Alex Dmytruszko writes:
I recently sold a Sony Vaio Z series laptop because I feel like I am ready to step into the tablet market. I noticed that the two heavy hitters right now seem to be the Microsoft Surface Pro (when it comes out this January) and the Samsung ATIV 700T Smart PC Pro. The reason I am considering these two devices is because I am looking for a laptop replacement that also works as a touchscreen tablet that will run the full version of Windows 8.
The Samsung seems to have notoriously bad reviews in regards to its attachable keyboard, which loses connection intermittently (even when shifting position on your lap!), as well as some Wi-Fi problems and cheap plastic build quality. So that leaves us with the Surface Pro.
It seems like a decent device (spec-wise), but at the same time it looks like a clunker with its less-than-sleek profile (at least in my opinion). From a side-view, it seems to be quite wide.
Being the tech guru that you are, and taking into consideration the concerns I’ve expressed above, I’d like to ask what you’d recommend for me?
Between the two you’re considering, it would seem that the Surface Pro could be the best option — though anybody’s yet to see or use it in person. I was quite happy with the hardware of the Surface with Windows RT (in terms of how it looked and how it felt — not necessarily how it worked).
If a detachable keyboard is an absolute must for you, then the Microsoft Surface Pro may well be your best bet. The detachable keyboard comes in a variety of colors and can be purchased with or without that extra tactile feedback that makes it feel a little more like a traditional notebook keyboard.
The Surface Pro should have the hardware to compete directly with the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro with a lower price to boot. The fact that it’s supported directly by Microsoft puts it at an advantage, as well. Samsung makes decent hardware, but it’s largely focused on the budget consumer market rather than the professional user. Microsoft has taken a more professional approach to its hardware design.
In addition to a lower price, the Surface Pro has a slightly higher pixel density, which should deliver crisper graphics and cleaner text. This probably isn’t very noticeable unless you’re paying attention, but it could be important to you.
There are some advantages to consider with the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro, however. A slightly larger screen (11.6 inch vs. 10.6 inch) and a lighter frame (748g vs. 907g) might be worth the extra investment to you. It all comes down to what you hope to get out of the device.