Samsung Electronics has launched the ATIV Q, a tablet-laptop hybrid with a 3,200 x 1,800 pixel resolution screen that runs Windows 8 as well as Android. The company also introduced the Windows 8-based ATIV Tab 3 tablet.
Get our take on Thursday’s Samsung announcements
In the past month Samsung has aggressively expanded its Android-based portfolio, but on Thursday the company showed it still supports Windows, albeit not to the extent it backs and relies on Google’s OS.
The ATIV Q’s 3200 x 1800 pixel screen measures 13.3 inches, and the device can be used as a tablet or a laptop with a foldout keyboard. The screen can also be flipped 180 degrees and is bright enough to work in sunshine, according to Samsung. Users can choose between Windows 8 and Android at the push of a button on the screen without rebooting. Android apps can also be pinned to the Windows home screen.
The device is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, weighs 1.29 kilograms and is 13.9 millimeters thick. The storage consists of a 128GB solid-state drive. If that isn’t enough it can be expanded using a microSD card.
The Windows 8-based ATIV Tab 3 has a 10.1-inch screen with a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution. Users can store movies, magazines and other content on the 64GB integrated storage or a microSD card. The tablet weighs 550 grams and is 8.2 millimeters thick. Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z and the iPad are 6.9 millimeters and 9.4 millimeters thick, respectively.
Both ATIV Q and ATIV Tab 3 are compatible with Samsung’s S Pen. Samsung didn’t announce any details on pricing or international availability.
That the ATIV Q and ATIV Tab 3 both run Windows 8 isn’t good news for the future of Windows RT, which Samsung used on the original ATIV Tab. During the event Samsung even underlined that the new devices don’t run Windows RT, and can therefore use all Windows applications.
Tablet shipments totaled 49.2 million units during the first three months of the year, more than in the first half of 2012, according to IDC. But Windows 8 was running on only 1.6 million of those and Windows RT on just 200,000, which equals a 0.4 percent market share.
One thing that’s also missing from Samsung’s new ATIV family is a Windows smartphone. The company hasn’t released a new smartphone based on Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS since the ATIV S last year, which hasn’t sold well, according to Ben Wood, director of research at analyst firm CCS Insight.
“The conclusion I draw is that Samsung doesn’t see any significant volume upside to having a product or the necessity to have a product as a competitive response to Nokia at present, because its Android-based portfolio is perfectly capable of doing that,” Wood said.
For example, Nokia is expected to show a Windows Phone version of Nokia’s 41-megapixel 808 PureView on July 11 in New York, but Samsung has already beat Nokia to the punch in some respects with last week’s Galaxy Camera.
At the event on Thursday Samsung also launched the Android-based Galaxy NX, which has interchangeable lenses along with LTE. The connected SLR has a 20.3-megapixel sensor and runs Android 4.2.2, to which Samsung has added a new user interface. Samsung didn’t announce any details on pricing or international availability.