We just finished playing with Samsung's newly announced ATIV Q, a convertible tablet that runs both Windows 8 and Android 4.2.2. The display is the main attraction. The 13.3" panel features a 3200 x 1800 resolution (276 PPI). Although some of the screen shots from Samsung's presentation of the ATIV Q showed Windows 8.1 running, the demo units themselves ran vanilla Windows 8 and as a result had to rely on traditional Windows DPI scaling. I fully expect Windows 8.1 to make this 3200 x 1800 13.3" panel usable through new OS X-like DPI scaling upon its release. 

Despite having to light 5.76 million pixels, the ATIV Q seemed bright indoors. The demo tablets were running at max brightness to begin with, which was comfortable (but not too bright at all). I'd be very curious to test outdoor brightness performance.

Internally the demo ATIV Q features a Core i5-4200U (Haswell ULT, dual-core + Hyper Threading, 2.6GHz max turbo, 3MB L3, Intel HD 4400). The demo systems featured 4GB of DDR3L. Powering the system is an integrated 47Wh battery.

The dual-OS functionality is what you'd expect: Android runs in a VM on top of Windows 8. Networking, storage and CPUs are all virtualized resources. Virtualization is the only way to enable Samsung's instant switching between Windows 8/Android on a single set of hardware. The switching process itself is pretty quick as Android is treated like another application running on Windows 8. Performance within Android seemed good enough, the UI wasn't butter smooth however. I'm not all that sure about the benefits of running Android on top of full blown Windows 8, but the option is there. There's even a dedicated key on the keyboard to switch between OSes.

Although the ATIV Q has a large surface area for a tablet, the overall design feels very light and portable. Lifting the display up to reveal the integrated keyboard is simple enough. The keyboard itself feels decent, although there's no room for a standard trackpad so you're left with a little nub that is reminiscent (but no where near as functional) as what you'd find on an old ThinkPad. You glide your finger over the nub to move the mouse, with slim physical buttons at the edge of the keyboard for left/right click. Touching the display is definitely the way to go, but the ATIV Q absolutely needs Windows 8.1 style DPI scaling in order to make UI widgets in desktop mode better for touch.

Hidden in the display hinge is a USB 3.0 port, micro HDMI and a micro SD card reader.

I'm a big believer in convertibles. I don't know that anyone has gotten it perfect with design yet, but it's very good to see everyone trying. Battery life is a big unknown, as is pricing - that display can't be cheap. Given its light weight construction, the ATIV Q seems like it could actually be a very compelling option.



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  • Friendly0Fire - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    I've read elsewhere that the CPU is in the "arm", so it's very likely passively cooled. Reply
  • Krysto - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Oh God, even Anandtech doesn't mention the "real" clock speeds of Intel's chips anymore. Intel has completely managed to mislead the whole tech media. They should be called what they are "1.6 Ghz chips" or whatever their speed is now, not "2.6 Ghz chips".

    Also running Android in a VM is so stupid, you'd be better off not having the option at all.
  • pensive69 - Friday, June 28, 2013 - link

    what would be stupid is limiting how many Android VMs we can run...now that fits the typical MS stupid exactly. I saw allow them until the I/O, RAM and or CPU choke.
    give us an Android cluster to fool with dudes.
  • jimmysmit - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    What if I told you....

    You can already run android on top of windows???????????
  • Nenad - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Well, this will have at least one advantage over BlueStacks Adroid on PC right now: Google Play. Reply
  • Rick83 - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    What nags me, is that it only has 4GB RAM. For a general purpose computer, that's very, very little, even if you have an SSD and are not too dependent on cache.
    But even in light usage, I normally hit about 6 GB of memory used by programs on my laptop (that's a few browser tabs, a bit of pdf, a few editors, mail, and at worst two or three photoshop files, a bibliography manager - basically what you need to create a poster or document), which makes context switching just horribly slow.
    Especially considering that you'll be doing some high resolution photoshop drawing on this thing as one of the primary usages, I'm worried that even 8 GB would be barely enough.

    If it had 8GB it would be a decent competitor to the Thinkpad Helix though. While the screen res of the Helix is fine, more is better, and the HD 4400 graphics should be a mild improvement over the HD4000 graphics in the Thinkpad, especially when using an external screen.

    It seems that 2013 is at last the year of the rebirth of the convertible, now in an ultrabook form factor.
  • will1956 - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    ive got a desktop with a overclocked FX-8120 (4.1GHz), overclocked GPU (sapphire 7870 GHz edition (OC to 1400 MHz clock and 1450 MHz memory) OC RAM (2400 MHz) and when working with ultra high resolution images (~14,000 x 12,000 pixels) it stutters.
    perhaps this is a extreme example but...
  • WhitneyLand - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Should Apple be worried that people like me who own an iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Pro, still find this kind of product with MS/Google software really compelling? What the heck are they thinking not having a convertible strategy or product? At a minimum, why doesn't apple enable touch on existing laptops. Touch on laptops sounds silly but turns out in practice to have a lot of usage scenarios. Reply
  • pensive69 - Friday, June 28, 2013 - link

    Apple should be worried if these non Apple types out-innovate...that's been an Apple sell point for years under Mr. Jobs. Reply
  • xaml - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    The sleek border reminds me of a Galaxy S4, which is nice! Reply

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