Review : Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro

Thicker and larger than the Samsung Ativ Smart PC, the Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro shares more with a full-form laptop than it does with most tablets. It's aimed at creative and business professionals, rather than iPad users looking for a quick game of Angry Birds on the train, so there's a third-generation Intel Core i5 processor at its heart, which gives it enough power for photo editing and even gaming.

With the extra power comes extra girth, and the Pro version is thicker than the standard Samsung Ativ Smart PC, with air vents scored into the back, indicating that it could get hot under heavy strain. It's nearly 12mm thick, which is far more portly than direct competitors such as the Asus Transformer Book and the Sony Vaio Duo 11.
With all that power inside, Samsung still quotes eight hours of use with five hours of video playback. It will be interesting to see if the improvements in Windows 8 can help its Ativ Smart PC Pro to achieve these boasts.

Other improvements from the standard version are the RAM; there's 4GB here, making it all but an Ultrabook, even if it doesn't quite share the build, and a whopping 256GB SSD drive. This shows that Samsung doesn't see this being a secondary device to an Ultrabook or AIO PC, but your main PC, able to be used however you see fit, wherever you are.
It's a bold idea, and we're looking forward to trying it out when Windows 8 drops in October.

Again, balance is an issue, and the Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro had a habit of arching onto its back if placed on an uneven surface, slightly affecting typing. You won't notice it on a nice flat surface, but on the stands of a trade show, littered as they are with wires, security cables and little non-slip bumps for the devices to sit on, it was an oft-repeated story.
Samsung's S-Pen is again a triumph here for using Windows as a tablet, but your arms will be aching. At 884g this is a monster tablet, and is hard to hold for long periods while using the S-Pen input.

There's no doubt this is a powerful device, but we can't help feeling a little disappointed that Samsung hasn't let its design team really go to town on the Ativ Smart PC Pro. When you think what the company achieved with the Series 9 laptop, its OLED TV and Galaxy Note 2, the Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro smart feels chunky, heavy and plasticky.
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