Samsung ATIV SmartPC Pro 700T (XE700T1C-A01US) Review
The Samsung ATIV SmartPC Pro 700T slate PC combines all the power and speed of an ultrabook with the easy portability of a tablet.
- Tablet convenience meets laptop productivity
- Includes S-Pen digital stylus and built-in storage
- Intel Core i5-3317U and 128GB SSD provides ultrabook performance
- HDMI requires adapter
- No secondary battery in keyboard
The Samsung ATIV SmartPC Pro 700T traces its roots back to the Samsung Series 7 Slate (700T1A), one of the earliest slate PCs in the iPad-inspired wave of tablets with laptop components. This new version adopts the ATIV SmartPC 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, Windows 8, and a healthy collection of features.
The ATIV SmartPC Pro 700T is a Windows 8 tablet with a design in the same group of devices as the Microsoft Surface Windows 8 Pro or the Acer Iconia W700-6465, packing laptop components into a detachable tablet. This stands in contrast to cheaper Atom-powered tablets like the HP Envy X2 (11-g012nr), 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 SmartPC 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 0.5 by 11.6 by 7.2 inches (HWD) and weighs a reasonable 1.9 pounds. Add the docking keyboard and the thickness doubles to a full inch, and adds more than a pound and a half of weight (for a total weight of 3.5 pounds). The 11.6-inch screen has 10-finger touch support and compatibility with Samsung’s included S-Pen digital stylus. It sports a 1,920-by-1,080 resolution similar to the Sony VAIO Duo 11 (D11213CX). 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.
The ATIV 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, like the Belkin ScreenCast. 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 2.0 megapixel webcam in front for Skype or similar video chat, and a 5.0 megapixel camera in 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 labor.
The ATIV SmartPC 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 ATIV SmartPC 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, the ATIV SmartPC Pro 700T made quick work of our multimedia tests, completing the Handbrake video test in 1 minute 30 seconds—falling neatly between the Acer W500 (1:43) and Sony Duo 11 (1:25). It also finished Photoshop in a respectable 6 minutes 20 seconds. The integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 won’t get you very far with games like Skyrim, but the included Plants vs. Zombies should run just fine, and you could probably run Team Fortress 2 or Civilization V on it without much difficulty.
The ATIV SmartPC Pro 700T lasted 5 hours 12 minutes our battery rundown test, and convertible laptops, like the Microsoft Surface Pro and Acer Iconia W700-6465, produced slightly better scores (5:28 and 6:34, respectively). Smaller tablets usually last longer, like the HP Envy X2 (7:08 alone, 12:34 with the secondary battery) thanks to the use of small low-powered Atom processors designed for netbooks and tablets.
In terms of performance and battery-life, the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T is similar to our current Editors’ Choice, the Microsoft Surface Windows 8 Pro, though the Surface Pro stays our top pick for its innovative design. As a follow-up to the Series 7 Slate (700T1A), the ATIV 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 combination of performance and battery life that’s hard to ignore.
By Brian Westover, PCMag
- Type: Ultraportable, Tablet, Consumer Ultra-Low Voltage
- Processor Name: Intel Core i5-3317U
- Processor Speed: 1.7 GHz
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8
- RAM: 4 GB
- Weight: 1.9 lb
- Screen Size: 11.6 inches
- Screen Type: Widescreen
- Graphics Card: Intel HD Graphics 4000
- Storage Capacity (as Tested): 128 GB
- Networking Options: 802.11n
- Primary Optical Drive: External