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Samsung Ativ Tab (Windows Rt)


JohnTW
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For some reason, I have always wanted a Windows RT device. I debated the Surface RT and XPS 10 recently, but was reminded about Samsung's offering that never made it to the US. Anandtech praised the processor, which apparently bests the Tegra 3 in some regards. While others found the screen to be quite good. I also like the weight, 10-12 hour battery life, and full size USB port. I'm not a Samsung fan, but really wanted to give this a try, so I finally ordered one. It should be in my hands on Wednesday, July 3rd.

 

I will provide first impressions, subjective performance review under 8.0 and 8.1, and my thoughts on Windows RT. I will be making direct comparisons with the Asus Vivo Tab Smart (x86) and Acer W3-810 (x86) along with the iPad 3, iPad mini and Nexus 4. FYI... The upcoming Samsung Ativ Tab 3 is even thinner and lighter (not by much though) and will offer full x86 support.

 

Samsung Mini Site

http://www.samsung.com/ph/ativ/ativ_tab.html

 

Anandtech Review

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6528/samsung-ativ-tab-review-qualcomms-first-windows-rt-tablet

 

Engadget Review

http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/04/samsung-ativ-tab-review/

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I got to play with the ATIV Tab at a trade show about a year ago I think.

Good feel and function was very nice. The 10.1 inch screen helps keep the size down.

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All I can say is wow! After owning the Asus Vivo Tab Smart and trying the Acer Iconia W3 (both Atom based), I can say that RT is where it is at. Especially on a Qualcomm chipset. It feels much faster than the Surface RT I played with in the stores.

 

It feels great in the hand. Plastic back is higher quality that current Samsung hardware. Speakers are super loud and clear being front facing. Screen is perfect with brightness and colors. YouTube and Vevo really shine. This is the best 1366x768 tablet display I have used. The battery came 65% charged, which is amazing as I assume this was sitting on a shelf somewhere. Lol I love hardware Windows buttons versus capacities. Having all buttons and ports (except charging) on the top works well top.

 

RT is fast, responsive and so clean. Office for RT is great in its final form. I am still running 8.0 and might stick with it for a bit. Everything is so sweet right now. I'm sure I'll get bored and give it a go soon. I liked it on the W3.

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Still going strong. I left in on the charger all last night and took it off after Windows RT 8.1 Preview finished installing. 8.1 is running great and it feels even faster. The only issues so far is Gmail isn't working (unable to connect) using the Mail client. Work email is great using the Outlook RT application, and I am pleased with all of Office 2013 RT. The screen looks great from all angles. I can leave in lying flat on a table and still watch video without any brightness/color degradation.

 

I have 18.9GB Free of 27.8GB total. Installed Modern UI (Metro) Apps:

  • DoubleTwist AirSync (came with the tablet and works just as well as the Android version to sync media wirelessly)
  • Amazon and Amazon Kindle
  • Flixster
  • gMusic (to access Google Play Music)
  • Google Search
  • Hyper for YouTube (my favorite YouTube app yet)
  • Latermark (Pocket app)
  • Netflix (looks great on this screen)
  • Piktr (lightweight Instagram client I found on these forums)*
  • TeamViewer Touch (alleviates the need for VPN to access work PC and home Mac)
  • Twitter
  • Vevo (also looks great)

* Piktr seems to stop functioning properly when I upgraded to 8.1 Preview.

 

Used this XDA post here for some performance and space saving tweaks (Not all are relevant to 8.1 but used the ones to increase touch response, decrease scrolling lag, and delete Windows.old)... http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1970464

 

Let me know if there are any questions about this tablet, my experience switching from x86 to RT, and Windows RT 8.1 Preview.

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Still very happy with Windows RT 8.1 and the Samsung Ativ Tab. Although larger than the 8" device that I wanted, I really can't complain. It is thin and light wit an amazing screen. And the speakers, being front facing, are clean and loud. I rarely go above 50%! I added a couple more apps but nothing crazy. It was really nice using DoubleTwist AirSync to get my music copied over wirelessly. The Xbox Music app keeps getting better. Xbox Video seems to have more and more content as well. Everything looks and sounds great.

 

Outlook RT is such a nice to have making work emails and calendars a pleasure to deal with. The rest of Office makes reviewing attachments super easy. I find the performance of desktop app to be excellent and better than some Modern UI apps. Some Modern UI apps have some performance issues, either because of RT or more likely from running on a preview OS.

 

I plan to keep this tablet and look forward to taking it on a week long business trip next month.

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Battery life, although not fully tested is 2-3 days with my usage. Since it is a new device, I'm still using it more than I normally would. It never gets warm and always seems ready to go. It charges fairly quick compared to my Asus Vivo Tab Smart. The screen quality, speaker volume, and cleanliness of RT continue to impress.

 

I am going back to 8.0 for a bit, as my chosen third party apps seem to struggle a bit under 8.1. I'd like to really see how the tablet performs with non preview software. Maybe I'll go back to preview, or I will just wait a few months. Outlook and the ability to open a browser windows next to another app automatically will be the biggest misses.

 

I ordered the official Samsung Book Case from Expansys-USA which should be here in a couple days.

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Oh no, I am a heavy user so far. That battery life was when I was running 8.1 Preview and had Outlook RT running 50% or more of the time. Screen brightness was on auto and 50%. Lots of checking Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Reading articles via Pocket and IE, and messing with my Start screen setup. I think the Snapdragon is a highly efficient processor, the screen brightness was typically on the lower side, and I have great WiFi reception in my apartment. All aps were allowed to sync as needed and live tiles were left on for updating.

 

I expect that battery life coming from an iPad, iPad mini and Nexus 7. My Asus Vivo Tab had decent battery life but couldn't hold it during long standby periods.

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2 - 3 days is actually more than I need. If I get an entire single day's use, that's enough for me. I charge my devices up overnight anyway.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Still loving this tablet. So much show I dumped Android for a Samsung Ativ S Windows Phone 8 device!

 

Now, what I want to open up about will go in another post, but I almost feel it needs to be a discussion. I feel we really need to get the word out about both Windows RT and Windows Phone 8. Also, how can we get Microsoft to do all they can with these too platforms? My biggest "want" is integration...

  1. Chrome-to-Phone like functionality. I know there is Tap To Send, but is there a wireless equivalent. Find a location on Bing Maps and sent to Windows Phone, etc...
  2. Read It Later functionality. They added Reading List to Windows 8.1, for it to shine it needs to be on WP8 and sync.
  3. Apps. Not more apps, not even necessarily better apps, but get the word out. Whenever I assume there is no WP8 equivalent for an Android/iOS app - I am WRONG! The stores for both RT and WP8 need to find a way to promote apps to their users better, and to non users to encourage switching.
  4. App syncing. SOme apps are on both WP8 and RT. I'd like them to sync. Podcast apps, reading apps, Twitter apps, movie/dining/search apps, etc... Anything that is on both platforms should start working on syncing solutions.
  5. The Anandtech Podcast mentioned something along the lines that Microsoft's strategy is not that the phone does everything, but it encourages you to discover or start something on your phone, and transition to a Windows 8/RT device. If true, that is great, but they need to make it happen.

There could be solutions to the above already out or already planned. Also, no hate mail as this year alone I left both iOS and Android behind for Windows RT and Windows Phone 8. The soul is there, now we just need the hearts and minds. Hopefully I can wrap my head more around the above and more, and perhaps get something post worthy on the forums/site and maybe even prompt a discussion on our favorite podcast ;)

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