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Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T review

TabletsReviews
8/10
by Brian Westover, 01 Mar 2013Reviews
Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T review

The Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T traces its roots back to the Samsung Series 7 Slate, one of the earliest slate PCs in the iPad-inspired wave of tablets with laptop components. This new version adopts the ATIV Smart PC name, and adds a docking keyboard for laptop functionality, but the detachable tablet has all the traits of its predecessor, with Intel Core i5 processing and a healthy collection of features.

Design

The ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T is a Windows 8 tablet with a design which belongs to the same group of devices as the Microsoft Surface Windows 8 Pro or the Acer Iconia W700, packing laptop components into a detachable tablet.

This stands in contrast to cheaper Atom-powered tablets like the HP Envy X2, which offer a laptop-like form factor, but a limited 32-bit version of Windows 8 with less processing power overall.

Unlike other docking tablets, the ATIV Smart PC has no secondary battery in the docking keyboard, meaning that using the keyboard will not lengthen the usable life of the tablet. Despite the lack of a second battery, the keyboard is weighted to alleviate some of the balance issues seen in dockable tablet designs, and it also boasts a full-size chiclet keyboard and touchpad. With the tablet docked, you'll be able to work on the ATIV Smart PC as easily as on a regular laptop.

The tablet alone measures 304 x 12 x 189mm (WxDxH) and weighs a reasonable 890 grams. Add the docking keyboard and the thickness doubles to a full inch, and the weight increases to almost 1.6kg. The 11.6in screen has 10-finger touch support and compatibility with Samsung's included S-Pen digital stylus. It sports a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution similar to the Sony VAIO Duo 11. It also has backlighting, with up to 400-nit brightness for visibility and use in direct light or out in sunlight. Two built-in speakers offer stereo sound, but the sound they produce is thin and wimpy. For the most part, you'll want to use the tablet with headphones.

Features

The Smart PC Pro 700T may not offer the selection of ports and connections you'd expect on a full-fledged laptop, but it's par for the course for detachable tablets. It's equipped with one full-size USB 3.0 port, a headset jack, a microSD card slot, and micro HDMI port.

For network connectivity, the internal 802.11n Wi-Fi should do the trick without a hiccup. Bluetooth 4.0 is available for pairing peripherals wirelessly, and WiDi (Wireless Display) lets you stream HD video to any TV through a WiDi adapter. On the docking keyboard, you'll find two additional USB ports (of the 2.0 variety), bringing the total number of accessible ports to three.

The tablet features front and back-facing cameras, with a 2-megapixel webcam up front for Skype or similar video chatting, and a 5-megapixel camera in the back for snapping photos or shooting video. A 128GB solid-state drive (SSD) provides speedy performance, with 60GB free for storage.

In addition to the standard preinstalled software you'll find on most Windows 8 laptops and tablets – Microsoft Office Starter 2010 and Skype, but also Evernote, Netflix, and Amazon Kindle Reader – you'll also get a 30-day trial of Norton Internet Security and Online Backup, the touch-friendly Fresh Paint, Music Maker Jam, Jamie Oliver's Recipes, Merriam Webster Dictionary, and Plants vs. Zombies.

Samsung also offers several proprietary apps, many carried over from the Samsung Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab products, such as S Note and Mini S Note, S Camera, S Gallery, S Player, and the Samsung Signature Store. Samsung also offers a customer service app, and covers the ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T with a one year warranty on parts and labour.

Performance

The ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T has the potent combination of a dual-core Intel Core i5-3317U paired with 4GB of RAM, with an added performance boost from the 128GB SSD. This resulted in performance that's on par with mainstream Ultrabooks. The Smart PC Pro 700T's PCMark 7 score of 4,471 points is in line with the Acer W500 (4,496 points), though it does fall slightly behind the Microsoft Surface Pro (4,768 points) and the Sony Duo 11 (4,648 points). The difference is stark, however, when compared to the Atom-powered tablets like the HP Envy X2, which scored only 1,429 points. In Cinebench, the performance was again nearly identical to other Core i5-equipped systems, with a score of 2.38 points.

Likewise, this Samsung machine made quick work of the Handbrake video test, completing it in 1 minute and 30 seconds – falling neatly between the Acer W500 (1 minute and 43 seconds) and Sony Duo 11 (1 minute and 25 seconds). It also finished Photoshop in a respectable 6 minutes and 20 seconds.

The integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 won't get you very far with games like Skyrim, but the included Plants vs. Zombies will obviously run just fine, and you could probably run Team Fortress 2 or Civilization V on this device without much difficulty.

The ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T lasted 5 hours and 12 minutes on our battery rundown test, and convertible laptops, like the Microsoft Surface Pro and Acer Iconia W700, produced slightly better scores (5 hours and 28 minutes, and 6 hours and 34 minutes, respectively). Smaller tablets usually last longer thanks to the use of low-powered Atom processors designed for netbooks and tablets.

Verdict

In terms of performance and battery life, the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T is similar to the Microsoft Surface Windows 8 Pro, which should be coming to the UK soon (we hope). The Surface Pro, however, has a more innovative design.

Still, as a follow-up to the Series 7 Slate, the Smart PC Pro 700T is more than capable, replacing a desktop dock with a laptop-style docking keyboard that lets you take your productivity on the road, and offering a solid combination of performance and battery life that's hard to ignore.

Specifications

Manufacturer and Model

Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 8

Weight

890 grams (1.6kg with keyboard)

Graphics Card

Intel HD Graphics 4000

Screen Resolution

1,920 x 1,080

Processor

Intel Core i5-3317U

RAM

4GB

Networking Options

802.11n

Processor Speed

1.7GHz

Primary Optical Drive

External

Screen Size

11.6in

Storage Capacity (as Tested)

128GB SSD

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