Samsung Ativ Tab 3 is a 10-inch tablet running full-fat Windows (hands-on)

Samsung reckons the Ativ Tab 3 is the thinnest Windows 8 tablet ever. We went hands-on at Samsung's London launch event.

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Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
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Andrew Lanxon
3 min read

LONDON -- Samsung's busy showing off a whole raft of new kit in sunny London. We went for a closer look at the Ativ Tab 3. It's a 10.1-inch tablet that uses the full version of Windows 8 and runs on an Intel Atom processor.

Samsung hasn't announced any details on pricing or availability yet, but stay tuned for more.

In nearly every respect, the Ativ Tab 3 looks like Samsung's Galaxy Android tablets. At 10.1 inches, it's the same physical size and it's clad in the same glossy white plastic shell. The shiny, chrome-effect edging runs around the outside of the frame, while the back is an expanse of plain white.

If you like the high-gloss approach to Samsung's other slates, you'll be right at home -- there's no mistaking it's a Samsung. Those of you looking for more subdued black finishes or swirling patterns will be left wanting.

Samsung Ativ Tab 3 packs stylus, full Windows 8 (pictures)

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At only 8.2mm thick, Samsung reckons the Tab 3 is the world's thinnest Windows 8 tablet. I can't say for certain if that's accurate, but there's no denying it's a skinny thing. Holding it in one hand is reasonably comfortable, helped in part by its 550g weight. That's reasonably lightweight, particularly when compared with the 635g of Apple's most recent slate.

A standard smattering of volume and power buttons are found on the edges, with the physical Windows Home button residing on the front. There's a microSD card slot to expand the internal storage, too. You'll also find one of Samsung's S Pen styluses tucked into the side, letting you scrawl notes or sketch your most creative ideas to share with the world.

The 10.1-inch display sports a resolution of 1,366x768 pixels. That's somewhat underwhelming -- particularly when you compare it with the full HD or higher displays we've seen on other 10-inch slates. Apple's Retina Display iPad, for example, has it casually beaten, and Samsung's own Nexus 10 packs in a truckload more pixels.

The Windows 8 interface seemed fairly sharp, though, with well-defined tiles on the home screen. It's unlikely to be the slate of choice if you love watching high-definition flicks, but it'll probably do the job for most everyday tasks.

Speaking of Windows, you'll find the full-fat version of Windows 8 onboard, rather than the pared-down Windows RT. It means you're able to install standard desktop applications like iTunes or Spotify, rather than only apps you'd find in the understocked Windows Marketplace.

It's running on an Intel Atom processor, designed for lower-powered devices like tablets and phones. Don't expect it to give the sort of lightning speed you'd get from one of Intel's Core i7 processors, but it shouldn't struggle with the essentials, either. It's likely to be more suited to social networking and general Web browsing than editing photos and videos. We'll be giving it the full barrage of tests in our review.

With its uninspiring screen resolution and low-powered Intel Atom processor, the Ativ Tab 3 isn't likely to excite hard-core gadget geeks. Fingers crossed it arrives with an affordable price tag to help tempt those of you looking for a lightweight Windows slate to tackle the essentials.