The Samsung ATIV Tab is one of the first tablets to hit the market featuring Windows RT, a completely redesigned operating system from Microsoft. Windows RT is optimized for touch screens and long battery life. Let's check it out:
The model I tested has a brushed aluminum case with a light blue tint. There's a 5-megapixel camera and LED flash embedded in the rear of the device. You may also notice the etching "Qualcomm San Diego Not For Sale." That's obviously not standard — this is an early device that was kept under wraps in Qualcomm's labs.
Flip the Tab over, and you'll see a 1366 x 768 pixel display (720p). That's the same as all other Win RT computers on the market today. Samsung has a long history of making great displays and this 10.1-inch screen is no exception. Images are crisp and colors look punchy. Hidden in the top of display's black border is a second camera – this one 1.9-megapixels – so you can video chat.
The Tab is an easy to hold since it's just 1.25 lbs. and 8.9mm thin. In fact, it's so thin that you might not see the ports on the side of the tablet. There's a micro SD card slot used for adding more storage (the Tab has 32 GB built-in). There's an HDMI out port for connecting the tab to an HDTV. And there's a full-size USB port.
The optional keyboard dock, sold separately, is very clever. In addition to the full physical keyboard, it also has two extra USB ports and a track pad. The design is also unique because it doesn't rest flat against a surface. It arcs up about 20 degrees, so when the tablet is docked the display is angled at you.
The Tab's Windows RT operating system looks different than the versions of Windows most of us are used to. Apps are displayed on your home screen using shortcuts called "Live Tiles" that populate with information from that app. For example, the calendar Live Tile is not just an icon for the calendar program – it shows the details of your next appointment. The email Live Tile cycles through new messages. (For a closer look at Windows RT, see the article "5 Reasons Why Microsoft's Windows RT is Right For You" on the Qualcomm OnQ blog)
To help you find apps, Windows RT includes access to the new Windows Store. Windows RT also comes preloaded with Microsoft Office and runs the traditional desktop UI. Though you cannot install other applications in the traditional UI, it makes Windows RT exempt from running the 10+ years of bloatware, malware and viruses written for the desktop UI.
At the core of the Samsung ATIV Tab is the Snapdragon™ S4 Plus processor. This one tiny chip contains the device's CPU; graphics cores; GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi functionality; and much more. These technologies are designed to work faster and consume less power when combined on a single chip. That means the Tab has the ability to run apps quickly and run them all day long without having to recharge the battery.
For pricing and more information visit the official website for the Samsung ATIV Tab.
Want to know more about Windows 8?
> Dell XPS 10 Flaunts Windows RT
> Five Reasons Why Microsoft’s WindowsRT is Right for You
> Preparing Grandma for the All-New Windows
> How Windows 8 Apps Stack Up