Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T Review

Updated on 04 February 2019 by

Samsung Ativ Smart PC 500T Page 2. (Page 1 here)

Battery Life

One of the main test that I had to test was the battery life and the performance on the Samsung ATIV using the Clover-Trail processor. I seriously didn’t think I would be able to get all day use with the ATIV Smart PC, but it turned out that I was getting through the whole day with no problem.  If you really need to use a Windows 8 tablet that can run full Windows applications, and don’t need the higher performance of the Core processor, then you should be looking at the Atom Clover-Trail tablets from Samsung, Asus and Acer. I have used the ATIV Smart PC and can get about 10 hours of battery life with half brightness using to view web pages, Word documents, email and launching Metro apps for news. This is where the ATIV with the Atom processor gets a plus from me, runs all day with the ability to use my desktop application on the road, which is one thing you can’t do on an iPad or Android tablet. Not that I still wouldn’t use my Galaxy Note 10.1, but things might change for me.



As for the camera, the 8MP rear camera is on par with most all other tablets that are out on the market. The rear camera on the ATIV Smart PC, does a good job of capturing pictures in low light with flash. Without flash, you can see some graininess, which again is on par with most tablet cameras.  I know most won’t agree with me, but we need to see better cameras for tablets. I don’t personally use the camera to take family pictures, but having a good camera with great optics will make a difference when using the camera as a scanner for business. The better the camera, the better the image of your scanned document is. This is why we need better cameras, and we should see hopefully in the future.
Here attached is a picture taking with the ATIV Smart PC in low light using the LED flash and without flash. You be the judge. I will try to post some other pictures later using the camera.

image20  image19

On the left a picture using the flash on the ATIV Smart PC with normal lighting.
On the right, the photo was taken without flash using normal light indoor light

S-Pen and Digitizer

The Samsung ATIV Smart PC comes with S Note; this has been ported over from the Galaxy Note 10.1-inch tablet. If you are looking for a tablet with the ability to take notes, and need to have full Windows 8 OS, and don’t need the iCore processor, the ATIV Smart PC should fit the bill for you.

I have tested OneNote, mini S Note and S Note applications using the ATIV Smart PC, and for some reason mini S Note lags when you start to take notes. It might be that Samsung hasn’t optimized the application very well. At one point the using mini S Note got so slow that it made it difficult to take notes. The only two applications that I am using are OneNote and S Note. Both run excellent on the ATIV Smart PC without any lag or any problems. Again if you’re looking for a tablet with ability to use as a note book, ATIV Smart PC should be on your list. I do have to say that using an 11.6-inch tablet for note taking does take some time to get use too. But then again, it shouldn’t be any different than using a legal size notepad to take notes?


The ATIV Smart PC comes with a stylus that docks on the back. This makes it easy to have when you need it, but the stylus is kind of small. Actually the stylus is very similar to the stylus on the Galaxy Note 10.1-inch tablet, except that the ATIV stylus is a bit smaller. I personally have been using my stylus that I used for my Galaxy Note phone; which is the S Pen holder kit.

The inking on the ATIV Smart PC is very smooth and very responsive which is a plus, as many tablets that try to use software and a capacitive type stylus to take notes. I personally never had any luck with those types of tablets. Maybe for short quick notes it would work but when it came time to take long notes or markup documents it never worked as good as I wanted to. If you’re a OneNote user, or want to mark up documents naturally with the stylus, sign PDF documents using PDF Reader and inking an email response, the ATIV Smart PC will do the job without any compromise at all.

Apps and S-Pen Demo



Here is what WEI shows on the Samsung ATIV Smart PC. As you can see that the lowest score is 3.2, which is gaming graphics. Again don’t expect iCore performance on the ATIV Smart PC, but it will stand up to most of the task you need in today’s software.

Overall the ATIV feels solid, even though the back is made of some plastic. I do have a squeaky sound at the bottom of the tablet, not to bad but it is there when I hold it or squeeze the tablet. I really like the performance as I can set back and look through web pages without the worry that it will not load because I am using an iOS or Android OS tablet. I have had several tabs opened in the desktop browser and also the metro browser, along with news apps running on the side. I am looking forward to getting the keyboard dock to test out the quality of the keys.

The bezel around the tablet is wide enough that it allows you to hold it without having your fingers touch the screen and accidently scroll the screen. The screen resolution at 1366 x 768 might not be retina, but text, pictures and movies looks great. This is pretty much the same screen resolution as the MacBook Air 11.6-inch, but when I compare both, the ATIV Smart PC text looks much better and more readable compared the 11.6-inch MacBook Air.

Also from my testing, the ATIV Smart PC is fanless, and after running several YouTube videos and running applications. The ATIV Smart PC was a bit warm but not hot at all. The Microsoft Surface Tablet actually gets a bit warmer than the ATIV Smart PC. Which did surprise me? I did expect having the Atom processor it would get pretty hot, but so far it hasn’t. This makes it again a great tablet to use in your hand when you need to sit back and enjoy some reading at home or office.

