Samsung's ever-expanding Galaxy range of Android gadgets took a back seat at the Korean company's showbiz London launch last night, with the bonkers Ativ Q Windows-Android hybrid slider tablet the pick of the new kit.
The Ativ Q is a Windows 8 tablet with a difference -- as well as sliding from tablet to laptop, it can switch into Android Jelly Bean too, so you can take advantage of Google Play's plethora of games and apps.
Samsung hasn't announced how much the 13-inch slider-slate will cost, but I'm really hoping it'll be affordable. Its 3,200x1,800-pixel resolution screen implies it'll be pretty pricey, but fingers crossed.
The two OSes run on the same brand-new Intel Haswell chip and are amazingly well integrated. You can pin Android apps to your Windows homescreen, just as you would a Windows app or web page, so when you tap it, it opens Android -- which only takes a second -- and then opens your app. You can even have two apps open on different OSes at the same time.
Until we get the thing in for review we don't know exactly how it works or what restrictions there might be. But in our short hands-on time, it was seriously impressive, and seemed like a great way round the lack of apps on Windows Marketplace. I don't imagine Microsoft's too happy about that, but hey. Here's Luke going hands-on last night:
Also on show last night was a compact system camera that's a more powerful phone than most phones. The Samsung Galaxy NX is a followup to the excellent Galaxy Camera, with swappable lenses, a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 16GB of storage and a huge 4.8-inch screen.
The Ativ One 5 Style has maybe the most confusing name of any tech product this year, having neither one nor five of anything -- it's a 21.5-inch all-in-one touchscreen PC that looks a lot like a huge Galaxy Tab, with a thick white plastic bezel. With HDMI in and out and a Full HD screen, it could be a great space-saving TV and computer in one. Speaking of Tabs, there was a new Ativ Tab 3, a 10-inch Windows 8 tablet that's only 8.2mm thick.
New last night were two Ativ laptops too, the formidable 3,200x1,800-pixel Ativ Book 9 Plus, and the more modest white Ativ Book 9 Lite, both with Windows 8 and touchscreens.
Samsung took the opportunity to show off previously announced Galaxy blowers, including the S4 Mini, S4 Active and S4 Zoom. The dual-core Mini is hardly worthy of the S4 moniker, but the rough-and-tumble Active is a classy bruiser, and the Zoom is almost more camera than phone. You can check out all our hands-on first impressions over on the big site, CNET.com:
- Samsung Ativ Q
- Samsung Galaxy NX
- Samsung Ativ One 5 Style
- Samsung Ativ Tab 3
- Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus
- Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite
- Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
- Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
- Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom
What do you make of Samsung's new gear? Anything catch your eye? Would you use a dual Windows-Android device? Deliver your verdict in the comments below, or over on our prolific Facebook page.
Update: Changed a mention of booting into Android for 'switch' because as a commenter points out below, Android is probably virtualised within Windows.