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Samsung's Galaxy Note phablet now ready for preorder

AT&T is now offering the unique Samsung Galaxy Note device for $299.99 preorder.

If you're burning to secure Samsung's Galaxy Note, AT&T is now taking preorders for the hybrid slate for $300.

Samsung was the only tech company with a splashy Super Bowl ad this year, and that's sure to drive interest in the manufacturer's hot product of the moment, which hits stores officially on February 19. Pimping the Galaxy Note, an interesting cross between a small tablet computer and a large-screen smartphone, Samsung's spot also pointedly took a dig at Apple fans.

But whether ordinary phone or tablet shoppers will be tempted by the Galaxy Note remains to be seen. When I spent some time with the product last month at CES, I admit it seemed an impressive piece of hardware, with a large and very attractive 5.3-inch Super AMOLED screen plus 4G LTE data connection.

The Galaxy Note's most distinctive attribute, though, is a stylus input method, which Samsung calls an S Pen. With the S Pen, users can quickly snap screen shots and scribble notes on Web pages or documents. While a pen may not sound very sexy as high-tech gadget features go, I feel there is a need for a hand-written mobile interface. If you doubt that, just count all the old-school notepads in the room at your next meeting.

One hurdle for the Galaxy Note I see is whether people will be able to give up their primary phone for it, especially since purchasing a cellular plan from AT&T is part of the bargain. Perhaps using the Note as a phone isn't completely outrageous given the growing popularity of Bluetooth headsets and headphones. Still, I wonder how long folks could go without their handset in favor of a massive tablet-style gizmo like this. Heck, I'd be up for the challenge myself.