I’m not a fan of capacitive touch screens as they are the user interface of a 5 year old, which is great for finger-painting but useless if you want to do anything precise, such as write normally or position a cursor between two letters. And multitouch is over-rated: I’d rather be able to place one point exactly than five blurry ones.
With this in mind I’m reviewing the Cosmonaut Capacitive Stylus for Touch Screens by Studio Neat. Originally a Kickstarter project, it’s now available for general sale direct from Studio Neat and Amazon for $25.
The stylus is presented in small cardboard box and there’s no need to attack the packaging with scissors which is a welcome relief. On sliding open the box, the cardboard inner has rocket fins printed on it, giving the Cosmonaut a spaceship look. A nice touch.
The Cosmonaut is a fat rubber covered pen, about the same thickness as a whiteboard marker. However, unlike a whiteboard marker, it’s got a little bit of weight to it. Feels good in the hand, though I have largish hands.
In use, the Cosmonaut takes a little bit of getting used to; the tip is a slightly squidgy and you have to press down for the Cosmonaut to register the button press or the stroke. You can’t simply flick the stylus across the screen as you might with your finger. In some ways, this is a good thing as it prevents unwanted touches.
The Cosmonaut makes drawing apps much easier to use as the stylus mimics a pen or brush quite well. It’s also pretty handy for apps that have lots of closely spaced buttons. However writing like an adult is still out of the question, but the limitation is with the capacitative screen and the necessary fatness of the tip.
Overall, the Cosmonaut is well-designed and well-built. It’s easy to hold and works as it’s supposed to. If you want a stylus for your tablet, this should be on your short-list but just don’t expect to return to the precision days of the PDA.
Those of you who have been waiting patiently to get your hands on a WiFi-Only Galaxy Tab 7” will be happy to know the wait is over… almost.
In a press release sent out today, Samsung announced the WiFi-only Galaxy Tab will be available beginning April 10th and some online retailers (Circuit City, CompUSA, Tiger Direct) are already accepting preorders for those of you about to explode in anticipation.
The new model will provide all the same features as the 3G model that’s been available for some time now. A 7-inch screen, front and rear-facing cameras, Android 2.2 and Samsung’s Media Hub will all be there. However, the best part about the new WiFi-only model is the price tag. While we can go to just about any wireless carrier and pick one up for $299.99 after we sign a 2-yr service plan ($499.99 if we don’t), the WiFi-only model is available for about $350 and you won’t have to worry about any sort of contract!
Honestly, it’s about time. Samsung’s second generation tablets will be hitting shelves this summer. Oh, and they’ll be running Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) opposed to Android 2.2 (Froyo) so you’re probably better off waiting, unless that $350 price tag has you all excited.
Earlier this month Apple revealed their follow up to the iPad, cleverly named the iPad 2. When Samsung saw it they were a little put back and decided to take their upcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1 back to the drawing board. Now, they have revealed the new tablet and it’s got a little brother, the Galaxy Tab 8.9.
The new Galaxy Tabs both run Android 3,0 (Honeycomb), sport front and rear facing cameras, a micro SD card slot and an HD display. They both feature a 1GHz dual-core processor, gyroscope and accelerometer, Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth. On top of that, Samsung claims they are “the world’s thinnest mobile tablets” both coming in at a measly 8.6mm thick and thinner than the iPad 2.
Both models will also come with Samsung’s TouchWiz UX, a new user interface laid on top of the Android 3.0 operating system “offering superior multi-tasking and enhanced user interaction and navigation.” That’s not the only feature Samsung added to Honeycomb, both devices will feature their Reader’s Hub and Music Hub, offering users tons of music, books and magazines via download. Social networking diehards will have the Social Hub at their disposal, “which will aggregate email, instant messaging, contacts, calendar and social network connections into a single interface.”
What’s really exciting about the reveal is the competitive pricing Samsung announced. Apple revealed their iPad 2 with the same pricing model as the original and Samsung is right on their heels. The 16GB 10.1″ model will hit shelves for $499! That’s the same price you’ll pay for a Wi-Fi only 16GB iPad 2! The 16GB 8.9″ model takes it a step further coming in at $469! Not bad Samsung, it looks like you’ve got some real contenders here. There will also be 32GB models available at launch for $599 and $569 respectively.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 will officially hit shelves on June 8th. Unfortunately, Samsung wasn’t as specific about the release date of the 8.9″ model, only saying the smaller version would be available “early this summer.” That’s pretty vague but, early this summer could very well mean June, right? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.