While Samsung is one of the most prolific manufacturers of Android tablets, the company has no intention on sleeping on the opportunities afforded by the Windows RT and Windows 8 operating systems.
Samsung is currently planning three different Windows tablets: the Windows RT, Wi-Fi-only, Ativ Tab; and two full Windows 8 devices: the Ativ Smart PC and Ativ Smart PC Pro. The latter two will be 4G LTE compatible; however, only the Ativ Smart PC (not the Pro) has been confirmed for use on AT&T's 4G LTE network.
Look for the RT-based Ativ Tab to compete with the also RT-only Microsoft Surface, which is scheduled to go on sale later this month. The Surface Pro will run the full version of Windows 8, but isn’t scheduled for release until next year.
Let’s take a brief look at what the Ativ Tab has to offer.
The Ativ Tab measures 6.61 inches tall, 10.46 inches wide, and 0.35 inches thick. It also weighs 1.2 pounds, putting it on par with other Android tablets of similar size.
The device boasts a 10.1-inch high-definition LCD display and a unique slate grey backing.
Like all Windows RT tablets, the Samsung Ativ Tab cannot run Legacy Windows software, only apps designed for the new "Metro" interface. Despite this, Samsung claims that the Ativ Smart PC tablet provides the full Windows 8-based experience.
In addition, the Wi-Fi-only device sports USB and Micro-HDMI ports, a microSD card slot, NFC, an 8,200mAh battery, and Bluetooth 4.0 capabilities.
It also has an Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (APQ8060A)l 1.5GHz dual-core processor and up to 64GB of internal storage. The tablet has both a rear 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and a front-facing 1.9-megapixel camera.
As for software, the Ativ Tab comes with a trial version of Microsoft Office 2013, and a few Samsung services including its ChatOn mobile communication service, its music portal, and a photo editor.
Of the many Windows tablets that have rolled out this season, the Ativ Tab looks very promising. Its build and design aesthetics are attractive, and we're excited to see what sort of features will come in conjunction with the device's NFC capabilities.
Look for the two Ativ Smart PCs to take advantage of AT&T’s family data plans when they’re rolled out sometime during the holidays. The Ativ Tab will be out before the end of the year as well.
Pricing on the tablets is still unknown and we’ll have to wait until we receive review units, before giving out our final judgements. Keep watching CNET for continued coverage of the tablet scene.