A lightweight slate computer with full PC capabilities running Windows 7, the Samsung Series 7 Slate PC offers all of the features of a full-sized laptop in an extremely portable package, providing highly mobile users with the computing power they need for maximum productivity anywhere they go.
Optional dock and keyboard creates a desktop PC experience, weighing less than 2 pounds and measuring only half an inch thick, the Series 7 Slate can truly be taken anywhere. Despite its compact size, the Slate is a full-powered PC with an 11.6-inch screen, powerful Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, a full version of Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, and a 128 GB solid state hard drive.
In addition to being easy to transport, its sleek, slim design and elegant detailing will turn heads everywhere – from the boardroom to the train on your commute home.
With up to seven hours of battery life, the Series 7 Slate ensures an entire day connection for optimal productivity while on-the-go.
Windows 8 tablet up close
On the right of the Windows 8 tablet is the power button, the rotation lock button for when you don’t want to turn the screen to flip the orientation, and the SIM slot. On the top are micro SD slot, the twin array microphones – with front and rear-facing cameras; this is going to be good for Skype video calls.
On the left side is the only USB port, with a neat USB blanking plate that you’re going to lose as soon as you try it out, also placed alongside is the combined headphone and speaker jack next to the volume buttons which are slim but have a nice, positive feel to them, and the mini HDMI port.
At the lower left corner is the power jack, which looks absurdly large on the slim edge. (The power brick itself isn’t as small as some tablet chargers – about the size of a pack of cards, with sleek, rounded edges.)
The bottom edge of the Windows 8 tablet has the docking port for the rather neat docking stand (which keeps the power cable tidily out of the way as well as giving you another USB port, plus HDMI, gigabit Ethernet and a headphone socket).
The tiny speakers on either end of the bottom edge give you the same surprisingly good sound as the Series 9. And even when it’s in the dock, the all-important Windows button is easy to press to switch between the Metro Start screen and the desktop.
The inch-wide bezel is as absurdly shiny as on any other Samsung device, but having the flat glass surface right across the tablet from edge to edge is what you want because of the gestures where you swipe onto the screen from the side to switch apps or open the ‘charms’.
The screen isn’t as reflective as the bezel, and the fact that it will always be peppered with fingerprints might even reduce the minimal glare. Thanks to the brightness, clarity and beautiful color of the screen, you won’t notice the fingerprints until the screen is off.
Touch accuracy is superb on the screen; the high touch digitiser resolution helps, as does the fuzzy hit targeting in Windows 8 and one could select every single icon, link, control and menu flyout, as well as swipe quickly and accurately.
There’s no slot for the pen in the chassis, but it’s a slender Wacom pen with a good grip that makes it easy to use the handwriting recognition; the tip has the right amount of friction too, giving you smooth inking but not sliding around on the glass screen as you write.
The 909g weight is very light for a Windows slate this large (most Atom-based Windows tablets have 10-inch screens) and it’s nicely balanced, whether you’re holding it in portrait mode for reading web pages or in landscape – which works well for typing with the on-screen thumb keyboard, playing games and enjoying videos and photos.
Thanks to the processor, the Samsung tablet has no problem running Windows 8 Metro apps, Windows desktop apps like Photoshop, games, hardware-accelerated web pages in IE10 or any combination of these, at once.
The 16:9 aspect ratio makes it easy to slip under your arm and carry hands-free. It also helps that the metal surface is blessedly scratch and fingerprint-resistant (those wide bezels are another story). And as hefty as it is, we regularly slipped it into a shoulder bag and toted it to and from the office without any real burden. Still, pile on the keyboard, dock, charger and a Bluetooth mouse and that journey turns into a schlep.
As you might expect from a Windows tablet, the Series 7 is well-stocked with ports and once again, Samsung arranged them in pretty intuitive way. Imagine for a minute that you’re holding it in landscape mode. On the bottom, all you’ll find is the docking connector that allows it to work with the accompanying dock (more on that in a bit). On the right edge, toward the top, there’s a power / lock button, which you can press lightly to turn off the screen, and hold to force a shut-down. Next to that, there’s a button for locking the screen orientation. As with the rear camera, we appreciate that Samsung put these in a place where you’re unlikely to hit them by accident in either landscape or portrait mode. Moving on to the left side, you’ll find a USB 2.0 port up top, along with twin volume buttons that sit within reach of where your fingers would be. Also on this side is a micro-HDMI socket and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Finally, on the top edge you’ll find a microSD slot, hidden behind a sliding door.
Depending on the configuration you choose, your Series 7 may or may not come with Samsung’s accessories, which include a Bluetooth keyboard and dock.
You’ll also find an Ethernet jack, an extra headphone port, along with USB 2.0 and HDMI. The dock itself has a flap on top that opens to reveal the docking connector, and against which you can rest the tablet to prop it up. Close the flap, though, and the dock becomes a pocket-able slab, decked out in the same brushed metal as the tablet.
As for the keyboard, what you’ll get is much more generously sized than what you’ll find on the Transformer Prime dock, which is to say all of the major keys (Enter, etc.) are plenty large. The keys themselves are easy to press. We do like that the module on the back holding the two AAA batteries gives the keyboard a nice lift, which makes for some comfortable typing.
