Samsung’s Ativ Book Q is the latest mutated laptop form factor from an industry trying to take back the portion of the market lost to tablets. With its hinged screen, full keyboard and dual booting operating systems the Ativ is both a laptop and tablet.
Flipping between forms seems disarmingly simple, just a matter of popping the lid, and letting the screen hover above the keyboard (which you can type on, slipping your hands underneath the screen as if you were x-raying them), or then clicking into place to create a laptop with a small keyboard.
Regardless of whether you want your next computer to flip between forms, the Ativ does come with some impressive technical specifications, particularly its high-end screen – 13.3inches of 3200x1800 resolution, or 275 ppi.
Although whilst functioning as a tablet the Ativ is bulkier than the competition, it’s still slim at only 14mm and weighs a middling 1.29kg. Inside there’s a Haswell Intel Core i4-4200U processor with integrated graphics (a let down for such a top spec screen), 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD.
The real kicker though might be the dual-booting Windows 8 / Android Jelly Bean operating systems (though this is hardly an isolated trend for hybrids – the Asus Transformer Book Trio comes to mind ).
Jelly Bean has full access to the Google Play market with all the usual apps and games, but those applications can then be pinned to the Windows 8 homescreen – clicking on these shortcuts will take you straight into the Android operating system.
As it’s a tablet from Samsung it also comes with the company’s signature S Pen – an advanced stylus with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity allows it to compete with most professional graphics tablets.
The S Pen comes with a range of features for graphics professionals include a snippet tool for pasting images into a clipboard and an auto-shape tool that converts your rough doodles into smooth lines and curves.
Whether this will be enough to tear anyone away from the traditional, single-mode computers is yet to be seen, though the Activ Book Q is undoubtedly a strong entry by Samsung into this market.