One less Windows RT choice in US: So long Samsung Ativ Tab
By Kevin C. Tofel
U.S. consumers have one less Windows RT tablet to choose: Samsung has decided not to sell its Ativ Tab, citing weak demand for Windows RT and a lack of product understanding by consumers. That’s OK, the Ativ with full Windows 8 and Intel’s Atom is $599.
Samsung won’t be selling its Microsoft Windows RT tablet, the Ativ Tab, in the U.S., citing weak demand and challenges to achieve its target price. The company confirmed those plans with CNET, suggesting that it could re-evaluate its decision in the future. The company does offer two Windows 8 tablets in the Ativ line, however, so this decision is more likely to impact Qualcomm more than Microsoft.
I consider this development to be a small win for Intel because it means that Samsung’s Windows 8 tablets for the U.S. market will run solely on Intel chips. Qualcomm, which has been very successful developing the chips that power many smartphones and tablets, is Microsoft’s partner for Windows RT, a version of Windows specifically designed for ARM-based chips.
Intel Atom Z2760After speaking with Intel this week at the Consumer Electronics show, I’m not too surprised by Samsung’s choice. Intel’s Atom Z2760 chip is reportedly on par with Qualcomm’s chips when it comes to power efficiency and, in some cases, outperforms them based on AnandTech’s recent chip comparison.
In a quick check, I saw that Samsung’s Ativ Smart PC with Intel Atom and 64 GB of storage can be had for $599 on Amazon. And Dell’s Latitude 10 Essentials Windows 8 slate with the same Atom chip and 32 GB is now down to $499. Microsoft’s own Surface RT tablet with Qualcomm processor starts at the same $499 and includes 32 GB of storage. Choose a 64 GB Surface RT device, and you’ll pay $699. That price does include a keyboard cover, however.
Regardless, consumers can choose a tablet with the full version of Windows 8 that’s fully compatible with old Windows applications for about the same price as a Windows RT slate. Samsung knows this and must figure: Why bother with the RT version?
And in terms of battery life, I’m told by Intel that the new Atom Z2760 is expected to get around 10 hours of run-time on a single charge, or the same as a Windows RT device with Qualcomm’s chips. Again, with little difference in performance and run-time, why wouldn’t consumers choose Windows 8 over Windows RT?
Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T (Tablet Only)
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded My Expectations October 28, 2012
Style Name:Without Keyboard
As an owner of tablets before the ipad and all 3 ipad variations including the "new" ipad, I have always struggled to get rid of that feeling of it either being too cumbersome for use(pre-ipads), or just a toy with few cool uses(ipads). I think with this tablet, I have finally found what I am looking for. I am so happy with it, I am actually writing the first review I have ever done for a product.
Ability to hook up common usb peripherals and use them? Check - external DVD, USB stick were a breeze to use and install programs (.iso of software CD's, etc). Flawless, and convenient.
Ability to use the programs I have already purchased for my home machine? Check - Office 2010, adobe photoshop, etc - they all worked without issue. I just can't emphasize how nice this is to finally have in a tablet. I even put world of warcraft on for the heck of it - just because I could.
Ability to expand through a Micro SD card? Check - bought a 64GB class 10 card and have Apps installed on it (yes, you can install apps to the microSD card) as well as videos, games, MP3's and pictures. Very handy, doesn't fill the O/S drive with unnecessary items.
Great Screen? Check - even coming from a retina ipad user. Bright, vivid display with good sharp resolution. The auto brightness is a tad harsh at times, but that can be adjusted in the power settings.
Great battery? Check - hours and hours of play each day for the last two days, and the remaining battery life frankly blew me away each night (60%+ available). This is through installing programs, playing games, watching videos, surfing the web (can't count the number of times my son looped that gangum style song on you tube!?!). Very impressed with battery life for a full featured machine.
Windows 8? Not as bad as I thought. I was anticipating a train wreck that would take me a long time to get used to. It is well done and feels good on the tablet. Not sure I am up for putting it on my home machine yet, but on the tablet, it really goes a long ways to make it the experience it is. Also, Samsung includes a program if you use the "SW Updater" that puts the start button functionality basically back on your desktop. Samsung did a nice job with the pen that you get with the tablet as well - that thing is handy in OneNote, it can even read my terrible handwriting. When you have to bounce to the desktop, it is also a nice feature to be able to use the pen and click, drag, right-click. Not necessary, but nice none the less.
Processor Speed? Again, not as bad as I thought. I almost didn't buy it when I saw "atom". Perhaps intel should change the name, because this processor actually performs well. It seemed sluggish for the first few hours, but after that it has really been peppy. Perhaps there were some things installing in the background, or maybe uninstalling Norton bloatware did it, but the performance of the Atom processor has exceeded my expectations.
I think the build quality of the tablet is very nice - good clean edges, great sounding speakers that point toward you, well placed inputs on the edges. As far as "feel" of the materials, I find it very similar to my wife's Galaxy S3. It is lighter than I expected for the size, but the size poses issues I mention below (non-standard - nothing fits it).
Negatives? No docking station in stock anywhere - I mean I have tried all over. No Cases and covers available for it yet. I am currently using a $12 sleeve I bought at a discount retailer (actually fits nice, made by merkury) that will have to hold me over until I find something real. The charger for it is like a laptop charger that plugs into the wall (has a mini brick). I don't see any Car adapters for it available, and would guess it will be expensive as you can't seem to use a common USB type charger for it.
Overall, those few negatives aside which time may fix, I love this thing. More than I expected. Thanks Samsung and Microsoft for finally making the tablet I have been waiting for.