Samsung Series 7 700T tablet review: first look
We can understand if the mere thought of a Windows 7 tablet is enough to set alarm bells ringing, but Samsung’s Series 7 700T marks the company’s first attempt to revitalise the genre.
Though bulkier than your average Android slate – as you’d rightly expect given the 11.6in, 1,366 x 768 display – the 700T feels surprisingly manageable in the hand. Measuring 12.9mm thick and weighing in at just 970g, this is as lightweight as Windows tablets come. The brushed metal back gives the 700T a classy feel, and the sturdy build means there’s precious little flex – compared to most Windows tablets, the Samsung is in a different league.
It took just a couple of prods at the screen to gauge that it’s incredibly responsive. With the same Core i5-2467M processor as found in Samsung’s Series 9 laptop, that perhaps comes as little surprise, but it’s all the more noticeable on a tablet. In tandem with the 64GB SSD and 4GB of RAM, every touch brings an almost instant response. Zooming in and out of photos in Windows Photo Viewer is smooth, and applications load with appreciable haste.
Samsung has also added its own touch-friendly home screen to Windows 7. Icons tile across the screen in a layout reminiscent of an Android tablet, while all the essential details such as Wi-Fi connections, a clock and calendar entries are positioned on a hideable sidebar on the left-hand side.
The early sample we saw didn’t have the final software suite installed, but our contact also suggested that Samsung is looking at integrating Swype’s novel keyboard into final production models.
Whether it’s at home or in the office, on the tube or on the train, Samsung’s 700T majors on versatility. With a Bluetooth keyboard, stylus and a docking station bundled as standard, it’s easy to go from scribbling down notes to chewing through office applications.
Back at a desk, the docking station packs in Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, a full-sized USB 2 port and a headphone output, and, for longer trips, it’s also small and light enough to pop in a bag.
The 700T itself packs in front and rear-facing cameras, a gyroscope, accelerometer and GPS as standard. Connectivity includes a full-sized USB port, Micro HDMI and a MicroSD slot, as well as an easily accessible SIM slot for the optional 3G. Wireless connectivity includes 802.11n and Bluetooth.
Battery life is the big unknown, and here Samsung claims 6.6 hours. Our Samsung contact claimed actual usage time will be nearer three or four hours with Wi-Fi and more strenuous usage, although we’ll hold off judgement until we can test it ourselves.
With an 11.6in capacitive screen, a powerful Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD, not to mention the bundled docking station, the asking price of £999 doesn’t look too unreasonable. We’re still waiting on confirmation of the price of the 3G version.
With review units available in the coming weeks, look out for the forthcoming full review in PC Pro.