Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Samsung launches new hybrid PC

Models show Samsung Electronics’ new Ativ Smart PCs, designed with touch-screens and detachable keyboards that allow them to switch between laptop and tablet modes. / Yonhap

Samsung Electronics launched its much-anticipated Ativ Smart PC Wednesday, a portable computer with an 11.6-inch touch-screen and detachable keyboard that allows it to switch between laptop and tablet modes.

The consumer electronics firm hopes that its new product, powered by Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, will spark the struggling personal computer market.

The success of the Ativ series is also important for Microsoft, which has been struggling to extend its dominance in operating systems for desktop computers to mobile Internet devices.

While other computer makers such as Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard and Sony have been announcing Windows 8 products recently, the Ativ line appears to be generating the most buzz from global technology geeks.

Through its Ativ computers, Samsung is also extending its lineup of touch-screen computers that support styluses.

Late Apple founder Steve Jobs, credited for the revolutionary iPad, once claimed that earlier models of these slate-like computers failed because the makers refused to ditch the stylus. Samsung, encouraged by the success of its Galaxy Note smartphones, is confident of proving Jobs wrong.

``The launch of the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system and the explosion in touch-screen mobile Internet devices are creating new opportunities. We are confident that the Activ Smart PC is the perfect device to exploit these opportunities,’’ said Nam Seong-woo, Samsung’s chief of information technology solutions business.

``While the increase in the use of tablets is notable, users are also in need of the essential features of PCs, which tablets have failed to provide. For them, the Ativ Smart PC is the best device.’’

Samsung hopes that standout products such as the Ativ will help it achieve its goal of an 10 percent increase in PC sales by volume this year.

Samsung will offer the Activ Smart PC priced at 1.09 million won and the high-end Activ Smart PC Pro for 1.59 million won.

The latter has better hardware in the form of an Intel Core i5 processor and a 128GB solid state drive. The Ativ Smart PC is powered by an Intel Atom chip with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage and is slightly slimmer than the Smart PC Pro. 

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