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Samsung Series 7 Slate 700T - Connectivity, Dock, Keyboard and Interface

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


Connectivity is decent, with a microSD card reader along the top, and a full-size USB 2.0 port (covered by a tiny loose rubber flap that’s very easy to lose), headphone jack and micro HDMI port on the left. We have no idea why Samsung downgraded from the USB 3.0 models it gave attendees at the Windows 8 developer conference, and it’s a real shame. We also miss having a second USB port as was found on the Asus EP121: just imagine wanting to connect a mouse, 3G dongle and memory stick (a likely enough scenario) and you’ll know why.

And indeed you’ll need a dongle for 3G as, unlike on the aforementioned developer sample, it’s not included. Again we have to wonder why something that is clearly possible has been omitted, even as an option, and can only hope it’s planned for a future model. At least other wireless bases are fully catered for with Wi-Fi N and Bluetooth 3.0.

Thankfully, the media dock does improve things where connections are concerned, giving you a full-size HDMI port, a second USB 2.0 port, headphone jack and a Gigabit Ethernet port. The dock is built like a brick and finished in the same brushed metal as the Slate, with a rubberized base to prevent scuff-marks and slippage. A securely-hinged flap opens up to uncover the proprietary docking connector, which slots into the underside of the 700T and holds the tablet at a comfortable angle. The dock is powered from the tablet.

It’s a great accessory which you can leave permanently on your desk to – when combined with the keyboard and a mouse - turn the Slate into a ‘proper’ desktop PC. However, it’s hardly ideal when you need it at home and at the office, not to mention wanting to use its features on a plane or train.

Samsung should have followed Asus’ lead with that company’s Eee Pad Transformer. Even without the extra battery, if Samsung had just integrated the keyboard and dock in one, that could slot onto the Slate to make it like a laptop (protecting the screen as a peripheral benefit), it would have had a real winner on its hands. Talk about missed opportunities…

As far as the current solution goes though, the dock is superb and the wireless Bluetooth keyboard is pretty decent too. Like the dock, it’s very well-built; its entire body is metal with a brushed finish on top, while the well-spaced Chiclet keys are matt black plastic. Key feedback is lovely and crisp, and layout is logical.

Getting back to the Slate 700T, its controls are well-placed and easy to operate. On the left is a volume rocker switch, while to the right resides a handy orientation lock button and a recessed power button. With a single short press, this puts the tablet into standby, and resume is virtually instant (nicely replicating the experience of Android and iOS tablets). A longer press is the equivalent of choosing the ‘Shut Down’ option from Window’s start menu.

A round button under the centre of the bezel launches Samsung’s custom touch interface, which runs within Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (or the optional Win 7 Professional OS you can choose if you live in the US). Again it’s reminiscent of Android but that’s no bad thing; it’s attractive and provides a very smooth experience indeed.

By default all the usual apps like Media, Calendars, Notes, Social and Weather widgets are provided, and you can add shortcuts for any program of your choice. The only notable lack is touch-oriented games. Unfortunately, aside from a few custom apps this interface provides only a thin veneer over the not-so-finger-friendly Windows OS. Still, it does demonstrate the potential that Windows 8 might tap.

Playing a touch-crafted game like iBomber Defense on the Slate really goes to show that the experience for individual apps certainly doesn’t need to be inferior to that found on an iPad, and the wealth of superb touch-friendly titles already available for a Windows PC (such as World of Goo and Crayon Physics to name but two) is simply staggering.

Of course, Flash games and movies are also at the tips of your fingers, another potentially major bonus over Apple’s tablet. Perhaps the single biggest advantage of the Slate over non-Windows tablets (when used as a media consumption device) is its ability to play any format or resolution of video with consummate ease, including high bit-rate 1080p video on or off-line.

Ala Miah

September 1, 2011, 9:24 pm

Everything aside this is genuinely the first tablet/slate that I want. I wanted something I can replace my laptop with and this is close to being it! It will 'hopefully' in the future be able to run windows 8 which would be great!

999 is a lot of money though so will need to sell my current laptop in order to fund it but hopefully it will be worth it.


September 1, 2011, 9:35 pm

It looks like a great piece of hardware, but I think Windows 7 will still hold it back. With Windows 8 installed, and if it lives up to the touch-friendly promise, this could do very well.


