Samsung has just kicked off its Premiere event at Earls Court in London, and decided to lead with one particularly curious device — in addition to the ability to transform from a 2.8-pound tablet to a notebook with QWERTY keyboard, the company’s shape-shifting Ativ Q convertible also gives users a taste of the Android ecosystem.
As is usually the case though, news of the Q slipped out just a bit ahead of schedule — Italian-langauge site NotebookItalia came through with early press images of the Q hours before the official reveal (though there was no mention of the Q’s dual-OS tendencies). That initial leak pointed to the inclusion of an incredibly high resolution 13.3-inch display and an new Intel Haswell Core i5 processor, as well as 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, details which have now been corroborated.
Samsung’s on-stage banter further confirms that the Q’s display runs at 3200 x 1800, which makes for a pixel density of 275 PPI. That high resolution panel bodes well for the grid-based Windows 8 homescreen, but I have to wonder just how well the traditional Windows desktop works on it — the Ativ Q squeezes more pixels into a 13.3-inch display than even the Toshiba Kirabook, which had some serious visibility issues once you left the homescreen. Curiously, Samsung says the Q is capable of running for about 9 hours before having to recharge, though we’ll have to wait and see just how well those claims hold up in the real world.
Of course, all of that sort of pales in comparison to the notion that your Windows desktop apps are just a touch away from your Angry Birds accomplishments. The Q will let users hop into an unfettered, stock version of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean without having to reboot their device. Users can also effectively transfer data between the two OSes — Samsung Europe marketing chief Patrick Povel noted that people could pin Android apps to the Windows 8 start screen. A tacit nod to the lack of Windows 8 apps, perhaps?
UPDATE: Natasha Lomas spent some time with the Ativ Q, you can see here impressions of the kooky convertible here.