Samsung launches Windows 8 ATIV line with new smartphone, three tablets
Two x86 tablets can double as clamshell laptops
Samsung announced an ambitious line of Windows 8 mobile devices using the ATIV name on Wednesday, including an ATIV S smartphone with a 4.8-in. HD display and three tablet PCs.
The lineup, unveiled in Berlin, Germany during a webcast, also includes an ATIV Tab that runs Windows RT and two Windows 8 x86 tablets that have magnetically attachable keyboards called the ATIV Smart PC and the ATIV Smart PC Pro.
The company didn't offer pricing or availability information.
Samsung also showed off an array of diverse products atop the Android-powered Galaxy line at the event, announced a slightly larger Galaxy Note II, and unveiled a Galaxy Camera that works over cellular networks and Wi-Fi.
Samsung said it wants to stay ahead of the pack of mobile device manufacturers, and sees Windows 8 products as a way to do so.
"We have an unrivaled range of products in the Windows 8 environment," said Damian Cusick, general manager of Samsung UK. "The Samsung ATIV line-up of Windows 8 products is simple, powerful and beautiful."
The ATIV Smart PC Pro, with an 11.6-in. touchscreen and an Intel Core i5 processor, targets professionals, Cusick noted. He also called attention to the Windows RT tablet, the ATIV Tab with pre-installed Office productivity applications to allow Office and Word document sharing. "Nothing will change from the PC documents you share with co-workers," he said.
The ATIV S smartphone is also Office compatible, with "various Windows-based content that [runs] in an optimized environment," he added.
All four Windows ATIV devices "blend the device and content ecosystem perfectly...so [users] can get things done," he said.
The ATIV S smartphone has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and will work over HSPA networks like those offered by T-Mobile USA and AT&T.
The ATIV Tab offers a 10.1-in display and an 8,200 mAh battery, which is at the high end of tablet batteries.
The ATIV Tab runs Windows RT.
The ATIV Smart PC and Smart PC Pro are equipped with a digital stylus, called the S Pen, that Samsung has updated from its original appearance with the Galaxy Note. It now has 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity and is slightly thicker.
Both are 11.6-in. Tablets, and each has a detachable keyboard dock that allows it to be used as either a clamshell laptop PC or a tablet PC. The Smart PC has a battery life of 13.5 hours, while the Smart PC Pro runs up to eight hours.
The Galaxy Note II, which ships in October globally, has a 5.5-in. display, larger than the original 5.3-in. display, and will come with redesigned S Pen. Its larger screen stays in the same sized body, however, although the increase in screen size bumps it up slightly to a 16:9 aspect ratio.
The ATIV Smart PC is slightly thinner and lighter than the Smart PC Pro. The Smart PC is 11.96 x 7.5 x .38 inches and weighs 26.4 ounces. The Smart PC Pro has the same height and width but is .46-inches thick and weighs 31.2 ounces. The ATIV Tab is 10.4 x 6.6 x .35 inches and 20.1 ounces. The ATIV S smartphone is 5.4 x 2.8 x .34 inches and weighs 4.7 ounces.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
Read more about smartphones in Computerworld's Smartphones Topic Center.