At Samsung's event in London today, they took the lid off of two new Windows 8 tablets. One is very normal. The other is very weird. We're pretty excited about the weird one.
Samsung's most interesting tablet-type thing is a double-hybrid freak of a device. It has a keyboard that is connected by a rather versatile hinge. It can fold all the way flat against the back so you can use it as a straight up tablet, you can use it as a normal laptop, you can type with having the screen magically floating above your fingers, or you can use it as a stand.
But why is it a double-hybrid? Because it runs Windows 8 AND Android. I guess that's one way to solve the lack of good tablet apps in the Windows 8 ecosystem. The tablet can switch back and forth between modes, and while it won't share settings or apps, at least you can share files and folders back and forth. It will be running a full version of Windows 8 (not RT) and Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) with the Google Play Store and all.
Switching back and forth between operating systems looks lighting fast. Just the press of a single button. No booting or anything. It looked extremely seamless. You can also add Android apps to the Windows 8 homescreen for quick access, which is handy.
The other highlight on the ATIV Q is the touchscreen. It's at 13.3 inch gHD+ display, which comes in at 3200 x 1800 pixels. At 275 pixels per inch that bests even the screen on the Google Pixel (239 PPI). Samsung claims that it's "the world's highest resolution display," has a 170-degree viewing angle, and is clearly viewable in bright sunlight. Very impressive looking.
The ATIV Q comes running Intel's latest and greatest Haswell processor, which means it should be mighty fast, and it also comes with an S Pen, so the graphic design crowd should be able to really take advantage of all those pixels.
The ATIV Q comes in at 0.54 inches thick and weighs 2.84 pounds. That's pretty fat n' heavy for a tablet. But for a laptop-hybrid thing? Well, maybe that's not so bad. No word on U.S. It bears mentioning that this entirely dissimilar from Acer's R7 hybrid, though the ATIV 8 certainly wins in on the resolution and processor front.
For those of you who aren't into mutants (racist...) there's also straight-up tablet on offer. The ATIV Tab 3 has a 10.1-inch screen, and runs, of course, Windows 8. At 0.32 inches thick, it is, "the world’s thinnest Windows 8 tablet," and it weighs only 1.2 pounds. Pretty good for a full-sized tablet, though definitely not as good as the Sony Xperia Tablet Z, which comes in at 0.27 inches and 1.146 pounds. It also boasts a 10 hour battery life, which is rather sweet. The other big feature, Samsung's S Pen Stylus. Which is, y'know, fine.
There is no word on either device about U.S. availability or price for either device. We should be getting some hands-on time with these guys in a bit, and we'll update with impressions when we do.