Samsung ATIV Tab Review: A Tablet To Hold Your Breath For?

ATIV Tab On Hold: Did Samsung Make The Right Call?

Microsoft took a lot of its partners by surprise when it disclosed that it was working on its own tablet, particularly since the company had already been guiding the likes of Dell, HP, Samsung, Acer, and Lenovo through what it wanted to see, design-wise. This might not have been awkward if the Surface was a flop. But it's actually a good-looking, well-built piece of hardware. The kickstand and cover combination is both clever and practical. And we think that magnesium chassis is great.

How does Samsung's ATIV Tab compare? Well, by virtue of its Qualcomm APQ8060A SoC, it serves up better battery life. And that's from a lower-capacity power source in a lighter package. Our benchmarks also tell us that the Tab offers superior color performance from its display, though the difference is nearly imperceptible.

At the same time, we're not fans of the plastic shell, just as we criticized it on the ATIV Smart PC 500T. There's also no kickstand (I had to prop it up against a picture frame to get the shot above). And although the Tab is clearly meant to be complemented by a docking station of some sort, we still haven't seen what Samsung has planned as an optional upgrade for folks who can get their hands on this tablet overseas. 

Does the ATIV Tab deliver a better experience in Windows RT than its competition? Not really. The same limitations we ran into on the Surface apply here as well. Samsung's device does wield faster hardware, but IE10 still stutters if you ask too much of it. Moreover, in a multi-monitor configuration (something we're partial to), simply moving your mouse around causes skipping if you're watching video on YouTube.

Of course, given confirmation that Samsung isn't releasing the ATIV Tab in North America just yet, it'd seem the company came to the same conclusion as us, just a little sooner. Nothing prevents Samsung from revisiting our market later in 2013 though, particularly if its concerns about Windows RT are addressed.

Should that happen, we'd advise Samsung to mind its pricing. At least in the U.K., 32 GB Tabs are selling for £525, or just a little less than a 64 GB Surface. In a head-to-head against Microsoft's Surface, we'd be looking for the ATIV Tab at a discount, and even then only if Samsung were to make a sturdy docking station available as an option.

We're definitely looking forward to getting our hands on tablets with Qualcomm's recently-announced 600- and 800-family SoCs, but Samsung's decision to hold off on the ATIV Tab in North America, at least for the time being, was the right one to make. This isn't a bad tablet by any means, but better Windows RT-equipped options already exist.

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  • tanjo
    Power consumption graphs says this tablet has Z2760.
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  • kyuuketsuki
    Quote:
    While we were at CES, however, we met up with Lazslo Kishonti, CEO of Kishonti Informatics and the developer of GLBenchmark. He pointed out that Atom-based tablets running Windows RT are more likely to deliver different levels of performance.

    Er, you mean Atom-based tablets running Windows 8? (Page 6, Paragraph 11)
    Quote:
    Power consumption graphs says this tablet has Z2760.Our setup is pretty basic: we set BrowsingBench to run in battery life mode, which prevents the browser from caching data. Instead of

    Where's the rest of this paragraph? (Page 6, Paragraph 13)
    0
  • kyuuketsuki
    Also, I'm not sure what's up with the Futuremark Peacekeeper and Rightware Browsermark results, but we know damn well the Krait S4 in this tab is a better performer in every way to the Tegra 3. Not sure why go with the S4 Play with the dual-core Krait and Adreno 225 instead of an S4 Pro with quad-core Krait and Adreno 320, though, especially in a tablet form-factor.
    2
  • mayankleoboy1
    KyuuketsukiNot sure why go with the S4 Play with the dual-core Krait and Adreno 225 instead of an S4 Pro with quad-core Krait and Adreno 320, though, especially in a tablet form-factor.

    Because Win8 is already a battery hog compared to Android, and adding power hungry cores will make that worse.
    I dont see any issues with S4 pro and Android.
    -4
  • cangelini
    KyuuketsukiEr, you mean Atom-based tablets running Windows 8? (Page 6, Paragraph 11)Where's the rest of this paragraph? (Page 6, Paragraph 13)

    Fixed!
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  • dokterprio
    Why there is difference in power usage between ativ tab and ativ smartpc 500t. I think they are the same, except the screen size.
    -1
  • adamovera
    tanjoPower consumption graphs says this tablet has Z2760.

    Apologies, fixed now.
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  • adamovera
    dokterprioWhy there is difference in power usage between ativ tab and ativ smartpc 500t. I think they are the same, except the screen size.

