I’ve got one of these with 3G and I can vouch for it as a very good Clovertrail-based 2-in-1. I’m putting together a more detailed article about the ‘old’ Clovertrail tablets but as I was scanning through prices I found this Samsung ATIV 500T which stands out as one of the best deals by far in Europe. 399 pounds buys you the Tablet with Digitizer and Keyboard dock.
Update: It looks like the price is getting hidden because it’s out of stock. View all prices and you’ll find the Amazon offer at 399.
I must be nuts. I’ve just paid 900 Euro for an Atom-based notebook. Or am I?
A few days ago I bought the Samsung ATIV 500T after a disappointing time with the Lenovo Lynx keyboard (of all things Lenovo!) The unboxing went well until I spotted a connectivity problem between the dock and the tablet. I really wasn’t very happy. Today I swapped it out for a new one. I also spotted the 3G version in stock so I end up paying 899 Euro. It’s more expensive than at other retailers too although, for you US people, it’s a business sale which is 19% tax-free here in Germany.
I took the Lenovo Lynx back to my retailer today (because of this keyboard issue) and came away with a Samsung ATIV 500T and docking keyboard. I’m desperately looking for a good, long-battery life Windows 8 Touch writing / blogging laptop and even though the Samsung ATIV 500T is expensive andÂ doesn’tÂ come with an additional battery in the keyboard dock I decided to give it a try. I’ve unboxed it, presented it and tested the keyboard in the video below. I’ve also hit a deal-breaker. The connector between the keyboard and the tabletÂ isn’tÂ working properly and the keyboard disconnects if you move the tablet. You have no idea how annoyed I am at Samsung. The rest of the device was looking near perfect (Note:for me.) Sigh!
At this stage I’ve simply pushed the ATIV to the side of my desk. Clearly it needs to go back to the retailer again but I just can’t face going back-and-forth because of poor quality control on an 800 EURO ATOM-BASED convertible. Why should I waste my time? You’ll see my frustration on the video.
I’ll continue to try and get hold of test models for UMPCPortal but I’m pulling out my 800 Euros investment until I can be 100% sure of a good product.
Hector, a guest poster and CloverTrail Windows 8 tablet owner has another post for us today. He’s been looking at navigation applications in Windows 8 on his Samsung ATIV SmartPC 500T. Don’t forget to subscribe to Hectors YouTube channel here. Follow him on Twitter here and check out his blog here. Thanks Hector!
The Samsung ATIV XE500T has been somewhat a bit hard to find in-stock, that goes for other Clover Trail devices that we were supposed to see released in October. I was able to get a hold of the ATIV keyboard dock which again has been in short supply at the moment. The keyboard dock works great, but not without some cons. Read-on for the review, images and a review video.
Reviewed by Osiris Many thanks to Osiris for the review which was sent to us a few days ago. Osiris is a Samsung ATIC SmartPC owner and has submitted this review as a guest post.
For the last decade I have had an on-going, on and off again, love-hate relationship with Windows based tablets. Some of these tablets have included and spanned hefty Windows XP tablets, tiny Vista based tablets right through to modern more effective Windows 7 tablets. Despite these varieties and many more shapes and sizes, typically over this time the same limits have persistently dogged these tablets; poor battery life, heavy weight, poor performance and high niche pricing. In many instances the latter two were forgivable; however trying to use a tablet for day to day, study or business purposes with the first two deficiencies makes it an uphill – and often – inconvenient battle. With the advent of Windows 8 another era of hope and optimism dawns over the Windows tablet landscape. Promises of light devices providing all day battery, choices of performance at all levels and a true windows experience in a mobile platform abound. I am familiar with these promises from almost every generation of Windows tablets since their inception, the question is could this year finally be the year it all comes true? The short answer is Yesâ€¦but we are still in an era of compromise, this goes for all tablets.Keep that in mind as I will speak more about that at the end although without further delay let’s get into looking at our first Atom clover trail based Windows 8 tablet, the Samsung Smart PC.
This is the feature that we’ve been waiting for â€“ low power states in Windows that match what you might see on a smartphone. Always on! Personally I think it’s a feature that Intel haven’t promoted well enough, possibly because it makes Ultrabooks look a little old fashioned.
The new low power states have been available in hardware since Moorestown chipsets were available and you can experience them in action in Android tablets and smartphones running on Intel but in the world of Windows PCs, only the CloverTrail platform /Windows 8 offers this new level of of idle efficiency. It means you’ll get a big improvement in battery life and the possibility of always-on action.
In the last 24hrs I’ve had feedback from a user in Germany that proves it’s working.
Hector, a UMPCPortal reader, has sent us a great owner review of the Samsung Ativ PC 500T along with some really useful videos. For anyone considering a Clover-Trail based tablet or ‘transformer’ convertible, this is a must-read; Especially the battery life section!
You know what’s coming? The biggest personal computing fight, ever.
Windows 8 and the expansion of the laptop into smartbook territory will go head to head with an important launch in the handheld computing space â€“ the iPad Mini. Following that, Windows Phone 8 and a non-desktop Windows tablet, Microsoft Surface with Windows RT, will start shipping. There has never been a month in history where the personal computer has had such an upheaval. No-one really knows what’s going to happen.
Some of these products could fail showing us again that what people want is not always what the manufacturers think. Touch-enabled sliding and convertible Ultrabooks is one of those risk areas. Windows RT, I believe, is another, at least for the time being but I think there’s a product category that has fantastic change. The SmartPC, Smartbook could finally succeed with Windows 8 on Intel Atom.
