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Samsung Ativ Smart PC and Smart PC Pro convertible Windows 8 tablets hands-on

Samsung Ativ Smart PC and Smart PC Pro convertible Windows 8 tablets hands-on


Hands-on with Samsung's new Ativ Smart PC and Smart PC Pro Windows 8 tablets from IFA 2012. The Smart PC and Smart PC Pro are powered by Intel processors and features detachable keyboard docks.

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Samsung ATIV smart pro
Samsung ATIV smart pro

Samsung had a couple of big Android devices to show us here in Berlin, but it's also revealed its first Windows 8 machines. We've just had a chance to take a look at both the Ativ Smart PC and the Ativ Smart PC Pro, convertible Windows 8 tablets that, of course, feature capacitive touchscreens, and a small button to remove the tablet from the keyboard dock. The difference between the two tablets is primarily what powers them: the regular unit has an Intel Atom Z2760 processor running at 1.8GHz, while the Pro features an ultra low-voltage Core i5 chip running at 1.7GHz.

The Atom-powered model features a blue finish quite reminiscent of the Galaxy S III, and it has an all-plastic exterior. The Atom processor is paired with 2GB of RAM, and it has a 1366 x 768 11.6-inch display. Around the sides it is adorned with a USB 2.0 port, micro HDMI, and a microSD card slot, all of which are covered by plastic covers. There's also a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel shooter on the front. It all weighs in at 762 grams, and it is in a 9.9mm-thick frame.

The Pro, meanwhile, doesn't just gain power: that beefier processor (which is joined by 4GB of RAM) means there's more heat to distribute, and it shows with vents scattered around the tablet. It's also in a silver color, and its real crowning improvement over its lesser brother is a much crisper 1920 x 1080 11.6-inch display. There are a few minor spec bumps all around: an 8-megapixel rear camera, USB 3.0, and 10-point multitouch.

Samsung won't give us the weight or thickness of the Pro yet, but it's significantly thicker than the regular Smart PC. It also got quite warm during use — despite the presence of those large vents — and the overall construction does leave something to be desired. As mentioned above, both machines are completely wrapped in standard Samsung plastic, but on the Pro the chassis has much more give than we would like. Both tablets are also top heavy, though the Pro more so.

When it comes to input controls, the keyboard and trackpad are similar to what we've seen before on convertible tablets. The keys are a bit stiff and are shallow, while the trackpad is a bit too small and "sticky" for our tastes. One surprise here, though: Samsung has brought over its S Pen from the Galaxy Note. Unfortunately no pens were available when we were using the device (wouldn't want anyone to steal them!), but both models have slots in the tablet to house the stylus. We'll have more on these tablets soon, but for now we're waiting on availability and pricing information, though October seems like a good candidate.

Samsung Ativ Smart PC and Smart PC Pro hands-on pictures