    Sorry, we had the charts labelled the same. The ATIV Smart PC 500T has an Atom and runs Windows 8, while the ATIV Tab has an ARM-based chip from Qualcomm and runs Windows RT - they are actually very different devices.
    1
  • ojas
    BrowsingBench scores: are the ipads in correct order?
    0
  • adamovera
    ojasBrowsingBench scores: are the ipads in correct order?

    Seems to be, I haven't used this benchmark yet myself, and I'd have to check with the author to be sure, but I'd guess that these results are inversely reflecting the resolution of the different iPads.
    1
  • Psycomo
    "Can we say we blame Samsung? Hardly. Just imagine answering this one all day long: "So wait, it's Windows, but I can't install Chrome on it? I'm limited to that weak list of apps in the Windows Store? I wish I knew that before I bought this thing!""

    What a load of shite. If you can sell it abroad you can sell it in the US. If that is what they are thinking then they wouldnt be able to release it anywhere.
    2
  • damianrobertjones
    So... in 'reality' what resolution is the Rertina iPad running at when compared to screen space and productivity... yep, you can't compare them. Heck, a 1080p screen, for work, on a tablet blows the Retina away. Trouble is... you'll go blind so you might as well increase the DPI.
    0
  • back_by_demand
    PsycomoWhat a load of shite. If you can sell it abroad you can sell it in the US. If that is what they are thinking then they wouldnt be able to release it anywhere.

    I think they are passing judgement on typical Joe America here, not the fizzed up techy types (minority) but the dumbass hillbillies (vast majority) that have access to a local Best Buy but are as technically clued up as Amish folk.
    0
  • ojas
    adamoveraSeems to be, I haven't used this benchmark yet myself, and I'd have to check with the author to be sure, but I'd guess that these results are inversely reflecting the resolution of the different iPads.

    Ah, that way. But does that mean there was no standard resolution used for testing? But then i guess that wouldn't reflect the "out of the box" experience...
    0
  • Anonymous
    It's nice to have Office, but there's just so much else missing.
    0
  • halcyon
    Quote:
    Also, you won't be able to buy it in the U.S. for the time being (we're only finding it for sale in the U.K. and Australia).

    I stopped reading right there.
    0
  • upgrade_1977
    No RT for me..
    0
  • valuednotoutsourced
    I don't know what Samsung model was reviewed, I was hoping they were reviewing the Samsung ATIV SmartPC model XE700T1C that is available in Canada. The specs for the Canadian model address most of the shortcomings revealed in the review.
    Samsung ATIV SmartPC model XE700T1C
    Chips - Intel® Core™ i5 Processor 3317U (1.70 GHz, 3 MB L3 Cache), Intel HM76, Intel® HD Graphics 4000, 4 GB DDR3 System Memory at 1600 MHz
    11.6" FHD LED Display (1920 x 1080), LCD-Touch Screen, S Pen (with Watcom 1024 Level Pressure Sensitivity Digitizer)
    Ports - Micro HDMI, Micro SD, USB3.0, Headphone out /Mic-in Combo, Dock Port, DC-in
    Bluetooth V4.0, Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6235, 2 x 2 802.11b/g/n (up to 300 Mbps), Widi Support
    - Multimedia - HD Audio, SoundAlive™, 1.6 W Stereo Speaker (0.8 W x 2), 2 MP + 5 MP Dual Cam
    - Physical Specification, 304.0 x 189.4 x 11.9 mm (11.97" x 7.46" x 0.47"), 0.88 kg (1.94 lbs)
    - Power - 40 Watt, 4 Cell (49Wh)

    Please review this model
    0
  • mas
    So is the goal to simply reproduce a laptop in the form factor of a tablet?
    In that case I already possess a full featured laptop that renders the tablet superfluous.

    On the other hand, if they incorporated full phone capabilities aka the Note2, (especially how about a phone function that includes ALL of the major phone & data carrier bands, making it a true international device?????????

    Also, include multiple user exchangeable micro SDHD (64-128GB) memory cards!

    And also implement a robust secure tightly integrated OS level RDP functionality that worked reliably everytime (esp if they could add the ability to securely remotely boot a computer),

    THEN I would have NO NEED for complete Windows functionality, nor would I risk the same degree of data exposure as carrying about a laptop!

    In other words, a truly converged device with both phone, user exchangeable memory, and remote secure policy driven robust reliable RDP would produce a compelling device offering me all the functionality I need.
    0
  • halcyon
    masSo is the goal to simply reproduce a laptop in the form factor of a tablet?

    For many, yes, as they've told themselves that that is more portable (I don't see it but to each their own).
    0