Samsung ATIV Q Review

Interface and functionality

Samsung has resolved the nascent Windows Store apps count conundrum in the simplest possible way – it just introduced the Dual OS feature with ATIV Q. You can switch to Android 4.2.2 any time with just a tap on a screen tile or icon, and all the hundreds of thousands of touch-optimized apps in the Play Store will be at your finger tips – games, utility apps and the widgets you use on your Android phone on a regular basis can all be set up just the way you like it.

Android runs at the default Full HD resolution of the ATIV Q, unless you switch to the maximum resolution in Windows mode, then it goes up to 3200x1800, as you can see from the last screenshots below. It shares the Music, Video, Picture and Document folders with Windows, so anything you put in there gets also indexed in Android, and these folders can be changed with the Dual OS Configuration Tool in the Android Windows settings apps.

Need to plug in an obscure peripheral, visit Adobe Flash-heavy sites, play PC games, use MS Office or legacy programs like AutoCAD or Photoshop in their full glory? Just switch back to Windows 8 and go with it – it's a true hybrid solution.

The ATIV Q also comes with Samsung's new SideSync mode that eases communication between your Galaxy phone and your computer. When your devices are connected, for instance, you can share the mouse and keyboard, drag and drop files between the phone and the computer, or even share the screen of your handset on the larger display for the ultimate syncing convenience.

Now for the problem on everyone's mind when they heard Samsung managed to cram 4.5 million pixels on a 13-incher – desktop and software scalability for such an amazing resolution could mean all kinds of problems, and we aren't talking just about the new start button in Windows 8.1 being the size of a lentils grain.

Windows 8.1 finally includes new automatic DPI scaling, which increases the maximum percentage, and allows different scaling on multiple monitors. The scaling algorithms seem to be the same, however, so it is still not a match for the gargantuan resolution of the ATIV Q. You'd still have to use a combination of desktop DPI scaling and text enlargement in the browser to be able to operate the interface normally at the maximum 3200x1800 pixels, so Samsung is running the display at 1920x1280 Full HD resolution by default. For picture viewing, graphics work, and almost native 4K video watching, however, this top-notch resolution pays off tremendously, so it's always nice to know it's there when you need it, though you'd have to switch back and forth, and adjust the scaling percentage manually. The more machines like the ATIV Q exist, the more focus on properly scaling the apps and interface to fit such high resolutions.

Processor and memory

We doubt you'd have troubles running anything Android has to offer on a 1.6 GHz dual-core Core i5-4200U processor with the new Haswell architecture and Intel HD 4400 graphics, judging from its record 54 861 AnTuTu benchmark score. Samsung seems to have restricted the Turbo mode to 2.3 GHz instead of the default for the CPU model 2.6 GHz, in order to sacrifice some peak power for better battery life. Cold boot takes about 9 seconds and change, and wake from sleep mode just two and feels instantaneous.

As for the Windows 8 performance, the device's Experience Index is 5.9, so you can rest assured the ATIV Q will power through everything, save for heavy 3D rendering that requires a dedicated graphics card. 

Windows 8.1 still isn't officially out, so Samsung told us the drivers are pre-release, that's why we aren't posting any benchmark results just yet, for Windows or Android, except for the basic Cinebench 11.5 score of 2.5 you see on the right. Oh, yeah, it runs Crysis 3 on the lower gamer settings, too, we checked. 

CPU temperature varies in normal parameters between the 40s in light usage and the 80s Celsius under 100% load stress test, though the upper bottom part gets rather warm under peak load in tablet mode because of the decreased ventilation.

The ATIV Q comes with 4 GB of DDR3L RAM and will come to you with 256 GB of internal SSD storage. If it's not enough, you can add some with the memory card slot, or would simply have plug in or stream from an external drive. The Android mode shares the 4 GB RAM amount, with the default split being 1.5 GB for Android and 2.5 GB for Windows, but you can change the ratio with a slider provided in that same Dual OS Configuration Tool in settings. Android also gets 16 GB of its own storage in Dual OS mode for apps and the like.


Samsung's intriguing convertible device doesn't sport extraordinary connectivity options, but all the basics are here – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DLNA, and wired connectivity covers 1xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB 2.0, RJ45 jack via a separate dongle, and one miniHDMI port.



1. sri_tech

Posts: 188; Member since: May 21, 2013

"Phone"arena is the first site to review this PC. Haha.

8. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

That's barely more than a preview. No professional testing done - not even Android benchmarks, let's face it, everybody on PhoneArena clicked on the article for that - no proper battery rundown, no proper screen saturation and brightness measuring, temperatures, charging time, touch, pen response, laptop type tests. This can't even be a retail product since Windows 8.1 is not out for many weeks. It's not a review, it's a preview. I mean surely, we all wanted to know a little more of device.

9. sri_tech

Posts: 188; Member since: May 21, 2013

Only site to know all the things mentioned will be Not even verge, engadget and other sites will do those things. Even if they will be baised against Windows.

10. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

The other Bulgarian "Arena" does satisfactory testing for mobile devices, so do many other sites. I'm not complaining or anything, just saying this would be called preview elsewhere, and our curiosity regarding performance and battery life remains unfed.

11. vincelongman

Posts: 5728; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

NotebookCheck and Anandtech are my favorite sites for reviews. They are the most detailed and technical by far.

28. LizGreenwood

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 16, 2013

What's really troubling is each site I've seen this lists this with only 4GB of RAM. What was Samsung thinking offering this with so little RAM. My cheap netbook that ccost 1/3 the price of this had that much RAM. I am s student and multitask a lot and I would never pay over $1,200 for a laptop with only 4Gb of RAM. Samsung needs to offer an option to buy the Q with 8GB of RAM.

