Samsung’s Ativ Q is its latest convertible device, a 13.3-inch tablet that runs both Windows 8 and Android and transforms into a number of different forms (including a laptop-style keyboard mode) thanks to the funky dual-hinge design. We had the chance to play at a special preview event yesterday, and we really like the versatility of this all-in-one gizmo.
In its normal folded-up form, the Ativ Q looks like your typical tablet, albeit a large and slightly chunky one. From standard tablet mode you can push the screen up to expose the keyboard and enter typing mode. The keyboard is a great size with well-separated keys and all of the shortcut buttons you’d expect. You even get a 'nipple' trackpad in the centre for moving an on-screen cursor (although we prefer simply tapping the touchscreen).
From here you can flip the screen backwards, away from the keyboard, to enter ‘stand’ mode, which props the screen up to a near-vertical angle - perfect for kicking back and chilling with a movie.
The final form is ‘floating’ mode, where the screen hovers away from the rest of the tablet, although we’re not entirely sure what use this mode is. After all, the hinges aren’t quite strong enough to support screen prodding, as the display rocks all over the place.
Although the Ativ Q runs Windows 8, it also comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean installed so you can enjoy many of Android’s best features including access to 800,000+ apps on Google Play (solving the problem of Windows' serious lack of quality apps). Switching between Windows and Android is an instant process and you can even pin Android apps to your Windows desktop and transfer files between the two operating systems. So, if you start writing something in Windows 8, you can finish it off or share it using your Android account.
At 1.29kg, the Ativ Q is one of the heavier tablets around, although lighter than most laptops (including Samsung’s ultra-light new Ativ Book 9 Plus). In tablet mode we’d recommend resting it on a surface, as our puny boy-muscles didn’t cope well holding it aloft. At 13.9mm thick it’s not horrendously chunky, so it’s easy to slip into a bag and carry around.
Media fans will rejoice to hear the 13.3” QHD screen has an impressive 3200x1800 resolution, giving 275 pixels per inch. That’s even sharper than the Apple Macbook Pro’s Retina display, and more than sharp enough to enjoy HD movies the way they were meant to be seen. That extra level of detail will also be essential when using creative software, for precision actions.
Speaking of getting creative, you also get an S Pen stylus - the same stylus pen bundled with the Galaxy Note phablets - so you can scribble on the screen and create all kinds of masterpieces. Samsung’s dedicated S Note 2.0 software makes a return, so you can get the most from the pen. When not in use, the S Pen stores in a handy slot beneath the tablet.
An Intel Core i5 processor (usually found in capable laptops) keeps things ticking over nicely, whether you’re playing games or running full-on office software. You get 128GB of storage for your files and apps (expandable via Micro SD), and a front-facing camera that shoots 720p video.
We're excited to get our hands on the Samsung Ativ Q for a full review, as it promises to be an excellent device for both business and pleasure - although the transforming functionality does remind us somewhat of Acer's Aspire P3 which was launched earlier in 2013 in New York.