Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet offers PC-like multitasking, priced at $550

Oct 10 2013, 14:05 IST
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Samsung Electronics' new tablet, the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. (AP) Samsung Electronics' new tablet, the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. (AP)
SummaryThe Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet goes on sale in the US Thursday.

Remember when people used personal computers - desktops and laptops - to check email, view video and keep tabs on Facebook? Back in that far-away era, I'd have several windows open for Web browsers, a word processor, a photo editor and sometimes a reader for PDF documents.

I miss that capability on mobile devices, particularly on full-size tablets with a decent amount of display space. With iPads and Android tablets, I'm typically limited to one window displayed at a time; other apps run in the background, out of sight. With Windows 8 tablets, I can run two windows side by side, but I'm constrained in what I can do with them. It gets better with the Windows 8.1 update due out next week, but it's still not the free-for-all I had with PCs.

So I marveled at a pair of multitasking features that come with Samsung's new tablet, formally called Galaxy Note 10.1 - 2014 Edition. Sporting a 10.1-inch display, measured diagonally, the Note tablet goes on sale in the U.S. on Thursday at a starting price of $550.

The first of the multitasking features, called Multi-Window, has been available in Samsung devices for about a year, but it works with many more apps now. You can run two apps side by side, such as Facebook on one side and YouTube video on the other.

Like Windows 8 tablets, you're limited to just two apps. You can change how much of the screen each one takes, a capability coming with Windows 8.1, but you can't choose to have a window take up just the top left corner, the way you can on PCs. In addition, Multi-Window isn't a universal feature. Apps for Netflix and Hulu won't work, for instance. You currently have about 18 apps to choose from, including Facebook and a variety of Google and Samsung apps.

With that limitation, it's nice that Samsung Electronics Co. is supplementing Multi-Window with a feature called Pen Window.

With it, simply draw a box on the screen with the included stylus, and choose one of seven apps to open in a new window. Do it again and again until you open all seven apps, if you wish. That's nine in all, counting the two with Multi-Window. Each Pen Window app appears in a window that floats over your main app (or two apps if you use Multi-Window). You can move that window around on your screen and resize

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