A tablet at heart

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - COVER STORY -

With Win­dows 8 hy­brids you will al­ways be won­der­ing if this is a tablet that can be­come a lap­top or a lap­top which can be­come a tablet. With the Sam­sung Ativ Smart PC, there is no scope for any am­bi­gu­ity. This is a tablet at heart, and a very good one at that.

The 11.6-inch tablet is the core of the de­vice, with a ma­jor­ity of the ports the power but­ton and the vol­ume con­trols. But that does not mean you can get rid of the key­board and use this only as a tablet. For, the power port is here and you need this to charge the de­vice. The key­board is good, though we felt that the track­pad was a bit stub­born. Yoked to its key­board, the Smart PC looks and feels a lot like a netbook. And like a netbook it also have an Atom pro­ces­sor, which thank­fully does not af­fect its pro­cess­ing pow­ers as a tablet. If you start look­ing at the de­vice like a lap­top then things could get a bit tricky. For in­stance, we tried to test the de­vice with the 12MB hi-res­o­lu­tion pic­ture that we use for sim­i­lar test on lap­tops. This one took al­most a minute to open the file. Zoom­ing in and out was also slug­gish, so was ro­ta­tion. But then there is a Pro ver­sion of the Smart PC which come with and In­ter Core i5 in­side. If you need more power, buy that.

But then we think you should look at this de­vice pri­mar­ily as a tablet. One that also comes with an­other in­put op­tion. Touch, with­out doubt, is the pri­mary in­put method here. Just the way it was in­tended to be. The touch­screen is very re­spon­sive comes with Sam­sung’s pop­u­lar S-pen. So you can use the S-Note and other Sam­sung apps with the sty­lus. You can also use it with the hand­writ­ing recog­ni­tion that is part of the Win­dows 8 key­board. This is the best ex­e­cu­tion of hand­writ­ing recog­ni­tion on any com­put­ing de­vice and with the sty­lus things only get bet­ter, more ac­cu­rate. In fact, if you are com­fort­able with the 11.6-inch form fac­tor of the tablet just tear away the key­board and use the sty­lus to write like you would on pa­per and then con­vert it to text. The only damp­ener for us with the de­vice was the dock­ing mech­a­nism. It takes a while to ac­tu­ally un­der­stand if you have been suc­cess­ful — there are faint beeps for con­nect and dis­con­nect. Also the flap that holds the tablet in place is a bit of an eye sore. Still, this is among the most af­ford­able Win­dows 8 hy­brids.

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