Samsung is set to roll out its strongest play yet to woo the heart, mind and wallet of business travellers looking for some 'tech to go' in both the smartphone and tablet/ultrabook 'hybrid' space. Here's what you ned to know.
Samsung GALAXY Note II
Take the highly-regarded and Android-powered Samsung Galaxy SIII, supersize the screen to 5.5 inches and add a stylus so you can scribble on the touchscreen: that's pretty much the Note II in a nutshell.
Happily, this is a 4G nutshell so you can enjoy the uber-networks of Telstra and Optus.
There's also some silicon tweakery under the hood, if specs are what floats your boat: the quad-core processor has been bumped up to 1.6 GHz, which is backed by a meaty 2GB of RAM.
The GALAXY Note II will be available through Optus, Telstra and Vodafone from next week for $899 (with 16GB of storage), and you can also get your mitts on it at the Samsung Experience Store in Sydney.
Unless you're already sold on the pen and the large-sized phone/tablet or 'phablet' mashup, we suggest going hands-on with the device is a must.
As compelling as the Note II is, the size and real-world practicality of the pen are key factors here, especially in knocking over the immediate 'cool' factor of the pen and determining if it and the bundled pen-friendly apps are something you'll actually use.
Samsung ATIV Smart PC
Also coming later this month are the new Windows 8-based ATIV Smart PC and Smart PC Pro devices.
Both start off as 11.6 inch tablets designed to make the most of the finger-friendly Windows 8, which includes a full gamut of multi-touch gestures, as well as including a similar stylus as the Note II smartphone.
Each can dock into a portable full-sized keyboard when it's time to get some solid work done.
Impressivle, this keyboard is included in the price – it's not some dig-deeper option.
Where the Smart PC and Smart PC Pro differ is in their 'out of the box' capabilities, and as a reflection on that, their price tag.
The $899 ATIV Smart PC runs on a more humble Intel Atom processor compared to the Intel Core i5 of the $1,349 Smart PC Pro, so while the cheaper device is fine for day to day tasks – Web, email, Word and Excel – there's less muscle for heavier-duty apps, or even cooking up a multimedia-laden PowerPoint preso.
There's also only 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage on tap, against the 4GB and 'up to 256GB' for the Smart PC Pro. The Pro variant also puts 3G wireless broadband on the list of tick-a-box options.
On the plus side, Samsung claims the Smart PC to have almost twice the battery life of the Pro, with 9.4 hours of video playback against 5 hours.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.