Samsung 700T Windows 8 Tablet Review

image A few weeks ago I purchased this device from a coworker, used.  He probably paid around $1400 for it, I got it at around 50% off; he was upgrading to something that was more “artist-techy”. 

I love it.

It does have its problems.  I’ll get to those in a bit.  However, here’s how it does work for me:

  • It is a full laptop.  Doing class work for TeamTreeHouse.com?  Not a problem.   My version: 
    • i5 processor
    • 120G SSD (fast!)
    • 4G of Ram
  • The display is a wide-screen format, so when watching movies on Netflix, they appear larger than on the iPad (which is a 4:3 form factor, thus the movie must be shrunk more)
  • When using the supplied pen, thanks to near field technology, I can actually hover separately from a click, which is a distinction I do need to make in a lot of my work.
  • The Keyboard that it attaches to, I like the feel of.  There’s a nice click resistance to the keys, and they are spaced nicely; the buttons make sense.
  • When using the keyboard, the keyboard works as a stand for the tablet; I do not need to prop the tablet up separately.
  • A full 1080 display for All the Pixels.  
  • Fully works as a RDP Terminal into work.  
  • I am loving the touch.  There are many things which I used to use mouse or keyboard for, that I now find myself doing with touch – such as, scrolling, clicking into text fields, zooming in to get a good look at something.  
    • There is a built in stylus that becomes pretty handy when I need to get hi-res with the touch.
  • Decent battery life.  Well, for me, that means >= 2 hours.  For others, that would be a joke.  Right now its saying 5 hours left, but I wouldn’t trust that.
  • I did not have much trouble undertanding the gestures.  They do make more sense with touch than with a mouse.   However, I had also played with windows 8 back in the RTM timeframe, so I had a head start. 

Comparing it to my iPad:

  • I am not afraid to create.  Like, for example, writing this blog post.   I would not try to do it on the iPad.  It might be possible.. but little things like, how do I get a picture of my cat into the blog post, would be vexing.
  • I already mentioned the superior screen for watching movies.
  • The iPad can kinda-sorta multitask.. but lets face it, when its trying to load a web page, you do not jump away to a different program.  This one – not a problem.  Something taking too long, run a different app, no big deal.
  • The iPad does have (much) better battery life.   I don’t even think about charging it except maybe once a week.  This one, I charge daily.

Caveats:

  • Something is broken in Chrome.  I cannot use touch to do most things, in chrome, on this laptop.  I can use hover-and-click via a near-field pen.   I do not have the same problems with FireFox or IE, amazingly.   Several other folks have reported this problem.  I find this annoying, as my “default” setup is to use Chrome for personal stuff, Firefox for work stuff, and IE as the “test” browser for whatever website I’m working on.  I’ll probably start using IE as the personal browser on this tablet.
  • I do use it more as a laptop and less as a tablet.  When I enter tablet-world, I find that most of the apps are less-than.  For example: What, no official YouTube app?  I had to download MegaTube instead.   Browsing for interesting apps in the Windows Store is a joke.
  • The high-resolution screen combined with a small screen = very small and hard to read stuff, sometimes.  I’ve had to increase font sizes.  Then again, I am also getting older. 🙂

If things go as planned, I should start doing some python or Ruby coding on this device; might even install the Visual Studio Express stuff.   That will be another report.

I have also not yet used the USB ports, or the Micro-SD card reader, or the Mini-HDMI port.  I assume they will work correctly when I get around to using them.

I will leave you with some artwork I created using FreshPaint:

image

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