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Samsung Series 7 Slate 700T – Performance, Battery, Value and Verdict

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

User Score:

Finally we get to the actual internals of the 700T, which are comparable to those of many ultraportable laptops like the MacBook Air. The CPU is a dual-core Intel Core i5 2467M, which runs at 1.6GHz by default but can turbo clock up to 2.3GHz, supporting up to four virtual cores. It’s more than up to handling average PC workloads, and should be good for some heavy lifting too.

It’s backed by 4GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD. In the US you can choose between a 64GB or 128GB SSD, but on this side of the Atlantic we’re stuck with the smaller capacity, and this does feel a little limiting as it doesn’t leave much space for programs. We do hope Samsung will add the larger drive as an option for those willing to pay more for it (along with 3G).

Samsung Series 7 Slate 700T

Graphics are, of course, of the Intel integrated variety, though that’s no longer as damning as it was a generation ago. Casual games are certainly a possibility, with the Slate managing a smooth 30fps in our TrackMania Nations Forever test at Medium detail and 720p.

In short, everything we threw at the 700T ran smooth as silk, and Samsung’s claim of a 17 second cold boot is pretty much spot-on (20 seconds for full functionality). With its almost instant sleep and wake options, the Slate rarely feels less than nippy.

Samsung Series 7 Slate 700T

Of course, with the previous Windows 7 tablet champion (the now somewhat long in the tooth Asus EP121), performance limitations – especially on the graphics front - were joined by poor battery life. And this is another failing Samsung’s Slate addresses. As the screen is searingly bright we ran our test on a somewhat lower screen brightness than the usual 40 percent, and at 30 percent brightness the Slate managed six hours and ten minutes – impressive for a device with a four-cell battery. So with frugal use, the 700T should just last you through a working day.

Finally, how does our £999 tablet hold up in the value department? Yes, it costs significantly more than a similarly specified ultraportable, but don’t forget the high-quality (and thus expensive) screen, which is vastly superior to anything you’ll find on even premium laptops (with the exception of a select few like the Lenovo X220 and 220T, both of which offer IPS options). There’s also the Wacom digitizer to take into account, which isn't cheap.

Everything considered, the Slate is actually decent value, especially as it has very few rivals. In fact, the only one we know of is the similarly priced Asus EP121. The Asus might have a better aspect ratio screen, offer better connectivity (two USB 2.0 ports compared to one, SDXC versus MicroSD) and superior build quality, include a passable carrying case and offer a slot to store its stylus, but it’s also running an older CPU/GPU, is much heavier, isn’t as nice for drawing on and doesn’t come with the Samsung’s media dock. Taking this into account, the £40ish saving really isn’t worth it, and we would choose the 700T every time despite its limitations and flaws.

Samsung’s Slate is pretty much the best Windows 7 tablet available, if mainly because it’s the only one based on the latest Intel architecture to hit the market. What would really have made this not just the best tablet but one of the best mobile devices around would have been if Samsung had merged the media dock and keyboard into a single, laptop-like base, especially if it had thrown in an additional battery. With the Asus Eee Pad Transformer being such a runaway success, we simply can’t understand why this idea isn’t being emulated more.

Verdict

With its sleek lines and alluring finish, the Samsung Series 7 Slate 700T is the most attractive Windows 7 tablet going. It’s also the most powerful, and the one with the best accessories thanks to its included Wacom stylus, media dock and wireless keyboard. Unfortunately, it suffers from some build-quality issues; its otherwise gorgeous PLS screen doesn’t have the ideal aspect ratio for a tablet, and despite Samsung’s enhancements, Windows still isn’t a finger-friendly OS. However, if you need the productivity only Microsoft’s system can provide, or if you’re a designer/artist looking for a mobile digital solution, it’s the best option currently available.

Overall Score

7

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 8
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Value 7

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.

pimlicosound

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.

Carnex

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.

ChaosDefinesOrder

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

TechVegan

September 15, 2011, 5:17 pm

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

@Carnex:
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:
http://tvcalculator.com/index.html?2beeef3bb65766c0bc48cd5fab9c4ac2
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?

ToRJS99

November 9, 2011, 1:54 pm

Me want one

TechVegan

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.

JobApp

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!

3d11hf

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

dstrauss

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.

amanda

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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