Samsung Strikes a Funny Note

Ever stood in line at an Apple store, waiting for the "next big thing" to go on sale? Hope you got a larf from the rowdy TV commercial for the Samsung Galaxy Note which debuted on the Super Bowl telecast last night.

Actually the second time Samsung has taken to bashing Apple zealots (and I'm kinda one), the 90 second  spot  was directed by Bobby Farrelly of, um, "Dumb and Dumber" and "Something About Mary" fame. It opens with shots of people waiting in front of a very white store, grousing "Can't believe we're missing the game for this" and "Feels like detention."

 Then along comes a guy with a wacky different phone - featuring a huge 5.3 inch screen, and he's writing on it . . .  with a stylus. That's  enough to get the bunch breaking through the barriers, dancing in the streets, with a shaggy haired rocker (Justin Hawkins from  British band The Darkness) and gospel choir singing praises.

  Previewed at CES, the phone in question is the Samsung Galaxy Note and it's an intriguing/controversial thing. Sized half way between a phone and a tablet (but ultra thin and lightweight), there's so much real estate on that 5.3 inch color AMOLED display that you might want to deploy it for a sketch pad. So Samsung includes a drawing program and  companion stylus. But unlike the  first generation of Microsoft Windows-based tablets - which FORCED you to use a stylus - the tool is totally optional here, even for drawing. In a post this morning, a CultofMac blogger cited Steve Jobs prophecy "If you see a stylus, they blew it." But sorry dude, the observation doesn't really apply here.

AT&T gets the 4G-network ready Galaxy Note first, and is taking pre-orders at $299 (with a two year contract.) Big bubba also boasts a dual core 1.4GH processor, two-mexapixel webcam and an eight megapixel main camera with LED Flash.   Ships Feb. 17. First units should be in stores two days later.