Gownder said it's possible that Samsung will focus sales of the Ativ Q primarily on the Asian market, where Android tablets are more popular with workers than in the U.S. "Most people in the U.S. won't be familiar with a concept like this dual OS," he said. "IT departments will be skeptical based on security challenges and it will be confusing to consumers. So far there's not been a market for this dual OS."
Still, Gownder said Samsung deserves credit for experimenting with a dual OS device. "Samsung has deep pockets and sells in a lot of markets and making many diverse products as they do seems to work for them," he said. "I don't fault them for experimentation."
One analyst who thinks the Ativ Q experiment could pay off in the U.S. is Jack Gold, of J. Gold Associates. If priced right, Gold said the Ativ Q "is a pretty good idea." He said many enterprises still want Windows capability to run their internal apps while users want access to thousands of Android apps to choose from. The Ativ Q "is really serving the best of both worlds."
Samsung will face a challenge convincing Windows users to try the dual OS approach with Android, Gold said. "Still, it's a security blanket knowing you can go back to Windows if you don't like the Android experience," he said.
Gold said many factors are still unknown, including the battery life of the Ativ Q and its durability and user acceptance. "But Samsung did take a pretty aggressive and interesting position with this device," he said. "They'll look brilliant if the strategy is successful."
Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Gartner, said the Ativ Q could end up costing more than buying two cheap laptops, one running Android and the other running Windows. The two could be purchased for $500.
Gold also likes the Ativ Q because it runs full Windows 8, is upgradeable to 8.1, and uses an Intel Core i5 processor, which he prefers over the ARM processors used in Windows RT tablets. He said Microsoft should have been the first to put both Android and Windows 8 together in an Intel-based Surface tablet. The Ativ Q is "what the Surface tablet could have been if Microsoft had done the right thing, instead of putting out the ARM-based Surface RT tablet," Gold said.
Analysts said that aside from the convertible capabilities and dual OS, some customers will want the Ativ Q because of its super high resolution of 3,200 by 1,800 pixels, the highest of any device with a 13.3-inch screen. The computer weighs 2.8 pounds and has a 128GB solid state drive, with the ability to add an SD card.
This article, Ativ Q's dual OS tablet could be 'brilliant' or trouble for IT shops, was originally published at Computerworld.com.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com. See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com. Read more about tablets in Computerworld's Tablets Topic Center.