Samsung’s stand this year had a theme – “timeless computing”, at least if you were looking at the main stand with squinted eyes to understand the message being conveyed. With some assorted household objects and a picture frame, the company tried to bring across its message that the PC should be a part of the household. They had a range of products from screen0 to Ultrabooks to the huge, huge Galaxy S3 (prompting way too many, “Is that a S3 in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” jokes). Ultrabooks and Windows 8 were a popular theme, although a few of the laptops there were still showcasing Windows 7 – a bit confusing, you might agree, since the company needs to plug Microsoft’s OS for all its worth to make money from it.
What I was most interested in was the tablets and Samsung’s stand had only one – but it was the one I was looking for. Their new ATIV Smart PC is based off Windows 8 and is designed as a budget x86 tablet to hold the ARM tablets at bay. Featuring Intel’s Atom Z2670 processor with two cores humming away at 1.5GHz, 2GB RAM, a 64GB SSD and powered by a two-cell 30Whr battery, its really really small. The glossy 11.6″ screen means it won’t be useable in all conditions, but as far as tablets go its alright. Performance was buttery smooth on Windows 8 32-bit, although I believe that’s more down to the SSD helping things along – without it, I’m sure it would be noticeably slower. The tablet separates from its keyboard dock by pressing a button and lifting the tablet out. The keyboard dock contains another spare battery, boosting potential battery life to just over 13 hours. Its nothing on an ASUS Transformer, but its definitely close. This example here is the entry-level version; Samsung also has a Pro version planned with a selection of Core i5 and i7 processors and a 64-bit install of Windows 8 Professional.
Moving right along, Samsung’s Wireless DA-E670 Audio dock caught my eye and will catch others too. Looking a lot like Apple’s branded music docks, this one connects wirelessly through Bluetooth or Apple Airplay, or through USB 2.0 ports which can also charge your smartphone/tablet at the same time. Its going to be a godsend for those who want an iPhone 5 but can’t integrate it into any of their current docks and accessories – an irony apparently not lost on Samsung, as it licks its wounds from the outcome of the $1 billion court case I covered a few weeks ago. Samsung’s own version of Apple’s Airplay, called “Allshare Play” is a wireless or wired protocol first featured on the Galaxy S3. It lets you share your phone’s screen with compatible Smart TVs, has a “stream-to” feature just like Airplay and is compatible on many Samsung products found on the stand.
The rest of the stand featured screens and laptops galore. have a look at what was there and note the new Windows 8-based All-In-One, Samsung’s competition for ASUS and HP. The 27″ screen also pictured in the gallery is an interesting one – boasting an in-house-designed PLS panel, this screen will take the fight to the 1440p-boasting HP ZR27’s and Dell U27 screens currently occupying the high-end market.