The ever-interesting Samsung Galaxy Note has finally been officially confirmed for release on the AT&T network. AT&T announced the Note in a press release yesterday, alongside several other devices. According to the release, the Galaxy Note is “planned for availability in AT&T stores and online in the coming weeks”. Hopefully, those “weeks” won’t slip into months! Pricing information has not been released, but based on the MSRP of the phone, $299-$399 is a safe bet. It’s unclear at this point if Verizon will eventually offer the Galaxy Note or if this is an exclusive for AT&T.
The Galaxy Note, which is the first modern Android phone toÂ incorporateÂ an active digitizer and stylus, was announced what seems like ages ago at IFA in September. Â Since then, the Note has gone gone on sale in Europe and elsewhere, but US folks have been unable to get their hands on the phone except through pricey importers.
The Galaxy Note’s active digitizer allows the user to input highly accurate hand-written text. Such functionality has long before been seen on tablet PCs and a few Android tablets, but the Note is the first to include the technology in an Android phone. Chippy has a mini-review of the Galaxy Note alone with photos and videos if you’re interested in the device.
When the Note was first launched, I was a bit annoyed at the massive 5.3″ screen. I still feel like screens beyond 3.75″ or 4″ negatively affect the ergonomics of a phone, but I will admit that in the case of the Galaxy Note, I’m singing to a different tune. The stylus means that you’ll be using the phone with two-hands regardless (one to hold the phone, one to write with), so theÂ argumentÂ against a huge screen is somewhat averted. The compromise to enable a large writing area is also one that I might be willing to make (and I know plenty of others who would be happy to make).
Interestingly, in a video accompanied by the AT&T press release, the stylus and active digitizer almost went unmentioned, save for a few seconds at the end. In most of the European advertising material, the stylus was front and center as the most important part of the phone. It seems that AT&T knows that most US consumers (that doesn’t include tech nerds like myself and you!) are looking for an iPhone experience, otherwise they’d be pushing this unique feature much harder.
According to CNET, who cites aÂ pseudo-press release that was posted as a photo description on flickr, “Samsung has confirmed that a U.S. launch is in the works for next year but hasn’t yet revealed a specific date”. Given the excitement surrounding the Galaxy Note, and the proximity of CES, there’sÂ approximatelyÂ a 99.9% chance that we’ll see the Note touted by Samsung at the event. We hope to hear more specific news about the Galaxy Note US release date then, stay tuned!
In addition to confirmation of an eventual US release date for the Galaxy Note, Samsung noted in the press release that over 1 million Notes have been shipped. CNET points out that “shipped” in this case means how many have been sent out to resellers; fewer than 1 million may actually be in the hands of customers.
The Galaxy Note has been holding firm in the top 10 popular devices in our mobile device database since it’s initial announcement back in November. I would call the massive 5.3″ screen way too big except that the Galaxy Note comes with an active digitizer stylus which allows the user to write naturally and accurately on the Note’s ‘Super’ AMOLED display. You can see it in action here from our very own Chippy:
The only option for obtaining a Galaxy Note in the US currently is to go through an importer, but you’d better not be expecting to pay under $600!Â Once the device reaches US carriers, customers will be able to get their hands on it much more easily, thanks to subsidies that will bring down the $850 MSRP reported by a number of importers.
The Notion Ink Adam was launched just about a year ago, and while it didn’t quite live up to the hype, the company is working on getting the one year old unit up and running with the latest version of Android, 4.0 AKA Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). Notion Ink has been posting regular updates to their blog about progress in porting ICS to the Adam tablet. Their latest update included a video which shows the Adam quite easily navigating through ICS:
If you’ve got an Adam and the stomach for installing pre-alpha software, see here for more details about ICS on the Notion Ink Adam.
So far, Notion Ink says they’ve gotÂ accelerated graphics, GPS, Wi-Fi, accelerometer, SD Card and ADB working, while the camera, sound, 3G, bluetooth, remaining sensors, and a sleep bug remain to be fixed.
This progress is surely a slap in the face of Samsung who have recently announced that the original Galaxy S phones and original Galaxy Tab will notÂ receiveÂ upgrades to Android 4.0 / ICS. The reason for this, according to Samsung, is that the TouchWiz interface, applied by the company to all of their devices (less the Nexus S), takes up too much memory that an ICS upgrade would not be feasible for these devices. Instead of ICS, Samsung is apparently considering offering a ‘value-pack’ wherein the company would update these forgotten devices and shoe-horn in some of the ICS features, without actually upgrading to ICS itself.
The obvious outrage here is that, if TouchWiz is really the only thing holding them back from updating to ICS, Samsung should offer a vanilla update to ICS if the customer chooses.
Notion Ink is working on that very thing right now. The tablet originally launched with a completely skinned (far more than TouchWiz) version of Android 2.2, but the company will apparently still be offering an ICS upgrade to their customers, even if it means they have to let go of their proprietary interface.
Samsung obviously believes that TouchWiz is important to their customers and that’s why they won’t simply cast it aside and offer a vanilla ICS install. For some customers this may be true. For me, and most of the people reading this site, I’d say that they’d be willing to drop TouchWiz to get the latest performance, feature, andÂ securityÂ updates out of ICS, and I think it’s Samsung’s duty to offer them at least that, especially when a company as tiny as Notion Ink is managing to do so.