Samsung announces pricing for Windows 8 PCs, offers Start button replacement as download

The company had denied it would offer the Quick Start feature, but will now let users download the app.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor

While Samsung is the latest PC maker to disclose pricing for its Windows 8 system lineup, the announcement was somewhat overshadowed by the fact that the company is giving its customers access to its Start button replacement after denying it would do so.

ZDNet was first to report that the Quick Start feature that appeared on Samsung's Windows 8 PCs at the recent IFA trade show would not be available to consumers, many of whom are less than pleased that Microsoft has decided to do away with the Start button and menu in the new version of the operating system. Since then, the company must have had a change of heart, as it acknowledges that the Start button replacement will be a free downloadable app for Samsung's S Manager feature. 

Quick Start will join other utilities that attempt to bring back the old Windows Start features in one form or another, and will help differentiate Samsung computers from other Windows 8 models (though probably not in the way Microsoft would want it). Of course, the clamor over Microsoft's decision to eschew the Start button may impact how quickly people migrate to Windows 8, if they do at all.

But when and if they do, Samsung has a handful of laptop, all-in-one-desktops, and hybrid notebook/tablets that have Windows 8 pre-installed. Many of them have already been available with Windows 7, like the Samsung Series 5 and Series 7 all-in-one (AIO) PCs and the Samsung Series 7 laptop and Series 9 Ultrabook. The Windows 8 version of the Series 5 AIO will start at $799.99, while the Series 7 will start at $1,099.99 for the 23.6-inch model and $1,699.99 for the 27-inch version. The Windows 8 Series 7 notebook's starting price is $1,099.99, while the Series 9 Ultrabook will start at $1,299.99.

Samsung is also introducing the Series 5 Ultra Touch, which is the company's first touch-screen Ultrabook. The 13.3-inch laptop starts at $809.99 for a version with an Intel Core i3 processor, and $859.99 for a Core i5 CPU. Samsung is also joining the hybrid portable brigade, offering two new systems that convert from a laptop to a tablet PC. The ATIV Smart PC 500T includes an 11.6-inch 1,366x768 display, an Intel Z2760 Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB solid state drive for $749.99, while the ATIV Smart Pro 700T (pictured above) has the same sized screen but 1,920x1,080 full HD resolution, Intel Core i5-3317U CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD for $1,199.99. 

The Windows 8 Samsung PCs will be at stores on October 26, when Microsoft officially launches the new OS, or you can pre-order them at the Samsung website. Would you be more likely to buy a new Samsung Windows 8 computer knowing you have access to its Quick Start feature? Let us know in the Talkback section below.

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