Review Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T

The Microsoft Surface Pro isn't the only Windows 8 Intel Core i5 tablet on the block. Samsung's ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T actually hit the market first, though it's not exactly peppering every retailer's shelf and is more readily found online. The ATIV 700T has the same basic specs as the Surface Pro, and that means it's a capable Ultrabook in terms of performance, though housed in an 11.6" tablet casing. Snap on the included transformer style keyboard and it could pass for an 11.6" Ultrabook.

Specs at a Glance
The Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T runs on a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U with 4 gigs of DDR3 RAM and ours has a Samsung-made 128 gig SSD. It has dual band Intel WiFi with WiDi wireless display, Bluetooth 4.0, a front 2MP camera and rear 5MP camera. It has a single USB 3.0 port, micro HDMI, a microSD card slot and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T

Design and Ergonomics

If you hate the metal and right angle edges on the Surface Pro and Acer Iconia W700, you'll love the soft and rounded corners on the ATIV 700T. It's darned comfy to hold, though the elongated 11.6", 16:9 aspect ratio may feel a little weird to those of you who've grown fond of the 4:3 aspect ratio iPad or older ThinkPad Tablet PCs.

Like most Windows 8 Intel Core i5 slate and transformer tablets, it has a single USB 3.0 port. This lives under a fiddly little plastic door (the tablet and dock abound with these plastic doors) that's located on the top edge (again, when held in landscape mode). It's an odd place to have a mouse or external hard drive cable sprouting, but at least it keeps clear of the dock. Speaking of the dock, that has two USB 2.0 ports, one on each side, also under plastic doors. The micro HDMI port is: you guessed it, under a plastic door, on the tablet's left side. The power button and screen rotation lock buttons are on the top left edge and the microSD card slot is under a plastic door on the right top edge.

Full HD Display and Wacom Pen

As you'd expect from a higher end tablet or Ultrabook, the Samsung Smart PC Pro has a full HD display with wide viewing angles and pleasing colors. Like all touchscreens, this is a glossy display and it has plenty of glare in well lit rooms, though the 400 nits PLS display tries hard to keep things viewable in bright light. When viewing large areas of solid color (not easy to avoid when using the Windows 8 metro UI), we noted some grain, as if Samsung had applied an anti-glare coating, though none is evident. I'm not a fan of that grain unless I am getting some glare relief. This is a PLS display, which Samsung uses often in Android big screen tablets, and it has characteristics that are similar to IPS, with slightly cooler colors and bright whites.

Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T

Performance and Horsepower

The Samsung ATIV 700T runs on the near ubiquitous standard Ultrabook hardware: a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U ultra low voltage CPU with Intel HD 4000 graphics, 4 gigs of DDR3 RAM (soldered to the motherboard and not upgradable) and a fast 128 gig mSATA SSD. That means it's as capable as any Ultrabook and can run Windows 7 apps like Adobe Photoshop CS6, iTunes, software development tools and MS Office very well. Pure slate designs have fewer cooling opportunities compared to laptops, and that means there's more thermal throttling here vs. a machine like the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 or the Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A.

Keyboard Dock Included

The keyboard dock? Well, it's problematic. Early adopters on forums have complained about constant keyboard disconnects, and our retail purchased unit has that problem too. The tablet doesn't fall out of the 1.6 lb. keyboard dock but it electrically disconnects and reconnects at the slightest movement, so you'll hear the tablet bing-bong every time it thinks the keyboard was removed and reinserted. Maybe you'll get lucky and will get a unit that doesn't have this problem.

Battery Life

The Samsung's 4 cell Lithium Ion polymer battery puts in a relatively good showing here and we averaged 5.5 to 6 hours of actual use time on a charge with WiFi on and brightness set to 50% with auto-brightness turned on. That's about an hour better than Surface Pro but an hour short of the Acer W700. Those results are in a mixed productivity scenario with MS Office, email, web browsing, drawing in Photoshop and ArtRage Pro and streaming a 45 minute HD episode of House of Cards using the Netflix Windows 8 app.

The tablet comes with a very compact laptop style brick charger with the usual 2 piece cord.

WiFi and Bluetooth

Samsung uses Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n with Intel WiDi wireless display support. This is one of the few Core i5 Windows 8 tablets that has Intel WiFi with WiDi, so keep that in mind if you prefer WiDi to plugging a micro HDMI to HDMI cable into your HDTV to watch content on the big screen. The tablet has Intel Centrino Bluetooth 4.0 + HS but no NFC or GPS. In the US, Samsung currently doesn't offer a 3G/4G option.


There's a lot to like about the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T: it's fast, battery life is pretty good and it has a good full HD display with both multi-touch and a Wacom digitizer. The keyboard dock is in the box, so there's no hidden cost.

Price: $1,199


  • Display: 11.6", 1920 x 1080 LED backlit PLS display with 10 point multi-touch and Wacom active digitizer with S Pen (Wacom compatible pen). Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics with Intel WiDi wireless display. micro HDMI port.
  • Battery: 4 cell Lithium Ion polymer rechargeable. Sealed inside.
  • Performance: 1.7GHz Intel Core i53317U ULV CPU. 4 gigs DDR3 RAM (not upgradeable), 128 gig mSATA SSD drive.
  • Size: 11.6 x 7.2 x .5 inches. Weight: 1.89 pounds (tablet only). Keyboard dock weighs 1.6 pounds.
  • Camera: 2.0MP front camera and rear 5MP camera.
  • Audio: Built-in stereo speakers, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack. Realtek HD audio.
  • Networking: Integrated Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Intel Centrino Bluetooth 4.0 + HS.
  • Software: Windows 8 64 bit. Standard Windows 8 apps plus Samsung S Note and Mini S Note .
  • Expansion and Ports: 1 USB 3.0 port, micro HDMI, 3.5mm audio and microSD card slot (SDXC compatible). Keyboard dock has 2 USB 2.0 ports and pass-through charging.

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