Samsung Ativ full W8 Tablet in hand!

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by spinedoc77, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. macrumors 603

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #1
    Staples actually had one of these in stock, I sped down and snatched it up. I'm posting for those windows hungry guys on these forums (yeah all 3 of you :)) so go easy on the flaming, we are all tech guys in the end. I have an ipad3 so can directly compare the two. I don't know if I keeping it yet as it depends on the Atom processor performance, but I'm not keen on getting the ivy bridge either and definitely will never get the RT so Microsoft you have one chance to impress me.

    First impressions, this thing is slick. It's wider than my ipad, virtually the same thickness and even though the back is plastic it's VERY firm, very quality build. Screen has a very nice brightness in full daylight here, although it's a cloudy day, and I've still got the plastic wrap on it.

    I'm going to play with it a bit, I can post a review and some pics later on if anyone is interested.
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    ChrisTX

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    Texas
    #2
    It would be cool to see some pics, if you have the time.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    #3
    So this has an Atom processor? I'm interested. I hear the RT versions suffer some glaring performance issues.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #4
    Yeah would also love to see some pics. :cool:
     
  5. MRU
    macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #5
    Why are they using ATOM rather than i3 in these machines ?

    I still cant believe they are using Atom in 2012.

    My experiences on all Atom hardware i have used in the past few years (from the first batch of single core ATOMS to the later Dual Core versions) has never been good sadly.

    Whilst I'm willing to look the other way at relatively low performance when its a $199 netbook - now they are basically adding a touch display to that netbook hardware and charging between $599-800 (depending on manufacturer and model) I find it a bit of a money grab to be honest.

    So considering previous experience has been somewhat lacklustre, I definitely would like to know how it handles windows 8 OP, especially when it comes to multitasking where previous Atom hardware often began to struggle. I'm sure it'll handle metro fine, but its how it handles proper windows applications in desktop environment.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    #6
    I believe they are revamping the Atom line. Also, with Windows 8 iOS-style multitasking (suspending applications in the background), multitasking shouldn't be so onerous.
     
  7. macrumors 68020

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    #7
    Yeah make a review! I'm very interested in reading your opinions.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 603

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #8
    I sense some disbelief there, lol. A couple of real crappy pics with my iphone, still playing with it and such.
     

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  9. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
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    #9
    Sweet pics :cool:
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Djlild7hina

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #10
    The pro version is drawing me in.... haha how much was this?
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 603

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #11
    They have a sale, it was $599 without the keyboard. So far it's zipping along. Touch in metro is awesome, touch in desktop mode so far is slightly weird, BUT I still have the plastic wrap on it as I'm paranoid until I get some kind of case for it. Just hooked up wireless to it, nice strong signal. I've got photoshop elements and Office I am going to install to see how they function.

    ----------

    Odd, it had the watermark when I first started it and it had that Samsung informational bit on the right corner, but when I close that no more watermark.
     
  12. MRU
    macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    Ireland
    #12
    Arr it was probably there before activation, that makes sense. Thanks.
     
  13. macrumors 68000

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    #13
    What are your early impressions on performance and battery life?
     
  14. spinedoc77, Oct 28, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 603

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #14
    I'm juggling helping wife with her resume and a hungry 7 month old so I will try to fit in testing lol. So far it's very zippy. As I mentioned I'm not sold on the touch interface in desktop mode, seems hit or miss on small stuff like close/minimize and selecting things, kind of inaccurate. But keep in mind I've got a thick firm sheet of plastic over the screen which is probably messing with the interface. IE seems to load up pages super super smooth. Screen is beautiful, seems less washed out than my ipad in direct cloudlight, but also the colors seem slightly less vibrant. Text is beautiful, as I know cleartype is MS reason they went with a lower resolution, I honestly wouldn't know the difference in terms of Text.

    The one thing I'm TOTALLY dissatisfied with is the power brick, WTF??! It's smaller than a laptop power brick, it's actually pretty tiny compared to a laptop one, but it's the same cord to a brick, then very thick cord to a 3 prong adapter setup. Why WHY won't PC makers take a cue from Apple and give us tiny well thought out power bricks ?!? Hopefully I can find a 3rd party adapter that is smaller.

    Hard drive space: 33.8GB free of 51.4GB with nothing installed.

