Samsung's ATIV Smart PC 500T: An Atom-Based Windows 8 Tablet

LCD Performance Analyzed

Subpixels on Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500TSubpixels on Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T

Between the thick LCD glass and the digitizer layer, we can't get a clear look at the screen's subpixels. However, there's enough definition for us to identify this as an IPS panel.

It's not just any IPS panel, though. Samsung uses the same SuperBright Plus Technology (SPT) that originally debuted on its Series 9 notebooks, and then the Series 7 11.6” Slate. Most IPS screens deliver around 300 nits of luminance, but SPT-enabled displays are purportedly capable of 400 nits without sacrificing 170o viewing angles.

Rendering ~48% of the AdobeRGB 1998 and ~67% of sRGB gamuts, Samsung's ATIV Smart PC 500T trails the company's Series 7 11.6” Slate, which is surprising considering that they both employ 11.6” SPT screens. Some improvements are apparent, though; we’re finally able to hit ~400 cd/m2 brightness, something the Series 7 11.6” Slate wasn't able to do.

Overall, the 500T's display is really crisp, due in large part to its ability to achieve a high brightness spec. Unfortunately, high-luminance IPS displays are usually handicapped when it comes to contrast ratio. As with most things though, you cannot generalize. The 13.3” Series 9 notebook's contrast ratio was a relatively weak ~689:1, whereas the Series 7 11.6” boasts ~1,136:1. Fortunately, the ATIV Smart PC 500T doesn't seem to have those issues, achieving a 1,220:1 contrast ratio, even besting Samsung’s previous Windows-based tablet.

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  • knowom
    Way overpriced would much rather just get a laptop.
  • tanjo
    Quote:
    Too bad tablets can't get drunk and hook up; we'd love to see what the kids of Samsung's ATIV Smart PC 500T and Microsoft's Surface would look like.

    Don't know about the looks but they'd name it Samsoft.
  • mayankleoboy1
    i wonder what a Surface with a Quad core Krait S4 would look like.
  • DjEaZy
    ... An Atom-Based Windows 8 Tablet... two terrible things put together...
  • hp79
    I got one of these from Staples for $600 when they first released it.
    The battery life is amazing for me. Probably due to that fact that I never blast the brightness because it'll hurt my eyes. I usually recharge the battery overnight, once in 1-3 days. It's like a cell phone (I actually charge my Galaxy Note every night), where it stays connected. Press the power button or standby in the Windows menu, and the screen turns off, but everything else is still going on in the background. I can listen to music and press the power button, and it's just like a smartphone. All this while sipping very little power.
    I can play movies on my 1080p TV using cheap hdmi cable, and after watching 4 hours of movies, it still has 60% battery left.

    I really like the digitizer too since I also use OneNote 2010 on my x230t, which gets synched on the xe500t's OneNote 2010.

    Because I don't have to worry about the battery life at all, sometimes I just keep it on, running a movie or something while working on my desktop or laptop.

    Now the bad things are obviously the slower CPU, and everywhere-glassy plastic feel.
    There are also bugs in the drivers where the touch interface often stops working, especially in Skype. There were several updates on the drivers and bios, but I think they better keep working on it.
  • jonjonjon
    this is so ridiculous how bad ms screwed this up. windows 8 could not be more a disaster. why would you release a arm and intel x86 version of the same tablet? with that said why use arm at all. maybe i don't see ms's infinite wisdom. if i buy a windows tablet i'm expecting that i can run all my x86 programs on it. i would love to be in some ms management meetings i'm sure you could get some good laughs. poor ms i almost feel bad for them.
  • demirci
    "72% of Nvidia's Tegra 3, and 92% of Qualcomm's S4 Pro"
    This is not correct according to the graph.
  • JOSHSKORN
    Talk to me when a tablet can run Crysis 3 on its highest settings. Then, I'll buy one. Then, the Desktop PC will be dead.
  • killerclick
    Windows Vista had 2.2% after two months on the market.
    Windows 8 market share after two months - 1.65%, meaning it gained only 0.6% Nov 26 - Dec 26
    At the same time Windows 7 gained 0.4% to just over 45%.

    Metro is dead, it should be obvious even to Microsoft now.
  • killerclick
    JOSHSKORNTalk to me when a tablet can run Crysis 3 on its highest settings. Then, I'll buy one. Then, the Desktop PC will be dead.


    No problem, they'll make Crysis 3 for Windows tablets, so it'll run exactly the same on the PC. It's what Microsoft is expecting devs to do with their apps.
  • serendipiti
    "Too bad tablets can't get drunk and hook up; we'd love to see what the kids of Samsung's ATIV Smart PC 500T and Microsoft's Surface would look like."

