Samsung’s Windows 8 Tablet Needs a Diet

Samsung’s Series 7 Slate PC is being handed out at Microsoft’s Build conference today, but I had a chance to play with the hardware a couple of weeks ago at IFA 2011 and it isn’t anywhere close to being ready to compete with the iPad and its Android counterparts.

All the chatter around Microsoft’s next tablet effort is around the Windows 8 operating system. The Samsung Series 7 Slate PC might look pretty in pictures, but it needs to go on a diet before it excites those used to using an iPad 2 or Android tablet.

The Series 7 Slate PC is huge compared to Android Tablets and the iPad. Its 11.6″ display is bordered by an almost 1″ black bezel. That might not sound too horrible, but its footprint is significantly larger than tablets such as the iPad 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that Sereis 7 Slate PC is almost 50% thicker than iPad 2. It also weighs almost 50% more than the iPad 2.

Samsung displayed the Series 7 Slate PC at IFA 2011 in Berlin, but didn’t call too much attention to it at its booth. The Series 7 Slate was running Windows 7 at IFA and Samsung’s app launcher. Of course the version being passed around Build today has an early version of Windows 8.

The other major problem is battery life. Samsung didn’t list battery life on its spec sheet, but we heard estimates in the six-hour range from Samsung reps. That’s pretty decent for a notebook, but nowhere close to the 10+ hours we’re used to seeing from from the iPad 2.

The Series 7 Slate PC is a ‘real’ Tablet PC, which is a great thing for tablet enthusiasts, but we’ve seen this movie before. Enthusiasts and niche markets look for features like Wacom digitizers. There’s simply no way an iPads or Android tablets can replace a Tablet PCs for individuals and organizations that are hooked on inking and Windows applications. But ‘real’ Tablet PCs are relatively expensive to build compared to tablets like the iPad. Consumers simply don’t buy Tablet PCs en masse.

Samsung’s Series 7 Slate isn’t anything all that new. You can go out today and buy a Motion Computing CL900 with a digitizer for $999, just like some professionals do. But Microsoft and it’s partners have a bigger market to address than the Tablet PC market these days.

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If Microsoft wants a chunk of the iPad pie it’ll need to work with its partners to find a way to build slim devices that deliver 10+ hours of real-world battery life.

  

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Is thinness by itself important ? I understand it is for smartphones that have to fit in pockets, but for tablets ? Apart from thinness being a nice easy number for journalists to talk about, I don’t really see the point.
    Weight is a bit more of a problem; I expect the tradeoff is lightness vs battery life. I want both ^^

    • Ironic77 says

      I can do 250% more with this than iPad, so, i suppose I can deal with the 50% added thickness?

      • Anonymous says

        Ugh.  The people comparing this to the iPad are really uninformed.

        This tablet has the same exact hardware as the most expensive MacBook Air 11″ with a smaller size and lower weight.  Here’s a full comparison: http://oi44.tinypic.com/n37vb7.jpg

        It all comes down to your preference!  Would you prefer…

        A multitouch screen or a multitouch trackpad?
        Bluetooth and on-screen keyboard or a built-in keyboard?
        Lion or Windows 8 (don’t you dare run Windows 7 on this.)

        I’m running Windows 8 on this tablet, and Snow Leopard on my MacBook.  I love them both dearly, they complement one another perfectly.  Internet Exporer (who would have believed) is actually awesome in Windows 8.  It functions just like Safari for the iPad and Lion, with buttery smooth zooming and inertial scrolling to die for.  If you want you can run Chrome or Firefox on here too in full screen (or windowed) and you get PC Hulu since this is.. well, it’s a full PC.

        Heck, you can connect this to a 1080p screen with Hulu Desktop on the tablet in full screen (or anything Windows can run, really) and browse the web all while creating a bootable linux USB drive and downloading Portal 2 and Left4Dead, which play flawlessly with either a keyboard and mouse or game controller.  This is a full computer, and by far the only computer with Windows I’ve been O.K. with (usually I’m a Mac guy, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, MacBook Pro and even the Magic Mouse which I use with this tablet now).

        Seriously if you’ve got a main computer or powerful laptop already and you want an ultraportable laptop alternative this perfect.  The stylus is Wacom penabled pressure sensitive with a button on the side and erase on the back, and the 8-finger multitouch is to die for in Windows 8.  Plus, they’re working on porting Android to this tablet along with OSX Lion, and Android would probably double the battery life, while Lion would just be amazing.

