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Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro review

Skips on style, converts into almost an Ultrabook

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1920 x 1080
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel

View full specification

For

  • Fast processor and SSD
  • Pen docks in back of screen
  • Good quality keyboard
  • USB 3.0 and HDMI ports

Against

  • Small pen
  • Keyboard dock covers the Windows button and makes it heavier and thicker
  • Infuriating trackpad
  • Poor battery life

Windows 8 needs touch to really shine. It's designed to give you the power of a PC with the convenience of a tablet, so you need to be able to drag apps side by side and swipe through web pages with your finger - and then you need to have a keyboard and trackpad for desktop applications.

Making that work needs the right hardware, but Microsoft isn't the one to have the only credible Windows 8 tablet on the market.

Samsung certainly has experience in the tablet market, and not just with the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The Samsung Series 7 Slate PC was the best Windows 7 tablet we tried, and Microsoft handed custom versions out to developers to encourage them to build apps for Windows 8. The main drawbacks were the lack of anywhere to put the pen and having to carry around both a dock and a Bluetooth keyboard, making it impossible to use like a notebook on your lap, on a plane or anywhere except at a desk.

Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro review

The Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro deals with both problems and abandons the square-edged slab design for a more curved style that's also more comfortable to hold. Like the Microsoft Surface Pro, the Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro is a true convertible; an Intel Core i5 tablet you snap a keyboard onto to turn it into something close to an Ultrabook.

This is a very different and in many ways more conventional approach to the Windows 8 tablet-laptop hybrid, with an isolated keyboard that acts like a hinge. Is it a better solution than Microsoft's bolder design?

Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro review

As always, that depends on what you need to do. It doesn't have the striking yet subtle design of the Surface Pro. As a tablet it's slightly thicker and heavier, and the back of the screen is peppered with the vents and labels that normally hide inside and underneath a notebook.

But the hinged keyboard means you can adjust the screen angle and comfortably use it on your lap (the kickstand on the Surface Pro works best for those with longer legs). And while the pen is small and not as well designed as the Surface Pro pen, it does work well for writing and drawing on the screen - and it snaps securely into a slot behind the screen so you won't worry about losing it.

Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro review

It's far more powerful than Atom-based Windows 8 tablets such as the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2, HP Envy x2 - or the confusingly similar design of the Samsung Ativ Smart PC.

The Core i5 processor in the Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro means this is a Windows 8 PC that could be your main PC. The dockable, hinged keyboard is a much more useful approach to giving you the portability of a tablet and the convenience of a notebook than the Acer Iconia W700 and its clunky dock.

In fact, until Lenovo finally manages to ship the Helix (latest estimates say April), the Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro is the only real competition for the Surface Pro. And its priced at £1,199 / US$1,199.99 / AU$1,399.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet PC
Green CompliantYes
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 4000
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time8 Hour
Solid State Drive Capacity128 GB
HDMIYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyATIV Smart PC Pro 7
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformWindows
Processor Modeli5-3317U
ColourBlack
Operating SystemWindows 8 Pro
Brand NameSamsung
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.70 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size29.5 cm (11.6")
Number of Cells4-cell
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)880 g
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Memory StandardDDR3-1600/PC3-12800
Height11.9 mm
Width304 mm
Depth189.4 mm
Screen ModeFull HD
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series7
ManufacturerSamsung
Product ModelXE700T1C
Product NameATIV Smart PC Pro XE700T1C Tablet PC
Product LineATIV Smart PC Pro
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberXE700T1C-H01UK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

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Package Contents
  • ATIV Smart PC Pro XE700T1C Tablet PC
  • Standard Battery
  • AC Adapter