    What have you been (or perhaps not been) doing lately, Andrew ? ;)
    Christmas holidays and betrayals of the unconscious ? ;)

    Happy new year !!!
  • ojas
    It's strange, Tom's continues to use geekbench as a cross-platform benchmark, when AnandTech sated (in fact Anand himself did) that it isn't a great one to use...

    Anyway, why not use Sandra for Android and Windows? They've had working Android builds for quite a while now, and i'm sure Tom's Hardware gets beta software.
  • safcmanfr
    Very interesting solution. I'd be tempted to leave the docking station on the desk (home or work) and use it as a simple tablet when on the move.

    I can't wait for the Surface pro with the touch/type keyboard, cos it should be lighter that the Samsung dock and easy to carry around.
  • safcmanfr
    (especially as the tablet has a stylus, which means taking notes in a meeting doesnt necessarily need the keyboard...)
  • mayankleoboy1
    windowsRT on exynos5 hardware should be Epic WIN.
  • damianrobertjones
    DjEaZy... An Atom-Based Windows 8 Tablet... two terrible things put together...

    - Please grow up.

    So...

    During the review how many times did the keyboard disconnect, connect, disconnect, then repeat the cycle. Until this issue is CONFIRMED as being fixed it's not worth buying. Visit the 'tablet pc review forum for updates'. Other than that it's a very nice machine with wacom stylus. You can also grab back a load of space by disabling hibernation, virtual memory and system restore (if enabled).
  • damianrobertjones
    killerclickMetro is dead, it should be obvious even to Microsoft now.


    Metro died a long time ago when they changed the name. I, personally, didn't see the sales as being anything other than what they are but once the 'games' start arriving and the kids take notice... .
  • cknobman
    A windows 8 atom tablet might just be worth getting if Intel would stop using such POS graphics.
  • enewmen
    I would have liked to see how and AMD C-60 does, even with a higher (9W) TDP.
    At least it CAN play Starcraft 2 at low settings.
  • cangelini
    demirci"72% of Nvidia's Tegra 3, and 92% of Qualcomm's S4 Pro"This is not correct according to the graph.

    Fixed. Andrew had the S4 and Tegra reversed.
  • cangelini
    ojasIt's strange, Tom's continues to use geekbench as a cross-platform benchmark, when AnandTech sated (in fact Anand himself did) that it isn't a great one to use...Anyway, why not use Sandra for Android and Windows? They've had working Android builds for quite a while now, and i'm sure Tom's Hardware gets beta software.

    I believe we were actually the first to publish Sandra numbers back in October: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/snapdragon-s4-pro-apq8064-msm8960t,3291-3.html.

    The problem is that SiSoftware is still limited in what they can test. Windows RT's rules means we can't include the Surface or ATIV Tab (believe me, we've covered this with Adrian over there already). We can't include iOS-based devices. Really, we'd be limited to Android and Windows 8 (x32). GeekBench is far from ideal, and we've admitted that over and over again. But it remains one of the only tools at our disposal for the broadest possible comparisons.
  • mattd284
    damianrobertjones- Please grow up.So...During the review how many times did the keyboard disconnect, connect, disconnect, then repeat the cycle. Until this issue is CONFIRMED as being fixed it's not worth buying. Visit the 'tablet pc review forum for updates'. Other than that it's a very nice machine with wacom stylus. You can also grab back a load of space by disabling hibernation, virtual memory and system restore (if enabled).


    I have one and the keyboard will disconnect sometimes when you move the screen, but immediately connects again, in the space of a second. So it isn't such a big deal, other than that problem the dock is very secure and the only metal bit on the whole device!
  • AlanDang
    ojasIt's strange, Tom's continues to use geekbench as a cross-platform benchmark, when AnandTech sated (in fact Anand himself did) that it isn't a great one to use...Anyway, why not use Sandra for Android and Windows? They've had working Android builds for quite a while now, and i'm sure Tom's Hardware gets beta software.


    Anand said "I've looked at using Geekbench to compare iOS to Android in the past and I've sometimes seen odd results."

    Each benchmark is just another tool in the toolbox. There's no such thing as an odd result on a synthetic benchmark -- the expectations were just wrong. If something is unusually fast, unless there is driver optimization/cheating, what it just means is that the CPU happens to have a best-case scenario that's being tested. Geekbench has some very specific benchmarks which are broken down with good granularity which can give you some clues into the platform. Likewise, platform performance is what's critical and as we saw with SurfaceRT vs Transformer Prime, the operating system can have a difference (with the 4+1 core support). If an OS like WebOS is slow, wouldn't you want a benchmark that also shows you that penalty?

