We just finished playing with Samsung's newly announced ATIV Q, a convertible tablet that runs both Windows 8 and Android 4.2.2. The display is the main attraction. The 13.3" panel features a 3200 x 1800 resolution (276 PPI). Although some of the screen shots from Samsung's presentation of the ATIV Q showed Windows 8.1 running, the demo units themselves ran vanilla Windows 8 and as a result had to rely on traditional Windows DPI scaling. I fully expect Windows 8.1 to make this 3200 x 1800 13.3" panel usable through new OS X-like DPI scaling upon its release. 

Despite having to light 5.76 million pixels, the ATIV Q seemed bright indoors. The demo tablets were running at max brightness to begin with, which was comfortable (but not too bright at all). I'd be very curious to test outdoor brightness performance.

Internally the demo ATIV Q features a Core i5-4200U (Haswell ULT, dual-core + Hyper Threading, 2.6GHz max turbo, 3MB L3, Intel HD 4400). The demo systems featured 4GB of DDR3L. Powering the system is an integrated 47Wh battery.

The dual-OS functionality is what you'd expect: Android runs in a VM on top of Windows 8. Networking, storage and CPUs are all virtualized resources. Virtualization is the only way to enable Samsung's instant switching between Windows 8/Android on a single set of hardware. The switching process itself is pretty quick as Android is treated like another application running on Windows 8. Performance within Android seemed good enough, the UI wasn't butter smooth however. I'm not all that sure about the benefits of running Android on top of full blown Windows 8, but the option is there. There's even a dedicated key on the keyboard to switch between OSes.

Although the ATIV Q has a large surface area for a tablet, the overall design feels very light and portable. Lifting the display up to reveal the integrated keyboard is simple enough. The keyboard itself feels decent, although there's no room for a standard trackpad so you're left with a little nub that is reminiscent (but no where near as functional) as what you'd find on an old ThinkPad. You glide your finger over the nub to move the mouse, with slim physical buttons at the edge of the keyboard for left/right click. Touching the display is definitely the way to go, but the ATIV Q absolutely needs Windows 8.1 style DPI scaling in order to make UI widgets in desktop mode better for touch.

Hidden in the display hinge is a USB 3.0 port, micro HDMI and a micro SD card reader.

I'm a big believer in convertibles. I don't know that anyone has gotten it perfect with design yet, but it's very good to see everyone trying. Battery life is a big unknown, as is pricing - that display can't be cheap. Given its light weight construction, the ATIV Q seems like it could actually be a very compelling option.

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  • zoxo - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Yeah, noticed that in the event blog, but this info is missing from this article. Now I'm really interested! Reply
  • En_Magnus - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    This device is very tempting, but I don't like the fact that it uses mini-hdmi. I don't see why you wouldn't just use mini-displayport at that point. I have a Dell U2713hm. As far as I can tell it only accepts 1080 over hdmi, as opposed to the full 1440. Is there any way to dongle a mini-hdmi port up to a full displayport or dual-link dvi? If not I will just have to cross my fingers hoping for a Haswell Surface Pro. Reply
  • ShieTar - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Mini-HDMI supports the HDMI 1.3 spec, which can support 1600p60. Your problem lies specifically with your monitor, as DELL decided not to support the full resolution on HDMI for the U2713HM, for reasons unknown. The U2713H does support full resolution over HDMI, but comes at a significantly higher price. Reply
  • magic111 - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    This thing is actually exciting. Although I wanted to see Hd5000/ iris, this is, potentially, surface done right. Can't wait for the review. Reply
  • Bob Todd - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    We are finally getting close to fulfilling the converged device hopes and dreams that Windows 8 teased us with but failed to deliver, both due to the software not really being ready and arriving one generation too early on the hardware side. And while many of us had long suspected we'd see proper uber high res support in the next Windows release, the (otherwise oddball) quad 1600x900 resolution is as good as written confirmation from Ballmer. Like others have said, I'd love to see GT3 in this, but I can't get everything I want. I'd also like to see a transformer style form factor in the 10"-11" range with extra battery capacity in the keyboard dock. Reply
  • Ikefu - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    What are the chances they'll offer more than the base i5 option? That and the mouse nub still have me leaning Sony Vaio Duo 13. I really like the thickness of the Q though. Reply
  • gxtoast - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Someone expressed their disapointment about the screen ratio ATIV Book 9 Plus being 16:9 and I have to agree. In fact, it is one of my biggest gripes about displays. Microsoft are talking up the "content creation" advantage that Windows 8 has over IOS and Android, and yet they mandate a screen ratio that is all about "content consumption". The only value of the 16:9 ratio is that it fits movies perfectly. The rest of the time it totally sucks. Reply
  • steven75 - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Exactly this. 16:9: Perfection for movies, absolutely terrible for anything else. Reply
  • etre - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Is the CPU active cooled ? Reply
  • WhitneyLand - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    +1 great question. One of the keys to a great convertible will be the ability to not hear fans in your tablet. When I try Windows 8 tablets with a fan for some reason it's much more annoying than when it happens on my laptop. Psychology? I don't know but it's a factor. Reply

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