The Samsung ATIV is a large touchscreen PC running Windows 8. However, it is mostly a very large tablet that can be connected to the AT&T network for computing on the go. While it is running the newest Intel Atom Clover Trail processor, it also has a full version of the newest Microsoft operating system. The Smart PC is available at AT&T stores and online now to $699.99 with a two-year contract.
The ATIV runs best as a tablet using Metro or Modern UI as it takes advantage of the touchscreen capabilities. However, it can also serve as a netbook replacement and can run basic Windows programs in Desktop mode. The 1366 x 768, 11.6-inch screen can a little large to hold for extended periods of time, and though It is only 0.39 inches and 26.4 oz., it is very close to the width of a 13” laptop screen.
With the Atom processor and 2GB of DDR RAM, the ATIV Smart PC is no speed demo in either tablet of desktop mode. While the tablet side feels comfortable and programs from the Windows app store run well, the desktop feels a little sluggish when playing more graphic intense games.
A big advantage of the Atom processor is the battery life. While Samsung anticipates 13 hours, many of the reports show about 10 hours of constant use. Streaming and using AT&T’s LTE network will reduce the time between charges, but the speeds, especially in the Nashville area, can be better than most home Wi-Fi networks at 11-15 Mbps down and 13+ up. With these speeds, Netflix movies were clear and without stutter.
While the ATIV Smart PC comes with 64 GB of internal memory, it can be expanded using the microSD card slot. This extra storage is needed if you plan on adding much music, movies, or taking pictures or videos with the 8MP rear camera. Since it is running the full version of Windows 8, the operating system does take up a little more room than other tablet operating systems.
There is one USB port at the top for connecting an additional hard drive, keyboard, or other device. If you are using the ATIV mostly as a tablet, connecting devices that hang off the USB port may be a little awkward. However, it does come in handy when using the device in desktop mode. You will either need a decent stand or the available keyboard dock to balance the ATIV on a flat surface.
If you were thinking of purchasing a tablet, but wanted an alternative to Android and iOS devices, stop by your local AT&T store and test out the Samsung ATIV. Don’t expect a full desktop replacement from the Samsung ATIV. However, this device can be handy if you need to work in the Windows world and need flexibility or another screen for business presentations.