Several years ago, I attended an ALPS CLE and noticed many attorneys using mobile devices with styluses. Now a mobile device is nearly required legal technology, and I wonder if some lawyers miss the stylus.

For those who do, the stylus strikes back with Samsung’s new Android phablet (phone/tablet hybrid.) Yes, the large dimensions of the Galaxy Note make it look like a caricature of a cell phone. Thankfully, it can be used with an earpiece or speaker phone to avoid ridicule. The device is designed to be a small tablet rather than a phone—a digital notebook as the name indicates.

Everyone’s favorite acetic technologist, Steve Jobs, put an image of a stylus up in an iPhone presentation and proclaimed, “Who wants a stylus? Yuck!” But, despite Jobs’ distain, the stylus isn’t dead yet. There is a specific use and a market for the stylus.

People’s fingers vary in shapes and sizes which can make exact manipulation of elements on a small screen difficult. The stylus is obviously ancient technology, but it allows for much more precise control and provides the ability to write, draw, and take notes more exactly. Many mobile device manufacturers still provide products that include a hardware querty keyboard. When it comes to smart phones, isn’t that just as archaic as a stylus? There are apps on iPhones and iPads that allow the use of styluses, but the Galaxy Note stylus is sharper and more precise.

Some people are more note and sketch oriented, and not all of them use a paper notebook. For people who prefer both methods, the Galaxy Note can still be manipulated with fingers like an Android device.

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