Update (again!): Okay, so, while all signs (or, rather, rumors) have been pointing at the ATIV Q either being seriously delayed into 2014, as noted below, or cancelled outright, now we have signs of life. First, it shows up again as a preorder on the Adorama site after having been removed. Then Amazon UK is also listing it again. Finally, in response to my query on Facebook, Samsung had this to say:
Hi all, as for the ATIV Q, we will provide further details concerning release timing and availability once it is confirmed. Thank you very much for your interest and patience.
Now, certainly, Samsung could come back from this and say that “release timing and availability” has been confirmed as “never and never.” But, because I don’t think they’re quite that inept at public relations, I’m going to read this as it sounds: that the ATIV Q will indeed be released someday, with the Adorama and Amazon UK re-listings indicating that we won’t be waiting until 2014.
I mean, seriously: think how tacky it would be for Samsung to thank us for our “interest and patience,” if really they’re just going to tell us that we’ve been patiently waiting for nothing.
Note: all of my coverage of this device really should serve as an object lesson (to me, if nobody else) on why it’s really a bad idea, generally, to follow unfounded rumors. But, what else do we have to go on when a manufacturer so completely botches their communications around a highly desired product? It’s all very frustrating, really.
Update: Well, we suspected that IFA might answer some questions about the ATIV Q, and it looks like Samsung might have given an official response. According to SamMobile, Samsung has indicated that at the very least the ATIV Q won’t be released in 2013. To me, that means it’s not happening at all, or at least not in its current form. We can perhaps look forward to a redesigned version in 2014 sometime (perhaps re-announced at CES), but for all intents and purposes the ATIV Q announced at Comdex is dead.
I’m not too terribly upset, because I an now forget about the device and accept using two machines for awhile longer—my MacBook Air and my Nexus 10. As I’ve posted elsewhere, Windows 8 runs just find on the MacBook, and of course the Nexus 10 is a perfectly serviceable Android tablet. Life goes on.
Hi all – as for the ATIV Q, we are currently evaluating production and market considerations to determine the optimum commercial launch time for the previously announced ATIV Q. We will provide further details concerning release timing and availability once it is confirmed.
My best guess (based on no real evidence except past experience) is that Samsung has had lower than expected production yields on the QHD+ screens and needed to decide whether to put them into the more niche ATIV Q or mainstream ATIV Book 9 Plus. I think it makes some sense that they’d rather put the QHD+ screens in a "normal" notebook chassis that is far more likely to appeal to a broader segment of the market than the likely somewhat niche form factor of the ATIV Q.
Certainly, a fair number of people have been chomping at the bit for a "Retina" level Windows machine since the Retina MacBook Pro was released, and those people are probably far more likely to buy the Book 9 Plus than the ATIV Q. In fact, Samsung might have seen a higher-than-expected level of interest in the Book 9 Plus, and so decided to put their resources towards what is a more salable product at a possibly higher margin (I’m guessing that the ATIV Q costs more to produce).
I do see this as having a potential silver lining, in that Samsung now has time to source higher-capacity DRAM chips or figure out a way to fit 8GB in the chassis. I’m sure they can’t have helped but notice that many people haven’t been happy with a 4GB limit. So, yes, the ATIV Q has been delayed considerably, which is disappointing, but the potential for a better machine is there.
Personally, I’m still looking for an all-in-one solution: a productive Win 8 machine coupled with an Android tablet, so that I only have to carry around one device. Until such a machine is released, I’ll stick with my MacBook Air running Win 8 in a VM or Boot Camp, and my Nexus 10. This is disappointing, but at this point not at all surprising.