Samsung Ativ Tab

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/ Updated: 30 August 2012 4:26 pm BST

Microsoft's Surface tablet won't be the only Windows RT tablet on the scene when Windows 8 launches in a few short months. Indeed, other manufacturers are going to be churning out slates running the tablet-optimised platform -- and Samsung has revealed its first effort, the Ativ Tab, at the IFA tech trade show in Berlin.

Read on for everything you need to know about this new contender, and be sure to check this page again in future when we'll have more information, hands-on video and -- eventually -- a full review and a star rating. Exciting stuff, non?

Design and display

Samsung clearly wants you to ferry the weirdly-named Ativ (it's 'vita' backwards, which is Latin for 'Sony already trademarked this') around with you, because it's made it very slim and light. The Tab measures a mere 8.9mm thick, and weighs 570g, so I don't expect you'll find your hands getting tired holding this gadget up, or your shoulders strained when it's slung in a satchel or handbag.

Samsung Ativ Tab
This featherweight waif of a tablet is unlikely to strain your wrists.

The display measures 10.1 inches on the diagonal, making it bigger than Apple's iPad by a tiny bit. Samsung already makes devices this size -- check out the Galaxy Note 10.1 or Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.

The screen has a resolution of 1,366x768, which isn't nearly as high as the 2,048x1,536 pixel count on Apple's new iPad. I'll be interested to see how this panel handles high-definition photos and video.

Hardware

If the Ativ Tab hasn't sparked much enthusiasm so far, the hardware on offer is unlikely to set your world alight either. There's a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, which isn't too impressive when compared to the quad-core chip inside the Google Nexus 7 , at least on paper.

In practice though, we still don't know how demanding Windows RT will be on processors, so it may be that this dual-core chip can handle Microsoft's new platform. I'll be looking for instances of annoying lag, or the Tab taking its time opening apps.

Samsung promises that the Windows RT interface will boot up without lagging -- that's another thing we'll be testing when it comes time for the full review.

If you're the kind of person who doesn't mind looking a bit daft, there's also a camera on board for taking the odd snap. A 5-megapixel snapper adorns the Tab's rear, while a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera will come into play when you make video calls.

Samsung Ativ Tab
A 5-megapixel snapper perches atop the Tab's rear.

Software

The Ativ Tab comes with Windows RT, which is the tablet-specific version of Windows 8. Because it's more limited than the full version of Windows 8, this tablet is likely to be cheaper than tablets or laptops running full Windows 8.

That's a plus, but there are some downsides -- for example you can only install programs via the Microsoft Marketplace, which is the app shop you'll find snuggled on this tablet. If you've got a favourite bit of software and it's not available to download in the Marketplace, you won't be able to get it.

Samsung Ativ Tab
Windows RT scatters a smattering of tiles across the Tab's screen.

Elsewhere the tile-centric Tab will come with a few software treats, notably Office 2013 RT preview, which should let you edit your documents -- potentially saving your bacon if you're running late for a crucial meeting.

Outlook

The Ativ Tab's display and processor are only so-so, while a cut-down version of Windows means this tablet won't appeal to anyone who needs to get some serious work done. It's also important to remember that this slate also faces stiff competition from Microsoft's own Surface device.

I suspect whether the Tab proves to be a winner will all come down to price. Here's hoping Samsung sticks a price tag on this tablet that's low enough to impress. Stay tuned for the full review.

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Where to Buy

Samsung Ativ Tab

Part Number: GT-P8510
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Wireless Connectivity IEEE 802.11n
    IEEE 802.11b
    IEEE 802.11a
    IEEE 802.11g
    Bluetooth 4.0
  • Type Microsoft Windows RT