You may have heard that Microsoft is planning on launching its next big thing in the next few months, and Samsung is going to be giving it a lot of attention, with four – count ’em – devices designed specifically for the next version of Windows.
Introduced at the IFA show in Berlin, Germany where a whole bunch of other gadgets are making their debut, the ATIV line of devices will be proving that Samsung isn’t all Android by pushing the Windows platform to customers.
“Samsung is delighted to introduce a wide portfolio of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8-powered devices,” said Samsung’s Seong Woo Nam, Executive Vice President of IT Solutions in Business for the company.
“With our leadership in design and technology and Microsoft’s leadership in operating systems, together we are able to provide customers with a full range of ATIV devices for cross-category convergence.”
For Samsung, the name “ATIV” comes from “Vita”, which if you remember when Sony launched its own Vita console last year, means life.
In fact, Samsung is even trying to cement the ATIV line-up by saying in its press release that the name “is a pledge by Samsung to make everyone’s life extraordinary with excitement.”
All we know is that “Galaxy” looks to be Samsung’s Android line, and “ATIV” reserved for Windows devices.
Four products make up the ATIV range from this announcement, with one phone, and one dedicated tablet, and two Ultrabook Touch computers that blend both the thin and sleek design normally seen on Ultrabooks with a detachable touchscreen slate, similar to what Asus has working for it in the Transformer range of computers.
First up, the ATIV Tab, and it’s Samsung’s own competition to Microsoft’s own Surface RT tablet.
The ATIV Tab will feature a 10.1 inch tablet with 1366×768 resolution, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 5 megapixel rear camera, 1.9 megapixel front camera, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi a/b/g/n, microHDMI, Near-Field Communication technology, 32 to 64GB storage built-in, and a microSD slot for expanding it.
It will also feature the same operation system, with Windows RT present here, the same version appearing on the Microsoft Surface tablet.
Next up are the Samsung ATIV Smart PCs, which take on similar transforming appearances to a design used by both Lenovo and Asus.
Similar to the Transformer and an IdeaTab that’s missing release locally, the Smart PC will feature a switch that can detach the touchscreen from the rest of the laptop body, allowing you to use the tablet without the keyboard.
Both PCs will feature digitising pen – similar to the Galaxy Note – making it possible to take notes and draw things with 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity.
The ATIV Smart PC looks to be the more affordable of the two, even without a proper recommended retail price locally, with the computer sporting an 11.6 inch 1366×768 touchscreen, next-generation Intel Atom processor, Intel HD graphics, 2GB RAM, up to 128GB storage, WiFi, Bluetooth, USB 2.0 ports, either 3G or 4G connectivity, microHDMI, and microSD card slots.
Improving on that model is the ATIV Smart PC Pro, featuring an 11.6 inch screen with an even more impressive Full HD 1920×1080 touchscreen, Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, 256GB solid-state storage, WiFi, Bluetooth, USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, either 3G or 4G connectivity, microHDMI, and microSD.
Both look to feature decent battery life, with roughly eight hours for the Smart PC Pro’s Core i5 processor and just over 13 hours for the less performance intensive Smart PC.
Then there’s Windows 8, which will be featured and come pre-installed on these new computers, fitting in the Ultrabook Touch segment of the market.
Finally, the last device of the four launched today is a phone, with the ATIV S pretty much the Galaxy S3 crossed with a Windows Phone 8 device.
With its 4.8 inch Super AMOLED display, 8 megapixel rear camera with LED flash, and NFC, there’s already a fair bit in common.
While it looks a little like what would happen if the Galaxy S2, Galaxy S3, and a Windows Phone joined forces, we’re keen to see how well Windows Phone 8 runs on a new device.
The recent versions of Windows Phone have actually been pretty good, and with the ATIV S supporting a 2300mAh battery – bigger than on the Galaxy S3 – we’re wondering just how much life we’ll be able to get out of the new handset.
Our expectations are a lot, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
None of these products have proper release dates or prices yet, though given Windows 8 is expected in late October, we’d hazard a guess that we’ll be seeing them then.
(Valens Quinn traveled to IFA courtesy of Samsung Electronics, Australia.)