Select a language to translate this page!
Powered by Microsoft® Translator
It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a new Windows 7 slate, which is why I was so interested to check out the brand-new Samsung Series 7 Slate PC, which Samsung debuted today at the IFA conference in Germany. Samsung was cool enough to give me sneak-preview of the Series 7 about a month before today’s launch, so what you’re reading today are my thoughts on the almost-finished version. My unit came with a full-voltage second-generation Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a lightning-fast 64GB SSD. When it hits store shelves in early October you’ll be able to get one for $1299. There will also be a model with the same specs,minus the Bluetooth keyboard and dock (more on that later) for $1099, and a full-loaded version with a 128GB SSD for $1349.
Look and Feel
The Samsung Series 7, much like the ASUS EP121 that I looked at a few months back, is a pure-slate device. It’s super thin and light, measuring only 13mm thick and weighing in at just a hair over 2lbs. Like all Samsung products it’s solid without being bulky and well balanced without being heavy. It’s 11.6” across and sports a 16:9 aspect ratio with a 1366 x 768 HD resolution, which puts it on-par with most 11-13” widescreen laptops. It’s responsive and comfortable to use in widescreen mode, and that extra screen width comes in very handy when browsing the web in landscape mode.
In the box with my Series 7 came three accessories – a dock that has a headphone jack, HDMI out and USB, a Bluetooth keyboard (which Samsung thoughtfully made exactly the same width as the PC, so when you carry them together they just “fit”) and a WACOM intelligent pen for taking notes. The inclusion of these accessories makes the Series 7 extremely versatile and equally good as a portable slate and a desktop PC. I used the PC as a pure touch device when watching video and browsing the web (making use of the on-screen keyboard when I needed to type in URLs), as a tablet-with-pen when scribbling down notes in OneNote in meetings and brainstorming sessions, and as a docked PC-with-keyboard when at my desk. The latter two modes were my favorites – I found the pen very responsive and fluid and the “docked” setup as good as a traditional laptop when sitting at my desk. The Bluetooth keyboard connects almost instantly so there’s no annoying lag between when you fire up the PC and when you can get to work.
All together, the PC plus all of the accessories and power cord weigh less than 4lbs, making it an ideal travel companion. For comparison that’s a few ounces less as my Lenovo ThinkPad X220, and about the same weight as my Toshiba Portege R830.
Well-executed industrial design is one thing, but it’s of little use without the performance to back it up. Fortunately Samsung didn’t skimp in this area – the Series 7 is FAST. Like, crazy fast. In my fundamentals test it outpaced almost every laptop in my inventory, particularly in the sleep and wake tests. In those areas it’s so fast that for me, it effectively served as my “instant on, instant off” solution:
The other area where I found the Series 7 to excel was battery life. Whereas many Windows 7 slates (and laptops, for that matter) conk out after a few hours of use, I got well over 5 hours of real-world use time off of a single charge. That’s really impressive stuff for a PC that’s this thin and light.
One other feature worth noting is Samsung’s proprietary touch login system. This tool overlays a numeric touch login panel over the normal password scree so you can log back in to your PC very quickly. It’s less secure than typing your password in every time (I should note that you always have to log in with your password on boot), but much, much faster. It’s up to you if you’re willing to make that tradeoff.
The Samsung Series 7 is a really nice slate PC. Maybe the best one yet. It’s an excellent choice for anyone who needs a touch-centric device today and a really positive herald of what’s to come.
Have any PC or Windows Phone questions? Send me email or find me on Twitter!
This looks absolutely AMAZING! Can you hook me up with a demo unit? ;)
i was looking forward to getting a tablet but this is definitely my next gadget in the coming weeks
just one thing,will i be able to install windows 8 on it when Windows it released?
@Kenny ... word from Samsung is YES ... they apparently have a commitment to partner with Microsoft on this device and Windows 8. Personally, I can't wait! :)
Look's great, but can not wait till Win8 is on it. Kenny, above me, had a good question...will we be able to install Win8 on it? Most likely yes I think, but I feel like we won't get the full experience since I think BUILD will give some hardware requirements that this tablet doesn't have.
The only thing that is holding this monster back is the price tag. This is like the Apple device of tablets, a premium device. That's irony to me. If I just didn't get my tm2t this year...
@everyone asking if it can be upgraded to Win 8
It's been stated in numerous sources that Samsung made this with Windows 8 in mind, so put your mind at ease knowing that this awesome device, which is awesome with Windows 7, is going to be be more awesome being able to upgrade to Windows 8 :)
Windows 8 on this would be cool but I think it would sadden me on the desktop. Microsofts new idea of Windows Explorer as represented on their blog is hideous. blogs.msdn.com/.../improvements-in-windows-explorer.aspx
I'm definitely getting this device,but the price tag keeps me thinking and also the battery life will be something really important
If I'll be able to use it the whole day before charging (8hrs),then i can ignore the price tag otherwise I'll just be patient till the price really falls
BTW,is this going to be the price region of the Windows 8 tablets?if so i guess apple shouldn't be worried about losing their Ipad attraction
How is it running applications? Office 2010, Windows management tools, etc.? Startup and shutdown are one measure of performance - but real world daily use with all the apps we need to use is another. Would you recommend this as a primary system for say, an executive? Woudl it work for an IT pro?
@James - What exactly do you dislike about the conceptual changes for Windows Explorer in Windows 8? I honestly see nothing hideous about them. Different, yes, but are you just upset about the ribbon showing up somewhere else?
What would make this desirable would be some slate oriented programs. They would need a browser like Kylo to make a web browsing experience not feel like you want to use a mouse and keyboard.
it's uber fast, weighs under 4 pounds, gets 5 hrs of battery life, runs win7 and I'm going to assume will be upgradable to Win8 ? lol, to whom should I direct fawning & groveling in order to get my hands on one?
Looks and sounds great except one problem: only 768 pixels horizontal, and on 11.2 inch screen! I don't know how many are aware of this, but for a tablet that is meant for business (which includes a lot of document handling), it needs a minimum of 900 extras horizontal for a very simple reason: PDF documents and Word documents require 900 pixels at the minimum for a full-page display without horizontal scrolling in the vertical format. If you work on documents a lot, this may be the single most important factor that impacts on work efficiency. For tablets under 10 inch, it may be a bit too much to ask for 900 pixels, but at 11.2 inch, they really have missed it. Now my only hope is Dell Peju. Unfortunately, if the company track records tell something, I don't think the Dell is going to be of as well built as Samsung. Sigh.
That tablet looks amazing!!! It would be perfect for taking notes during class. Unfortunately, it is way over my student budget!!!
I am surprised the commenting system on an official Windows Team blog doesn't allow for us to post using our Windows Live accounts, or even any other type of account (Twitter, Facebook, Disqus, etc). Not to mention how basic the system is, there isn't even a reply button.
That being said, I am happy to see Samsung joining the Windows Slate market with a great looking and high performance product. Looking forward to seeing it on the Canadian store shelves.
@nobodees, Bare with me if I'm missing the obvious, but how is it "meant" for business? Seems like a consumer device first and formost? (released at a consumer event) Much like the EP 121. Comparing a ipad with this is silly. But doing so should show any logical person how overpriced an ipad is, that for a few hundred more you get a full computer! (plus it comes with the wacom technology that Apple should have had incorporated into any tablet pc/device they made from the beginning! If us designers wouldn't have stuck with Apple in the lean times they would be GONE. But instead of providing us with the portable Cintiq we've been dying for they made a couch/coffee surfing TOY... Ok rant over.