Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T Windows 8 Tablet Review

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Introduction and Specifications

Not long ago, we tested one of Samsung’s new Windows 8 tablets to take a close-up look at Intel’s Clover Trail Atom Z2760 SoC. Now that we’ve covered the chip driving the tablet, it’s time to take a look at the Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T as a whole. The tablet runs about $650 by itself, which puts the price on par with a similarly-configured iPad. (Well, as similarly as it can be configured.) Throw in the optional keyboard and dock for another $100, and you’re still looking at a device that should be able to stand in for your laptop or PC in some situations, at an attainable price.  Here's what we found when we took the ATIV for a spin.

Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T (XE500T1C-A01US)
Specifications & Features
Operating System:
Integrated Communications
System Weight:
System Dimensions:
Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core processor at 1.8GHz.
Windows 8
11.6-inch LED Display with 1366 x 768 resolution and 400 nits SuperBright Plus
2MP front camera, 8MP rear camera with flash
1.6W Stereo Speakers, microphone
802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
Micro HDMI, USB 2.0, Micro SD, headphone/mic, dock connector
30Wh; 2-cell Li-Po battery
1.65 pounds
11.6 x 7.2 x 0.38 inches (WxHxD)
1-year parts and labor
$650, $750 with keyboard and dock

Thanks to the Atom Z2760, the ATIV Smart PC 500T is capable of running the full x86 version of Windows 8. You’re likely familiar with the distinction between Windows 8 and Windows RT by now, but if not, know this: you’ll want a tablet running Windows 8 if you plan to run Window 8 desktop apps on it. Windows RT doesn’t support X86 apps that are designed to run on your desktop, just apps from the Microsoft Store. That means that the 500T can run any app that your Windows 8 laptop can run.

At the hardware level, of note are 2GB of DDR2L (low-power) memory and a 64GB SSD. This is where price and power consumption restrictions make a dent. As we noted in our earlier review, Clover Trail means no DDR3 memory. By comparison, the more expensive ($1,199.99) ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T carries an Intel Core i5-3317U processor, 4GB of memory, and 128GB of SSD storage.

On the connectivity side, the ATIV is equipped as you’d expect: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, and Bluetooth 4.0. The tablet also has a Micro HDMI slot and a Micro SD slot, both of which are well-concealed by tiny (but sturdy) covers. Headphones and a mic are also supported.

We haven’t forgotten the tablet’s screen, but it’s the nature of a tablet that the screen and audio is crucial to the user experience, so we’ll discuss those features in depth, next.

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