    Update: Touch in desktop mode is just fine, I just wasn't pressing hard enough with the plastic film. Without the plastic film it's very accurate and precise.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Djlild7hina

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #15
    Yeah desktop mode seems like hit and miss for all window 8 tablets. I love the fact that it can switch though with the keyboard dock and runs full windows 8. I'll be definitely picking the pro or the surface pro up. Is the USB port on the top of the device like the pro? Seems kind of odd to put it up there and will be annoying with external hdds
     
  16. macrumors regular

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    Apr 2, 2012
    #16
    Can it run any games? Civilization 3 would be sweet.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 603

    spinedoc77

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    Jun 11, 2009
    #17
    Wasn't Windows 8 supposed to come with antivirus, something like MS security essentials? It comes with Norton Internet Security trial, but it takes like 24% CPU usage.
     
  18. jry
    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    #18
    Windows 8 does have its own AV, I think its branded as Windows Defender now. Uninstall that Norton crap as soon as you can.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 603

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #19
    Quick review over the course of the day playing with this.

    Screen: Beautiful, much brighter than the ipad, but also a bit cooler which I'm not sure I like. Very responsive to touch. Metro is made for touch, no issues there, but in desktop mode you have a lot of little x's and minimize buttons and such so accuracy seems slightly reduced there. The screen is a HUGE magnet for fingerprints, much more so than the ipad.

    Battery:phenomenal. When I unboxed it I had about 10%, charged for an hour or so and got to 75% or so, I've used it for about 6 hours web browsing, installing software, playing one game, etc and it's about 55% right now. Going to try some videos on it tomorrow.

    CPU: Here is the BIG question IMO, how does it handle what I throw at it. Well I haven't thrown much in all honesty, I'll put photoshop elements on it tomorrow. So far the CPU is a mixed bag, but much better than the old single core Atom in last years netbooks. Opening stuff at times has a 2-3 second lag, as opposed to the ipad instantly opening pretty much everything, but it's only occasionally or if something big is going on. I installed Office365 and played around, but I don't think it's ready for prime time, I am guessing that it's the softwares fault. I loaded up a greeting card in Word and it seems everytime I click on the picture the program would lock up, I gave up after several tries. Powerpoint crashed the first time I opened it, didn't try again. OneNote opened and function fine, as an aside the handwriting recognition is insanely good, but the programs are odd in that your palm can still resize/zoom the screen. I believe there is a way to turn off palm/capacative recognition and only use stylus input, but I'm not sure on that.

    I also had 3 or 4 crashes, just flat out OS freezes that I had to reboot. No rhyme or reason, once I was doing the Word thing, another time I was simply web browsing in Metro IE10. Once my internet stopped working and a reboot fixed it. Other than those I must say it's a very smooth experience, it's just insane that I have full Windows on a tablet like this.

    Graphics: Web pages load very quickly. I'm used to the ipad 3's abysmal speed at loading graphic rich webpages, it's just awful, so I was nicely surprised at how fast the Samsung was. I played one game which looked very nice, kind of on a dungeon hunter graphics level. Also one thing MS made a big deal of is there clear text, IMO it's a mixed bag. Text on the Samsung looked very nice, but not nicer than the ipad, but not worse either. But the caveat is when zooming in and out the Samsungs text would pixelate quite a bit then readjust and look nice, the ipad was pretty rock solid when zooming in and out. I think MS has some work ahead of them optimizing this, I can see this being a big deal when people start complaining about the resolution.

    UI: Desktop mode is pretty awesome, but we run into the same issue we did 10 years ago with PocketPC. It's a pain to click a tiny x to close a program for example. I haven't even attempted to change DPI, but I know from other PCs I've had that wreaks havoc with certain programs. It's not bad at all, but it's not the ipad or metro either. Metro on the other hand is insanely nice for touch, but there are some VERY weird design decisions I'd like to smack a MS developer for. Case in point, you don't have access to bookmarks in Metro IE10, yeah seriously. You can pin a webpage, you can have favorites, but the way they are laid out after about 10 there are just too many, I'm sure we all have at least hundreds of book marks. No such limitation in the desktop version though, still a horribly stupid design decision. Many of the Metro programs were kind of weird that way, but I'll admit I didn't play much with them, preferring to install the desktop version. MS has a long road to go with Metro and currently it seems they need to step it up 10 notches if they ever want to compete.

    That's about most of what I played around with today. Anything in particular anyone wants me to look at? I must say I'm still selling my ipad, even though I think the ipad is a better device when it comes to the basics, web browsing and such, it's still such an incredible freedom to have a real OS in front of me, to visit flash sites with no issues, to basically do what I want just like I do in front of my laptop/desktop. Yes there are some tradeoffs so far, lets hope MS steps up to the plate. They put out a hell of an initial offering, lets just hope they follow through, because if they do it will be incredible, if they don't it will be a big flop.
     
