Samsung touts wide appeal, new products in glitzy event


Students walk out of a showroom at the headquarters of Samsung Electronics in Seoul in this Oct. 28, 2011 file photograph. (JO YONG-HAK/REUTERS)
June 20, 2013

Samsung showed off several new products meant to appeal to a wide range of smartphone and tablet consumers Thursday in a glitzy preview of what’s coming from the electronics maker this year.

The firm showed off an array of tablets, smartphones, cameras and laptops — as well as products that fit in multiple product categories. And while the company didn’t offer specific announcements about when consumers can expect to see most of these products on store shelves, it did offer plenty of eye candy to whet their appetites.

One of the most original products the firm introduced was the convertible ATIV Q, which is a hybrid device that works as both Android tablet and a Windows PC. That means that users will be able to switch easily between Android apps and Windows 8.

The ATIV Q also comes with the Samsung S Pen and full keyboard to make it more like a laptop. It weighs in at 2.84 pounds, which is a bit hefty for a tablet but lightweight for a laptop.

The tablet’s 13.3-inch display is optimized for use in bright sunlight — an effort to make the device easier to tote around. The company has not announced when the ATIV Q will be available for sale.

Another tablet introduced Thursday, the ATIV Tab 3, is a 10.1-inch tablet that runs Windows 8 and is being marketed as the “world’s thinnest Windows 8 tablet” and also boasts the S-Pen and 10 hours of battery life. It will also come bundled with a version of Microsoft Office 2013 for free, though the firm did not specify which version that would be.

Samsung also introduced two new computers: the ATIV Book 9 Lite notebook and the ATIV One 5, an all-in-one that has a narrow bezel and is less than .2 inches thick. Company executives said new, sleek forms of its tablets and computers are meant to remind users of the design of its popular Galaxy line of gadgets.

Executives were quick to highlight how these products prove that the company is an innovator.

“Anyone who says we are not has not been watching closely,” said Patrick Povel, head of European marketing, in what could have been a dig at the company’s ongoing patent litigation with Apple.

The Korean company also debuted the Galaxy NX, a camera that incorporates the interface of Google’s Android mobile platform into a more serious camera — an evolution of the Galaxy Camera that the company introduced last year.

“It has all the features of a high-end, mirrorless camera with all the power of Android,” said Jean-Daniel Ayme, Samsung’s vice president of European Telecom Operations. The camera can be used with 13 interchangeable lenses.

Samsung also offered first looks at previously announced expansions to the company’s Galaxy S4 line: the S 4 Mini, S 4 Active and S 4 Zoom.

All offer specialized features to the company’s latest premium S 4 smartphone model, whether consumers are interested in the 4.3-inch screen of the mini, underwater camera capabilities of the Active, or the high-quality camera of the Zoom, which sports a 10x optical zoom by way of a full camera lens attached to the back of the phone.

And the firm also made a small, but potentially exciting announcement for those interested in normal Galaxy S 4 as well: the phone will now come in three new colors. Consumers will be able to pick up the phone in grey, orange and blue.

All of those products and additions may seem a bit overwhelming — particularly when compared against the very streamlined product lines at Apple — but the big portfolio shows that Samsung is pursuing a strategy to be all things to all people as it fights to stay on top of the consumer tech world.

“We will show you how we can bring our customers a wider variety of choice,” said D. J. Lee, Samsung’s executive vice president and head of sales & marketing.

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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