After using and testing the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700t (XE700T1C) for a few weeks I've come to the conclusion that Windows 8 tablets will without a doubt beat Apple iPad tablets and Android tablets. The reason is simple actually and can be summed up in just two words - "No compromise". With Apple tablets and even Android tablets there is always some compromise. With Apple, the biggest compromise is the lack of Flash and if I hear one more person tell me Flash is dead and HTML5 is the way to go I'm going to smack them! I cannot tell you how many times on my Apple iPad I visit a website that uses Flash video and I cannot play it. Very frustrating. Back in July, I said the following:
Because both iOS and Android are "limiting" in offering FULL Windows app support, some browser plugins, Silverlight, Adobe Flash (iOS only), I truly believe the Microsoft Surface tablet will be an iPad and Android tablet killer. If I was using a Windows 8 tablet I'm sure the RTE [Rich Text] editor would work just fine. I also believe that is why Samsung is working hard on a Windows 8 tablet themselves, because even Samsung sees the potential behind a full touch-enabled version of Windows with no limitations. Apple iOS and Android aren't bad operating systems, but they only get me 90% there. I want the remaining 10% features.Call me a Microsoft fanboy, but Windows 8 tablets for the win!
Little did I know months later I'd purchase a Samsung Windows 8 tablet. Now let's move on and list some other compromises in iOS and Android. In my company I use a unified communications app that runs on Windows and Macs, but not iOS or Android. So I cannot chat with my coworkers, stream my voicemail, set my call forwarding, etc. On my Samsung 700t I can do all of this within my UC app. No compromise...
I cannot run the full versions of the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, OneNote) on Apple iOS or Android. Now with my Samsung 700t I can not only create full Word documents, edit PowerPoints, but I can also use Microsoft Access to connect to SQL database tables and run queries. No compromise...
Although I don't program often these days, I still would like the ability to use Visual Studio on my tablet. On Windows 8 tablets I can install Visual Studio - on iOS and Android I cannot. No compromise...
Now Apple fanboys will say battery life on Windows 8 tablets isn't good. Well the Samsung 700t's 49Wh battery gives 8 hours (Mobile Mark) with a video play time of 5HRs capacity. Further, the Intel Haswell chips coming out next year will double the battery life while still having i5 or i7 core-type performance. No compromise...
The current Samsung 700t model features an Intel Core i5 processor and Windows 8 allowing you to run any Windows app, including processor-hungry apps like Adobe Photoshop. No compromise...
Apple and Android fanboys will then mock the sparse Microsoft Store with a smaller set of apps as reason why they are superior. Well, let me give an example of how this isn't entirely true. Last night I was in the mood to watch Fox News on my tablet. Now technically, a U-verse streaming app is only available for Android and Apple iOS and not in the Windows Store.
However, like just about every popular Internet application, there is usually a browser-based version before one arrives in Apple's App Store or Android's Google Play store. So I launched Chrome on my Windows 8 tablet (yeah, that's right, it supports popular 3rd-party browsers) and signed into my U-verse account. Then I was able to play some video clips. For some reason Fox News wouldn't stream, so I switched to Internet Explorer and live streaming of Fox News worked just fine using Flash. Who needs "store apps" when every application runs in a browser as long as it supports Flash? So although the critics pan Windows Store’s lack of apps, I haven’t found anything I needed I couldn't get using a browser. Well, except for the huge array of free and paid games in Apple's App Store. Sure, free app games are cool and generally are not available via a browser, but free or paid games are not critical.
Oh wait, I neglected to mention Windows 8 supports FULL PC games that you cab buy in retails stores or online. Serious gamers play PC games not mobile operating system games or even console games for that matter. Grand Theft Auto, Assassins Creed 3, etc. should work fine. Take that Apple iOS and Android! A beefier graphics chip might be needed for high frame rate games like Crysis 3, but there are Windows 8 tablets coming out with faster GPUs.
Then Apple fanboys will espouse how light the latest iPad is (1.44 pounds) vs. 1.89 pounds for the Samsung 700t. Really, griping over <1/2 a pound? The 700t is still under 2 pounds and it adds a heck of a lot more ports than the iPad, including a Micro HDMI port, a Micro SD slot, and USB 3.0 port. All of these can be used for expansion, accessories, etc. I was able to connect a standard USB keyboard, a 4G USB stick, and a 128GB Flash memory card to double the storage. In theory I could install a 256GB Micro SD card instead, though those are pretty pricey. Or if I don't mind being tethered, I can connect an external 3 TB external hard drive using the USB 3.0 port. Try than with an iPad! Also, I can use a Micro HDMI-to-HDMI cable for connecting a second display but it also supports Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) for wireless connecting to a TV. Absolutely no compromise!
Every techie's favorite friend is a file manager for copying files from one computer to another or accessing files on another resource. Try joining an enterprise domain or HomeGroup on an iPad. Try easily accessing your pictures on your home PC using your iPad. Ain't gonna happen. With a Windows 8 tablet and Windows Explorer, dragging-and-dropping files, opening network resources, viewing shared HomeGroup videos, music, and pictures is a breeze. Further, a Windows 8 tablet running Windows 8 Pro can join a network domain and access all the corporate network resources, including file shares and printers. I can now actually easily print from a tablet. I tried once on my iPad, it was too time consuming to figure out and have never attempted it since. My Windows 8 tablet can print at work and home with no problems. No compromise...
The 700t includes a digitizer pen which comes in quite handy. It can act as a mouse cursor with the ability to click on things or even perform a right-click with the button in the center of the pen. The reason why the digitizer comes in handy is when I'm not using the Metro / Modern UI touch-friendly interface. If I'm in the normal Desktop running apps like Outlook or Word, there are occasions when my finger is too big to click a menu option or some other screen option. The digitizer pen shows exactly where you are going to press and it also allows you to quickly select text much faster than the iOS select method. Once again, no compromise.
I often use my iPad to remote desktop to my work desktop PC to manage certain network resources, like Cisco router, Linux web server, etc. Most remote desktop apps in the iTunes App Store are paid or have limited functionality like no right-click. Windows 8 and previous versions of Windows come with a free remote desktop app with fully functionality. No compromise...
Specifications of the Samsung XE700T1C
- 11.6" 1920x1080 with Intel HD Graphics 4000, 400nit SuperBright Plus Technology
- Touch screen
- Digitizer pen (can draw, act as a mouse)
- Processor : Intel Core i5-3317 1.7Ghz 3MB L3
- Battery life : 8 hours(Mobile Mark) Video play time: 5HRs Capacity : 49Wh
- Integrated camera : Front 2MP, Rear 5MP
- 4GB RAM
- 128 GB SSD storage
- Wireless LAN : 802.11 abgn
- Mobile Broadband(optional) : 4G/LTE, 3G
- Bluetooth : 4.0 LE
- Dimension (W x D x H): 304.0 x 189.4 x 11.89mm(Tablet) : 304.0 x 189.4 x 22.34mm(Clamshell)
- Weight : 888g (Tablet) / 1.6kg (Clamshell)
The Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700t is my all-in-one device replacing my iPad tablet and my clunky Windows laptop. It also supports a keyboard dock/case so I can use it like a laptop as shown here:
I have no doubt that Windows 8 tablets will take on Apple's tablet dominance. In the short term, Androids will damage Apple's tablet market share, but Microsoft tablets will be the killer blow. No compromise, no surrender; Microsoft is in it to win it!
Check out this commercial showing the power and flexibility of Samsung's Windows 8 tablet.