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June 21, 2013

Samsung Ativ Q: A 13.3-Inch Dual-Boot Convertible Tablet/Ultrabook

Samsung definitely brought out all the big guns at its latest launch event. Rather than introducing everything at Computex 2013, in Taipei, Taiwan (June 4-8), it decided to hold off until now.

The Ativ Q is bound to draw the attention of many people, even if it doesn't end up selling to as many customers down the line.

 That's because of the unusual hinge design and the equally unusual native resolution of the 13.3-inch LCD.

That's right, the Ativ Q is a 13.3-inch convertible laptop, and the conversion is not done through regular means, nor is it limited to just two form factors.

The display can be pushed outwards, not just lifted, to reveal the keyboard below, and can even be turned into something like a serving tray, or spun around until it faces the back of the lid. In that situation, the keyboard acts like a stand, allowing users to play with just the tablet half.

The conversion is done at software-level as well, as Samsung included both Windows 8 and Google's Android 4.2.2 operating system.

There is not even a need for a restart or logoff when switching between them. An application pinned to the Windows 8 Start Screen does that instantly.

It's not possible to run both Windows 8 and Android apps at the same time though.

That said, the Ativ Q runs an Intel Core i5 Haswell processor (presumably, there is no discrete GPU since the Intel CPU has an iGP). The memory and storage are still unclear, but they should be disclosed by the time sales begin, which will be in the third quarter.

Either way, the LCD with a resolution of 3200 x 1800 pixels is bound to divert everyone's attention anyway. The S Pen stylus is just icing on the cake.

Verily, the only thing missing is a trackpad, but the touchscreen should alleviate the feeling of loss well enough. The price is still unknown.