We’ve had the chance to play around with Samsung’s new Windows 8 tablet/PC convertible running Intel’s Clover Trail Atom Z2760 SoC. To bridge the gap between tablet and PC, Samsung has combined both into the Samsung ATIV Smart PC. The ATIV Smart PC comes with a handy keyboard dock and an S-Pen for pinpoint tasks. Transforming from a handy tablet into a workable notebook at the push of a button, the Samsung ATIV Smart PC is a handy portable device that functions quite well.
The Samsung ATIV Smart PC is a pretty thin and light device. The tablet itself is quite sturdy with the bluish metal casing curving towards the edges, making it look and feel thinner than it actually is. Those with moist hand may have to a bit more careful with the tablet, the back can be a bit slippery and prone to fingerprints. The keyboard dock is quite light and handy, featuring a full chiclet keyboard with a touchpad. A minor inconvenience with the touchpad is the annoyingly loud click noise from the left and right mouse buttons. The keyboard buttons are laid out comfortably and it’s fairly easy to type quickly.
Unlike the tablet itself, the dock doesn’t feel quite as stable. The plastic construction lightens the load, but it may have been lightened too much. At times, tapping too hard on the tablet when in notebook mode at times may rock the device. The dock has a pretty narrow opening angle of around 120 degrees. It could have been made wider but we suspect that the tablet might lift up fairly light dock. The metal hinge is quite stable and the tablet easily undocks with a push of a button.
The 11.6-inch tablet sports a 1366 x 768 resolution with 400 nits brightness. Not surprisingly, the colors were quite sharp and vibrant at full brightness. The five-point multi-touch display was quite responsive most of the time, though it lagged a bit once or twice. If you want more precise controls, you can use the S-Pen tucked in the lower right of the tablet.
Imaging is taken care of through a 2-megapixel front camera with an 8-megapixel rear camera with flash. With the tablet docked, you’ll have access to three USB 2.0 ports, a micro HDMI port, a SIM card slot, and a microSD slot to boost the device’s storage capabilities. Connectivity is handled through Wi-Fi, a built-in 4G/LTE modem, and Bluetooth 4.0.
Inside the tablet is Intel’s dual-core Atom Z2760 SoC clocked in at 1.8GHz with 2GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD. With the Atom Z2760, the ATIV Smart PC runs the full version of Windows 8 instead of Windows RT. Software included is quite sparse, thankfully unburdened with bloatware. You’ve got a few Samsung-specific apps like S Note, S Gallery, S Player and Samsung QR Code. Some other included apps are Evernote, Kindle, Netflix, and Merriam-Webster to name a few.
The tablet itself functions well enough most of the time, but slows down a bit when tasked with heavier loads. It won’t function as well as a full-fledged laptop but it shouldn’t be a problem for regular web browsing, video playback, and office applications. The front-facing speakers could be more powerful. At times The 30Wh Li-Ion battery should last you a regular day of use, with full brightness it lasted around six hours with video streaming and web browsing. Do note that the keyboard dock doesn’t have any batteries so you’re only relying on the tablets built-in batteries.
The Samsung ATIV Smart PC is a handy device, combining both tablet and PC into a single device. It functions well enough, considering its tablet SoC and can stand up against regular notebooks. The display is quite wonderful, no surprise coming from Samsung. The tablet itself is quite nice, though the keyboard dock could have a tad heavier to balance out the device. Battery life was good enough for a regular day of use. Retailing at Php35,900, the Samsung ATIV Smart PC functions quite well and is cheaper than most convertible tablet PCs.
Pros: Light tablet/notebook combo, bright screen, good battery life
Cons: Keyboard dock balance issues, speakers a bit quiet, slippery back prone to drops