The tablet’s expansive, 11.6-inch, PLS display has a 1366 x 768 pixel count, which we see all the time on small to mid-sized laptops, but rarely on tablets. Indeed, it’s crisp enough for comfortable web surfing and working with a few windows open. But mostly, the display shines on account of its vibrant, punchy colors. This is a 400-nit panel, making use of Samsung’s SuperBright Plus technology — just like the screen in the Series 9 laptop, except with a glossy, non-matte, finish.
And what would a Windows 8 tablet be without a little pen action? The Wacom-compatible pen comes included. What good is a tablet this bulky if it can’t justify its heft with generous runtime?
But what a pleasure it is to use. From the start, writing on the screen felt buttery smooth, even if we pressed lightly on the pen. In what might be our favorite design touch, it has what looks like a classic, rubber eraser on top (except made of black plastic), and you can rub it against the screen to remove any markings. Also intuitive: if you press and hold the button and then tap the screen you’ll bring up all the options you would have if you right-clicked. Similarly, if you’re in Windows Journal, the included notepad app, you can hold the button and then circle text for options such as changing the text color.
The pen is clearly meant for scribbling notes and navigating the OS, though you can bet, any business buying this already has some pen-optimized, industry-specific apps in mind.
Series 7 is running an early version of Windows 8. As we’ve seen with other business-focused machines, the bloatware load is light, though hardly spartan. These programs include: CyberLink’s YouCam software, a trial of Microsoft Office 2010, Norton Internet Security and Norton Online Backup, Skype 4.2 and Windows Live Essentials 2011. Mostly benign stuff, except for Norton, which pops up to say hello as soon as you boot up the tablet for the first time.
Samsung’s exclusive Easy Settings make it effortless to connect the Series 7 Slate to new wireless networks, projectors and more by giving you easy access to commonly used PC settings, resulting in stress-free business travel and presentations. Samsung Easy Migration allows you to seamlessly transfer existing files by connecting your old PC to the Series 7 Slate, launching and starting Easy Migration and letting the PC do the rest.
Fully Mobile, Fully Powered
You can quickly type using the on-screen keyboard and navigate through the Slate’s features with the highly responsive capacitive multi-touch screen, or write naturally on the screen using an electromagnetic pen, making it easy to take meeting notes, create documents and reports in Microsoft Office 2010, or browse online. An integrated microphone and dual 2-megapixel (front) and 3-megapixel (rear) cameras can record audio/visual files, which can be stored and shared via the full-sized USB port or Wi-Fi.
Intel Wireless Display Capable
With integrated Intel Wireless Display technology, you’ll be able to cut down on the cluttered mass of wires surrounding your work station and stop them from crowding around your laptop screen as you enjoy vivid pictures, video and other content. You’ll enjoy great image clarity and sound without sacrificing quality minus the hassle of wires. Simply connect an optional adapter for Intel Wireless Display (such as the Netgear Push2TV PTV2000 and Belkin ScreenCast adapters) to your TV, follow a few simple steps and you’re off and running. Set it up once, and sharing your screen is as easy as pushing a button.
PowerPlus Battery Technology
A battery designed for the long haul, the Samsung PowerPlus technology gives you more years and more hours. This technology retains 80 percent of the original battery capacity for up to 1,000 charges. Even after three years of use, you still have a battery that works for you day in and day out; that’s power when you need it.
Samsung Series 7 Slate PC review (screenshots)
It’s altogether a different experience than if you were to install Windows 8 Developer Preview on here, where you’d move back and forth between the classic desktop and Windows Phone-inspired tiles — a jarring experience, if you’re not used to it. Here, you can make use of both Windows and this more touch-friendly UI, but you can also quarantine the dumbed-down Touch Launcher and open it only when you need it.
In addition to ToDo, the nearly two dozen pre-installed apps include: Photos, Videos, Music, Bing Map, Notes, Yahoo Finance, Social Dashboard, Recipe, Clock, Weather, Internet Explorer, Windows Journal, Twitter, RSS Reader, Calendar, Camera and Amazon’s Kindle reader. There’s also an icon for YouTube, but that’s just a browser shortcut.
We won’t exhaust you with a run-down of every single app, but suffice to say, there’s promising stuff here, but also room for improvement. Some highlights: the calendar app syncs with your various Gmail calendars within seconds, even preserving the colors you had originally assigned them. Social Feed lets you cherry pick people whose updates you really want to read, and then cobbles those together into a patchwork of tiles.
Our test unit (the highest-end configuration sold in the US) came loaded with a 1.6GHz Core i5-2467M processor, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB Samsung-made solid-state drive, integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics and Windows 8. Between the large-enough screen, laptop-grade components, included keyboard and matching dock, there’s little reason not to use this as you would use a computer.
There’s nothing quite like the Series 7 Slate. Windows 7 tablets, yes, but they’re mostly still chugging along on weaker Atom processors. Serious Android ones that accept pen input.
In fact it’s rare to see a Windows tablet with enough power to match a laptop, and the kind of screen design and ergonomic accessories needed to transform it into a desktop-dwelling machine. For all these reasons, the Series 7 Slate is memorable, compelling and, ultimately, a niche product.