With the exception of the somewhat quiet stereo speakers, the Surface Pro makes an excellent multimedia device, especially for playing videos. The Surface Pro had no problem playing my 1080p videos encoded in several different formats. I didn't have to download any extra software, but chose to download the VLC player, which is the best Windows multimedia player in existence.
Because of the quiet speakers, you wouldn't want to use this solely as a music player without a headset. However, once I popped on my Bose headphones, the sound was excellent. Best of all, this device can work perfectly without iTunes or anything that has to do with Apple.
All the great things said about the Surface Pro's media capabilities can be said about Samsung's device. Some may prefer watching movies on the ATIV because the screen is slightly bigger and the speakers are also slightly louder.
There is no clear winner in this category. It all goes down to preference -- Do you want a bigger screen (Samsung) or do you prefer a smaller screen with more dpi (Microsoft) for watching your movies?
This is (almost) the achilles heel of the Surface Pro. I agree with other critics that say the battery life is disappointing, but it's not that bad considering the powerful processor involved.
With brightness turned up 80 percent, I was able to get more than 3 hours of use playing high definition videos back to back. 3 hours and 45 minutes is the most I got using the Surface Pro without recharging it. I suppose less power-hungry consumers will easily be able to get over 4 hours.
The ATIV offers better battery life. Under the same tests, I was able to get more than 4 hours use, almost 5 at times. It is quite possible your average user can get a day's use with the ATIV. The same can't be said about the Surface Pro.
Samsung is the clear winner in this category.
Both the Microsoft Surface Pro and the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T are the first true devices that can work well as a tablet and a powerful laptop. However, I would have to recommend the Surface Pro because the design is more thought out and -- with the Type Cover -- it is a more useful device. It will be interesting to see what Microsoft and Samsung come up in the next version of their groundbreaking units.
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