LAS VEGAS -- Yesterday, Samsung unveiled the "first tablet sliding PC." Straight from the showroom floor at CES 2011, here's a closer look.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a real hands-on look as Samsung PR reps were very protective over the new wunderkind notebook. Insisting that the devices on hand were just prototypes, we were also advised that run times might not reflect the final device when it is released during the second quarter of 2011.
Nevertheless, I managed to get about a foot away and was given a brief tour of how the notebook slides open and operating Windows 7 Home Premium on the 10.1-inch touch screen. If you have to pick a category, this machine definitely falls more on the netbook side of the spectrum than a tablet. For those who like to navigate on touch screens but prefer physical keyboards for productivity, this might be the laptop for you.
Powered by an unspecified Intel Atom Oak Trail processor with 2GB of onboard memory, navigation was a tad slow (about 10-15 seconds opening up a photo viewing application), but once the programs were opened, it seemed to be smooth sailing. Graphics on the glossy display were fairly vibrant, especially on the widgets menu that can be navigated by touch or using the mouse pad.
One of the most interesting yet odd applications was the e-reader program. Samsung reps demonstrated flipping through a magazine, using the December issue of Marie Claire magazine with Emma Watson on the cover. The cover is actually live, showing Watson move from pose to pose while smiling. It literally looked like the moving photographs out of a Harry Potter film. Intriguing, different and perhaps the future of digital publishing.
As for the actual sliding function, it looks relatively fast and simple without much risk of sliding too hard and breaking the whole thing apart. Of course, that depends how clumsy and/or impatient you are. I tend to be a bit of both, so I'm hesitant about using such a computer.
While there are many, many questions that still remain, the biggest one has to be: what will this cost the consumer? Place your bet on a hefty price tag.