Samsung Ativ Smart PC

We'll be interested to see whether Samsung's Windows 8 Ativ line, announced at IFA this year, makes it to the land down under.

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While Samsung hasn't shared its Windows 8 laptop plans for Australia yet, one device that it announced at this year's IFA was the Ativ Smart PC.

The Ativ Smart PC is the middle child of the Ativ line, which also includes the Ativ Tab at the bottom and the Ativ Smart PC Pro as a step-up model. The Tab will run the stripped-down Windows RT operating system, while both of the smart PC versions run full-on Windows 8. The Ativ Smart PC uses Intel's next-generation Atom CPUs — code-named Clover Trail — and packs 2GB of RAM, 64GB of storage space (with a microSD slot for additional expansion), dual webcams (2-megapixel front, 8-megapixel rear) and a 1366x768-pixel-resolution display. The Ativ Smart PC Pro runs faster Ivy Bridge Core i3 and Core i5 CPUs, and, among other higher-end specs, has a full 1920x1080-pixel screen.

In the US, the Ativ Smart PC is being sold through AT&T with long-term evolution (LTE) access, which suggests that we may see a telco bundling in Australia as well.

As with other Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets, Samsung includes a detachable clamshell-style keyboard that turns the Ativ Smart PC into a makeshift laptop. Samsung has not yet indicated the pricing for either tablet, and the only information we have regarding availability comes from AT&T, which said only that the tablet will be available for purchase "in time for the holidays". For Australians, things are even more up in the air.

We had a chance to handle the Ativ Smart PC at the launch event in New York earlier this year. In person, the 11.6-inch screen offers a captivating view, is 9.9mm thick and weighs 0.75kg by itself and 1.48kg with the keyboard. The device felt noticeably heavier and thicker than the 10.1-inch Asus Vivo Tab RT, an ARM-powered Windows RT tablet.

While the Ativ Smart PC seemed relatively zippy during our quick initial hands on, we'll be most intrigued to see whether the new Clover Trail Atom CPUs live up to Intel's claims. The last generation of Atom processors were relegated to entry-level netbooks, and their performance left a lot to be desired.


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