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Summary:

U.S. consumers have one less Windows RT tablet to choose: Samsung has decided not to sell its Ativ Tab, citing weak demand for Windows RT and a lack of product understanding by consumers. That’s OK, the Ativ with full Windows 8 and Intel’s Atom is $599.

Samsung Ativ Smart Tab

Samsung won’t be selling its Microsoft Windows RT tablet, the Ativ Tab, in the U.S., citing weak demand and challenges to achieve its target price. The company confirmed those plans with CNET, suggesting that it could re-evaluate its decision in the future. The company does offer two Windows 8 tablets in the Ativ line, however, so this decision is more likely to impact Qualcomm more than Microsoft.

I consider this development to be a small win for Intel because it means that Samsung’s Windows 8 tablets for the U.S. market will run solely on Intel chips. Qualcomm, which has been very successful developing the chips that power many smartphones and tablets, is Microsoft’s partner for Windows RT, a version of Windows specifically designed for ARM-based chips.

Intel Atom Z2760After speaking with Intel this week at the Consumer Electronics show, I’m not too surprised by Samsung’s choice. Intel’s Atom Z2760 chip is reportedly on par with Qualcomm’s chips when it comes to power efficiency and, in some cases, outperforms them based on AnandTech’s recent chip comparison.

In a quick check, I saw that Samsung’s Ativ Smart PC with Intel Atom and 64 GB of storage can be had for $599 on Amazon. And Dell’s Latitude 10 Essentials Windows 8 slate with the same Atom chip and 32 GB is now down to $499. Microsoft’s own Surface RT tablet with Qualcomm processor starts at the same $499 and includes 32 GB of storage. Choose a 64 GB Surface RT device, and you’ll pay $699. That price does include a keyboard cover, however.

Regardless, consumers can choose a tablet with the full version of Windows 8 that’s fully compatible with old Windows applications for about the same price as a Windows RT slate. Samsung knows this and must figure: Why bother with the RT version?

And in terms of battery life, I’m told by Intel that the new Atom Z2760 is expected to get around 10 hours of run-time on a single charge, or the same as a Windows RT device with Qualcomm’s chips. Again, with little difference in performance and run-time, why wouldn’t consumers choose Windows 8 over Windows RT?

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  1. Never trust anything Intel says or you end up with 7W chips, 40 % of consumer notebooks being ultrabooks,Atom really taking off in phones next year, for the last quite a few years and it keeps going and going.
    Also it’s inaccurate to say a chip is on par with the other when the benchmarks are done on 2 different OSes.
    “Microsoft’s own Surface RT tablet with Qualcomm processor”
    M$ is using Tegra 3 not Qualcomm.
    The storage on each is misleading the way you put it ,after the OS not much is left and a full blown Windows system with just 64GB storage is just nuts.
    Legacy Apps on a tablet are worth just about nothing and paying this much for a netbook (since that’s what it is when you attach a dock) when netbooks are little over 200$ is unreasonable.
    Touch apps are… not there for both versions of the OS.
    The Atom based Samsung is also bulkier and heavier than the RT version.
    Besides that, you have more OSes on the market , and Win 8/RT tablets make no sense,they can’t compete in price ,there is no touch ecosystem and going down in size it only gets worse.

    All this doesn’t even matter, it’s not why Samsung put the breaks on it, you think they would have done it if there was no Surface?

    1. They shouldn’t be bother with it in the first place. Acer made the right decision.

      Also the Atom tablets are not bulkier, you got to stat wrong.

      1. Not only Acer bailed, HP and Toshiba too.
        For size and weight i mentioned that i was talking about Samsung and the Atom based one is way bulkier being 11.6 inch vs 10.1 inch, but yes in general the Atom based tabs are not bigger.
        Samsung ATIV Tab – Win RT
        10.46 x 6.62 x 0.35 inches (265.8 x 168.1 x 8.9 mm)
        20.11 oz (570 g)
        Samsung Ativ Smart PC – Win 8, it does have a 11.6 inch screen
        11.97 x 7.46 x 0.39 inches (304 x 189.4 x 9.9 mm)
        26.46 oz (750 g)

    2. I forgot to mention something that just has to be said because almost everybody,willingly or not, forgets about it.
      Atom based Windows tablets can’t do gaming, not only you don’t have game controls for touch but the GPU is just terrible, There are some benchmarks out there, but very few.
      The wimpy GPU also helps Intel in power consumption and in keeping the die size low (although the die size is not quite low even without a decent GPU). And there are quite a few other compute units on a SoC, if someone really wanted to see perf and power they would look at those too.

  2. Good thinking on Samsung’s part, from testing the Atom Z2760 processor with ATIV 500T and the Acer W510 processor is more than capable and battery life is amazing. With the ATIV 500T I could get up to 12 hours of battery life and this is more than enough for anyone wanting to work out of the office and have the ability of full Windows applications. The Acer W510 is getting roughly 9 to 10 hours and again this is the smallest Windows 8 tablet with ability of using most all applications that the Atom Z2760 can handle.

    Its always good to have different choices and great to see Windows RT, as this shouldn’t be compared to full Windows 8.

    Great coverage Kevin and all those that are covering CES 2013.

  3. Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm Friday, January 11, 2013

    Indeed, the Ativ 500T rocks. Great battery life, full WIndows 8 AND IT HAS A PEN!!! Why bother with an RT tablet with limited Windows capabilities and no pen?

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