34. d_myke

Posts: 15; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

But its not a laptop. It's basically a super tablet that can easily function as a laptop. 8gb of RAM on a tablet is nonsense imo, and would just make it run hotter. Get the Ativ 9.

41. AdamLeonard

Posts: 61; Member since: Aug 24, 2011

Actually, Tom's Hardware guide found that more memory greatly reduces writing to the hard drive which can both increase performance AND (more importantly) increase the life of an SSD. Their finding is you can never have too much RAM if you have an SSD.

16. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Ok I read the whole article & this Ultra Book/Tablet is something that I REALLY want. Any word on the price? I really don't care because I am getting this beast but it would be nice to know.....

17. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Maybe $1500.00 or so?!? TOTALLY WORTH IT. SO BAD A$$. You have the BEST of an Ultra Book, & the BEST from Android @ 4.2.2 to 4.3 STOCK so quick updates. NO Samsung Touch Wiz & add a S-Pen also. 256GB of SSD with the BEST screen available... WOW what a WIN!!! All that for about $1500.00 is alright with me. It won't replace my Desk Top PC BUT as a travel companion you can't have anything better than this!!! What an EPIC machine!!!! I WANT THIS YESTERDAY!!!!! lol

25. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

What a horrible video review. Why not show the Samsung ATIV Q running Android? I wanted to see how it switches from Windows 8.1 to Android 4.2.2. How can post this video? VERY, VERY incomplete.

29. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

Exactly lol I'm watching the review thinking when are they going to show the android side and how the 2 co exist but other than just mentioning android they showed nothing of it..this isnt a review , its bairly a preview lol. Seriously how did they think this is a review when they pretty much left one os out..its like they forget this has both android and wp

27. LizGreenwood

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 16, 2013

I want to buy this but not if it ships with only 4GB of RAM. I can't believe they are about to start selling a ~$1500 convertible with only 4GB of RAM with no option to get this with at least 8GB of RAM. I was thinking about buying a Thinkpad Helix or Duo 13, both which can be ordered with 8GB of RAM, when this came out but I will not buy this if it only ships with 4GB of RAM. Most business users and students who multitask heavily will need more RAM and it is absurd they are selling this with only 4GB of RAM. Who is Samsung selling this for with only 4GB of RAM? People who have to much money and no sense about what they are buying. With 8Gb of RAM the Ativ Q would be the perfect laptop/tablet for me but otherwise I'm going to get a well configured Helic or Duo 13.

2. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013


3. sri_tech

Posts: 188; Member since: May 21, 2013

Resolution scaling is coming with Windows 8.1 You should have mentioned it instead of just putting it in Cons.

4. nlbates66

Posts: 328; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

not a bad ultrabook at all, kudos to Samsung, I can't say I'd use it as a tablet though, 10-11" is the limit for that I think(for me anyway), also, first thing to do after getting something like this - remove that android switcheroo rubbish!

20. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Get a clue... You have the WONDERS of a Windows PC with the magic of Android 4.2.2 out of the box. You can have your FUN with Android & actually get some work done with Windows. What a win, win. This will sell very well because of that very awesome & unique feature. Why remove one of it's STAND OUT features. It's like getting a BMW with a TOYOTA Engine instead of the BMW engine. lol

22. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Exactly. You have the Play Store AND all the productive programs on Windows at your fingertips, all on that beautiful display, it's genius!

5. AdamLeonard

Posts: 61; Member since: Aug 24, 2011

On the 2nd page you talk about adding more memory. Did you really mean memory (i.e. RAM) or did you mean storage? I've not seen anything that suggests that you could go to 6 or 8GB of RAM on this thing and I really need the extra storage for a giant DB I work in all day.

12. nlbates66

Posts: 328; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

they'd mean storage, as in sdcards via the slot.

13. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

That's one point I don't like about this beast, 4gigs in a device that could have a shock price of $2000. Also, plugging in an external hi-res 2nd screen could be an issue with the limited GPU. I guess this would make perfect sense around $1000, but it will come at a much, much higher price very unfortunately.

6. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

I want it so bad, but OH MY GOD it has a ridiculous price tag.

7. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Then go get an ativ tab(a bit cheaper). My dad has one and I really enjoyed using it except for the market place

15. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

The price really makes it a niche device. It offers so much, and the price reflects it. S Pen support, the highest resolution display on any tablet or laptop, 4th gen Intel processor, dual boot of Android and Windows 8, all in a very sleek form factor.

18. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

But it's not the most well-rounded spec sheet. Okay, if not a gaming GPU, then it still could've included the HD5000 integrated chip for better performance/power factor. I'm a bit skeptical of this handling such a great resolution AND a secondary screen. But I fully expect Sammy to upgrade it to HD5000 and to 8GB RAM before the year's out.

14. nicholassss

Posts: 368; Member since: May 10, 2012

I'm impressed hardware-wise. so far. Something like this as a chromebook/android dohicky would be ballin.

19. SmartPhoneStream

Posts: 162; Member since: Jun 21, 2012

They have to give you an option for an i7. This thing is screaming high end but the processor is screaming mid end. And bump up the ram to 6-8 GB

21. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

Even with that price. This has to be, without doubt, the best tablet Computer ever...!!

23. livyatan

Posts: 867; Member since: Jun 19, 2013

Samsung simply wiped the floor with every other mainstream manufacturer here. A league of its own product that will unfortunately fail because of the price that only Apple or Alienware or Razer badge can get away with.

24. livyatan

Posts: 867; Member since: Jun 19, 2013

..and the name is horrendous. Samsung should've called the Samsung Ultimate series or something like that.
  • Display 13.3" 3200 x 1800 pixels
  • Processor Intel Core i5, Dual-core, 2600 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB

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