Samsung, weeks ahead of what could be a new iPhone, iPad and iTV, introduced a Windows 8 smartphone, two tablet-like Slates and a 5.5-inch Note II. These follow news of two video-friendly AiO PCs.
Samsung has been busy at the IFA 2012 trade
show in Berlin this week. Among other announcements, it entered the Windows 8
tablet market with an unexpected twist, showing off Series 5 and Series 7
Slates that are equipped with the company's S Pen stylus and as at-home connected
to a sure-fitting keyboard as without it.
The onslaught of devices-in addition to the
Slates there's a new smartphone, another Note and yesterday two all-in-one
PCs for the living room
or kitchen-come a few weeks before Apple is
expected to introduce a new iPhone and, perhaps weeks later, a smaller iPad and
maybe even a TV.
The Slates feature 11.6-inch displays with
resolutions of 1366 by 768 and 1920 by 1080, respectively, and keyboard docks
that attach via a "mechanical hinge," that connects so securely
"users can pick up the device with one hand without fear of the pieces
separating," Samsung officials said in an Aug. 29 statement.
While Lenovo introduced a Windows 8 tablet
that can click into a sold-separately keyboard, and Microsoft's Surface
features a working keyboard in its cover, the Samsung Slates, when fitted to
the keyboard, look very close to being a real laptop. Closed, they look like
two equally sized tablets in the grip of an intense hinge.
"We created our Slate PCs with a focus
on beautiful design, powerful performance and ease of use, attributes that our
customers have come to expect in their Samsung computing experience," Todd
Bouman, Samsung's vice president of marketing, said in a statement.
The S Pen is embedded in a slot in the Slates
and, like Samsung's newer Notes features handwriting-to-text conversion and
1,024 levels of sensitivity-the harder a user pushes down when writing, the
darker and deeper the mark.
The Series 5 Slate weighs 1.65 pounds and
features an Intel Atom processor, 2GB of system memory and a 6GB solid-state
drive (SSD). Like the Series 7, it features Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi connectivity
and a display with 10-point multi-touch sensitivity. With the keyboard dock,
it's priced at $749, without it, $649.
The Series 7 runs an Intel Core i5 processor,
has 4GB of system memory and a 128GB SSD. It weighs 1.89 pounds and is priced
If the keyboard is something you can't do
without, Samsung also introduced the Series 5 Ultra, a version of a popular
earlier laptop but with a touch display. The laptop features Intel Core i3 or
i5 processor, 4G of RAM and a 500GB hard drive with 24GB of ExpressCache-which
is said to help the machine boot up faster.
The laptop weighs 3.83 pounds, measures 12.4
by 8.6 by 0.66 inches at its thinnest point and 0.78 at its thickest. Pricing
will range from $799 through $849.
Also among its news was the introduction of a
slightly larger Note device, the Galaxy Note II, which features a 5.5-inch
display and still falls under the smartphone category, as far as Samsung is
Infinite leaked the details yesterday
A greater surprise is an ATIV S smartphone.
(ATIV, you may be interested or depressed to learn, is Vita-or "life," in Latin-spelled
backward.) Microsoft, on its Windows
, hailed the first of many Windows 8 phones to come, calling the
smartphone "equal parts powerhouse and head turner."
The ATIV s is 8.7mm thin, features a 4.8-inch
HD Super AMOLED (active-matrix organic LED) display covered in Gorilla Glass,
runs a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, has a 1GB of RAM on board, an 8MP camera on
the back and a 1.9MP camera up-front. It'll come with the option of 16GB or
32GB, and both will have microSD slots and 2,300mAh batteries.
No word yet on which carriers will offer it
or what it will be priced at. Until you can get your hands on one, Microsoft's
Ben Rudolph blogs that it feels great in the hand. Plus, despite being one of
the bigger phones on the market, "it doesn't feel