Review: Samsung Ativ Smart PC XE500T1c running Windows 8: I am so not impressed

So I have had the Samsung ATIV Smart PC lying around in my office and I finally got the time to take it home and do a review.

I’m glad I waited so long. I had better things to do.

First, some specs:

The unit I got to review was the following:

  • Model: XE500T1c-A04US
  • Intel Atom: Z2760(1.80GHz)
  • OS: Windows 8 (32Gb)
  • LCD: 11.6 inches HD
  • Resolution: 1366×768
  • Memory: 2GB LPDDR@ 800mhz
  • HDD: 64GB on board
  • Wifi: 802.11abgn + BlueTooth 4.0
  • Dimensions: 11.97″ x 3.52″ x 0.39″
  • Weight: 1.68 lbs.
  • Price: $699 (with tax)

I’ll make this review quick because these tablets all kinda act and feel the same once you get to the actual OS.

Note: The Samsung Ativ 500T I was sent for review lacked the keyboard that normally ships with the device.

First the unboxing:

Pretty standard box and graphics, nothing sleek or special.

IMG_2814

Then you take this tablet out and hold it. This is when things kinda go south on this one.

ATIV how I don’t like thee, where do I begin?

First of all, it feels too heavy, then it feels too cheap, then it feels too plasticky (not a word I know), then it feels too awkward.

The bottom of the tablet has the attach points for the dock as well as a magnetic connector reminiscent of those Microsoft uses for the Surface. The left-hand side of the device is pretty standard with volume controls and a mini-HDMI output.

The top of the device has a lot going on. From the left, there’s the SD card slots, the USB 2 port, the physical auto-rotate on/off button, and the power switch.

The power button is easy to hit by mistake and the fold-away tabs make the device look really cheap.

The 11.6-inch screen is too big. At least the way it is executed here it is.

It makes the Samsung feel large and clumsy.

IMG_2851

It also comes with a VERY well hidden stylus. A little too well hidden actually. You will miss this location if you just casually look over the tablet…

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

Cut to the chase here.

It worked and ran Windows 8 but it always felt a little sluggish to me. It felt like it was under-powered and not that responsive.

IMG_2851 IMG_2850

They say battery life on these models is meant to be really great (13 to 15 hours). I didn’t use it long enough to tell you but it seemed fine from all the times I used it, left it on and came back to it several hours later.

Here’s (to me) the biggest problem. I never liked even holding the device.

It felt like a first generation tablet and when you compare it to the splendid ASUS VivoTab RT, it’s like comparing a large bus to a Ferrarri.

My very first Windows 8 tablet was an ExoPC tablet and it felt better than this device. Back then I was so thrilled to be testing earlier previews of Windows 8 on a tablet, everything was forgivable.

In December of 2012, that doesn’t work.

I expected a lot out of the Samsung ATIV line of tablets, phones and PC’s and I have to say, so far I have not been impressed by either the phones or the tablets.

I would AcTIVely avoid this one (pun intended)…

Yeah this is a pretty brief review. It’s not one of the better Windows 8 tablets out here so if you want more specs and details, head to Samsung’s site to get more

Here are the images from my review…

Images – Samsung Ativ Smart PC XE500T1c running Windows 8

Please Leave Your Comments Below...

  • http://twitter.com/rtimi timi

    I think you missed the point to this tablet, it’s supposed to be cheap but yet run full windows as to Asus Vivo about the same price w/RT installed.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Maybe I did miss the point. Once you dont even like the weight and feel of a device, it just starts to go downhill from there.

      A tablet just HAS to feel good in your hands!

      • http://twitter.com/digitalsyrup Digital Syrup

        True.. but to be subjective and un-biased, sometimes you have to just put aside those negative feelings and think that there might be other people who may like a larger form factor. I’d like to see a video review with apps running compared to an RT tablet. I know this Samsung has an Intel CPU so I assume this means its Windows 8 PRO? If so, it would be nice to see traditional app installation as well.

      • http://twitter.com/rtimi timi

        granted, I’m not saying its the best device and yes it’s not metal like the Asus pad but, when you look at what it gives you it deserves a better review.

      • http://www.facebook.com/bentos7 Benson Tan

        You seem obvious as a samsung hater, with vague generalized way you consider all ativ as bad and you didnt mention it objectively. All subjective. And they are contrary to what most of the users i know. I love the 11.6 inch fyi, since i do multi tasking a lot, smaller than this will be more difficult to manage multitasking. It is plastic, yes, but when i saw it in the market it doesn’t look as cheap as you mention, infact it seems glossy and nice to touch. And you said heavy, what is your basis? I own ipad at 1.5lbs. And this, a more powerful device yet just at 1.67lbs. I cant even feel the weight difference. We need factual and unbiased review and it shouldn’t be trying to demoralize a good product.

        • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi
          • http://www.facebook.com/bentos7 Benson Tan

            It’s just that i own this and i purchased this after stringent comparison among windows 8 tablet pc. I like the surface at first, but the reviews didn’t reach up to my reuirements like full win 8. Ive been using this for several weeks already along with my friends and we all loved it much. The review is just unfair and review should touch the objective side of every gadget. What other mobile gadget with full windows 8 that can match this? Try comparing it with hp envy x2, fujitsu among the others.(those ARM based gadget to be fair) rather than with windows rt devices.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jmveilex Jean Michel Veilex

      if there is something ridicule about tablets, laptops and smartphone is the crazy idea that apple buried in people’s mind that metal case is better quality and stronger…… this is plain falls….. if I have to chose something for its sturdiness I’ll take a plastic device over anything in metal…. any apple product metal case absolutely hates blunt force and dent faster than a fender in a crash test…..
      I can’t remember the last time I cracked or really dent or even scratched more a plastic case over any type of metal case any other constructor ever made….. I have everything from old Ericson, nokia cell to nice vaio product and in every ruggedness contest the plastic (or other polymers of the sort) are way over what metal has to offer….. yeah sure it looks nicer in metal…. but that’s absolutely it….. unless you make it in pure titanium alloy or 3 inch thick cast iron there ain’t much metal stronger than plastic in today’s customer electronic market….. plastic simply plastic has way better schock absorption properties just with the cheer flexibility of the material that metal will hardly match a equal cost…. beside the looks in the mass market nothing goes in the direction of metal when it comes to quality…once again plastic wins the quality test here whether people feel or believe it is irrelevant to the test…..

      • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

        Nothing wrong with plastic man. But there is plastic that feels classy and plastic that feels cheap.

        I don’t know what to tell you.

  • MikeD

    I have owned this device for a month and a half and am currently viewing this article on it. I greatly disagree with this thing being sluggish, as I have yet to be disappointed with its performance. Yes, it is rather large, but to me given it’s a true Windows 8 tablet, not an RT device, and the battery life is just fine given the large screen (10 hours on average), the size doesn’t bother me. It’s more screen real estate to be productive. It doesn’t feel cheap (plastic back doesn’t give much) and I’ve dropped it off my lap to a semi-carpeted floor once and it survived no problem, so its construction is sturdy enough. I’d say its one of the better devices Windows 8 tablets out there for a good price.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      I definitely respect your point of view. As long as you’re happy with it, all is well with the world. 🙂

      I just came off of reviewing the ASUS VivoTab and maybe that’s the issue. Yes the VivoTab is just RT but it feels really good. The Surface felt good too so it’s just hard for me to appreciate this form factor…

    • http://www.facebook.com/bentos7 Benson Tan

      Definitely. A generalized negative remarks without proof and objective specification. Where are the most obvious good side to ativ smart pc? The obvious part (it comes with a good accurate s pen that others weren’t able to think to have. The lightweight remarks for an 11.6inch and even as remarked by more reliable sources like engadget, cnet, techradar and all the other rest. The usb port. The micro sdxc compatibility. The fast and fluid ui (as per my experience and all the reviews from reliable source as mentioned above, everything is menrioned objectively). The only windows 8 tablet pc that has an 8megapixel camera with led flash and 2mp front camera. The vibrant screen. Full functional windows 8 not rt. And many more good sides, and most of the cons that are mentioned in the review is false and mostly subjective. I bought the ativ smart pc even it cost more than the other tab including the said vivo tab rt, it is necause of the way i find it great in a demo unit and after seeking for the reviews from all the popular and reliable gadget reviews even the youtube videos. This review here makes it unfair and very biased. Just stay factual and objective and very little of the subjective side to make a real, true and accurate review.

  • MoreQuads

    I agree that you and most so called authorities out there don’t ” get it”
    This and all the other “ultra/tablets” are ultra books, with the tablet form as a slight occational ” bonus”.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Aaah it’s an Ultrabook?

      Looked like a tablet to me (without the keyboard). If you need to perform 50 updates on a device to get it to functional……….

  • http://www.facebook.com/darrenkgeorge Darren Kavin George

    Onoura – I must say, this review disappoints me.

    I hardly call this a review really. We want to know how this thing performs! Can it edit photos, videos? What kind of games can it run? Could I make a beat on it? Design something in photoshop?

    Seriously? A few poor quality pics, and a brush to the side and then you recommend avoiding it? Nah!

    This is supposed to be for the producer, not the consumer, feeling good in your hands really isn’t the number one thing. Its x86 not RT we’re talking about here

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Yeah it was a lack luster review. Mia culpa.

      Sorry man, I have absolutely no patience for bulky tablets. My achilles heel…

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mekusa Macpaul Emeka Ekwueme

    I couldn’t agree with you more on the Ativ review. The plasticky feel was the main I chose the Asus Vivotab tf810 over it. That, and the unobstrusive docking mechanism of the Vivo tab. Now could you do a review of the Asus Vivo tab tf810 please? However, I don’t really buy the view on clovertrail being very sluggish.