Samsung Unwraps Three New Devices

Samsung has unveiled three mobile devices at the Berlin IFA tech show – the Galaxy Note II, and two Windows 8-powered Ativ devices.

The Ativ Tab and Ativ S are part of a wider range of Windows 8 devices from Samsung, along with two laptops. The Ativ S smartphone, which has a 4.8” display, is 8.7mm thick and weighs 135g. Its NFC-enabled, and is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor. It should be the first Windows 8 smartphone to market, beating Microsofts usual partner Nokia to the punch.

By comparison, the Samsung Note II has a larger display (at 5.5”), is thicker (9.4mm) and heavier (180g). It runs on Android 4.1 (aka Jelly Bean) and is powered by a marginally more powerful processor, a 1.6GHz dual-core. It also comes with the S Pen stylus, which is getting an expanding range of functionality – including Quick Command gesture-driven shortcuts.

The Ativ Tab, as the name suggests, is a Tablet device, weighing in at 570g , 8.9mm thick, with a 10.1” display. Like the Ativ S, its NFC ready, and sports a 1.5Ghz dual-core. The Tab also supports accessories – including a keyboard – through its USB and micro-HDMI ports, and comes preinstalled with a preview version of Office RT.

“Samsung is a highly valued partner, and it’s great to see this investment in a global brand for its Windows-based smart PCs, Tablets, and phones,” says Microsoft corporate vice president, OEM, Nick Parker. “This gives us an increased opportunity to inspire our customers with excitement and confidence as they enjoy Windows experiences across their beautiful Samsung devices, including entertainment scenarios, mobile productivity and cloud services.”

The announcement itself doesnt come as much of a surprise, after Samsung was forced to reveal its plans for two Windows mobile devices, as part of the court case with Apple. Given that the word was that both devices – codenamed Odyssey and Marco – would be smartphones, however, it seems likely that there are more Ativ devices to be revealed.

Samsung has created Windows-powered smartphones in the past, with its Omnia 7 and Focus line both running on Windows Phone 7 – but the timing of the announcement is notable, coming as it does right after Samsung was ordered to pay out $1.05bn to Apple over its Android smartphones.