        Anyways don’t limit yourself with an iPad when full-fledged computers this good are available with similar sizes.  At least get a MacBook Air 11″ if you don’t have faith in Windows 8.  The iPad is part of the tablet-specific-OS craze that will die out once Intel has created processors using similar amounts of electricity to run Lion and/or Windows 8.

  2. Anonymous says

    It will probably be up to the ARM based Win 8 tablets to compete with the iPad in the consumer market. The Samsung Series 7 will apeal more to thte Pro-sumer market. I would be happyt with a 2 pound TabletPC that would replace both a laptop and a consumer tablet, even with a 6 hopur battery.Other may not agree.

    As far as the Smsung Series 7 goes, the Asus EP121 (i5) is a better comparison that the Motion CL900 (Atom). Both are currently available.

    • Minogueco says

      This is a joke artical, the pad is to show off windows 8, it will not be on the market you dumb fk. What a looser writer, go back to junior high were this type of shit is the norm. Sorry to many bears.

  3. Anonymous says

    Hey dipshit! I don’t think you heard a single person say anything about this particular tablet being an iPad killer. It’s a model they are giving away for FREE to developers. There’s another year to go before this OS sees the public so why in the hell are you trying to bust on this device? Ohhhh, let me guess….you’re ANOTHER BIASED APPLE DOUCHEBAG from GottaBeMobile. GFY!

  4. Mbratz says

    This is NOT a tablet. This is a device that resembles a tablet but can function in the work environment. It will function in corporate environments and provides an alternative to a laptop, but with tablet-like capabilities. Is it as light or as thin as iPads or Android tablets? No. But this device is based on a true operating system, running applications that are required for people that work for a living. This is not a consumer device for keeping track of your friends, reading a book or whatever other software is capable of running on “phone” OS’s. Can’t wait till it comes out. Finally a single device that provides protability and laptop functionality in a very reasonable form factor.

  5. LoveEp121 says

    Guys,
    this is a basically a google phone blog so don’t expect that the author will
    understand how powerful windows 8 is…
     

    • ChrisRS says

      This comment is not really fair. GBM has certainly gone more to the Phone/Consumption-Talbet side than Laptops and TabletPCs, but that is where the market is TODAY. Let’s see how thsi shapes up. In teh past 2 years teh TabletPC scape has pretty much been more of teh same. The Asus EP 121 and netbook grade units from HP and Motion being the notable exception. Asus and HP could not keep up with demand. Right now it is up to MS to push the new units and they have dedcided to wait for Win *.

      Xavier, Warner and Sumocat are all TabletPC aware. Right now the iPad and Android tablets are active and they are responding to the many users that want to get productivity from the consumptoin devices.

      There may or may not prove to be a PROSUMER Market that will want the  Samsung Series 7 and similar devices (Count me in – 13″ screen even better.) If MS comes out with a truely touch aware version of Office we will know they are truely behind touch and want to be players in both the tablet and TabletPC markets. 

  6. Anonymous says

    Oh, Xavier, you are quite an interesting person, trying to take the wind out of the most revolutionary OS update in the world by talking garbage about a developer only preview tablet that is still able to run full applications that a thin iPad 2 couldn’t dream to do. Please go find something to do like play angry birds while your co-journalists cover windows 8 news.

  7. Tim says

    Apple fans buy the iPad en masse, but the masses, including those hundreds of millions of Windows 7 buyers, have no use for the crippled iPad. The laptop and/or desktop, and phone combination are working just fine

  8. Anonymous says

    “it isn’t anywhere close to being ready to compete with the iPad and its Android counterparts.”

    It’s not meant to you idiot. This is not a tablet Microsoft is shipping to consumers. This is a developer preview tablet so developers can develop and debug on it. Are you this big of an idiot? Windows 8 tablets will be extremely comparable to the iPad 2 and the Galaxy Tab. Nothing about this is targeted for consumers. Jesus Christ.

  9. Anonymous says

    I don’t disagree with your comments to a point.
    However, depending upon usage many would not care about the extra size.
    The questions of cost and battery life even may fall away for some.
    Still early days but so far we are seeing a sea-change for the classic MS tablet pc here, brought on by the ipad and the smartphone craze.
    The addition of touch and metro UI does change a lot.
    So – we’ll see.

