Yesterday, when Sony was giving their IFA 2012 presentation, Samsung was preparing for its Unpacked event to give us their latest devices. If last year was primarily showing off mobile devices – there was an increase in laptops and tablets being added to the mix for this year.
Once again, the release of the Windows 8 operating system is clearly showing where Samsung is gambling with most of this year’s announcements. Aside from a flagship Android device, every other major announcement was based on Windows 8 architecture.
Samsung Laptops and Tablet Announcements
There are 3 large announcements on the Ultrabook and Tablet market from Samsung and all of them involve their embracing of the Windows 8 Operating System.
First up is the Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch Ultrabook. While this was already shown off in June it now has an official release date of October 26th and all of the specs have been finalized. There are two editions coming out which is an i3 processor at $799 and an i5 at $899. Both models will have 4GB of RAM, a 13-inch (1,366 x 768) display and a 500GB hard drive with 24GB of ExpressCache. I’ve sat down and played with the last generation of Ultrabooks that Samsung has put out and they are amazing for quality of use – adding in support for Windows 8 Touch interface can only make them better.
Samsung announces the Series 5 and Series 7 Windows 8 tablets with S Pen apps. These tablets are also known as the ATIV Smart PCs when being branded outside of the United States. Both of these tablets are 11 inch tablets and the only real difference is what is on the inside. The Series 5 tablets are running on the Atom-based Clover Trail processor while the Series 7 runs on i5. The Series 5 also clocks in at nine hours of a battery life with a 1366×768 resolution. The Series 7 only runs at four to five hours of life from powering the better processor and a full 1080p screen. As the Galaxy Note line of phones these tablets are stylus friendly and will both come with S pens.
Finally Samsung introduces the RT ATIV Tab. This one is a 10.1-inch Windows RT tablet that is going to look very familiar to anyone who has used a Galaxy Tab. It runs on a low-power consumption ARM processor and unlike the Slate Series is built purely around touch and does not include a S Pen (aka – this will be the tablet for most consumers who don’t buy a Microsoft Surface.) There will be 32 and 64GB models and the display is set to a 1,366 x 768 resolution. What is on the inside of these two machines? A 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 5MP rear camera paired with a 1.9MP front-facing cam, and ports for micro-HDMI as well as USB. There is no release date announced though I would suspect that we see this on October 26th as Windows 8 is released to the world.
First up is Samsung’s Windows Phone 8 offering the ATIV S. The ATIV S is a 4.8-inch screen running on an HD Super AMOLED display that is rocking Gorilla Glass 2 which any user of the Galaxy S3 has come to love. Inside it is running on a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm CPU, 1GB ram, 8MP rear camera and 1.9MP front-facing cam. It will come in 16 and 32GB with a MicroSD slot. As always with Samsung phones as of late the build quality absolutely shines through.
For their Android offering Samsung is bringing us the Galaxy Note II. The Galaxy Note launched to fanfare by those who love large screens on their phones and while the 5.5 inches of display is not for everyone for those who love a larger screen this is going to be THE phone to check out. Also unlike the original Note this one will have LTE right at launch. For the screen we’re again running a HD Super AMOLED display that is running at a 1,280 x 720 resolution. Inside it is running on a 1.6 GHz quad-core Exynos processor and be launched on Jelly Bean. Also it now has a larger and faster charging 3,100mAh battery. It is seeing a European and Asian launch before the US launch that is due “later this year.” For the lovers of the stylus the one available with the Note II has an 8mm grim and a rubber tip and promises it has a new software lineup to compliment the device.
At this time neither of these phones has solid release dates.
Finally for the existing Galaxy S3’s and Note 10.1 users there was a bit of good news tacked into the mobile presentation. The official word now is that Jelly Bean is “coming soon” to both of these devices. While that doesn’t narrow it down too much – any owner of either of these two devices can finally start getting excited about the release of Jelly Bean and having updated Android devices with a slew of new features.