The ATIV Q is like the chips and dip of hybrid devicesAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Sometimes you come across things in life that just go well together: peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, chips and dip, Dungeons and Dragons, Anna Scantlin and Johnny Depp... I mean, there's an infinite list of things that just go together! Adding on to that list today is the announcement from Samsung of the ATIV Q tablet/laptop hybrid, which actually happens to be 'hybrid' in more ways than just one.
On the one hand, you have a laptop that converts into a tablet (and vice versa); on the other hand, you also have your choice between two operating systems: Windows 8 or Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean). Or, if you're unsure of which operating system to use, you could simply use both at the same time. Yes, this device really does seem to do it all. Did I mention it has S Pen functionality? I know what you're thinking, and don't worry; I'm having a hard time keeping my pants on as well.
Let's take a quick look at the design aspect of the ATIV Q: This device has a 13.3" touch-screen display that can be conformed to look like many different devices: you can lay it flat to act as a tablet, fold the screen up to reveal the integrated keyboard, flip the screen backwards to essentially use the keyboard as a stand, or even have the screen lay parallel above the keyboard (to where you can still use the keyboard, but you would be looking down at the screen). The design of the ATIV Q is extremely versatile and if you ask me, Samsung did a great job covering a lot of ways that people would want to view and use such a device.
The ATIV Q has been described as feeling "lightweight" at 2.8 pounds (1.3kg) and "skinny", yet has also been described as "chunky" at 0.55 inches (14mm) thick when it comes to being used as a tablet. Considering that the device is packing one of Intel's new Haswell Core i5 processors, a thicker tablet in exchange for powerful processing power is an acceptable trade-off in my book. Intel's Haswell processors were created to enhance battery life and enhance graphics (which is pretty much what any new processor is trying to do). What supposedly makes the Haswell processor so great is that it's supposed to extend battery life and graphics for mobile computing to a much greater level than what we're currently used to. And what is the ATIV Q? A mobile computing device! So while the battery life of the ATIV Q remains a mystery at this point, here's to hoping that the Haswell processor really does bring forth a new era when it comes to battery life in mobile computing.
But enough about the design, let's talk specs! I've already mentioned the 13.3" touchscreen display and the Intel Haswell Core i5 processor, but what I haven't mentioned yet is that the device also has a pretty awesome display resolution at 3200x1800 pixels (275 ppi~). This puts the ATIV Q's display at the highest pixel count for a 13-inch display yet. The ATIV Q features 4GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, and a 720p camera on the front. It also includes a microSD card slot, micro HDMI port, and two USB ports within the hinge of the device.
So far we've discussed the awesome versatility and some of the top-notch specs to be introduced with this unique device, so what's left? Oh yeah, that whole dual-boot thing.
For a lot of people, a Windows/Android tablet/laptop (there has to be an easier way to say that... we'll just call it a Windroid lablet) is going to be far too much mobile computing for them to really benefit from what the ATIV Q has to offer. But for the people (like me) who sometimes just can't decide which platform to use or how to use it (tablet or computer?) an all-in-one device like this one could actually be a solid solution. On top of the fact that it dual-boots with Windows 8 and Android, there's an added bonus - you can add apps from Android on to the Windows 8 side of the device, and run them from there. Pretty. Friggin'. Sweet.
In my opinion, this device is truly the definition of the best of both worlds from both a design and a multi-platform aspect. You get all of the benefits of PC computing when you need it, plus the added functionality of tablet computing whenever it's more convenient. Samsung was also clever enough to know that if you have a touch screen device that serves as a tablet half the time, why not include the S Pen? Worse comes to worse, it's there if you use it, it's not if you don't (and you might be surprised how often you'll use it once you have it - I know I was).
All in all, I have to say I'm thoroughly impressed with what I've seen so far from Samsung's ATIV Q. I'm almost certain that a hybrid with features like this will probably come with a high price tag, but regardless of the price I feel like Samsung deserves credit for what they've come up with here.
Readers, what are your thoughts on the ATIV Q? Do you think that a hybrid device as complex as this one will be a big seller in the market? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!