There are many different kinds of users when it comes to tablets, and part of the battle is finding the one that is right for you.
Some users are looking for a very casual experience for checking email, browsing the web, and reading a book; others are looking for a business/field machine that can do a little bit of everything.
With Windows 8, there will be powerful slates that do everything except travel through time (those won’t be out for another few decades), all the way to low-end models that are just designed for basic browsing and run ARM technology.
The power of choice will be the strongest in Windows 8, even though right now Android leads in that department.
Sure Android has no minimum requirements but it is a highly fragmented experience that you shouldn’t find with Windows 8.
For those interested in a powerful Windows 8 experience that runs x86 legacy apps, now might be a good time to get a Win7 tablet that can fully upgrade to the Beta in February and/or the full commercial version later this year.
One high powered option on the market is the Samsung Series 7 Slate. This slate packs quite a punch with the following hardware under the hood:
- an 11.6-inch SuperBright LED-backlit HD display (1366×768 resolution)
- Intel Core i5 2467M 1.6GHz Processor
- 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
- 128GB SSD
- Intel HD Graphics 3000
- Integrated Hi-Def Audio
- 1 USB 2.0
- lithium-polymer battery with up to 7 hours of life
- 2MP front-facing camera
- 3MP rear-facing camera
- Bluetooth and 802.11b/g/n wireless
- Weight: 1.98 lbs
- Dimensions: 11.66 x 7.24 x 0.51 in
The Samsung Slate is a great tablet if you are looking for something that can pack a huge amount of power under the hood while still weighing less than 2 lbs.
The Samsung slate has about the same overall power, more space, and about the same screen size as the previously reviewed Eee B121 (http://www.eyeonwindows.com/2012/01/04/windows-8-tablet-review-asus-eee-slate-b121/), while actually managing to cost less.
Like the B121, Samsung’s slate offering is a good laptop replacment unit and can be paired with a bluetooth or USB keyboard and mouse to give a user a rather capable experience.
Thanks to a fair (for Intel) graphics processor and a great i5 CPU, it can handle many applications of moderate intensity, which includes almost every game on the market right now (though some will NOT work with Intel graphics, period).
The 11.6-inch screen is also massive enough for sharing information with those around you.
Of course the Samsung Slate is no lightweight and so it isn’t ideal for one-hand use at all or even as an e-reader.
Still, it isn’t as unwieldy as many other ‘larger size’ slates and handles comfortably in landscape mode. Additionally despite the large amount of heat the unit produces, Samsung put the vents in places that are out of the way and likely to bother the user.
Next, we have a capable pen and touch experience, which isn’t really anything new or revolutionary but it is certainly an important part of the slate experience.
Samsung’s Slate has a standard wacom-compatible pen, although there is no place to really store it on the tablet itself.
At the end of the day though, what sets an x86 tablet apart from a typical Android/iOS tablet is in fact the hardware.
The Samsung Slate has an impressive i5 processor that runs at 1.6GHz, 4GB of very fast DDR3 RAM, and reasonable Intel HD 3000 graphics that should be able to handle at least all the low-to-medium intensity programs you can through at it.
The Slate is more of a PC in terms of power, looks, and feel than a tablet, if that turns you off than this probably isn’t the best choice for you.
It has a serious look, feel, and design that makes it in a league of its own and just feels ‘more important’ than toy-like tablets of the Android variety (although I enjoy Android and am not dissing these tablets by any means).
If you are looking for a powerful tablet experience, this is probably one of the best you can find. The Samsung Series 7 Slate is available from the Microsoft Store for $1,299.00.