Samsung Ativ Tab review

This 10in Windows RT tablet aims to outshine Microsoft's in-house effort with a Qualcomm chipset and nine hours of battery life. But is it worth the high-price point?

Interface 2 - The Desktop

This should fix everything and provide a dose of familiarity to help marry the playful start menu with some real work. The reality unfortunately is that the desktop provides such a jarring experience to the start menu that there's very little we wanted to do in it.

For starters, it's clumsy. An old school Windows 7 interface wasn't designed for a 10.1in screen coupled with finger input. This means that unless you've got a dock or Bluetooth USB mouse/keyboard combination, you're going to be very frustrated with the UI, and that's before you even open an application.

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The entire Office Suite does two things well it opens files impeccably delivering full editing functionality. This is a huge value add, especially if you do things like present from PowerPoint presentations. The other thing it does well though is lag and frustrate. As with the whole UI, finger input is clumsy and with an on screen keyboard taking up half the screen, it's impractical as a document creator.

The desktop view also provides another version of Internet Explorer 10, though Sunspider benchmarks show this to perform worse than the Start Menu version. Unless you need to have a browser open while editing an office doc therefore, we'd suggest you steer clear of this as once again, it's extremely un-finger-friendly.

Overall

In terms of design and performance we can't really fault the Ativ tab. The 5-megapixel camera on the rear also performs very well indeed on par with snapper the Nexus 10, and battery life is something of a highpoint on the Samsung Ativ Tab.

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Still the good looks, shiny screen and decent battery can't save the Ativ Tab from what's at the heart of it Windows RT. This just isn't suitable for business use, and isn't worth the inflated price tag.

Verdict

Sadly, despite decent hardware from Samsung, the Ativ Tab and its skinny take on Microsoft’s Windows RT fails to make the truncated OS any more usable – and at £550, this lack of utility is hard to swallow.

OS: Windows RT Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus + 2GB RAM Screen: 10.1in HD (1366 x 768) LCD Storage: 32GB Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4, USB 2, micro HDMI Camera: 5-megapixel rear with autofocus and LED flash, 1.9-megapixel front Battery: 8,200mAh Li-on Weigh: 570g

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