Dual OS Hybrid Tablets: Asus Transformer Book Trio vs. Samsung ATIV Q
Image Credit: newsonline via Flickr

Dual OS Hybrid Tablets: Asus Transformer Book Trio vs. Samsung ATIV Q


Between the Computex expo in Taipei and Samsung’s Premiere event in London this month, the tech world has been buzzing about the next generation of Windows and Android-powered gadgets expected to hit retail shelves by the end of 2013. Two of June’s most hyped devices are capable of running both the smartphone and tablet-oriented Android Jelly Bean OS, as well as the tablet and laptop-oriented Windows 8.

The first such device to be revealed was the Asus Transformer Book Trio. This tablet-Ultrabook hybrid has an 11.6-inch 1920 x 1080 multitouch screen and two different processors to handle the different operating systems: the tablet is equipped with a 2GHz Intel Atom Z2580, while the keyboard docking portion comes with a Core i7-4500U Haswell chip. The “dock” also has ports for Ethernet, USB, and DisplayPort.

Inside the tablet portion, the Transformer Book Trio contains a 19Wh battery said to last up to 15 hours. As for storage, the tablet itself can hold 64GB of data via flash storage. Inside the keyboard dock, the Trio offers a 33Wh cell (good for an additional six hours) and a 1TB HDD. It is expected to be released to the public in the third quarter of 2013. As far as how much it’s expected to cost, ArsTechnica said, “Pricing information is not yet available, but don't expect this thing to come cheap—you're buying the better part of two full computers here, after all.”

Next up is the more recently announced convertible tablet/laptop, the Samsung ATIV Q. The South Korean offering sports a larger 13.3-inch and a higher-definition 3200 x 1800 display. The CPU is a fourth generation Core i5-4200U Haswell. While the Trio has a tablet that docks with the Haswell-powered keyboard, the ATIV Q is attached to the keyboard with a multi-angle hinge. It can slide back similarly to the Sony Vaio Duo 13, but with more viewing angles.

The Trio has a built-in touchpad, but for the ATIV Q, it has been left out entirely. As Liliputing explained, “The Samsung ATIV Q has an optical pointing stick in the center of the keyboard and physical buttons below the keyboard which you can use to move an on-screen cursor. Or you can just poke the multitouch display with your fingers.”

The ATIV Q’s battery carries a 47Wh battery, rated at 9 hours. For ports, the Samsung hybrid has a USB 3.0 slot, micro HDMI, and a micro SD card reader, as well as a small hole for the included “S Pen” stylus. It weighs a mere 1.29kg at 13.9mm thick.

With two operating systems baked into one sleek package, either option will give users access to more than 700,000 apps from Google Play and 50,000 in the Windows Store. The Asus might be slightly more powerful than the Samsung, but the ATIV Q boasts a bigger, sharper screen. Pricing and availability have not yet been announced.

Regardless of which supercharged tablet you decide on, you will end up with a powerful piece of portable technology and the convenience of dual operating systems.

August 1, 2013 at 00:58

Where did you get the information that the "Transformer Book Trio[...] is expected to be released to the public in the third quarter of 2013"?  I am very interested in getting this device before the next semester of my masters program begins. I would be willing to wait until September if there is evidence that it will actually be available by then.

Does anyone have any further information on the release of this device?

July 17, 2013 at 20:20

How many GB of RAM did you say? lol

H. Livingston
July 14, 2013 at 18:59

Why did Samsung cripple the ATIV Q by only including 4GB of RAM? I canceled my order for a Vaio Duo 13 to buy the ATIV Q when it was announced and I am so utterly disappointed with the measly 4GB of RAM. Who is the target market for this for Samsung? This is sold at a premium price and appeals to business and power users but why would you cripple arguably the best tablet ever created by only including 4GB of RAM? The lack of RAM is going to turn off most potential buyers of this tablet. 4GB of RAM is now standard on the cheapest laptop you can buy for 1/3 the price. Does Samsung really not want the ATIV Q to be a success by crippling it with only 4GB of RAM? The competing Duo 13 can be ordered with 8GB, i7, and 512GB SSD and the ATIV Q maxes out at 4GB, i5, and 256 SSD. What a shame that I am likely going to buy the Duo 13 as I absolutely need 8GB of RAM for work and multitasking.

July 13, 2013 at 17:17

I thought about that for a second too. However, I don't think that will be a major issue for the ativ q. Most people have high power cameras on their phones. Personally I think of it now as a plus that it doesnt have a 38 mp camera on it to add to the cost.

Dr Aziz
July 12, 2013 at 16:48

The rear camera absent in ATIV Q, that’s the biggest drawback to make it less useful as tablet. Because customers not only wanna buy this due to laptop usage

July 7, 2013 at 02:57

Linda, I agree. I like the Samsung Ativ Q, however, I am being forced to go with the Sony Vaio Duo 13 as I can customise it. In this respect, the 3 items I can customise on the Sony that are important to me are 8GB RAM instead of 4GB (I would have more if possible), 512 GB SSD instead of 128GB and i7 4500 processor instead of i5. In practice, these are the minimum specs I want and I am having to compromise. If I could have more RAM and a better processor (plus graphics), I would happily pay a premium (up to £4,000) for either the Sony or Samsung. The Sony I am ordering comes to just over £1,900.

The 2 features I really like on the Ativ Q compared to the Vaio Duo 13 are the higher resolution screen (sounds great) and the fact that Samsung use a Wacom (S Pen) stylus, rather than the N-Trig stylus used by Sony. The Wacom stylus is much better with programs like Photoshop. Android, although not essential for this device, is a very nice additional bonus.

Overall, I am disappointed that based on current information (hopefully this will change), Samsung are not offering the ability to customise their machine. If they did offer this flexibility, I could actually buy a machine I want.

My only final change to both the Sony and Samsung, is that I prefer the format of devices like the Lenovo Twist and X series ThinkPad tablets that twist like the X61 to the Slider format. However as nobody is producing a machine with the specs I need in this format, I need to compromise.

If only manufacturers would allow the flexibility to buy a very high end machine rather than price driven, I think they would find there is a very big market. In business, consumers (myself included) are willing to pay significant premiums to get what they need.




Linda Greenwood
July 6, 2013 at 14:28

Why would they create such a great device and then hobble it with including only 4GB of RAM? Such little RAM is going to limit what you can use this for.

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