September 2, 2011, 2:48 am

Beside the price, which is pretty high, 700t has one more big problem that could hold back many of the potential buyers. To me it looked like perfect companion for photography runs, but it's lack of full sized SD slot really diged into my enthusiasm.


September 2, 2011, 4:43 pm

granted it's another thing to carry with you, but what about a tiny USB SD card reader? e.g. this: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/veho-vsd-001-sd-card-reader-all-sd-inc-hdsc-mmc-and-rs-mmc-memory-usb-20


September 15, 2011, 5:17 pm

@Ala Miah:
Likewise. And it can run Windows 8 very well indeed :D

Yes, it is rather a shame. The 7 Slate could really have done with a docking base/keyboard with an extra battery and connectivity thrown in, a la the Eee Pad Transformer. Then it would have been THE ULTIMATE Windows Tablet EVER :D

Another alternative to @ChaosDefinesOrder's good solution is to use a micro-SD card with full-size adapter in your camera... not ideal by any means, but it will work.

evan fotis

November 8, 2011, 10:13 pm

If the Asus was almost as thin as this one it would certainly be the more complete solution, not only due to all things mentioned already like ports, keyboard etc. but just from the screen size. The EP121 is not only 1" larger but also 16:10 thus making a difference. Basically the 700T screen is like a stretched ipad as can be seen in this size comparison:
From left to right, Asus Transformer, Apple Ipad, Samsung 700T, Asus EP121.

For the reviewers:
Which of the two had the better display (viewing angles, contrast, color rendition)
and less reflective one?

And just to reiterate: Was using he pen a clearly better experience on the 700T, with improved responsiveness and accuracy than on the Ep121?


November 9, 2011, 1:54 pm

Me want one


November 9, 2011, 3:07 pm

As I mention in the review, the main reasons to choose the Samsung over the EP121 are its faster, more efficient CPU/GPU, combined with its longer battery life. I also mention the screen aspect ratio difference.

As to your questions, not having both devices to hand I would say the displays are roughly comparable in quality, though from what I can remember the Asus takes the lead not only due to its aspect ratio but also with slightly 'blacker' blacks.

Using the pen was a better experience on the Samsung because the glass layer covering the screen is 'softer' than the Gorilla Glass on the Asus. Responsiveness was only better in situations where the EP121's CPU was failing to keep up with Photoshop et al.

Hope that helps :)

Arctic Fox

November 9, 2011, 4:07 pm

Given that we are talking Intel architecture (even though it is the latest iteration of this class of cpu) I have to say that Sammy has done a good job with this slate as far as battery life goes. I would be very interested in seeing what effect installing Win8 (the RC, when everything is pretty much fully tweaked) has on this aspect. It would give us a very clear idea what that os is bringing to the table as far as its "power footprint" is concerned on an x86 setup.


December 8, 2011, 10:15 am

I was also reading other reviews about the Samsung Series 7 Slate 700T I think it is the best Windows 7 tablet so far but I have one disappiontment on this tablet is that from other review the 3DMark06 is 1642 but the Apple MacBook Air scored 4251. Both machines are using the same CPU and GPU, could someone explain it to me why there is a huge difference in the Graph performance? Thank you very much in advance!


December 9, 2011, 1:57 am

I signed up just want to complain about the same problem mentioned in the review - low building quality. The following happens exactly to me and it's really annoying. "Worst of all, on our sample model the back separated from the glass front enough to be able to just see the components through the gap" I have sent it to Fort Worth, TX for repair last week as I thought it would be a isolated incident. But now I know I was wrong! Due to shortage of part, they promise to exchange a new unit to me. But what if it happens again?? Except for the quality issue, I reckon it is the best windows-based tablet so far in the market. Fei


January 6, 2012, 2:20 am

This is the third review site I have visited that knocks on the 16:9 screen ratio. Personally, for reviewing letter size documents, I prefer 4:3 even over 16:10 - BUT THAT IS IRRELEVANT because Microsoft has mandated this aspect ratio as the minimum for getting the full Win 8 experience (particularly the two resizable windows on a tablet). In effect, Samsung had no choice and neither will forthcoming vendors.


October 3, 2013, 7:05 am

Sorry to sound ignorant but is the keyboard built in or is it separate from the tablet

Rufus Pearce

February 17, 2016, 9:23 am

Windows and MacOS are hugely different Oses

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