Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro 700T review

Samsung 700t

The Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro 700T is an attempt to deliver a convertible Ultrabook with the power of a desktop PC. It's a Windows 8 Pro tablet and laptop hybrid. Although I don't see this system replacing a behemoth like my own eight-core, five-drive desktop, it will provide more than enough horsepower for most business-class users. That said, it could benefit from some features found in other Ultrabooks, such as a battery in the keyboard dock. See all Windows tablet reviews.

Samsung has placed most of the important buttons and slots along the top edge of the Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro 700T: audio plug, power button, USB 3.0 port, microSD slot, and maybe most crucial, the processor heat vent. Venting the heat up top is a smart touch; there's no fear of baked laps with this machine, not even if you're using it in tablet mode with the unit flat on your thighs. For secure business applications, the 700T includes a TPM chip, but no fingerprint reader or smart card slot.

I wasn't all that impressed with the build quality of the keyboard dock. It has a plasticky, slightly cobbled-together feel, a major contrast to, say, the rigidly engineered metal dock of the HP Envy X2. The power connector fits both the main unit and the keyboard dock, but it's housed in a really tiny, fragile-looking plug that I was in constant fear of ripping loose or breaking. The keyboard has no backlighting, but typing on it is comfortable. However, you have to be sure to strike the space bar dead center or it won't register.

Samsung 700T: no second battery

Unlike the HP Envy X2 or the Acer Iconia, there's no second battery in the dock, so you're limited to the battery life available in the unit itself. This seems like a major omission, given the high-powered, battery-hungry Intel Core i5-3317U processor in this system. (Those other systems have low-power Atom processors.) But the battery life for this unit is quite good, all things considered. My Netflix rundown test yielded a solid 5 hours and 20 minutes. The fan runs a bit loud when the CPU is put under load, though.

Samsung has been populating both its Windows-powered notebooks and Android-powered phones with its S-branded line of software applications. Among the most prominent of these is the S Note note-taking app, which I first encountered in the Samsung Galaxy Note. Like the Note, the 700T includes a stylus (stored in a handy corner-mounted pocket) for taking handwritten notes. These apps can be really useful, especially if you've already made them a part of your workflow with another Samsung device.

Samsung also includes its own software update utility, which installed both device driver and system BIOS updates for the 700T while I was testing it. All of those operations required a reboot, but the updater handled them without any problems. Also included is Intel AppUp, an app store that offers both free and paid software for easy installation. Finally, a newly released version of the 700T also features wireless LTE data, in the US at least.

Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro 700T: Specs

  • Slate Tablet PC
  • Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Edition
  • Intel Core i5 (3rd Gen) 3317U/1.7GHz
  • Dual-Core
  • Mobile Intel HM76 Express
  • 4GB DDR3 SDRAM, 1600MHz
  • 64GB SSD
  • 11.6in Multi-Touch
  • LED backlight, 1920x1080 (Full HD), Widescreen
  • Ambient light sensor, SuperBright Plus
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Dynamic Video Memory Technology
  • Integrated webcam
  • 5 Megapixel (back), 2 Megapixel (front)
  • Stereo speakers, microphone
  • High Definition Audio, SoundAlive
  • Touch-screen, stylus
  • Wireless802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235
  • Intel Wireless Display (WiDi)
  • 4-cell
  • 49 Wh
  • AC Adapter
  • InputAC 120/230 V (50-60Hz)
  • 40 Watt
  • Micro-HDMI Headphone/microphone combo jack USB 3.0 Dock
  • Memory Card Reader
  • Samsung Recovery Solution, S Player, S Gallery, S Camera, S Note
  • 306x189.4x11.89mm
  • 880g
  • Slate Tablet PC
  • Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Edition
  • Intel Core i5 (3rd Gen) 3317U/1.7GHz
  • Dual-Core
  • Mobile Intel HM76 Express
  • 4GB DDR3 SDRAM, 1600MHz
  • 64GB SSD
  • 11.6in Multi-Touch
  • LED backlight, 1920x1080 (Full HD), Widescreen
  • Ambient light sensor, SuperBright Plus
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Dynamic Video Memory Technology
  • Integrated webcam
  • 5 Megapixel (back), 2 Megapixel (front)
  • Stereo speakers, microphone
  • High Definition Audio, SoundAlive
  • Touch-screen, stylus
  • Wireless802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235
  • Intel Wireless Display (WiDi)
  • 4-cell
  • 49 Wh
  • AC Adapter
  • InputAC 120/230 V (50-60Hz)
  • 40 Watt
  • Micro-HDMI Headphone/microphone combo jack USB 3.0 Dock
  • Memory Card Reader
  • Samsung Recovery Solution, S Player, S Gallery, S Camera, S Note
  • 306x189.4x11.89mm
  • 880g

OUR VERDICT

The Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro 700T combines plenty of processing power with better-than-expected battery life. It has some nice touches, but misses the mark in some ways. Ultimately, one would expect more solidity and polish in a system of this class.

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