Android duels with Windows 8 on Samsung hybrid

Samsung is making a bold statement with its Windows-Android laptop-tablet: Windows 8 alone doesn't cut it on highly mobile devices.

Samsung's Ativ-q running Android.
Samsung's Ativ-q running Android. CNET

Windows 8 and Jelly Bean make on odd couple. But Windows may be the odder of the two in an increasingly mobile world.

Samsung on Thursday announced the Ativ Q laptop-tablet hybrid running both Windows 8 and Android.

While it appears to be a Windows 8 laptop first and Android device second, the fact that Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) is only a tap away signals that Samsung believes consumers need a pathway out of Windows to a more mobile-centric world.

Not unlike what Hewlett-Packard has done with SlateBook x2 laptop hybrid. Though in HP's case it's an Android-only affair.

The take-away is that these aren't phones or stand-alone tablets, but capable laptops running Android.

Samsung's unusual design puts Intel's Haswell CPU in  the rear stand.
Samsung's unusual design puts Intel's Haswell CPU in the rear stand. CNET

CNET's hands-on of the Ativ Q says it's an easy toggle between the two OSes.

"Switching between the two operating systems is a simple task of hitting a tile on the Windows 8 desktop," CNET's reviewers conlcuded. "The switch takes a couple of seconds at most and thankfully doesn't require a restart."

Windows 8 and Android also share file folders, so, for example, anything you save in your Android gallery will be available in your pictures folder in Windows.

And all of this Android goodness is being offered on one of Samsung's boldest designs. Asides from its shape-shifting capabilities, the 13-inch machine boasts a 3,200x1,800-pixel resolution display, topping anything out there to date, and packs Intel's newest Haswell processor.

HP, for its part, is even more in your face about Android than Samsung. The tagline for the Android-based SlateBook x2 is "100% tablet, 100% notebook, 100% Android." No Windows 8 here.

The message is that customers are spending more time on mobile OSes like Android and less time in Windows. So putting Android on a workaday laptop becomes inevitable.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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