South Korean electronics giant Samsung has released more specs and features and for the first time pricing of its first Windows 8 computers and tablets. Most of the devices are expected to hit the market Oct. 26.
The Ativ Tab, and two Ativ Smart PCs -- laptops that can also be used as a tablet, with a detachable keyboard -- join the Ativ S smartphone in the Windows 8 lineup announced at IFA Berlin last summer.
There are also four laptops and two desktops, ranging from $450 for the lowest-priced configuration Series 3 notebook to the top-of-the-line, all-in-one 27-inch Series 7 PC for $1,700, according to published reports.
The new devices were showcased Monday night at a press event at the
New Museum in New York.
'Premium Windows Experience'
Arguably the most interesting and attractive of the devices, the Ativ Smart PC and Ativ Smart PC Pro, will sell for $750 ($650 without the keyboard) and $1,200, reports said. The Pro version has a faster processor, the Intel Core i5 or i3 (Ivy Bridge), and 4 gigabytes of RAM instead of 2.
Both have an 11.6-inch display, bigger than Apple's 9.7-inch iPad.
The Ativ sub-brand replaces Omnia and Focus, which were used for earlier Windows mobile brands.
Microsoft's Windows 8 is touted for its seamless integration between computers and mobile devices and Samsung is promising that its slate of devices will offer a "premium Windows 8 experience."
However, it remains to be seen whether Samsung can do for Microsoft's struggling mobile platform what it did for Google's Android, which it propelled to the top of the U.S. and global smartphone markets with a slew of devices made for numerous carriers.
And Samsung still lags far behind Apple in the tablet and computer markets.
A Two-Fold Commitment Is Best Bet
"Samsung has not been able to replicate its success with Android smartphones for beyond 6-inch or more sized devices (i.e. tablets)," said Neil Shah, a mobile devices analyst with Strategy Analytics. "The new touch-friendly Windows 8, on the other hand, offers Samsung another opportunity to compete in this segment against the formidable iPad."
Shah told us Samsung appears to be formulating a "two-fold commitment and product strategy" that focuses on the successful Android ecosystem for devices under 6 inches and on the "mature" Windows ecosystem for larger devices.
"Samsung will aim to leverage Microsoft's vision to converge the tablet, laptop and PC with one device to make the tablet a more well rounded -- i.e. fun plus productivity -- portable device, with Windows 8 offering more value than the iPad," Shah added.
"The best part is Microsoft is going to spend millions of dollars to market Windows 8 devices, which is not the case with Google Android, and hence committing to Microsoft is the best bet Samsung now has in this segment."