Why Samsung has chosen the Galaxy Note 2 as its IFA 2012 headline act

I don't know about you, but ITProPortal is getting pretty hyped on IFA at the moment. With exactly two weeks to go until we hit the skies and make for the annual European tech bonanza, every piece of news we catch wind of is now inevitably subject to the question: "Yeah, but what does that mean in terms of Berlin?"

In due course, we'll be offering a more detailed insight into what to expect from the big names come the end of the month. But until then, here's an early amuse-bouche: while many weird, wacky, and wonderful things will no doubt come out of IFA 2012, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 won't be one of them.

Samsung's new slate will, in fact, arrive before the yearly extravaganza. On Monday, the Korean tech titan announced via its Twitter account that UK consumers will be able to get their hands on its latest Android tablet this Thursday, provided they are willing and able to get to the Galaxy S3 manufacturer's flagship store at the Westfield Stratford shopping centre.

The news essentially confirms that the Ice Cream Sandwich-running gadget will be officially unveiled at the Samsung event at New York's Lincoln Center later today, which kicks off at 1600 today UK time (1100 EST).

While there's been no confirmation of pricing yet, UK online retailer Expansys has the product available for pre-order listed at £480 for an unlocked, Wi-Fi and 3G ready Note 10.1 with 16GB of internal storage, or £400 for a Wi-Fi-only model. Deep grey and white interations are currently listed as available.

Why has Samsung opted to launch its latest Tab device ahead of IFA and eschew the surrounding press frenzy? One explanation may be because the new slate is not as well placed to take on bitter rival Apple as its smaller, hybridised relative, the Galaxy Note 2, which Samsung has confirmed will be unveiled in Berlin.

At 5.5in, the Note 2 "phablet" is capable of acting as an alternative to both the iPhone 5 handset and a potential 7in, Nexus-rivalling iPad Mini tablet. Both Apple products are rumoured to be arriving shortly after IFA, with a 12 September date currently being touted in relation to the next-gen smartphone. Some reports have the iPad Mini arriving slightly later, though still in time for the lucrative holiday shopping season.

Both the Note 10.1 and the Note 2 have fairly impressive specifications, as you would expect from Samsung, featuring powerful quad-core processors and arriving pre-loaded with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Note 10.1 features a 1280 x 800 high-res touchscreen, 5-megapixel primary camera, and a 7000mAh battery, making it a decent, affordable alternative to Apple's standard 9.7in iPad tablet offering.

However, it's not really in a position to nick sales off of the iPhone 5 or iPad Mini, which the Note 2 - sitting somewhere in between the two Apple products in terms of size and functionality - is capable of doing.

So what can interested consumers expect from Samsung at IFA, apart from the headline-grabbing European launch of the Note 2? We haven't really got our speculation caps on yet, but it wouldn't be a surprise if Jelly Bean upgrades featured among the Korean firm's other main announcements, and that could be how the Note 10.1 ends up figuring.

Either that, or they might choose to relaunch the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 again.