inch HD display and a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera. Easy access to all of Google's services, including the robust Android app store, make this tablet the premier buy for $200.
But the Galaxy Note 2 is no slouch either. Rumored to come with a 5.5-inch unbreakable display, a quad-core processer, and a 13-megapixel camera, the Galaxy Note 2 is a powerful piece of hardware. It will either debut with the previous Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, and get a quick upgrade to Jelly Bean, or come out with Jelly Bean preinstalled, meaning all the nifty Android features the Nexus 7 has, the Galaxy Note 2 will have.
Its screen, while not as large as the Nexus 7, will support interactivity with a stylus, meaning you can write on the screen. The 13-megapixel camera puts the Nexus 7's 1.2-megapixel offering to shame. Not only that, the Galaxy Note 2 is a phone, and will certainly offer 4G LTE support. The Nexus 7 only offers WiFi and Bluetooth.
The Galaxy Note 2 will most likely be more expensive, however. The original Galaxy Note debuted at around $300 with a two-year contract, and the Galaxy Note 2 should follow suit. That's $100 more than the Google Nexus 7, but if you can live with a screen that's 1.5 inches smaller, you will be reaping plenty of benefits if you're looking for a great all-in-one device.
Samsung is set to unveil the Galaxy Note 2 at an event on August 29, ahead of the 2012 IFA in Berlin.