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Samsung Series 7 Slate Review: First Impressions

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These days whenever someone mentions the word “Tablet” visions of the iPad or something similar dance in their heads. Not that long ago a tablet was something quite different: a Windows-based slate computer.

Since the rise of the new idea of the tablet there have been a few Tablet PCs trying for relevance in an iPad-ified world. The problems they face include the not quite touch-friendliness of Windows 7 and that the CPUs inside either didn’t have enough power to make the tablets usable or enough oomph but far too much heat for a handheld device.

Samsung’s Series 7 11.6-inch Slate want to solve both of these major problems. Inside the 0.51-inch chassis is an Intel Core i5 processor for the mainstream performance you’d expect from a laptop. The Slate keeps heat at bay by employing a fan (which can get loud at times).

Samsung Series 7 Slate

Though you can’t make Windows 7 act like iOS or Android in every way, Samsung does provide a more mobile OS-esque interface for finding and launching programs. Plus, the touch input doesn’t always just turn your finger into a mouse pointer. I was able to scroll up and down web pages and move Windows around by just tapping and dragging, exactly as I’d expect.

Right now, the biggest drawback to the slate-only experience here is the on-screen keyboard. There are two on board — the one built in to Windows and Swype. I much preferred Swype because it utilizes screen space better and it provides the familiar trace to type functionality I enjoy on my phone and Galaxy Tab.

Samsung Series 7 Slate

Neither of these keyboards quite knows when to get out of the way completely. In a mobile OS the keyboard doesn’t appear until you tap on a text field or call it up some other way on purpose. Once you’re out of that field, it disappears automatically. Not so one the Series 7. The keyboard hangs around, taking up half the screen, dutifully waiting for you to need it again, except what you need is to see what’s on the screen.

The Series 7 is also larger than most tablets with a 16:9 display that’s 11.6 inches wide. It’s not as easy to hold comfortably as a 10-inch slate thanks tot he size and weight. I’m not convinced that I’ll be able to stand long Angry Birds sessions with it — I’ll try, though. For science.

I’ll have a full review up for you soon. What would you like to know about the Series 7 Slate?

K. T. is a lover of technology, gadgets, and all things geek. She has the enviable job of playing with evaluating mobile tech and apps all day. Follow K. T. on Twitter @KTBradford, on Google+ and Tumblr or email her via her website, KTBradford.com.

12 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    02/09/2012 at 2:41 pm

    more about responsiveness of the OS with the i5 processor, and the responsiveness of the stylus.

    • Weycire

      02/10/2012 at 12:30 am

      Really responsive..haven’t experience any lag whatsoever..and stylus is wacom..so works great..like a pen..especially with onenote..my happiest purchase so far..my previous 2 (HP TM2 and EXOPC) were really disappointing..

  2. Fernando

    02/10/2012 at 4:10 am

    I’d like to know more about: (1) battery life; (2) navigating, pinch and zooming on web pages; (3) the 16:9 aspect ratio and how it works when using the tablet in portrait mode. Thank you!

  3. Anonymous

    02/11/2012 at 7:20 am

     http://lnk.co/IHOTL

  4. JR McKee

    02/12/2012 at 5:52 am

    Bought mine in november and cant be happier.

    key take away is horsepower thanks to core i5 and 4gig of ram, lots of storage for a tablet (128gig ssd), 3-6 hrs battery life depending on how u use it…..ive got bluetooth, printer, dvd player and several external devices amd with hard use get 3 sometimes more hours out of the battery, or by itself 5 or more.

    Win 7 is buttery smooth, touch capacitive interface isnt perfect, but very usable and makes for a great desktop replacement, especially with bt keyboard and mouse…..docking station is awesome, ports easy to use and abundant….I just love this tablet.

    Had asus ep121, researched for months before selling it and acquiring win series 7 slate…..bought at local microsoft store…..great experience

    Would do it again, patiently waiting for win 8……..

    • pedestal

      02/25/2012 at 9:57 am

       the samsung and the asus ep121, which is best

      • JR McKee

        02/25/2012 at 10:13 am

        There is no competition…
        *Samsung has 128 gig hdd, Asus has 32gig.
        *Samsung has much friendlier user interface. 
        *Samsung has 2x more battery life.
        *Samsung is a nicer, cleaner, slightly smaller, more usable size
        *Samsung has a docking station that lets you connect any peripheral you can think of, usb, speaker, hdmi, power
        *Samsung was co-engineered in conjunction with Microsoft, this is the same unit that was given out late last year at the MS Developers conference and came loaded with windows 8 Metro/Developers Preview.  I had installed the Windows 8 on my EP121 and it’s a great piece of software…can’t wait for the official release so I can install on my Samsung Series 7 Slate

  5. julu nair

    02/12/2012 at 11:50 am

    i bought Samsung Series 7 XE700T1A-A03US
    11.6-Inch Slate (128 GB, Win 7 HP) – Dock and Keyboard Included as this is one of the best tablet  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005OUQ9WO?ie=UTF8&tag=notebookscom-20

  6. Dale Strauss

    02/13/2012 at 9:22 am

    I have the A04US model (Win Pro 7) and use it with a Microsoft bluetooth keyboard (6000) and notebook mouse (5000). This is far and away the best tablet experience yet (resume includes iPads 1 & 2; HP Slate 500; Xoom; Nook (unlocked); HTC Flyer; HP 2730p & 2740p). Other than 4-5 hour battery, which I fully expected, this thing is a great desktop replacement with the dock, and is only slightly larger and heavier than the iPad 1. The screen is excellent, and NOTHING competes with Wacom and OneNote.

    Are selections sometimes hard – yes, screen elements can be small, but this thing is the closest yet in matching the accuracy of capcitive touch on the iPad (very small elements can be selected if you’re careful). The real keys are: desktop class processor, 4gb RAM, 128gb SSD, fast graphics, and the Wacom experience. Mr. Jobs was only have right – the finger is the better selection/movement device, but NOTHING tops the handwriting recognition of teh Wacom stylus for input purposes.

  7. tigger

    02/14/2012 at 1:39 pm

    I would like to know how the tablet performs as ‘e-reader’ and for editing docs.

    Given the 16:9 aspect ratio, when in portrait mode, does the screen appear too narrow (and long) for comfortable reading?

    Any has anyone tried adding comments to a Word doc or marking up a PDF with the stylus?

    thanks

  8. Guest

    05/01/2012 at 8:55 am

    Multiple monitor support when docked?

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