Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T Windows 8 Tablet Review

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Summary and Conclusion

When you buy a tablet that has the full version of Windows 8, you’re expecting more than a tablet: you’re expecting a tablet that can stand in for a notebook computer when necessary. It must be powerful enough to handle Windows as adeptly as a laptop, and it must be capable of running the same apps. And, of course, it should handle typical tablet tasks and multimedia (Web surfing, video streaming, etc.) flawlessly.

There’s no question that Window 8 and the Atom Z2760 make for a good team in the Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T. At this price range, you’re looking for more power and more screen real estate than you’re going to find in a tablet that’s just designed for reading books or watching a movie on the plane.  In other words, the ATIV 500T is more than just a "media consumption" device. The 500T is ready for work and play, with a large, bright, and very responsive screen and enough power to handle common desktop applications effortlessly.

We also like the 500T as an entertainment tablet. Sure, the 11.6-inch screen adds enough real estate to the tablet to make it less wieldy than your average 7-inch tablet, but because the 500T is so thin and light, it’s still manageable. That said, unless you’re always on the go, we would invest in that optional dock (sorry, Samsung didn't have one for our evaluation). When you’re watching video on the 500T, you’ll probably want to prop it up on something, rather than hold it the whole time.  And of course typing on a full keyboard beats banging on glass for most folks, any day of the week.

Our quibble with the speaker volume aside, the Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T really does justice to Windows 8 and offers a competitive solution to Microsoft's Surface Pro. Its screen is vibrant and a joy to watch video on, and we could also see it as an asset in an office setting or for light duty road work, when you really need to get more traditional computing done.

  • Bright, beautiful screen
  • Svelte, light, but sturdy chassis
  • Screen and UI responsive to gestures
  • Solid tablet/netbook performance
  • Max speaker volume seems a little soft
  • Glossy screen sometimes throws minor glare

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