    For me – price is always an issue of course.  But the real issue is battery life.  As long as it is not too heavy, I do not care what it weighs comparative to ipad.  Under two poinds and I’m probably fine.  Especially because I get something for that in the extra screen size.
    I also don’t care too, too much about the bigger footprint and thickness.
    I reality if I am going to take either out mobile then it will be in a bag and that little extra size disappears.

  10. konceptz says

    This guy has no idea what he’s talking about.  That tablet he shared is the same underwhelming atom based W7 tablet fail we’ve seen for years.

    This tablet competes with ultraportables and should be seen as such.  Either the author wrote this full knowing he’s talking complete trash to illicit responses, or he’s the least forward thinking “tech writer” this side of an associates degree.  

  11. Lucario says

    He simply does not understand that this has a really awesome wacom digitizer and the sandy bridge ULV in this will blow away even the fastest ARM processors in the iPad 2 or other Android tablets out there now

  12. Nikko says

    I think it’s not fair to compare this to the iPad 2, as they obviously serve two different markets.

  13. joker gallagher says

    after reading through the comments i felt i should just add my fair share of a comment, looking at this tablet i can say the ports on it already make it better then a ipad/droid because it at least it well have USB, HDMI, micro SD, exe. 

    also this well be running a REAL operating system…what dues that mean? well it well run power hungry apps, not crap like angry birds. or keeping up with twitter. this well run the kind of software that apps are built on in the first place. this thing well be able to build a app wile being able to test it, and run it all at once. 

    with a digitizer pen (not a silly bulky compasitive pen) it well have fin drawing/writing power. 
    the ipad is a media tablet, something to intertain for a bit, maybe have one or 2 apps you realy use, mean wile this is a computer, not just with windows 8 metro, but windows 8 explorer..thin? thin enough for me to put it in my book bag for school. light enough to replace my laptop during classes. powerfull enough i dont need my desktop….the ipad/2 cant even play true HD, or have any ports…like HDMI out….LAME 

  14. CLC says

    Ah. Who cares about the size of the demo tablet? Microsoft is on the right track in making their hefty OS more finger friendly. Windows 7 is great, but it’s so cursor dependent that it takes several taps on the screen to get things done, making the software keyboard a huge pain, too. I love my HP tm2t, but I’d like to flip away the keyboard on it more often and just go with the screen: fingers are faster than touchpads and mice, provided the OS gets more finger friendly.

    I need a full version of Windows most of the time. This is my main computer that is mobile, but maybe not really portable.

    I’m excited about the Windows 8 release. I just hope they make the desktop mode more finger friendly. I don’t want to have to tap and tap and tap to get the capacitive digitizer to get in gear then try to tap the little finger cursor where I need it to go. I just want to tap away like I can in iOS and Android. But I still need my functionality. I need full versions of Photoshop and Sketchbook Pro and the like.

    I see this as more of a competitor for OSX Lion.

  15. Geoffvanbrunt says

    I am a fan of android devices (I own several devices) but like to use the right tool for the job at hand. I was interested in reading up on some of the newer “in between” devices that are like the iPad or Tab but have more power. Given the author’s complete lack of impartiality, I would take all his future reviews with a grain of salt. In fact, I won’t trust them at all. This is so biased and unrealistic I don’t know how the author considers himself a journalist. I’m really getting tired of “journalists” passing off drivel such as this and thinking they have integrity. If the author does consider himself one, perhaps he would consider updating the article to be less biased…

  16. Jimt007 says

    It is function and use over simple web browsing and apps that connect you to your computer.  I think 90% of the people I work with should have an Android/ipad, however, they are far too limiting to me.  I want to be able to run all my applications and not have to maintain multiple accounts.  The fact that you can sync your devices makes this an even more useful product.  The reason this would not work for apple, is that there are fewer developers and business applications on the mac.  The ipad gives people that are not design professionals the ability to have the easy access to the internet and simplify their life.  

    I think what Microsoft has done, is made people think, ” do I want tablet functionality or tablet like functionality AND a computer.  For your next computer and/or laptop wouldn’t that make this the better buy in the long run?

  17. Anothermarsforever says

    Don’t you get it this is a full feature Intel processor based PC not an tablet like ipad, and it is fantastic.

  18. SD says

    Thank you for your observation. I got all excited about the new Samsung Series 7 Tablet and appreciate that you have actually handled the object. I have an EP121 and the battery life really kills its usefulness, especially considering that my iPad 1 can handle a flight from Moscow to New York with no problem. My ultimate productivity arrangement continues to be an iPad 1/2 connected to a PC via the Internet. I was hoping the Series 7 Tablet would eliminate the Internet requirement.

