Powerful performance; Integrated S-Pen; Engaging Samsung apps; Vivid 1080p display; Fast boot time; Dock for stylus
Expensive; Inconsistent touchpad; Relatively sluggish 4G LTE
The Samsung ATIV Smart PC 700T for AT&T adds 4G LTE and a faster CPU, but it's on the pricey side.
Heads up, mobile pros: Samsung's excellent ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T tablet has arrived on AT&T. Samsung keeps everything we loved about the $1,199 Wi-Fi edition -- including strong Core i5 performance, a full HD screen and an integrated S-Pen -- and adds AT&T's fast LTE network. You also get a slightly faster CPU. However, you'll pay handsomely for that built-in broadband, as this version of the Smart PC Pro 700T costs $1,599. Find out if this is the best Windows 8 slate for road warriors.
Editor's note: Portions of this review were taken from our original review of the 700T.
The handsome Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T has a few subtle design elements that separate it from other tablets on the market. Most notable are the slim, black speaker grilles on either side of the display. A Samsung logo sits in the glossy top bezel, below a 2-MP camera. The bottom bezel holds a chrome-lined Home button, emblazoned with the Windows 8 insignia. The rear bottom right corner of the tablet holds a dock for the S Pen.
A USB 3.0 port, microSD slot and SIM-card slot -- all of which have plastic covers -- sit along the top of the tablet, along with a headphone/microphone jack, buttons for power and rotation lock, and another heat vent. The left side of the Pro 700T holds a Micro-HDMI port and a volume rocker. The port for the power adapter sits on the bottom of the tablet, along with a pair of slots to connect the Pro 700T to its keyboard dock, and a magnetic connector. While we like all of its connectivity options, the 700T doesn't look as sleek as the Microsoft Surface Pro.
At 11.97 x 7.46 x 0.47 inches, the Pro 700T is a hair smaller than the Acer Iconia W700-6465 (11.6 x 7.5 x 0.47 inches), but larger than the Microsoft Surface Pro (10.8 x 6.8 x 0.53 inches). At 1.8 lbs., the Pro 700T is slightly lighter than the W700 and Surface Pro, each of which weighs 2 lbs. However, the 700T's weight jumps to 3.6 lbs. when snapped into its keyboard dock.
The capacitive touch-screen display is very fluid. The panel responded quickly and accurately to our presses, and we executed Windows 8 gestures easily.
Text on Bing News and CNN.com was nice and sharp. While watching the 1080p trailer of "Thor: The Dark World," we could make out fine diamond patterns in the Norse thunder god's armor. However, colors were on the dark side. Thor's red cape still popped against the dreary gray landscape, but it looked more ruddy than vibrant.
We were bombarded by a tinny, synthesized din on Ciara's "Body Party." The speakers seemed overwhelmed when they had to deal with more than one piece of the track. The 700T fared slightly better on Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," delivering clear piano and crisp percussion.
We wish Samsung could have found a way to include the trace technology it usually implements on its tablets and smartphones. However, we did appreciate the different keyboard options Windows 8 provides, especially the handwriting-to-text layout.
The dock features an AC-adapter port and a pair of USB 2.0 ports. This accessory weighs 1.8 lbs., so when it's connected to the Pro 700T, its overall weight jumps to 3.6 lbs. In laptop mode, the Pro 700T definitely feels top-heavy, making it somewhat awkward to use in a lap. Still, that's better than the Surface, whose kickstand design is primarily geared toward desktop use.
The island-style keyboard has generous spacing with better tactile feedback than the Surface Pro's Type Cover. We matched our regular 55 words per minute with a zero percent error rate on the Ten Thumbs Typing Test. The Right Tab key and Space Bar are slightly undersized, but we appreciated the inclusion of the direction keys.
We found the 3.9 x 2.0-inch Elan SmartPad to be somewhat inconsistent. Multitouch gestures -- such as two-finger touch and rotate, and three- and four-finger flick -- were smooth. However, two-finger rotate was more of a crapshoot. There were a few instances when we experienced jerkiness.
The S Pen offered a comfortable grip and delivered precise, fluid movement, whether we were navigating the desktop or Modern UI. The pen really shines when used in conjunction with Samsung software such as S Note and Mini S Note. The S Pen also came in handy when we wanted to indulge our inner artist in Fresh Paint.
After watching 15 minutes of a movie on Hulu at full screen, the center of the tablet's underside measured 89 degrees Fahrenheit. The area near the rear webcam was 103 degrees Fahrenheit -- above our 95-degree comfort threshold.
S Gallery categorizes all your videos and images by date. In case you need to touch up any of those glamour shots, Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 lets you eliminate unwanted blemishes. Samsung's S Camera app provided an intuitive interface with deeper settings than those on the regular Windows 8 camera app. Xerox PhotoCafe is also preloaded for users to create custom scrapbooks.
Desktop apps include Quick Starter, a small bar that resides at the top of the screen. It has icons for Customer Support, Help Desk and Adobe Reader. Best of all, there's an icon for the sorely missed Start menu, with tabs for Documents, Pictures, Computer and Control Panel.
