On Wednesday evening, CNN's Technology Minute had mostly positive things to say about the new Microsoft Surface Pro tablet. Even though they acted like it was the first major powerful hybrid tablet/laptop portable, it isn't. Actually, Samsung hit the market first with the ATIV 700 Smart PC Pro. Let's compare these and see which is a better buy.
Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro
• 11.6 x 7.2 x .5 inches
• 1.89 pounds
• Intel 3rd Generation Core i5, 1.7GHz processor
• 11.6-inch widescreen LED display with 1080p resolution
• 4GB RAM, 128GB flash storage, microSD card slot
• Intel® HD Graphics 4000, Windows 8 64-Bit operating system
Microsoft Surface Pro
- 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53 inches
- 2 pounds (without Touch Cover or Type Cover)
- Intel 3rd Generation Core i5, 1.7GHz processor
- 10.6-inch widescreen IPS display with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution
- 4GB RAM, 64GB or 128GB flash storage, microSD card slot
- Intel® HD Graphics 4000
- Windows 8 64-Bit operating system
There is no clear winner here since both have great specs in a small package. Those of you with tough eyes may prefer the 11.6-inch screen of the ATIV Smart PC Pro more than the 10.6-inch screen on the Surface Pro.
Build and design
The Microsoft Surface Pro doesn't have the lightweight feeling of the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro, but feels more solid and complete. It looks and feels like the Surface RT tablet, but is a little thicker and heavier.
With the exception of the Microsoft logo button on the bottom of the front, it looks similar to an iPad, except the widescreen dimensions. On the (rather thick) left side sits a headphone jack, a volume rocker, and only one USB-3 port. On the right side sits the microSD card slot, magnetic charging dock, and the micro-HDMI port.
The small microphone is on the top along with the power button. On the bottom is the magnetic dock for the Touch Cover or Type Cover as well as future accessories. There is a camera on the back, along with a kickstand. We still haven't figured out where the speakers are, but they sound rather average. Overall, the design is great.
The ATIV Smart PC Pro looks and feels like an overgrown tablet. This isn't necessarily a bad thing because the size is perfect when you attach it to the keyboard. It feels very light and plastic in your hands, just like the Samsung Galaxy Tab. It is amazing that Samsung was able to keep the weight under 2 pounds for such a powerful device.
On the top are the microphone, headphone jack, power button, lock screen button, USB-3 port, and microSD card slot. Stereo speakers, which sound decent if a little tinny, are on the front sides of the unit. The left side houses an HDMI port along with a volume rocker. The bottom has a port connector for the keyboard and the back has two slots for the fan.
The Surface Pro wins in terms of build and design, but the ATIV Smart PC Pro still gets an A for effort and being slightly lighter than the Surface Pro, even though it is larger.