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Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T

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What's hot: Very functional transformer design, Wacom digitizer with pen and WinTab drivers pre-installed. Pleasing full HD display, useful software utilities bundled.

What's not: Keyboard disconnects far too easily on ours, and doesn't have a secondary battery or ports beyond two USB 2.0 ports. Bland and plasticky design for an expensive product.


Reviewed February 22, 2013 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

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.

Samsung ATIV 700t

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. The Samsung has a full HD 1920 x 1080 display with wide viewing angles, 400 nits brightness and 10 point multi-touch. The tablet weighs just under 2 pounds, which is a tenth of an ounce heavier than our late 2011 Samsung Series 7 Slate and a tenth of an ounce lighter than Surface Pro. It's 0.5 inches thick and it has a black plastic casing, as does the companion keyboard.

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. While the last generation Series 7 Slate had straight sides, the ATIV's are rounded, particularly on the left and right sides (when held in landscape mode). It's nice to hold for extended periods of time, albeit a little heavy at 1.89 pounds when compared to the iPad or Android 10.1" tablets (repeat after me, this isn't a mobile OS tablet, it's a full Windows Ultrabook in tablet form).

Samsung ATIV 700t

Stunning and quality looks? Not so much. But it's sturdy and functional and happily not super-slippery like the Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T 11.6" Windows 8 Intel Atom tablet. The black plastic casing attempts a light texture to mimic brushed metal, but we doubt anyone will be fooled. Honestly, it looks a bit dull and not like a $1,200 product, but we know Samsung loves plastics (look at the Galaxy smartphones), and it's strong enough. That said, in 4 days of loving and gentle use, we noticed some scratches on the back. The keyboard dock is finished in the same uninspired black plastic (minus the faux metal grain) and at 1.6 pounds it has some heft, though it's lighter than the tablet, making the pair top-heavy.

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. That's also where the SIM card slot lives for those of you overseas who can get a 3G version. The 3.5mm audio jack is on the top left edge and the tiny charger port is on the bottom edge (replicated on the keyboard dock).

Samsung ATIV 700t

The rear 5 megapixel camera is offset a bit to the left side and there are active and passive air intake vents on the rear. The fan exhausts through vents on the top edge. The keyboard connects to a set of electrical contacts on the bottom edge and latches on to two slots in the tablet (you'll have to remove rubber covers before you mate the keyboard to the tablet for the first time, which is odd since the tablet ships with the keyboard).

Since this is a Core i5 machine there's a fan inside, though we found it unobtrusive when doing art work and productivity tasks. Even when streaming Netflix HD video the fan ran just ever so softly. If the machine is doing software installs, several Windows updates or playing Windows 7 3D games like Skyrim, then you'll hear the fan just as you would on any Ultrabooks doing the same tasks. The plastic back never exceeded human body temperature in our tests, which means it's not too hot to hold. Stereo speakers flank the display and fire at you, just as they do on recent Samsung Android tablets. Sound quality is decent for a tablet, but the speakers aren't particularly loud.


Deals and Shopping:


Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T Video Review


Samsung ATIV 700T, Microsoft Surface Pro and Acer Iconia W700 3-Way Tablet Comparison Smackdown

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. Viewing angles are wide, though not quite as wide as the Surface Pro and Acer Iconia W700. Colors are reasonable enough to do artwork and contrast is excellent. It's not my favorite tablet display, but it's head and shoulders above most laptops with TN panels.

As with most Windows 8 products other than Surface Pro, Windows 8's auto-brightness is turned on by default and it's heavy handed unless you spend most of your time in well-lit environments. Turn this feature off in Windows General settings to achieve max brightness. As with the Samsung Series 7 Slate, Samsung offers color temperature adjustment settings for movies, general use and more (general is the default).

The ATIV 700T has a Wacom digitizer with included digital pen (Samsung calls it an S Pen, just as they do with their Android products) that fits into a silo. Since Samsung wanted to give us a place to garage the pen, it had to be a small pen compared to the full size mechanical pencil design of the Samsung Series 7 Slate and MS Surface Pro pens. Have no fear; if the small S Pen gives you a hand cramp, you can use other Wacom tablet PC compatible pens like the S7S pen (which Samsung still sells) and the Surface Pro pen. The good news here is that Samsung ships the tablet with Wacom WinTab drivers so those of you who require pressure sensitivity in Adobe Photoshop, Paint Tool SAI and Corel Painter get it out of the box with no hunting or waiting for drivers (if for some reason yours doesn't have the drivers pre-installed, you can download the Wacom digitizer driver using Samsung SWUpdate software update app). That said, we found pressure curves weren't the best in Photoshop (most pen strokes were heavy even when we used a light touch), but things were better in Painter 12. There is no pressure setting option in Windows Control Panels, only pen calibration for alignment, which we had to use every few days because calibration drifts, much like other Windows 8 tablets with digital pens. You also get pressure sensitivity in programs that use the newer Windows ink API like Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and ArtRage.

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. Thermal throttling happens when the CPU or GPU temps get high and the machine automatically cuts back their clock speed until temperatures have sufficiently dropped. The Samsung throttles a bit less than the Acer Iconia W700 which almost micromanages core temps, and the Surface Pro throttles least, which is surprising since it's the smallest unit (Microsoft's perimeter ventilation is apparently quite effective).

We ran PCMark 7 no less than 8 times (poor ATIV!) because it scored lower than expected. Most runs scored around 4,034 but we have seen a few other reviews where it managed 4,400. No idea what's wrong with ours, but even at 4,400 it's a bit lower than the competition.


PCMark07: 4034

Windows Experience Index (scale of 1.0 - 9.9):

Processor: 6.9
RAM: 5.9
Desktop Graphics: 4.5
Gaming Graphics: 6.2
Primary Hard Disk: 8.1

Benchmark Comparison Table, Windows 8 ULV Notebooks and Tablets:

  Samsung ATIV 700T MS Surface Pro Acer Iconia W700 Dell XPS 12 (Core i5) Asus Taichi 21 (Core i7) Sony Vaio Duo 11 (Core i5) Asus Transformer Book TX300 Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 (Core i5) HP Envy x2 (Intel Atom)
PCMark 07 4034 4657 4357 4678 4952 4772 4495 4427 1523

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. The problem seems to be in the dock rather than the tablet, and Samsung will replace it if you get a bad one. Beyond that, we have to wonder why Samsung didn't put a secondary battery in the keyboard dock as do many other manufacturers, and why it has just two USB 2.0 ports rather than 3.0 ports. We'd also love to see a full size SD card slot but no luck; it's those USB ports and a pass-through charging port only. The good news is that the island style keyboard is comfortable for typing, though we like the HP Envy X2's keyboard and trackpad a bit better.

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. We're not too keen on the black plastic casing that looks more netbook than $1,200 Ultrabook and Samsung needs to get the issue with keyboard disconnects sorted out (hopefully a few months from now, only working docks will be on the shelves). If you're a transformer type who needs both a laptop-style typing experience and a dual digitizer with digital pen, the Samsung ATIV 700T is the go-to model among Intel Core i5 Windows 8 tablets.

Price: $1,199




Microsoft Surface Pro Review

Samung ATIV Smart PC 500T Review

HP Envy x2 Review

Samsung Series 7 Slate Review


Samsung ATIV 700t


Samsung ATIV 700t


Samsung ATIV 700t


Samsung ATIV 700t


Samsung ATIV 700t


Samsung ATIV 700t


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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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