Acer has quietly revealed its new Iconia W3 Tablet which comes in a more portable 8″ form factor. Considering most Microsoft based tablets are 10-inchers, this would be the smallest Windows 8 tablet currently. While it is small in size, surprisingly it runs on a full fledged Microsoft Windows 8 Pro and not the scaled down Windows RT version. Being a productivity tool, the Iconia W3 comes with a accompanying keyboard which connects via Bluetooth. From the product pics, the tablet can be attached to the back of the keyboard.
In terms of specs, it runs on Intel Atom Z2760 processor with 2GB of RAM and there’s a choice of 32GB and 64GB storage option. The front 8.1″ display does a WXGA resolution capable of 1280×768. It also comes with a 2MP camera, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, micro HDMI and micro USB port. Battery life is rated at 8 hours.
No pricing details yet but the Iconia W3 is expected to be introduced in early June. Head after the break for more images of the device.
For those looking for something different, the Windows Phone 8 based Samsung ATIV S is now available in Malaysia with the price tag of RM1,699. It is available through selected Thunder Match outlets.
To recap on the specs, the Samsung ATIV S comes with Galaxy S III-like specs with a 4.8″ HD Super AMOLED display, a dual-core Qualcomm S4 1.5GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and a choice of either 16GB/32GB of storage which can be expanded with microSD. There’s a 8MP camera at the back and a front facing 1.9MP camera.
In terms of battery, it has a bigger 2,300mAh capacity (200mAh more than the Galaxy S III) and has a metal-looking back cover. Dimensions wise it is 8.7mm thick and weighs 135 grams. You can check out the official Samsung ATIV S hands-on video over here.
Thanks @weisheatan for the heads up!
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If you’re looking for something different, the Samsung ATIV Smart PC running on Windows 8 is now available on contract with Celcom. Retailing at RM2,499, it is offered as low as RM1,758 with contract bundling on Celcom First Data + Voice postpaid plan.
There are 3 options to choose from – Celcom First Data Lite (RM48/month) with 1.5GB, Celcom First Data Basic (RM68/month) with 4GB and Celcom First Data Advance (RM98/month) with 6GB. On contract duration you have a choice of 12 months and 24 months. The Full bundled ATIV Smart PC pricing are as follows:
Celcom First Data Lite (1.5GB) + Voice (12 months) – RM2,108
Celcom First Data Lite (1.5GB) + Voice (24 months) – RM1,958
Celcom First Data Basic (4GB) + Voice (12 months) – RM2,058
Celcom First Data Basic (4GB) + Voice (24 months) – RM1,858
Celcom First Data Advance (6GB) + Voice (12 months) – RM1,998
Celcom First Data Advance (6GB) + Voice (24 months) – RM1,758
In terms of upfront payment, Celcom is requiring between RM200-500 advance payment during sign up. The First Data plans are capable of making voice calls and SMS but they are charged as additional at 15sen/minute for calls and 10 sen per SMS.
To recap on the Samsung ATIV Smart PC tablet specs, it runs on a dual-core 1.8GHz Atom (Clover Trail) processor with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of flash storage. It has a 11.6″ 1366×768 display and comes with a 8MP main camera with a front facing 2MP shooter. Like its Android counterparts, the ATIV Smart PC also comes with its S-Pen stylus as well. You can check out the full hardware details over at Samsung’s ATIV Smart PC page.
As a special promo, Celcom is offering exclusive offers and RM90 Liquipel vouchers for the 1st 200 customers at their Sunway Iconic Store on this coming Friday, 25th January. For more details, head over to Celcom’s Samsung ATIV Smart PC page.
Thanks @nikshaiba for the tip!
Windows Phone 8 devices are trickling into Malaysia with the recent appearance of the HTC Windows Phone 8X and Nokia Lumia 920. If you’re looking for something bigger, the yet to be made available Samsung ATIV S could be your cup of tea.
Seen as a WP8 cousin of the Galaxy S III, the ATIV S comes with a mammoth 4.8″ HD Super AMOLED display, removable 2,300mAh battery and an option to expand storage via microSD.
Unlike its Galaxy S III relative, the ATIV S comes in a aluminium-like design and finish and comes with a dedicated camera button as well. Compared to the rest, the ATIV S is the thinnest among the Windows Phone 8 offering at only 8.7mm.
While waiting for it to be rolled out, Samsung has released their official hands-on video of the ATIV S highlighting the design, UI, social capabilities as well as camera function.
Head after the break for the hands-on videos.
Samsung has renewed its devotion to Windows platform with its ATIV line up which was revealed at IFA. It consists of a ATIV S smart phone, ATIV Tab running on Windows RT and ATIV Smart PC hybrid computer that comes with a detachable keyboard dock. With a family of devices, collaborative work should be seamless whether it is on a phone, Windows RT running tablet or a full fledged Windows 8 laptop.
In the video above, it is rather strange to just leave a keyboard around and be lucky enough to have it available at the right time and place. Hit play to watch the 1:50 promo video.
