(Pocket-lint) - With Windows 8 being the talk of the town (in some quarters), we're not surprised to see a Windows 8 tablet or two from Samsung. But this isn't a just a tablet, it's a Smart PC.  

And what's a Smart PC? Well, it's a bit like an Asus Transformer, or very like the Asus Vivo Tab, launched today at IFA 2012 in Berlin.

It uses a detachable keyboard to bring a more traditional Qwerty computing experience to a tablet, while keeping things as portable as you might want a Windows 8 tablet to be. The keyboard dock is nice however, and although the Asus Vivo Tab feels a little more premium, you can't argue with having a choice.

The 11.6-inch display has multi-touch support which works naturally with Windows 8. Not content with keyboard and touch, the S Pen control method - like the Note 10.1 and just announced Note 2 - is also thrown in for good measure, bringing a little variety to your input options.

There are two variants of the Ativ Smart PC. The standard Ativ Smart PC is 9.9mm thick and uses an Atom processor; the Ativ Smart PC Pro is larger at 11.9mm thanks to its more powerful i5 processor. It's difficult to judge the difference in performance between the two with so little time to test them.


Design-wise, the Ativ is packed tight with connections. The keyboard forms the base of things, with two USB 2.0 ports, one 3.0 capable port on the tablet itself. There is also mini HDMI and microSD support.

It certainly feels right, with a decent keyboard experience, but only time will tell if the smaller form factor with Windows 8 really works and if Samsung can challenge Asus with its alternative Vivo Tabs.

Writing by Chris Hall.