Samsung Series 7 11.6" Slate: Breathing New Life Into Tablet PCs

GPU Performance: Intel HD Graphics Versus HD Graphics 3000

In the interest of keeping things simple, we're going to stick to graphics comparisons between Samsung's Series 7 Slate, Asus' Eee Slate, and a competing Sandy Bridge-based notebook, all of which employ variations on Intel's HD Graphics engine to enable desktop gaming you can't get from a tablet.

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SpecificationsAsus K53ESamsung Series 7 11.6" SlateAsus Eee Slate
CPUCore i5-2520M (Sandy Bridge), 2.5 GHz, 3 MB Shared L3 CacheCore i5-2467M (Sandy Bridge), 1.6 GHz, 3 MB Shared L3 CacheCore i5-470UM (Arrandale), 1.33 GHz, 3 MB Shared L3 Cache
Cores/Threads2 / 42 / 42 / 4
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 3000Intel HD Graphics
Memory6 GB DDR3-13334 GB DDR3-13334 GB DDR3-800
System DriveSeagate Momentus 5400 RPM 640 GB (ST9640423AS)Samsung 64 GB SSDSanDisk P4 64 GB SSD
Graphics Driver15.

Gaming On A Slate

Asus' K53E notebook enjoys the benefits of a 35 W TDP to push higher processor and graphics core clock rates compared to our 17 and 18 W slate examples. The result is an obvious advantage in game like World of Warcraft.

With that said, at nearly the same thermal budget, Samsung's Sandy Bridge-powered Core i5-2467M is measurably faster than the Eee Slate's Core i5-470UM. The Fair quality slider isn't playable on either tablet, but you're certainly welcome to try raiding using the Low preset.

Playing at 1280x720 remains viable on the Series 7 Slate, though anything higher is probably going to be out of reach. In general, older DX 9-based games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and Far Cry 2 fall in the same realm of playability on Intel's HD Graphics 3000 engine.

Calling HD Graphics 3000's gaming potential modest would be really generous. However, we're more impressed with the capabilities of its Quick Sync feature for video encode/decode acceleration. 

Just how effective is Quick Sync in a tablet PC form factor? We took an unprotected 30 GB Blu-ray rip and transcoded it for an iPad 2 using MediaEspresso in less than 20 minutes. The same workload on a Core i5-2500K using the processor's four cores alone consumes more than an hour. Then we ran another test, taking an unprotected 665 MB Blu-ray MTS file and transcoding it in just over one minute (1:13, to be exact). The same workload tackled by the desktop Core i5 took 10:08.

In that context, then, Quick Sync continues to represent a significant productivity-oriented win for Sandy Bridge-based processors when they're using integrated graphics (as Samsung's tablet PC does).

  • g-unit1111
    Do. Want. Finally - a tablet that doesn't require a proprietary operating system that needs 1,000,000,000 apps for every website on the internet in order to function properly. It has an SSD and not flash memory. It has a real working version of Windows - with a great interface on top of it. This looks like a tablet I can get behind.
  • A very nice tablet! Hoping that ivy bridge will allow faster processers without creating too much heat and saving battery. I'm really looking into getting a tablet in the future to replace my notebook and this looks is very reassuring that things are improving :P.
  • friskiest
    A5 vs SB,. hehehe (grinning :D)
  • sereng3ti
    The first sentence of this article told me all I needed to know.
  • What about the digitizer? I appreciate the comparisons to the Asus EEE Slate, but that has a 256-level pressure sensitive wacom digitizer on top of the screen. And no mention of it or what is on this device?
  • joytech22
    Yay finally, I saw this in shops around a month ago and wonder when tom's would cover it. :p
  • Gamer-girl
    The UI makes it seem like a smartphone. You keep mentioning the pen but there is no comparison? Does it have palm rejection?
  • theuniquegamer
    Instead of current sandybridge (i.e hd 3000) the should give an amd llano which has a better gpu or the ivy bridge mobile cpus (which is with hd 4000 gpu) and a lower TDP.
  • alyoshka
    Isn't it a little steep for a 1000$....??? After all it's a Samsung, 11.6Inch Tab.......
    I think it'd be a lot more wiser to buy a laptop for that price and get a much more efficient and powerful piece of tech.
  • alyoshka
    I would have given the Note from Samsung a thought had it had 7.5 installed on it..... but again..... it's a samsung.....