Samsung has announced its ATIV Windows based product line up at IFA. The ATIV branding will be used across its new Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices. First up is the Samsung ATIV S smart phone which is a large Windows Phone device that features a 4.8″ HD Super AMOLED display, dual-core Qualcomm 1.5GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. The display is said to be 1280×720 and is toughen with Gorilla Glass 2. The ATIV S body has a aluminium brushed chassis that should provide a more upmarket feel than the usual polycarbonate plastics.
Over at the back it has a 8MP camera and there’s a front facing 1.9MP camera for video calls. The ATIV S comes with 16GB and 32GB storage options which is expandable via micro SD (SDXC supported). It uses a rather large 2,300mAh battery and weighs 135 grams with a thickness of just 8.7mm. In terms of connectivity, it supports HSPA+ up to 42Mbps and it even comes with NFC.
The next device is the Samsung ATIV Tab that runs on Windows RT. It comes with a 10.1″ display that does 1366×768 pixels resolution and it is powered with a dual core 1.5GHz processor and 2GB of RAM. There are 2 storage options of 32GB and 64GB which can be expanded with micro SD. Other features include a 5MP main camera, 1.9MP front facing camera, NFC, USB port and micro HDMI. It also packs up a rather huge 8,200mAh battery but it still maintains a very slim 8.9mm profile at 570grams.
Head after the break for more photos of Samsung ATIV S and Samsung ATIV Tab.
Take a look at this video that compares the recent Microsoft Surface announcement lead by Steve Ballmer with the first iPad keynote made by the late Steve Jobs way back in 2010. Coincidence or something more?
Microsoft today revealed its most significant product since Windows Phone – Surface. Surface is a series of tablet devices powered by Windows 8 that is set to give the Microsoft a fighting chance to regain market share to Apple’s iPad and Android tablets in the rapidly expanding tablet computer segment.
There will be two options for the Microsoft Surface, one targeted for business professions which will be powered by Intel’s 22nm Ivy Bridge chips running Windows 8, and the other targeted squarely at the Apple iPad market equipped with an ARM chipset running on Windows RT, both come with 10.6-inch displays albeit with different resolution quality. Essentially, both devices look identical, aside from the different thickness and weight – that could be a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it.
Microsoft Surface for Windows RT
The Windows RT version measures in a svelte 9.3mm thin and weighs just 680grams. The thinner
Surface also includes a built-in kickstand, and is the first PC with a vapour-deposited (PVD) magnesium case, according to Microsoft. It will ship in 32GB or 64GB versions. The Surface Windows RT features a 10.6-inch ClearTypeHD display.
Microsoft Surface for Windows 8 Pro
The heavy-hitting Intel-based Surface will run Windows 8 Pro and is more of an MacBook Air competitor than an iPad challenger. Understandably the Intel-based tablet is thicker and heavier than its ARM-powered stable mate measuring 13.5mm in thickness, weighs in at 860grams, and comes with USB 3.0 support. Similar to the thinner and lighter Surface running Windows RT, the Windows 8 Pro Surface will also include the fancy vapour-deposited magnesium shell as well as a built-in kickstand but will come with either 64GB or 128GB of on board storage.
On top of that, the Surface Windows 8 Pro includes digital ink support through a pen that sticks to the body of the tablet using magnets, and a 10.6-inch ClearType “Full HD” display. Both of the Surfaces feature optional Touch and Type keyboard covers.
Surface Touch and Type Covers
Microsoft has developed two covers for the Surface tablets. One is the touch-typing Surface Touch Cover which integrates a multitouch keyboard and trackpad. Microsoft claims typing on the Touch
Cover “is twice as efficient as typing on glass.” The cover itself only adds 3mm to the device’s thickness, and predictably attaches to the tablet via a magnetic connector (ala Apple’s Smart Cover). Key to the Touch Cover is its pressure-sensitive technology which “senses keystrokes as gestures,” which Microsoft claims will make for a faster typing experience. The Touch Cover comes in five colours – red, blue, black, pink and white.
For those of you who prefer a more tactile keyboard, there’s also the Type Cover which is essentially the Touch cover but with a more traditional tactile keyboard layout.
There’s no word yet on whether the Touch Cover will be buddle together with the Surface tablet or an
In terms of availability, Microsoft has not set a date but indicated the that the Surface for Windows RT is expected to hit stores in September while the Surface for Windows 8 Pro is set to be available in time for Christmas. Retail pricing for both versions will be announced closer to availability but Microsoft say that it will be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PCs.
We like what we’re seeing from Microsoft and the ability to run Microsoft applications like Words,
Office, Excel and PowerPoint natively on a tablet device is going to appeal to a lot of people. Like it or not, Microsoft still controls the lion’s share of the PC and productivity tool market. This is not going to change any time soon, and having hardware that can capitalize on this will be crucial to Microsoft taking a chunk in the tablet computer market from Apple and Android.
