Samsung's Windows-Android Tablets Have Edge

New Samsung Ativ Q tablet's Android compatibility is an advantage compared to similar convertibles from the likes of Lenovo or Acer.
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Samsung introduced a slew of new Windows-based hardware this week, including two tablets. The Samsung Ativ Q is a convertible that can serve as either a tablet or a laptop, while the Ativ Tab 3 is a standard tablet. Both run Windows 8 and include Samsung's S Pen stylus, which can be used on the touch screens.

The Ativ Q is the more interesting of the two. Its convertible design means it can be used in four different ways, says Samsung. The screen can be laid flat on top of the keyboard so it may be used as a traditional tablet; the screen can be stood up to so it acts like a standard laptop; the screen can be rotated for comfortable video watching; and it can be "floated" for a better viewing angle when used with the keyboard.

The Ativ Q runs the full version of Windows 8, but it can also run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It looks like Samsung doesn't care to wait for developers to create Windows 8 apps. It is taking its own approach to make the Ativ Q more attractive to potential buyers by giving them access to the 750,000 apps in the Google Play Store. Beyond the apps, the Q can also share folders and files between the two operating systems. Samsung didn't say if only certain apps would be compatible with the Ativ Q.

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The device has a 13.3-inch screen with an incredible 3200 x 1800 pixels, giving it a pixel density of 275 pixels per inch. It is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, which is paired with an Intel HD Graphics 4400 chip and 4 GB of RAM. The device has a 128-GB SSD for storage and a 720p HD user-facing video camera for video chats. The device has a wide range of ports, including USB, HDMI, RJ45 and mic/headphones. It boasts nine hours of battery life and weighs just 2.84 pounds.

The Ativ Q might not be a powerhouse, but it is clearly being targeted at mobile professionals who need to get work done on the road. The long battery life, flexible design and support for Android apps means it can be used for a wide range of tasks. The great screen means it will be just as useful for putting together PowerPoint presentations as it will be for playing back full-HD movies. The Android compatibility definitely gives it an edge when compared to similar convertibles from the likes of Lenovo or Acer.

The Ativ Tab 3 is a more pedestrian product. It is a regular tablet and does not have a physical keyboard. It, too, runs Windows 8, but it does not support Android apps. Samsung is pitching its size and weight as its two best features. The tablet measures 8.2mm thick, which is thinner than many of today's smartphones. It weighs 1.21 pounds, which is light for a device with a 10.1-inch screen. The screen has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels.

The Tab 3 is powered by an Intel Atom Z2760 processor, which is a notable win for Intel. The company is slowly getting its processors into more smartphones and tablets, and the Tab 3 is the latest to bank on Intel's computing engine. Samsung didn't mention the clock speed of the processor, but it has integrated graphics support and is paired with 2 GB of RAM. One disappointing facet is the hard drive, which is just 64 GB. Samsung points out that the Tab 3 supports up to another 64 GB of storage through the use of microSD cards, however. The Tab 3 has a 720p HD camera for video chats, offers 10 hours of battery life and comes in white. It has just one USB port and a micro HDMI port.

Samsung didn't immediately say when the Ativ Q and Ativ Tab 3 would be available, nor what they might cost.