    The main beauty of free online reviews is that you can see how different people get to different conclusions and different approaches and not have to pay anything. Anandtech and Tom's HW both recently did articles looking at granular power consumption on Atom vs. Tegra3 on WinRT using Intel's test equipment. Anand went with Intel's HW and focused on getting out benchmarks for boot-up, etc. (with pretty looking graphs). Our article published granular data for the memory subsystem, screen, etc. and then spent a lot of time with thinking about ways to independently validate those results and how just the mindset of thinking about watts being drawn for specific tasks lets us make some good predictions for A15, Krait, etc.

    It's almost like movie reviews. If everyone agrees that something is great, you know you have a winner. If there's a lot of debate, you know that no single solution is perfect, otherwise there wouldn't be a debate.
  • ojas
    cangeliniI believe we were actually the first to publish Sandra numbers back in October: http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] 91-3.html. The problem is that SiSoftware is still limited in what they can test. Windows RT's rules means we can't include the Surface or ATIV Tab (believe me, we've covered this with Adrian over there already). We can't include iOS-based devices. Really, we'd be limited to Android and Windows 8 (x32). GeekBench is far from ideal, and we've admitted that over and over again. But it remains one of the only tools at our disposal for the broadest possible comparisons.

    That link's broken though from the url i think i know what article you're talking about. But, that article didn't have either Medfield, IIRC, or of course, Clover Trail...I've seen SiSoft's own benchmarks for Medfield, which is why i was interested in seeing the clover trail results...

    I understand the need for a broad comparison, but probably...if you could use Sandra on, let's say one Tegra 3, one clover trail, and then some other Andriod device, we could confirm geekbench's results, and probably place the other devices accordingly...or something.

    Just a suggestion, not implying a conspiracy of some sorts :P

    AlanDangAnand said "I've looked at using Geekbench to compare iOS to Android in the past and I've sometimes seen odd results."Each benchmark is just another tool in the toolbox. There's no such thing as an odd result on a synthetic benchmark -- the expectations were just wrong. If something is unusually fast, unless there is driver optimization/cheating, what it just means is that the CPU happens to have a best-case scenario that's being tested. Geekbench has some very specific benchmarks which are broken down with good granularity which can give you some clues into the platform. Likewise, platform performance is what's critical and as we saw with SurfaceRT vs Transformer Prime, the operating system can have a difference (with the 4+1 core support). If an OS like WebOS is slow, wouldn't you want a benchmark that also shows you that penalty?The main beauty of free online reviews is that you can see how different people get to different conclusions and different approaches and not have to pay anything. Anandtech and Tom's HW both recently did articles looking at granular power consumption on Atom vs. Tegra3 on WinRT using Intel's test equipment. Anand went with Intel's HW and focused on getting out benchmarks for boot-up, etc. (with pretty looking graphs). Our article published granular data for the memory subsystem, screen, etc. and then spent a lot of time with thinking about ways to independently validate those results and how just the mindset of thinking about watts being drawn for specific tasks lets us make some good predictions for A15, Krait, etc. It's almost like movie reviews. If everyone agrees that something is great, you know you have a winner. If there's a lot of debate, you know that no single solution is perfect, otherwise there wouldn't be a debate.

    I remember Anand also saying that he's not sure it's a good cross-platform thing, might be the same source you're quoting from because this is quite a while ago, so i may be confused.

    But i'm not sure i quite agree with synthetics not showing odd results...Andrew for example, dislikes PassMark, and i've seen extremely unbelievable results from it myself across Android, Windows and iOS. Never used Geekbench on Android/iOS myself so can't say much about that, except quote Anand, and the only reason i'm bothering to do that is because i feel you guys and Anand probably know as much as the other, which is much more than me :)

    But yeah-the driver optimization (or even compiler optimization?) is a factor (or vendors optimizing for a specific bench)...was testing Sandra for SiSoft recently after a recent version of theirs was suddenly showing abnormal video memory bandwidth for Nvidia cards...so yeah. But then i remember Andrew saying that you guys know Geekbench pretty well on a granular level, just saying that if you know too that it isn't perfect an possibly inconsistent (as Chris acknowledged above) then throwing in another synthetic is a good idea, IMO.

    IIRC 3DMark is coming up with a "true" cross-platform benchmark, so i guess we'll have to wait for that...

    BTW: Any point in using SunSpider any more? Isn't a recent trend to specifically optimize for SunSpider? In which case, what's the point?