Microsoft is positioned very well to disrupt the market and we have no doubt that the Redmond giant
is able to deliver on the hardware and operating system side of things. The one thing that troubles us is the local app ecosystem, Windows Phone being a prime example. While the Lumia phones bring great value, offer a competitive feature set and are priced very attractively, the Windows Phone Marketplace remains to be one of the scarcest place to find apps in the country compared to the App Store and Google Play, and that is the one thing that’s stopping us from wholeheartedly adopting the platform.
For a power-user with multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts to manage, the lack of apps in the local Marketplace means that we have very little to choose from to augment the capabilities of the Windows Phone OS. This is not an issue with Windows Phone Market Place in other countries where the apps selection is more diverse. We see this being an issue with the ARM-based surface which is expected to run apps closely related to its Windows Phone versions. However, no such problem should arise with the Intel Ivy Bridge-based surface.
This is not a problem that Microsoft can’t fix in Malaysia but we’re not sure why is it taking its own sweet time to do so. Let’s hope by the time Surface arrives, they’ve got this issue sorted.
Check out the photos, promo video and full specifications for both devices right after the jump.
The tablet market has changed a lot since the original iPad entered the stage, but at the same time, in some respects, nothing much has changed either. Apple’s wonder tablet is still an undeniable dominant force in the market and despite the onslaught of Android slates bringing much variety and choice to the scene, nothing in the market comes close to offering the perfect mix of hardware, software and ecosystem in the tablet form-factor than the iPad. The iPad is indeed an iconic device.
But it would seem with each new version, Apple is finding it hard to create the next killer feature for the iPad. The iPad 2 drew a lot of criticism precisely because of this. Even if the new iPad is going to look very much like the iPad 2 with very little difference in terms of hardware – save for a higher resolution screen and a faster CPU/GPU combo, all of which are already present in the latest range of Android tablets – the new iPad sales figures will still be phenomenal, possibly topping the massive sales of the iPad 2. This is because there is, simply, no real competitor to what Apple can offer, not from the Android camp at least.
Yes, Android tablets are superior in terms of hardware but in terms of delivering the whole tablet experience, Honeycomb has failed to live up to its potential. Android’s latest Ice Cream Sandwich that promises a more integrated user experience on smartphones and tablets, have not made much on an impact either. Interestingly, for those who are looking for an alternative, hope comes from an unlikely source – Microsoft.
We won’t even try to attempt to mask our excitement about this refreshed innovative movement from Microsoft. The Redmond giant has – for the most part – made all the right moves especially with Windows 8. The new OS offers a glimpse of Microsoft’s new future and it looks enticingly good. With Windows 8 comes the promise of a truly seamless user experience across devices be it smartphone, tablet of computer – this is the future of computing.
Apple is heading towards a similar direction trying to create a bridge to cover the gap between its Mac OS and iOS platforms but in our opinion, no other operating system paints a more cohesive picture than Microsoft with Windows 8. And this will be the biggest threat to Apple’s dominance in the tablet market. Of course whether Microsoft can deliver on this promise remains to be seen and the recently released Windows 8 Consumer Preview for the PC has drawn a mixed bag of reactions from experts and regular users alike.
But despite the mixed reaction, the positive vibe is unavoidable. Microsoft has proven itself to be a company that can change and surprise users with wonderment. What’s left for Microsoft to do now is to show that it can follow through and continue to innovate. Apple will tell you, that that is not going to be easy.
So while the world gets itself ready to go into a mass iPad buying frenzy, we’d wait till the dust settles and till the hype dies down to see what Microsoft has up its sleeve before making a decision.
While Windows 8 will be Microsoft’s next PC operating system, the platform will also play an important role in mobile devices and Microsoft’s determination to capture the mobile market. PCs will run Windows 8 but tablets and smartphones will be where the war is to be won and Microsoft knows it.
The most formidable of opponents will be Apple with its iOS along with its iPhone and iPad. The iPad single-handedly created a new market segment and it is the tablet to beat, and so how does Windows 8 compares with the king of the tablets?
The video above pits Windows 8 with Apple’s latest iOS 5 to show the strengths and weaknesses of both. It’s worth noting that the Windows 8 build on the Samsung tablet in the featured is an early beta that’s available for the public to download but even in this early version the OS looks very polished. In fact, Windows 8 makes Apple’s latest iOS look decidedly dated. Microsoft has done some impressive work with Windows 8 to make it truly tablet friendly and we’re really excited about this.
Microsoft’s in with a potential winner here with Windows 8 but having the potential to be awesome is only half the battle one. Microsoft needs to rapidly capitalise on the interest and launch the whole ecosystem quickly. The whole gamut — platform, applications and hardware must be ready to go with a big bang no later than the first quarter of 2012 or even earlier or Microsoft will risk having its competitors catching up.
We’ll reserve our final word when we get a full-on review but even at this early stage Windows 8 is looking to be one of the biggest news in 2012.