Samsung Ativ Tab Review
Windows 8 RT is finally here and it’s already got the tablet world a-buzzing. Introducing the Samsung Ativ RT. Samsung's first attempt at a Windows 8 RT Tablet PC.
By Chris Messenger | Published 20/12/2012
HD display of 10.1-inch
Lightning fast processor
Decent battery life
Good memory capacity 32-64GB
ATIV Tab is quiet heavy
Quiet low camera quality for 5MP
Metro apps only. No legacy support
Small amount of apps in marketplace
Windows 8 RT is finally here and it’s already got the tablet world a-buzzing. Some people like it, some people don’t, but in ether instance, Microsoft is being talked about in conjunction with tablet PCs again, so they at least have that to celebrate. Whilst our reviewer wasn’t overly convinced about the first wave of Windows 8 tablets (most controversially the much-vaunted Samsung Ativ Tab), he has been kinder to the Windows RT tablets released so far. Will his kindness continue this holiday season, or is his inner Scrooge about to awaken? We thought we’d ask him...
The Ativ has a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 and, as a result, features a nice screen, but nothing that will match up to an iPad Retina Display. It is, however, bright, clear and rich (and the touchscreen function is excellent).
A 1.5 GHz dual core CPU is a very welcome addition. In addition to this addition (lol), the Samsung Ativ tab follows Dell’s new Latitude tablet (and most of the Windows RT crop) in being an unusually compatible device (it supports Micro SD, Mini HDMI output and NFC, amongst others).
Instead of a smooth, metallic design, Samsung have gone with a smooth, plastic design. This does have the effect of making the tablet feel a little cheaper than it otherwise would have.
At £550, Samsung are asking a lot for this tablet. By placing it in league with Apple’s iPad, they are clearly suggesting a comparison between the two, which is a dangerous thing indeed. I feel that the new crop of Windows tablets may have forgotten that Microsoft’s key advantage over Apple (in recent years at least) is usually price. Between lower prices and a far higher level of usage, tech support and peripherals, Microsoft are still the dominant force in desktop computing, but in tablets, they don’t have a high level of use and with prices currently soaring, they are playing a risky game.
However, you do get a good tablet for your £550, even if that does seem a bit excessive.
Oddly, despite being right up to date in most areas, this is not the fastest tablet around. Its not slow, but there is a slight lag every now and then and the WiFi, frankly, could be considerably better.
However, the tablet is light, yet sturdy, easily manageable and very user-friendly. There’s an in-built Bing search window that can be accessed at any time (allowing you to gain ‘help’ either from the tablet or the net) without disrupting your previous activity. The camera function that simply requires you to tap the screen in any place is especially cool. In fact, the touchscreen in general is excellent. It even has Microsoft office pre-installed.
Not that I want to slate Windows 8 yet again, but its the inconsistency and annoying ‘extras’ such as having to traverse the videos store (whether you want to buy something or not) in order to access your own files, that really grate me. Samsung have tweaked the OS slightly, but not nearly enough in my estimation. From Samsung’s end, this is a very user-friendly computer, but Windows 8 RT is another matter entirely.
Overall, the screen is very nice; the processor generally does a decent job and the sheer amount of connection options is both refreshing and welcome. This is a nice, well-made tablet and it feels like one when you use it.
In terms of hardware, this is a rather good tablet. Windows 8 aside, it really does seem to go out of its way in order to help you use it. I appreciate that and so will you (probably). However, despite being a generally satisfying tablet that ticks all the relevant boxes, I seriously have to wonder if it’s worth over half a grand.
If it was a £300 tablet, I’d be a bit more receptive (and it would be an absolute gem at £250), but at £550, the Ativ feels like it should be something very, very special. As a result, this review may not match your own estimation. If you are a fan of Windows 8 RT and you don’t mind shelling out all that money, you’ll probably find yourself to be a thoroughly satisfied customer.
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