Samsung introduced many new devices running on different platforms this week at a London press event. New Windows laptops complemented new Android cameras but perhaps the most intriguing is a notebook that combines both operating systems with an exclusive Dual OS feature. And if that weren’t unique enough, the new Ativ Q has a swiveling hinge that allows it to be used in four different modes.
Windows 8 looks sharp on the Ativ Q’s 13.3-inch touchscreen with whopping 3200 x 1800 resolution and so too does Android. Users can switch to Google’s operating system with one tap of the display, which brings up the familiar Android 4.2 home screen. From what I can tell, Android is actually running in a virtualization mode, meaning it’s running simultaneously with (and technically within) Windows 8. That’s good because you can switch between the two operating systems at will; there’s no need to reboot and switch.
Upon first glance at the Ativ Q, I wondered if having Android available on a Windows 8 device would be valuable. My initial reaction was: No, not really. But then I realized that Android offers a much wider range of touch-friendly apps compared to Windows 8. And access to these apps is just a button tap away. I’m not expecting Samsung to sell massive quantities of the Ativ Q — mainly because of the unique features — but the device became a bit more appealing to me when thought about using Android to offset the “app gap”.
So the Ativ Q might be nice for running Android games, but a dedicated handheld console would do the trick as well. Enter Nvidia’s Shield which looks like an Xbox 360 controller with a 5-inch display grafted on to it. Nvidia introduced the Android-powered Shield at January’s Consumer Electronics Show and recently announced a $349 price tag. Some found that too steep and apparently, Nvidia took notice.
This week, the company reduced the price by $50. Those who pre-ordered Shield will also get the newly discounted price. This is a good move by Nvidia; at least from a PR standpoint. I don’t know how much profit the company had built in to Shield which runs on Nvidia’s latest Tegra 4 chip. Previously, Nvidia said that it would not sell the device at a loss, so presumably, there was some room to move on the final price. Shield arrives in gamers hand this coming week, starting on June 27.
It’s not often that an app makes my weekly Android roundup, but I’m making an exception this time. Google introduced its Cloud Print app for Android, making it easier to print directly from an Android phone.
I’m looking forward to a better printing experience, even though I don’t print documents too often. When I do, I typically email them to my printer’s Cloud Print email address. With the new app, however, it should be a much more seamless process. Google Cloud Print is available for free in the Play Store for devices running Android 2.3.3 and up.