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We’ve already looked at Samsung’s full Windows 8 tablets, the ATIV Smart PC Pro and ATIV Smart PC. Completing that lineup is the ATIV Tab with Windows RT, the ARM version of Windows 8 that drops compatibility with traditional x86 desktop apps. The Tab is powered by a Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor running at 1.5GHz, includes 2 GB of RAM and either 32 or 64 GB of storage (expandable via microSD slot). It’s thinner and lighter than the Smart PC models, measuring only 8.9mm thick, but its display resolution is only 1366×768 pixels, which is rather disappointing after seeing the high-res 1920×1080 screen on the Smart PC Pro. However, to get one thing out of the way – the build of the ATIV Tab is largely identical to Samsung’s other tablets, which means that you should probably look elsewhere if you happen to dislike cheap, glossy plastic that’s painted to ...

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The ATIV Smart PC (called Series 5 Slate in the US) is the Intel Atom-based entry in Samsung’s Windows 8 tablet lineup. Its specs are more like what you’d expect to find on a netbook than on an ultrabook, with a slower processor and only 2GB of RAM. However, apart from being less powerful, that also means that it’s thinner and lighter than the Pro variant, while still retaining full x86-compatibility should you need to run desktop apps. Design and build quality are pretty much the same as on the Smart PC Pro, which means that it’s very plasticky and cheap, made worse by the glossy coating on the tablet part. The keyboard dock is, as far as we can tell, identical to the one on the Pro, and feels slightly better than the tablet itself as it has a light texture. For more on the dock refer to our ...

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The ATIV Smart PC Pro (confusingly called Series 7 Slate in the US) is Samsung’s top-of-the-line Windows 8 tablet and turns into a fully-fledged ultrabook when attached to its keyboard dock. The form factor is decidedly more conservative than Sony’s rather unique “Surf Slider”, but it all comes down to the execution, right? Sadly, the first thing that you’ll notice when picking up the ATIV Smart PC is the cheap plastic feeling. Make no mistake – the back is anything but the brushed aluminum which it is painted to look like. Making matters worse, the plastic additionally has some sort of glossy coating which only adds to the cheap feeling, exemplified by the fact that the keyboard dock, also made of plastic, has a light texture to it and feels much better in the hand. The docking mechanism itself works well enough and seems pretty sturdy – you just press ...

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As usual, Sony’s hardware entry into the Windows 8 tablet/convertible space is rather unusual: its VAIO Duo 11 has a touchscreen that slides up (and stays in a non-adjustable position) to reveal a full keyboard with trackpoint. It’s a pretty interesting concept, and executed rather well. The sliding mechanism is solid, and the whole device, despite being quite thick (at 17.85mm), manages to feel both high-quality and somewhat light at the same time. As for specs, the Duo 11 is pretty full-featured: there will be models with low-voltage Core i5 and i7 processors, 4 or 8 GB of RAM, SSDs with 128 or 256 GB. You’ll also get 2 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and VGA (!), an Ethernet connection, and an SD card reader. The 11.6″ display is especially good, featuring a dense resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. It also comes with an active digitizer, which detects if you’re using the ...

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Among the plethora of new notebooks, ultrabook, tablets, convertibles running Windows 8 on show at IFA, the Acer Aspire S7 is an immediate standout. Normally known for bland and generic hardware, Acer has an absolutely gorgeous device with the Aspire S7, a touchscreen-enabled ultrabook that comes in two screen sizes, 11″ and 13″. The 11″ device is made completely out of aluminum, with Gorilla Glass in front of screen, while the 13″ model’s front cover is also made of Gorilla Glass. Additionally, the 13§ model’s display can be opened to a full 180 degress, laaying completely flat, which should make using the touchscreen much easier. Apart from those differences, both feature a distinctive, minimal design that does have similarities with the MacBook Air, but manages to differentiate with sharper, less rounded corners – which you could interprete as more Metro – and a color contrast: the Gorilla Glass panel is ...

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