  19. Homer says

    This review is worthless. This is a full fledged computer that is mobile and performs all of the necessary windows functions as a standard laptop. For those of us who travel and need a windows based system to access office data, this is a great option. 

    This reviewer has destroyed any credibility in his completely biased and useless review. 

  20. Shane says

    being an apple enthusiast myself i can say this review is complete biased bullshit.  This tablet is far more than an ipad could ever dream to be and fills a completely different market. Dont get me wrong, i love my ipad and it can do many tasks while still having an incredible battery life, however the two do not compare.  This tablet is the first of its kind to fit that kind of power with a wacom digitizer into such a small package and have the type of advertised battery life.  I plan on waiting till early next year for the price to come down and see how it pans out but fully expect to buy it at some point.  Im not a big fan of windows at all since i switched to osx about 4 years ago but if there were ever a time i would consider re-incorporating it into my workflow windows 8 would be it.  Portable zbrush? yes please..  Also please stop writing, I vaguely remember being borderline offended by your previous articles but this one takes the cake.  I live in san francisco as well and appreciate apples products, but am still a progressive free thinker and open to other options.  

  21. Anonymous says

    Hi Xavier Lanier,

    Thank you very much for including your profile information at the bottom of your post. I completely understand your point of view as you are a “technology enthusiast/avid photographer”.

    Now, I am an actual professional programmer who actually writes code for a living and because I have a job, I actually own a cl900 and the samsung windows 8 build edition. I just want to say that at the moment I am laughing my code monkey arse on how you have become a publisher on gottabemobile and notebooks.com. I can’t even take you seriously, because I can replace you with a piece of software that automatically writes blogs for me. And, guess what your init variable is… It’s apple fanboi. Hahahaha

  22. Xyunbekannt says

    Who needs a superthin tablet without x86 support, and lame hardware?! The answer is nobody. I can check my mails and surf on the internet with my smartphone…
    With this tablet I could replace my notebook, i could work on my 24″ screen and then take it with me in meetings or to the couch.
    This is really, really useful. I cant understand why the author doesnt see these great oppertunities…
    Is the world full of posers and fan boys just owning electronic devices for showing off?!

  23. Randall Garrett says

    Have BUILD edition, love it. Just now got shipping notice on retail version (Samsung Series 7 tablet PC) from Amazon. Ordered October 2nd, arrival date estimate November 15th. Better late than never. Looks like supply channel now starting to be on-line :-)

  24. Jbf says

    Hard to find research – For an artist would you recommend Samsung 7 or CL900 or ? – I found the pen/screen feel to be very nice on the CL900 at the store.

  25. Tyler Jukes says

    A comparison of a slate PC running a full OS and a tablet running mobile OS like Android and iOS…the author is an idiot plain and simple. Whether you like or dislike Windows or you’re an Apple fanboy, comparing a PC running a full Windows OS to an oversized iPod and writing an entire article on how it’s slightly thicker is just idiocy.

  26. Lasamin says

    Was this paid advertisement or a journalist endeavor gone wrong…I am looking for small form factor full service PC which can portable,  I purchased an IPad2, used it for a week.  I found it to be a “toy” which was basically good for checking e-mails only.  I did not like it even for book reading…

  27. Shawn0robinson says

    Very interesting, crazy but interesting. I just moved to the Samsung Series 7 from an iPad 2 and man am I a happy guy. It is running Windows 8 and it boots up in 5 seconds from being off. I think the iPad takes about 27 seconds.  It has an i5 processor and 4 gigs of ram, dude it screams..  as far as the size, it is about the same bezel as the ipad. about the same thickness and 2 inches longer since the screen is 2inches bigger going in the wide direction.. less than 2 lbs. It is about the same form factor

    Battery life is a lot less than the iPad. 

    When I was using the iPad, I had to figure out work around to get things done using it as a primary work matching. Now, no more. 

    There are times that the stylus is the best tool, like signing e-mails. times that the touch screen is awesome and times when the mouse is best.

    I miss the auto correct in the typing on screen with the iPad, but most of the time I use the wireless keyboard.

    It is a real full blown absolutely fast machine. what is not to like

  28. Vgpnaveenv3 says

    Please don’t compare this with ipad2.. both of are of different category.. it can do things way more than ipad2.

  29. Ziggydog says

    I am not sure who pays this guy to write his fanboy biased garbage…he is a complete idiot and completely misses the point entirely!

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