Samsung's famous for launching every type of device under the sun, but this time it's crammed them all into a single package. The company's just announced the Ativ Q, a dual-booting device that runs both Windows 8 and Android 4.2.2 inside a 13.3-inch convertible laptop package. The most impressive parts of the hardware are the insanely high-res 3200 x 1800 screen — the first use of the new display Samsung announced in May — and the flexible hinge that allows the Q to work in tablet mode, laptop mode, stand mode, and a sort of floating mode. From a hardware standpoint, it's remarkably similar to the Acer Aspire R7, though at .55 inches and 2.84 pounds it's a much more manageable device.
The Q is powered by an Intel Core i5 Haswell processor. Samsung says it'll get up to 9 hours of battery life, which would be quite the achievement for such a high-res device. But the real selling point is the dual-booting, and particularly the SideSync software that lets you share data between the two operating systems, and even pin Android apps to your Start screen. It also lets you use your computer to back up your Samsung Android phone, and even use your PC keyboard to type on your phone. To hear Samsung tell it, the Ativ Q is basically a Windows computer with the Play Store — that's a pretty impressive proposition. And, of course, there's an S Pen.
Samsung also announced the Ativ Tab 3, a super-thin 10.1-inch tablet running Windows 8. It's all part of the Ativ family, which Samsung's made a big deal about — bringing laptops, tablets, and crazy convertibles all under the same roof. It looks a lot like the Galaxy Tab 3, a fact Samsung acknowledged during its press conference, but it's very much a full Windows device — "not the RT version," our emcee said with considerable disdain for Microsoft's low-powered OS. It's remarkably small for a full Windows device — it's 8.2mm thick, and weighs only 1.2 pounds. The Tab 3 comes with Office built in, and there's an S Pen here as well. Unfortunately it only has a 1366 x 768 screen, but Samsung promises up to eight hours of battery life.
As these are global launches, there's no word on when the new Ativs will come to the US or how much they'll cost. Samsung's tablet strategy has always been to be different, or at least be extreme. By launching the thinnest Windows 8 tablet, and a type of Windows tablet we've never seen before, the new Ativ models certainly fit the bill. And is it possible that Samsung just used Google to solve Windows' app problem?