Samsung's new upsized addition to its Note range has reached U.S. stores with prices starting at US$500. First announced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, the GALAXY Note 10.1 packs a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and 2 GB RAM along with a couple of standout features designed to set it apart from the tablet pack.

Here's the key numbers: 10.1-inch (1200 x 800) LCD display; 1.4GHz quad-core processor; 2 GB RAM; Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n; 7,000 mAh lithium-ion battery; 5 megapixel rear camera with autofocus and LED flash and a 1.9 megapixel front camera for video calls.

The Note 10.1 runs on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and is available with either 16 GB or 32 GB of onboard storage.

The main points of difference over its obvious competitor in this space, the iPad, are the Note 10.1's optimization for use with Samsung’s S Pen stylus and its Multiscreen feature, which delivers the very useful ability to run two apps side-by-side on the same screen and crop and drag images from one app to another without toggling between screens. Videos can also be viewed in a floating window that can be resized and positioned anywhere on the screen and to bring home the S Pen stylus integration, the Note 10.1 comes preloaded with Adobe Photoshop Touch and S Note, an app that optimizes hand-written notes and sketches.

The 16 GB and 32 GB versions of the GALAXY Note 10.1 are priced at US$500 and $550 respectively.

Stay tuned for a full review.

Product page: Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1