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Samsung hedges its OS bets with latest ATIV

New ATIV Q tablet supports both Windows 8 and Android, but its real attraction lies in high resolution display

By CAROLINE GABRIEL

Published: 24 June, 2013

READ MORE: Samsung | OS | Tablet | Android | Windows Phone

Samsung has introduced a dual-OS tablet in its ATIV range of tablets, which it is seeking to establish as the premier brand for Windows 8. However, it is unclear whether launching a product which runs both W8 and Android is designed to strengthen the Microsoft-based line, or is a fallback option in case customers are disappointed with the new OS.

Recently, Samsung has seemed less interested in Microsoft platforms, sidelining Windows Phone and cancelling a US tablet running Windows RT. However, it aims to expand its handset power into larger-screened items such as tablets, and strengthen its second-tier position in the PC space as this migrates to new touchscreen form factors. For now at least, that means working closely with Microsoft.


The ATIV Q allows users to share files between its two operating systems, and comes with a keyboard so it can be operated in laptop mode or as a standalone slate (in fact, it has four different configurations). The offering has a 13.3-inch touchscreen with 'QHD+' resolution - pixel density of 275ppi, which Samsung says is almost three times better than other full HD displays. The Ativ Q runs on an Intel Core i5 processor and comes with Android 4.2.2 installed.

Samsung has 18% of the tablet market, according to IDC, second to Apple on 40%, but its success rests almost entirely on Android. Now it needs to take on the giants of the PC market, such as Lenovo and Dell, in the 'post-PC' space - and is apparently hedging its bets as to whether those hybrid products will run Android or Windows.

Samsung also introduced the ATIV Tab 3, which it claims is the thinnest Windows 8 tablet available and with 10 hours of battery life; and two more conventional notebooks, the ATIV Book 9 Plus and ATIV Book 9 Lite. And it added a new gadget to the increasingly diverse Galaxy Android family with the Galaxy NX camera, delivering 20.3-megapixels with LTE connectivity and access to Android apps such as music and maps.

Samsung was less fortunate in its Apple battle on the legal front last week, when the iPhone maker won a patent infringement case in Japan against its biggest rival. The Tokyo District Court issued a partial verdict on Friday in favor of Apple but it said further examination was needed to determine whether Samsung must pay compensation, and if so, how much. A final verdict is expected later.

The case, one of many round the world between the two companies, concerned patents for the 'bounceback' mechanism for scrolling on touchscreens. Samsung was found to have infringed Apple's patent on previous Galaxy smartphone and tablet models. It has since changed its smartphone design to show a blue light, instead of bouncing back. Samsung said it will study the ruling before deciding whether to appeal.

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