Todd Christ

PC Tablets: The sleek form factor we love, with loads of performance and ready for the holidays!

Size comparison of the Samsung XE700T1a-A03US #intel #tablet

Size comparison of the Samsung XE700T1a-A03US, the Amazon Kindle Fire, and the iPhone 4

I was lucky enough to test out the Samsung Series 7 Slate PC. This isn’t your everyday tablet that many have become accustomed to… note – the name – it’s a slate PC! I have to admit, this is a really cool form factor, and it’s very portable and powerful! No matter what’s on your Christmas wish list – this slate PC could put a smile on just about anyone’s face.

When I opened the box, the power-on was within a few seconds mostly due to the flash based hard drive on board. The setup into Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) was pretty quick as well – it seems Samsung wants this to be as easy to turn on and get going as possible. This 11.6” tablet weighs in at a paltry 900g (just under two pounds!) In comparison, the iPad2 weighs in at 1.33 pounds, but there’s a LOT more to this PC-based slate for the added ½ pound.

Here are the bits n pieces found inside this (12.9mm thin) slate PC, an Intel Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM. It’s quick and able to run any amount of games, books, apps that you can muster. Embedded speakers (or headphone jack if you choose) and a built in microphone along with onboard cameras (both front and rear) can really make that Skype call a lot of fun on Christmas morning. The screen supports 720p High Definition video, so you could stream videos off Amazon, play your favorite Spotify song list, or surf Facebook all at the same time!

Oh, and did I mention there’s a HD TOUCH SCREEN?!? Oh Yeah – this thing rocks with a touch pen included in the box! Other options include 3G connectivity and optional keyboard and docking station for those times that you’re tethered to your desk. The built in capabilities of WiFi and Intel Wireless Display and you can share your PC onto your TV in the living room as well!

There is a very “App” Friendly interface if you use the Samsung Touch Launcher (see below), which is very appealing to those who are accustomed to the latest touch-app craze.

The Samsung Touch Launcher interface - a friendly tablet design on a powerful PC.

Performance-wise, this slate won’t let you down – I’ve been testing as any end-user would be using this system. Checking email, websites, streaming content – all done pretty seamlessly – and it should! The Wacom pen that comes along for the ride is a nice add-on, albeit there is no place to store the pen when you’re not using it – and it’s pretty non-descript; so I found myself misplacing the pen at times. I don’t foresee myself playing Crysis or MW3 anytime soon on the slate, but it’s definitely up to the chore for everyday tasks that one would be used to in a home or business environment. So – in usual fashion of not settling for “normal” – I’ve installed the Windows 8 Developer’s preview, and have been doing some more testing… so far so good!

Battery life is expected to be around 6 hours with regular usage, I didn’t test the longevity of the battery but I found that I could use it all day long and recharge in the evenings – perfect for what this slate is designed for!

So if you’re in the market for a tablet, but need something with more ‘oomph’ than just running a few apps – this is a great way to work or play in a whole different way for the holidays! If you’re looking for a new PC this holiday, definitely put the Samsung Series 7 Slate PC on your wish list!

Todd Christ

About Todd Christ

Todd Christ is a Senior Systems Engineer for Intel and contributes as a PC enthusiast for "Inside Scoop." He has worked in the computer industry since the early '90s and has been with Intel for over 16 years. His current position is based around evaluating end-user experiences with Intel Architecture based products with Fortune 50 companies. His passion both inside and outside of work is computing, whether you're dealing with handhelds or servers - if you can use it, he's most likely had one or juggled a few machines over time. Todd grew up on the East Coast, but has been in NorCal since his career started at Intel. You may find "Toadster" active in several online-community venues; you'll find his stuff on Intel Communities, and various other 3rd party forums, some for work - and some for play. He is a believer in the social community whether it's social, gaming, blogging, forum-related or person-to-person. He is a 'real' gamer, so bring your l337 SkillZ or be prepared to be pwned. You can tweet/ joke/ befriend/game with Todd on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and on Steam as well.

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