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Samsung ATIV Q

Luke Johnson

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Summary

Review Price to be confirmed

What is the Samsung ATIV Q?

The Samsung ATIV Q is a new convertible tablet hybrid which, not content with being able to take on various forms, runs both Windows 8 and Android operating systems.

The Samsung ATIV Q runs the risk of feeling cluttered and clumsy, but Samsung promises the two distinct operating systems are individually hosted but provide strong, seamless file and data transitions work together well, quietly and behind the scenes.

Convertibles have been threatening to push a new forge in the tablet and notebook scenes for some time; can the Samsung ATIV Q finally win the battle for the hybrids? We go hands-on to see for ourselves.

Watch the hands-on Samsung ATIV Q video review

Samsung ATIV Q Design

The Samsung ATIV Q’s design is all about the tablet’s many forms. It is a jack of many talents that can take on four different guises (‘tablet’, ‘typing’, ‘floating’ and ‘stand’), and, pleasingly, its master of at least a couple. While the ‘floating’ stance of the screen pointing up on a stork is of little use, the ‘typing’ position highlights the unit’s impressive keyboard.

The Samsung ATIV Q is 13.9mm thick and 1.29kg in weight. Although not slight by any stretch of the imagination, it's no heavier than rival ultrabooks that the ATIV Q is best compared against.

The Samsung ATIV Q’s rather smooth design is broken up by all manner of connection ports, including a single USB 3.0, a USB 2.0 connection, microHDMI and a microSD slot.

The Q’s design is functional more than attractive but, with time, we can see it growing on us and winning us over with its multiple forms and convertible options.

Samsung ATIV Q Screen

The Samsung ATIV Q screen is a bit of a beaut. It is a 13.3-inch qHD offering which, thanks to a 3,200 x 1,800 pixel resolution and 275 pixels-per-inch image density, is both detailed and sharp.

The Q’s screen is vibrant and eye catching on first impressions, with colours proving expansive and with a pleasing level of subtlety. Brightness was impressive in the garishly artificial lighting of our hands-on environment, but will require further testing in a variety of conditions.

A screen to rival those on many ultrabooks, the Q’s display features strong viewing angles and its touch panel proved responsive and accurate during early tests.

Samsung ATIV Q Performance

The Samsung ATIV Q is a powerful hybrid device. With an Intel Core i5 processor at its heart, the Q also features backing from Intel 4400 HD Graphics and 4GB of RAM.

Windows 8 makes a good foundation for the Samsung ATIV Q, with Android present to provide some much needed glamour. Sadly, Samsung’s TouchWiz UI is missing, leaving plain old Android to hold the fort. Keeping things running smoothly across the two platforms, Android apps can be pinned to the Windows 8 homescreen, creating seamless shortcuts between the two content levels.

The Samsung ATIV Q’s performance is further enhanced with SideSync compatibility, letting you use your smartphone as a second screen. This requires further testing before we are able to pass judgement.

With a 128GB SSD providing ample storage, the Samsung ATIV Q claims a 9 hour battery life. We were unable to test this claim during our hands-on and so will take a further look in our full ATIV Q review in the near future.

Samsung ATIV Q First Impressions

The Samsung ATIV Q is a mixed bag of tricks. Slightly too chunky to work as a designated tablet, the additional convertible options are a serious boon to its credentials. Similarly, while the need for both Android and Windows 8 OSs might not be felt by many, it helps separate the Q’s business and pleasure attributes. The Samsung ATIV Q is, in short, an interesting device which we are intrigued to spend more time with.

Nate Ebner

June 21, 2013, 6:20 am

No TouchWiz! That's a brilliant thing, I'd take 'plain old Android' over it any day, as would most.
I take it that you can't detach the keyboard part then?

devo1d

June 21, 2013, 8:01 am

In this form, I'd be more interested in a 11.6in screen

danielfrisbee

June 21, 2013, 11:51 am

does the pen fit into the body somewhere?
This looks like a great package, I wonder how functional that pixel density would be in productive use ie CAD/adobe suite- a nice problem to have. I find the 1080p 11.6" panel on my vaio duo 11 to be a good balance of detail and usable pixels but should it break down it's comforting to know the industry will have a variety of options. I think this form factor really works well- and touchpads, we think we need them, but actually they are rubbish for actually doing anything useful with so the pointing nub here is great in my view.
Not a fan of the design language though, looks a bit fisher price. It will be interesting to see the pricing on it with the similar sony duo 13 coming in at £1400 you'd think some Samsung plastictastic variant might come in some hundreds of pounds less...?

edit:
I found a good video of it, there is a slot for the pen under the keyboard and it also has a display port! Extra monitors over 1080p can be used, wow... Now I am wishing I could trade in my lovely vaio duo for it. There is no chink in the armour it seems, hopefully the stylus works in a detailed manner, that's the final hurdle for it to become the best set up there is. (to me anyway)
edit 2:
Interestingly the cpu is in the hinge segment... though it looks like micro hdmi rather than displayport after all but hopefully there is a way to output to hi res monitors.
(hi-res like half of the onboard screen... )

John Gass

June 22, 2013, 8:58 pm

This
jumped out, for me at least, as being a possible game-changer device.

I'm a data producer (ideal Windows laptop customer) and a data consumer (ideal
Android tablet customer). At home (and occasionally out) I use a 17"
Windows laptop, chosen because I do a fair bit of digital photography. My phone
is a Samsung S3 running Android, and whilst I wouldn't want to type a book on
it, I can certainly write the odd paragraph or two. So the questions I've been
wondering about are 1) how many separate devices would be right for people like
me and 2) Can I ever get a single operating system across all these devices? I
think we're still in a stage of technological transition so perhaps the answer
to the second question is "not yet", and the answer to the first question
is "three" - the two I've got plus a tablet which would be far more
transportable than the laptop but could have a keyboard (one way or another),
and so be a far better productive device than my mobile phone. But, in addition,
I suspect that, as a voracious reader, I'll also want my tablet to work as an
effective eReader although, in terms of sunlight readability and battery life,
I don't think tablets are quite there yet.

So, if I had the funds, I'd probably be in the queue for an ATIV Q but I would
be aware that in, say, five years’ time, it'll probably only be found in
technology

rroburt

July 5, 2013, 12:10 pm

Is the keyboard backlit? I wish it had 3G too; then there'd be little competition between this and Sony Vaio Duo 13. Backlit keyboard and 3G would have complimented its other superior specs perfectly. (Might as well have went up to I7 too, making use of the screen for good games...)

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