New York – Samsung with its new line up of Windows 8 devices is trying to mesh the needs of the living room with those of the boardroom.
At a launch event at the New Museum, Samsung Americas president Tim Baxter unveiled new Windows 8 ultrabooks, notebooks, tablets, all-in-one PCs and a new category called Smart PCs. The Windows 8 line up will be branded ATIV distinguishing it from the Android series of devices labeled Galaxy. The ATIV Smart PC currently has two models the Pro 700 T and the 500T. Both units will give users the ability to switch between a clamshell notebook PC and a tablet PC. Baxter told the audience, made up of media, customers and partners, the PC business is at the centre of mobile computing making it a market that is fast growing and segmenting.
“A new category has arisen; the smart PC which is a combination of a PC and a tablet and Windows 8 is the linchpin,” he said.
At an entry level price point of $749, the Smart PC 500T features the Samsung S pen stylus, five-finger touch capability powered by an Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, a 64GH SSD drive, and an 11.6-inch display that weighs 1.65lbs. The Smart PC Pro 700T has 10 finger touch, an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB SSD drive, and an 11.6-inch screen weighing just a bit more than the 500T. The Smart PC Pro 700T is priced at $1,199.
Baxter stated that Samsung’s goal is to be a top five PC vendor by 2015. The South Korean-based manufacturer re-entered the market back in 2007. Since then they have slowly built up its product portfolio and within the last three years have become one of the fastest growing PC vendors, according to IDC.
Baxter also said the consumerization of IT trend and Windows 8 are two factors that will help Samsung achieve its goal. With that Baxter has set up two teams to address the market from a consumer level and an enterprise level. New to the consumer team is Mike Abary, who will run the unit as its senior vice president of consumer. Running the enterprise division is Tod Pike.
“Windows 8 is the catalyst for new categories of computing such as the Smart PC, but touch is also central to the Windows 8 experience,” Abary said.
Samsung released three touch-based products at the event. The Samsung Series 5 ultra touch notebook is the company’s first notebook with 10-finger multi-touch. Samsung will also bring to market two all-in-one units with touch capabilities. The Series 5, a 21-inch display model with 10-finger touch and the Series 7 that also comes with 10-finger touch along with hand gesture recognition where the users can operation the PC by waving his or her hand. Jean-Paul Desmarais, marketing manager for Samsung Canada’s IT Solutions Business, said the hand gesture controls “is like your hand has become the mouse.”Abary added that Smart PCs are the same as Smart TVs and apps become a big part of the experience for content creation and consumption.
Abary said Samsung has launched apps such as the S Note for note-taking, the S Camera, the S Player, S Maps and other apps for content management and access. Samsung has also released a recipe app built by renowned chef Jamie Oliver.Samsung also released two models of its Series 9 premium ultrabook and a Series 7 ultrabook at the launch event.