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AndroidPIT Hands On With The Samsung ATIV Windows 8 Tablet

AndroidPIT Hands On With The Samsung ATIV Windows 8 Tablet


If I had to describe Samsung’s Ativ Windows 8 tablet in 3 words, those words would be fast, powerful, and sleek. Android wasn’t the only star of the show in Samsung’s new product lineup at IFA this year, and after getting a brief hands on one of their new Windows 8 tablets, I have to admit that my first impressions are very good. Is it a cool device? Yep. Is it powerful and fast? Yep. Is it a threat to Android tablets/ Apple's iPad? Too early too tell. Could I see myself buying one? You betcha.

The first thing I noticed about the tablet is that it looks and feels a lot more polished and premium than Sammy’s Android tablets. It’s very light, incredibly thin, and has a brushed aluminum rear panel that feels amazingly comfortable in the hands.

The device ships with 2GB of RAM, runs a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5Ghz processor (it really gets the job done), and runs Windows RT. Samsung also debuted another tablet that allows you to switch between Metro UI and the standard Windows interface, which will naturally be the more expensive of their Win 8 devices, and I will do my best to get some time with that device ASAP (that device runs an Intel A5 dual core processor and has 4GB of RAM. POWER).

The display on the device was very sharp, and the speed and fluid transitions are certainly very impressive. The Ativ also has a micro HDMI port, and a USB port. As with all Samsung (and Microsoft) products, pricing will most likely be what makes or breaks this device, and although Samsung didn’t mention anything about pricing, I can’t imagine these devices selling for less than an iPad. But you never know right?

Here is a brief hands on of the Ativ Tablet. I shot the video literally seconds after getting to it, so my apologies for not knowing a bit more about specific features.

You can watch the video below (Youtube link here):

I am honestly very impressed with this tablet, and could easily imagine myself buying this device, especially considering the variant that allows you to switch between Metro UI and standard Windows (that model also has a keyboard dock). But again, until the price in announced, it's simply  too early a tell if consumers will embrace it. 

What do you guys think? A threat to Android/Apple, or a nightmare for Microsoft?

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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  • We'll have to see where microsoft is taking this. If they pull off truly integrating their PC, tablet and phone OS, then we may see increased development activity in OSx and a fast tracking of the Chromium OS project (renamed Android for PC). I hope they do it right and succeed, because if they do, we'll be in for slew of innovations on our desktops.

  • @Eric - Are you saying that normal Windows apps are already optimized for touchscreens?

  • Windows Phone 8 looks pretty good to me. The design is cool and the functionality and style the new home screen offers was enough to get me thinking about getting a windows phone. The main problem is the lack of good applications. Just think about it: would you still love Android the way you do if the play Store was just like the windows phone store? I know I wouldn't.

  • @Patrick - Very good point. The shift that you speak of is exactly the same way I am looking at the win 8 tablet situation, and Microsoft has a big chance here...IF they do it the right way. I personally just want to play call of duty on my tablet as I can on a PC. When I can do that, I'm in :-)

    @Dvoraak - Bro...I can tell you that after playing with the Toshiba PC that can switch between metro and "standard" windows that the UI is exactly the same as what I use on my PC. Its really nuts.

    And remember, that technology is already available in samsungs other win 8 tablet. Intel A5 processor with 4gb RAM. Its SICK! If done properly, and if they price it right, they could seriously damage the entire netbook market.

  • There's a way to go before even a high powered Windows tab will give a laptop a run for the money. Even if W8 tabs can run MS Office or Quickbooks or whatever, it doesn't mean the interface will be easy to use in comparison. If you have to add a keyboard or number pad to the mix and give up some of that portability for the sake of productivity.... are you really better off than with a small laptop or Ultrabook?

  • Good point, but it is precisely what defines the tablet experience., tapping away at apps to do whatever function we require. However, microsoft may have the opportunity to initiate a paradigm shift and allow us to redefine what we expect to accomplish from our devices. I would love a full blown version of Word, Excel et al or Open Office running in my tablet than the watered down versions of docs to go or polaris. Or better yet, the full blown version of Diablo 6 on the Ativ 9? Haha

  • That's actually the dilemma! Sure, a tablet needs apps...but if the tablet can actually completely replace a PC, how badly does it need them?

    My mind = blown.

  • Anna pointed out a very valid point. Apps are a big part of a smart phone. To get people to shift to a new platform, they should offer the same apps or better ones than those offered by their rivals, in this case Android and iOS. Not much of an issue for the big app devs like rovio, evernote etc. But I am guessing we all have that weird little app from some independent android dev that we use every day (in my case, a couple of them) which would probably be unavailable in that other platform.

    This then leads to another issue. In my case, I have been on Android for the better part of 3, maybe 4 years. I would also have to confess that I am a bit of an appaholic. I download and try out apps to kill time and I tend to upgrade from lite, demo or trial apps if I like it. This means I have a couple hundred dollars worth of apps in Android. Even IF all those paid apps are available on Windows, would I give up my google play store investment AND tack on the additional cost of repopulating my app inventory in the windows market to that of the phone or tablet? Probably not, or maybe, if I like what I see...

  • They sure do...their app store has a looooooong way to go.

  • Looks really smooth... Where are the apps? There are none or well, some . Sure we have here key apps. some 40...

    Microsoft need to get busy ´NOW with app dev support.

  • I totally agree Dvoraak. 600 is still more than an iPad, but if they would release it at 599, it could be targeted at people who are looking for a laptop replacement and not just a tablet for apps.

  • $600 is probably the sweet spot but I have a feeling it's really only going to cater to people who're looking at it for a specialized use. The mobile revolution and subsequent PC sales hit kinda showed what most people really do (or don't do) with a computer. Android tabs didn't show real growth 'till the Kindle Fire and it's low price. I think the RT models will be the real volume movers.

  • @Anna - I am pretty sure they have titles like Angry Birds, but they are WAAAAAAAAAAY behind Apple, Amazon, and Google in terms of having a good app store. Their selection is very limited. Here's a link to their marketplace if you want to check it out:


    @Dvoraak - I have heard that it will go for 600, which is a pretty solid price for that kind of hardware. Windows 8 could definitely shake a few things up in the mobile world this year, IF they get the pricing right.

  • From all the rumors on the web so far, the MS Surface model is priced so low it's likely to undercut the OEMs and the powerful models will be priced high enough so you'll really be comparing them to ultrabooks before you buy. Gotta love rumors on the web.

  • Oh yeah, while we're on that, what kind of apps are available for windows phones? I mean, is there Angry Birds, Cut the Rope etc? And what about more advanced games like Gangstar, Shadowgun etc?

  • There is, but I believe it only has around 50,000 apps.

  • my question is theres a windows app store? ?? i never ear about windows apps never

  • I know what you mean. When I say "threat", I mean more for Android tablets and the iPad, and like you, I would seriously consider buying one if the price is right.

    If Microsoft releases this device at an insane price, they will shoot themselves in the foot. I'm very curious to see if they finally get it right this time.

  • can you play alot games like android or txt free or make free calls

  • I can't tell if the tablets will be a "threat" but I'd certainly buy one if it was priced right (something I highly doubt). If Microsoft really wants a bigger share of the market, they'll have to do something about their prices.

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