Samsung Series 7 Tablet Thoughts

imageSamsung’s Series 7 Tablet is the new boy on the block. It’s a Windows 7 slate, like the ASUS EP121 I own and reviewed. But perhaps it’s greatest claim to fame is Microsoft used it to demo Windows 8 at the Build 2011 conference.

Two of the main differences between the two slates relates to form factor. The EP121 has the larger screen size, 12.1” vs. 11.6”, and a correspondingly higher weight, 2.6 lbs. vs. 2.06 lbs. One-half a pound less weight seems a nice trade-off for one-half inch screen size.

But the other and perhaps most important difference is inside. Both have Core i5 processors. But the EP121 is first generation, the Series 7 second (Sandy Bridge). The difference is battery life, say 3 hours vs. 6 hours.

The Series 7 is supposed to be available for online ordering on October 2. Looks interesting. However, I already have the EP 121. Also, Windows 8 is around the corner (mid-2012?). Samsung has indicated the Series 7 is upgradeable to Windows 8. But I’ve heard such promises before (e.g., Xoom to LTE).

I am thinking of upgrading one of my tablets to Windows 8 Developer Preview. Perhaps I could justify a purchase of the Series 7 that way? Must resist …

Update: My friend Steve “Chippy” Paine of Ultrabook News, an expert on this device type (and on giving me justifications to buy them), offered me some additional reasons (e.g. besides better battery life and processor) to part with my $$:

Rapid start 
Wi-Di (at first I thought this was a typo for Wi-Fi)
Quick Sync Video 

There’s also Smart Connect. As this list keeps expanding, my chances of holding on to my $$ decrease.

4 Responses to “Samsung Series 7 Tablet Thoughts”

  • You did not mention the HP Slate 500 as a similar device. Do you not consider it to be equivilent to the ASUS slate? I realize it is smaller but don’t both run Windows 7?

  • I got to play with one of the Samsung units on Thursday at the LA Silverlight User Group (LA SLUG). Some Microsoft MVPs from built brought them over to show them off along with a larger Asus tablet. The performance and size was great. Metro works pretty well. Its not as big of a deal as they tried to make it, nor is it an iPodPadPhoneDroid killer, but it is a nice user experience. It’s fairer to say that its a very good redo of the Start menu (which is what it replaces) that helps consolidate a UI that often times went nuts with icons and widgets and became a hindrance. There are still some sticking points but I’m sure they’ll get it worked out.

    Touching standard UI buttons (that is to say buttons in non-Metro apps) is very good and very smooth. It’s just like using an iDevice. Using drop down menus is painless. I forget how you activate the right click (two fingers I think) but I do remember that being pretty smooth.

    Back to the tablet: My only complaint about the device is a Microsoft imposed one. I’m a big fan of 16×9 screens on desktops but I don’t think it works that great for Tablets. Maybe this is because I’m pretty happy with my 4×3 iDevice and conceptually that’s what I prefer, but it seems like Landscape mode might not be that handy for apps. It’ll be great for the inevitable Kindle and nook apps but I think it effectively limits the Metro paradigm to landscape format.

    My verdict: Apple shouldn’t be particularly worried (especially since it works like Launchpad but with a little more Windows specific functionality). It keeps the media happy with MS and people who work day in and out with a Windows tablet will be very happy that the days of accidentally closing a window when trying to minimize it are in the past.

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