Most helpful positive review
75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
Best of the Win 8 Tablets (for now)
on September 5, 2013
Purchased a Surface Pro to do art with last month, and returned it due to uncomfortable edges, weight, small display, heat issues (felt like it was burning my hands) and quite poor keyboard dock accessories.
I had my eye on the ATIV 700T for a bit, so I finally jumped on the new K01 model, which I hoped had ironed out the keyboard dock connection problems. On that score, it looks good - I've had no connection issues or dropped key response.
Price: My brand new K01 last week was $1059 before tax. That's about the same you'll pay for a Surface Pro 128 with optional and IMO poor quality Touch Keyboard Dock. I don't even consider the Pad to be an option. The 700T (usually) comes with keyboard, and although it's top-heavy the quality of the actual unit is excellent. Key feel is great.
Speed: Runs L4D2 at mid settings very smoothly, at least until the CPU starts to heat up and throttle. I'm still trying to see if there's any workaround for that. Load times are blazing fast, from cold they're in the 8-9 second range. I can use a 400px soft brush on a 1500x1500 canvas in Photoshop CC and the thing keeps up just fine. There was talk in the early A01 days of a 'ringer' test unit with 1.8GHz CPU vs. the 1.7 that the production models got - I suspect the K01 and other 1.8GHz models are that 'ringer'.
Ergonomics, Heat and Feel: My 700T gets nowhere near as hot as my Surface Pro did. The ATIV fans are quieter (I attribute that to the more direct vent layout on the back, rather than the narrow edge vent of the Surface). The 700T weighs slightly less than the Microsoft, almost exactly what my iPad 3 WiFi did with folio leather case.
Battery: The runtime of the Samsung is also better than the Surface Pro. Mine seems to last roughly 1.5hrs longer than the SP, but I did not run any tests. I'm thinking 6-7hrs. The charging is your basic two piece adapter, a welcome alternative to Microsoft's magnetic charger that fell off when you picked up the tablet.
Build Quality: My 700T does not flex or creak if you press or twist moderately at corners or middle. I find the bad rap Samsung gets for use of plastics to be mostly undeserved and I don't see why a tablet like this should cough up weight and ergonomics to make grandiose claims over what basically amounts to the use of pot metal (magnesium alloy is not exactly fancy) like the SP. I have no problem with the USB covers and so forth. I like having the extra protection from dust and such. Overall, I think the thing looks really quite good and feels less top-heavy in my hands vs. the Surface.
Wacom Screen: Very good response. It may not be out-of-box perfect, but with Wacom's drivers and some tweaking, you get full touch and pen use in apps like Photoshop, Manga Studio and Sketchbook Pro.
Stylus: It's too small to be of much real use for drawing, but it has its own silo - unlike the useless, annoying magnetic stylus with the Surface that occupied the charging spot (when it wasn't falling off)
Settings & Management of Power: At first my 700T prevented bright screen mode, so I turned off all that, as well as ambient adjustment. There's some debate about whether there's any battery savings with auto-dim, anyway. Though, it'd be nice if it just worked right out of the box. Also, when coming out of suspend/sleep the unit wants a tap of the volume control to confirm it's 'you', citing dark ambient sensor input - ostensibly so it doesn't turn on in your bag or case. Not really a big deal, maybe a plus in a way.
Accessories: There are now more than four versions of this tablet in the USA: A01, A02, A03, A04, K01 and HA1. There are various small differences between with the slight size increase starting at the A04 and continuing with the K01 which has a slightly faster processor (1.8GHz vs 1.7). The HA1 is the AT&T 4G model, which the USA market lacked before. Thus, there's a total lack of accessories and reliable fitted cases. I had to go with a Slate 7 screen protector sold by my local ATT store so I'd have something on there - and shelled out $40, too. WE NEED A04/K01 SIZE CASES, PLEASE! AND A TPU/RUBBER SLEEVE OPTION AS WELL.
Available Space: Over half of the advertised 128GB is sapped by bloatware and a huge recovery partition. It's not easy to rectify, either, as the partition is a needful function if you want to do a factory re-image. I suggest nothing smaller than a 64GB Micro SDHC as a must-have for this. Or do some research on upgrading the SSD.
Balance: No battery in the keyboard dock makes the whole ensemble quite topple-prone unless you position the screen/tablet just right, straight up.
Software: Windows 8 non-Pro on a $1000+ device is a bit cheap. Has the same 30 Day Trial of Office 365 as the Surface Pro. Again, cheap-o for a premium priced device like this.
Cheaped Out Options: Some 700T models have GPS. This one does not, but it does utilize WiDi and TPM. No SIM slot, as expected. AT&T sells the HA1US with that. A slipcover of some kind would've been nice.