Another favorite utility is Touch Supporter, which displays a series of common shortcuts (Copy, Cut, Paste, Delete and Delete) in a bar at the top of the display. The utility also offers buttons for a number pad and direction keys.
Third-party apps include Jamie Oliver's Recipes; Evernote; Amazon Kindle; Fresh Paint; Netflix; Merriam-Webster Dictionary; Bitcasa, a cloud storage service; and Music Maker Jam, a program that lets the musically inclined create their own tracks. There are also 60-day trial versions of Microsoft Office 2010 and Norton Internet Security.
The Samsung ATIV Smart PC 700T is surprising light on AT&T-branded apps; only AT&T AllAccess, the carrier's hotspot locator, is on board.
MORE: Top 25 Windows 8 Apps
The Pro 700T's 128GB SSD has some serious speed. The tablet completed our File Transfer Test (duplicating 4.97GB of multimedia files) in 34 seconds, for a transfer rate of 150 Mbps -- much faster than the 63 Mbps category average. The W700 and Surface Pro, which also have 128GB SSDs, returned slower transfer speeds of 138 Mbps and 124 Mbps, respectively.
During the OpenOffice Spreadsheet Macro Test, the Pro 700T paired 20,000 names with their matching addresses in 5 minutes and 46 seconds. That's faster than the average of 16 hours and 58 minutes, but not enough to beat the Surface Pro's time of 5 hours and 33 minutes. The W700 completed the task in a similar 5 hours and 49 minutes, while the slightly slower Wi-Fi model of the PC Pro 700T notched 5 hours and 50 minutes.
Like many systems equipped with Intel HD 4000 Graphics chips, the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T is good for video-watching and casual gaming, but not much more. The Pro 700T scored 567 on the 3DMark11 benchmark, which bested the Microsoft Surface Pro (424) and the Acer Iconia W700-6465 (412).
On the "World of Warcraft" test, the Pro 700T delivered an average of 25 frames per second at 1080p with the effects set to Good. That's a little below our 30-fps minimum, but enough to top the 21-fps average. At these same settings, the Surface Pro scored 17 fps, while the W700 notched 16 fps.
4G LTE and Web Browsing
The Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T taps into AT&T's 4G LTE network, which covers 182 markets now and will reach 77 more by the summer. However, Verizon is still way ahead, with more than 440 markets. When we ran Speedtest.net, the Pro 700T delivered an average download rate of 6.7 Mbps, with an upload speed of 1.46 Mbps.
Both of these numbers are lower than what we've seen from other AT&T devices in the same locations. For instance, when we tested the HTC One phone at the same New York City location at around the same time, we saw average download speeds of 13.4 Mbps and upload speeds of 2.5 Mbps.
The PC Pro 700T's 4G connection fared even worse at a nearby park, delivering download speeds of 1.3 Mbps and upload speeds of 0.35 Mbps. The HTC One averaged 1.86 Mbps and 5.72 Mbps in the same spot.
The desktop version of the NYTimes.com had an average load time of 4.1 seconds. ESPN.com delivered an average load time of 7.8 seconds, while Laptopmag.com loaded in 6.7 seconds.
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Photos taken both indoors and outdoors with the Pro 700T's 5-MP rear-facing camera came out fairly well. We would have preferred a bit more contrast -- darker colors were slightly washed-out -- but images looked generally sharp. A 1080p video captured of New York City traffic looked somewhat blown out and faded, with the exception of bright-yellow taxicabs.
On the LAPTOP Battery Test (continuous Web surfing over 4G LTE), the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T lasted 5 hours and 3 minutes. Over Wi-Fi, the original 700T lasted 6 hours and 38 minutes, so you're getting about 1.5 hours less of endurance with 4G. The Acer Iconia W700-6465 lasted 6 hours and 48 minutes over Wi-Fi, while the Microsoft Surface Pro clocked in at 4 hours and 28 minutes.
AT&T offers three individual data plans on its network. The first is $14.99 per month for 250MB of data. The next, a $30/3GB monthly plan, costs $720 over the course of two years. The $50/5GB monthly plan would cost $1,200 over that same time span.
You can also subscribe to a Mobile Share plan if you have an AT&T smartphone. These plans start at $30 for 4GB, $40 for 6GB, $60 for 10GB, all the way up to $335/month for 50GB. Adding the ATIV Smart PC would cost an additional $10 per month.
|CPU||1.8-GHz Intel Core i5-3337U|
|Storage Drive Size||128GB|
|Storage Drive Type||SSD|
|Display Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Graphics Chip||Intel HD Graphics 4000|
|Front-Facing Camera Resolution||2.0MP|
|Card Reader Size|
|Warranty / Support||1 Year Standard Parts and Labor|
|Size||11.6 x 0.38 x 7.2 inches|
|Weight||1.8 pounds, 3.6 pounds with keyboard|