  20. macrumors 68020

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    Mar 26, 2010
    #20
    How does text copy and paste work when using only the screen?

    Does it come with a file explorer?

    Can you download stuff from IE in Metro mode?

    Really 6 hours of web browsing and stuff and still 50% battery left? That would be insane!
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 603

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #21
    Copy paste is about the same as iOS, you press and hold and it highlights the word, you can then pull in either direction to highlight more, or select all, then you copy. Paste has a cool addition where you can "paste and go" if you are copying a URL for example. It doesn't have the cool feature in Android where you can move a pointer to what you want to highlight though.

    Yes it has a file explorer, in fact it has a full desktop just like any other windows desktop or laptop so just imagine you are using a full windows machine, which it is.

    You can definitely download attachments in web mail programs, I haven't tried to download anything from Metro yet though. But in Metro you have a button which allows you to open your webpage in the regular desktop internet explorer, so you could then download it there worst case scenario. edit: I just checked, yes you can download stuff in Metro as far as I can tell, it gives you the same options as in IE10, run/save, etc.

    I can't say I was using it for 6 hours, or it was under a stress test. I'd say more accurate would be about 4 hours, with breaks in between, web browsing mostly, some program installation, tinkering, one game for about 20 minutes, and about 10 minutes of netflix.
     
  22. Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #22
    Good luck with your new baby. It really does look nice.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    ReanimationN

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    Location:
    Australia
    #23
    That looks awesome! Do you have any desktop games installed on there? If so, how does the Atom processor handle them?
     
  24. macrumors 68040

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #24
    As I posted in another thread here, I spent a little bit of time with one of these at Staples yesterday too. I'll agree that there is a bit of a thrill having a full computer in a tablet, and that Windows 8 looks very professional compared to the Android tablets surrounding it.

    That said, like Spinedoc, I encountered a complete freeze within the first 3 minutes of web browsing. A hard shutdown took 3+ minutes, at which point I was greeted with a Modern blue screen equivalent, and it rebooted again. About 2 minutes later it started installing updates, and after 10 minutes of waiting I gave up. What this immediately clarified was that for me, a tablet is a 3rd computer and that while I often get frustrated at the iPad's limitations, I have become totally spoiled by its rock-solid stability and the fact that it works instantly first time, every time. That makes it a far more pleasurable in-between device - who wants to deal with a locked up tablet when you are just trying to show a group of friends something at a party or trying to reference a recipe? So realize that you are giving up something by going with a full OS on a tablet.

    I thought the screen was pretty good in landscape orientation; scrolling was smooth and it was definitely bright. I was not impressed in portrait mode, which I honestly use a whole lot on the iPad. The 16:9 format is just unwieldy at this size, and the text rendering was very poor - I could see pretty much the entire NY Times web page in one go, but the text was way too blurry to read without zooming.

    I noticed the same thing about the power brick; very cheap and it sticks straight out from the bottom of the device. Looks like a major weak point and likely to be damaged.

    ----------

    They are using Atom chips because battery life is everything in this space. If you don't have 9-10 hours of battery life, your device is a non-starter.
     
  25. thread starter macrumors 603

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #25
    I'm not sure what to install, I'm not a huge gamer but I do have guild wars 2 that I'm tempted to see if it runs at all. The Windows store games run smoothly and some of them look really really nice, so I think it will run "ipad" type games just as well. I thought I read somewhere Epic was making a Windows tablet game, can't wait for that as I'm a huge fan of Infinity blade.

    ----------

    Yeah, I'm not sure if it's the hardware, or some kind of software configuration issue, it's just not something I've ever experienced with any other Windows PC in my life unless there was a hardware issue, bad memory, etc.

    With that said I'm still completely addicted to having a full OS in my hands. I now realize just how much I was settling in the 3 years I've had ipads. I'd say the inconvenience of windows and its foibles are MUCH much less than the inconvenience of iOS, browsing to a site and not being able to view it or it's content/video because of flash, not having any true pen input, not being able to install my windows programs but being forced to purchase heavily watered down versions, etc etc. I'm never going back even if you put a gun to my head. Plus it's not like my ipad3 was perfect either, it would occasionally freeze and need a hard boot, although it was more like once a week than 3-4 times per day, it loaded up graphics heavy web pages PITIFULLY slowly, at times failing to even load the entire page, or it would only load what was on screen and as I scrolled down it would once again begin loading, making me sit there for 30 seconds while it downloaded 3 graphics.
     

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