5 Samsung Devices To Be Windows 8-Ready For Fall

Slate Of New Devices

The last few weeks have been busy ones for Samsung. While its lawyers have been battling in the courts over patent disputes with Apple, Samsung product teams have launched or announced no fewer than 10 devices, including the Galaxy Tab 2, the Series 9 Ultrabook, the larger and totally revamped Galaxy Note 2 5.5-inch tablet/phone hybrid and the all new 10.1-inch Galaxy Note. Oh, and there's also the Ativ S, the world's first smartphone to run Windows 8.

And with Windows 8 on tap for next month, the prolific electronics colossus last week unveiled a whole new slate of touch-sensitive devices to be available at the same time -- including a Samsung Slate with detachable keyboard and stylus -- as well as some refreshing updates to existing products. Here's a look at what Samsung has in store for the fall buying season, all with Windows 8 inside, plus some customizations that are likely to please experienced Windows users and IT departments alike.

Series 5 Slate

The most notable of the bunch is Samsung's new Series 5 Slate, which combines an 11.6-inch display with Samsung's pressure-sensitive S Pen stylus and a full-sized, detachable keyboard, which doubles as a screen cover when closed. The 10-point LED-lit touch panel pumps out 1,366 x 766 pixels at a bright 300 nits and is built around Intel's power-efficient Atom-based Clover Trail two-watt processor. The 1.65-pound Series 5 delivers a 64-GB solid-state drive, 2 GB of system memory, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Windows 8 and Gbit Ethernet (with included adapter) for $749 list or $649 without the keyboard.

Series 7 Slate

For the power user on the go, the Series 7 Slate shares the same screen size and convertibility features as the Series 5, but it packs more pixels and processing power. Starting with an Intel Core i5 processor, the Series 7 includes a 128-GB SSD and 4 GB of system memory to run Windows 8. The Series 7 Slate with its S Pen and 10-point touch display supports full HD at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and weighs 1.89 pounds. Series 7 Slate will include Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Windows 8 and Gbit Ethernet (with included adapter) and list for $1199. It will be sold only with the keyboard dock.

Series 5 Ultra

To make things a little confusing, Samsung's Series 5 ULTRA laptop does not come with a Clover Trail processor like the Series 5 Slate does, but it instead comes in Intel Core i3 or i5 Ivy Bridge editions. Though not quite as light and slight as Samsung's 2.55-pound Series 9 Ultrabook, the Series 5 ULTRA device is still quite stealthy at 3.83 pounds and 0.78 inches at its thickest, which is 0.18 inches thicker than the Series 9.

Defying the conventional wisdom that people don't want to reach across a keyboard to touch a computer screen, Samsung's newest clamshell-style notebook will include a 13.3-inch 10-point capacitive touch screen, offering pinch-to-zoom and image rotation capabilities generally limited to tablets and smartphones. The unit also will deliver 4 GB of memory, 500-GB hard drive, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Gbit Ethernet and Windows 8. List pricing starts at $799 for Core i3 and $849 for Core i5.

Series 5 All-In-One

As if things weren't confusing enough, Samsung released three new desktop models also under the Series 5 and Series 7 nomenclature. The stylish new all-in-ones do share plenty of features with their mobile namesakes, including 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 10-point capacitive touch screens, Intel Ivy Bridge processors, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Gbit Ethernet, Windows 8 and list pricing starting at less than $750.

Also included with all models is a slot-loading DVD-RW dual-layer DVD drive, 1.3-MP camera with support for hand gesture recognition, wireless keyboard, mouse and remote control, five USB ports (two of which support USB 3.0), HDMI in and outputs and a 3-in-1 multi-card reader. At the entry level is the 21.5-inch Series 5 AIO, which incorporates an Intel Core i3 processor, Intel HD Graphics 4000, HD audio with 14-watt speaker, 4 GB of 1,600MHz DDR3 memory (upgradable to 8 GB) and 500-GB hard drive. List price $749.

Series 7 All-In-One

Series 7 AIOs will be available in 23.6- and 27-inch versions, and they will be built around Intel Core i5 and Core i7 Ivy bridge processors, respectively. Listing for $1,099, the 23-inch unit will come with 6 GB of 1,600MHz DDR3 memory (upgradable to 8 GB) and a 1-TB hard drive and is otherwise identical to the Series 5. At the high-end is the $1,699 27-inch Series 7, which includes its maximum of 8 GB of 1,600MHz DDR3 memory and an AMD Radeon HD 7850M GPU.

All of Samsung's new machines include software that's designed to simplify the user experience. The Easy Settings screen unifies eight major system functions in a single UI, easing the job of configuration and troubleshooting for IT departments and consumers alike. We especially liked S Launcher, which essentially giveth the Start Button that Microsoft taketh away in Windows 8.