Earlier tonight Samsung introduced a convertible featuring a 13.3-inch 3200 x 1800 display that runs both Windows 8 and Android. If the convertible form factor is a little too weird for you, Samsung also introduced an Ultrabook with the very same display.

Like many of the Ultrabooks announced in Taipei, the ATIV Book 9 Plus is a marriage of MacBook Air and rMBP. You get a form factor that's very similar to the 13-inch MBA, but with a display that's clearly aimed at the more expensive rMBP. Where the ATIV Book 9 Plus falls in pricing will be very interesting to see.

Internally, there's a familiar refrain: Core i5-4200U (Haswell ULT), DDR3L and an SSD. Like the ATIV Q, the SSD in this case is one of Samsung's own - the MZNTD128HAGM, a 6Gbps SATA M.2 drive. The machine ships with an integrated 55Wh battery and weighs 1.39 kg. Samsung claims up to 12 hours of battery life.

The notebook looked good in person. I'm a fan of the hidden SD card reader with spring loaded door. Just like we saw with the ATIV Q, the ATIV Book 9 Plus was running Windows 8 but I fully expect that it's meant for Windows 8.1's improved handling of high DPI displays.

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  • Emyr - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    So this has a weaker GPU driving almost 4.5X the pixels of the 13" MacBook Air. How's that going to work?
  • Qbancelli - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    Wait and see.
  • w_km - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    It doesn't drive native resolution, only 1/4 of it (much like Apple's retina displays). 3200x1800p = 4 x the resolution of the standard 1600x900p so everything scales perfectly (mostly text; with software , images also render at native resolution) even though the GPU is technically only driving 900p (for the most part).
  • chucknelson - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    While the effective size of the elements on screen is equivalent to 900p, as an example, the number of pixels the GPU has to drive is indeed 4x. So the GPU is technically driving all of the pixels. What the user sees is icons and such that look the same in size as the resolution they're used to, but everything is super sharp - which is how retina/hi-dpi works these days.
  • Jammi - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    That's not how Apple's retina displays work.
  • Torrijos - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Actually you have it backwards, the idea of retina or HiDPI display is to always try to render programs at the larger resolution and scale them down to fit on the screen.

    Apple GUI elements are either vectorial or bitmaps elements being rendered at 4x the pixels (or with high resolution bitmaps), then scaled down to fit the surface they would on a 900p and the parts of applications using pictures or movies try to run those at their natural resolution. Look at the MBPro retina reviews on this site.

    The only apps that tend to upscale lower graphics are games for obvious reasons (even super high end GPUs like the Titan are barely able to rend at 2560x1440), but even then you can chose the native resolution and it's up to the dev to maybe scale part of their graphics or resources to optimise speed (on the iPad some games do render at 1/2 the res and let Apple, then specific, hardware scale up).
  • ananduser - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    You're half right. Apple downscales only for non-standard resolutions. It downscales for all the other resolutions apart from 1400x900(half of 2800x1800) which is the optimal retina mode on the rmbp 15".

    Windows does not need to render at resolutions above those supported by the panel and downscale thereafter; this means that it will never suffer performance penalties due to pre-rendering routines like OSX.
  • ssj4Gogeta - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    That's not how it works. Doing that would be useless.
    The GPU in fact drives the full physical resolution of the display. What they mean when they say the effective res is 1/4, is that the elements on the screen are sized as big as they would be on a screen that was 1/4 the res, but the same size. Rendering the elements at 4x the res is what gives you that sharpness.
  • IntelUser2000 - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    There's no problem in 2D, the specifications are identical, and performance all up to drivers. Just in 3D its a problem. The problem in Notebooks/Ultrabooks at least in the current models, is that using resolutions lower than the native sucks. On my XPS 12, using 1366x768 resolution rather than 1920x1080 would mean the whole screen real estate would shrink. What's the point of that?
  • blackbrrd - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    The reason running 1366x768 resolution on a 1920x1080 display is that one rendered pixel = 1.5 displayed pixels. The only way to do this that makes sense gives you horrible blurring.

    Running 1600x900 resolution on a 3200x1800 display gives you one rendered pixel = 4 displayed pixels. No blurring needed and it looks sharp. You can test it by running games in 960x540 on your 1920x1080 display. It will probably look a lot better than 1366x768.

    You can run a monitor at half, one third and a quarter of it's (vertical) resolution and still get sharp (but less detailed) pictures. In other words, on a 3200x1800 display you could run your games at 1600x900, 1066x600 and 800x450 and get sharp (but less detailed) images.

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