I will try running some games and see how well the ATIV Smart PC can do. At this point I know that I can use the ATIV Smart PC as a second PC without any problem to handle all my work related applications. Or if your needs are pretty basic, you might be able to use the ATIV Smart PC as your main computer with an external monitor hooked up and paired up with Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

Video Editing on the Samsung Ativ Smart PC 500T

In comparison to the current iPad tablet, a 64GB iPad with no expansion slots, you would pay $699 plus $99 for a keyboard. The Samsung ATIV Smart PC with 64GB SSD storage and capable of using the microSD slot for an additional 64GB storage, a keyboard docking station with an internal battery to provide up to 16 hours of battery life can be purchased for $749.99, making the ATIV Smart PC a good buy for those that truly want to be mobile but yet have full Windows 8 with Metro apps as well.

Further reading…

Unboxing and quick overview

Testing applications and Metro apps

Using the ATIV as your mobile video editor

For specifications and more information and links on the Samsung Ativ Smart PC 500T, see our information page.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Hectors YouTube channel here. Follow him on Twitter here and check out his blog here. Thanks Hector

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22 Comments For This Post

  1. John in Norway says:

    Nice review Hector. Are you sure the keyboard comes with a battery inside?

    I’ve been running Windows 8 on my desktop since February, upgraded to the retail version last week. I’ve had no problems with the new interface, I just work in the desktop. I almost bought this PC as it looked like a good upgrade but thought I’d try Win 8 on my Fujitsu Q550 first. I’m glad I did because I’ve found a deal breaker. What the hell have Microsoft done to the TIP? It’s almost unusable compared to the one in Windows 7. Does anyone know if it’s possible to get the old one into Windows 8? I’ll be sticking with my Q500 with Windows 7 until I find a solution.

  2. MobileHG says:

    @John, Thanks. Some of the retailers selling the dock, mention that battery life will be increased through the docking station.

    I also have been using Windows 8 since the Developers Preview has been around. I have it installed on my Samsung Series 7 Slate Tablet, and I know what you mean. The TIP worked perfect whether you were in the Desktop mode or the new Metro UI. What Microsoft did was remove the TIP from the Desktop UI. Why? I say bad move! I also really used and liked the ability to just use my stylus or tap on a entry field and have the keyboard pop up automatically. In my case when I used the stylus to tap on a field to fill out, the writing box would pop up just like in Windows 7. So here is to hoping Microsoft would bring back the TIP and the stylus pop up.

  3. Osiris says:

    Hey HG,

    Great to see you got the review up,cheers. I got a laugh seeing the videos as I was watching those on youtube and then boom turned out to be yours anyway :)

    Really a shame about the samsung build quality. Based on the RT version of the Asus I believe the Asus 810 is going to have the best atom based build quality but no inbuilt space for the digitiser/stylus is a bit of a bust really brings the field back to Samsung / Lenovo / Dell.

    I was pretty impressed with the multitasking with the side by side and glad that inking is fluid. That combined with the battery life has sold me on the atoms.

    Word on the street is a few of our retailers in Aus started to get stock in today so until I can get my hands on a Lenovo might pick this up and return to the world of digital notes *sets fire to paper note pad* for the first time since the Dell Xt.

    Still a shame MS seemingly disabled inking on RT.

  4. HG says:

    From the current Asus Windows RT tablet and the upcoming Asus 810, the casing will be much better and not be much heavier.

    It is a nice feature to have a place to put the stylus right on the tablet and also the speakers on the front vs the Asus will be much better on the ATIV. But overall, same specs so it might come down to user preference and availability as well. If Samsung can get the ATIV out, they will sell.

    Multi-tasking has been very good as, and tested as my main PC for a week. That worked out great as well. Used my mini HDMI to my 24″ Samsung monitor, with Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

  5. Ikkygoo says:

    Hi! Had a few questions about this product. Thank you so much for the great review!! I cant remember all my questions right now, but firstly, what is the max resolution output using the hdmi? Is it the same as the samsung screen or is it any higher? Thank you!

  6. HG says:

    Sorry for such late response. The HDMI out from the ATIV matches your monitor resolution. I have connected to my work monitor which is I believe 1980 x 1280 or might be 1980 x 1600. But it works great with no problems that I can see.

  7. Val says:

    I have also purchased the ATIV non-pro, principally for One Note. I got the free version for Metro Mode – it had pen lag so serious as to be unusable. In fact I returned it.

    Then I saw this video, where the pen is just fine… hmm. Turns out the One Note for Desktop (Office 2010) is absolutely fine – no lag at all.

    I hope MS and Samsung manage to communicate this. It is nothing less than a showstopper if you are looking to use the Pen + One Note. For me, I am now back to being a customer.

  8. HG says:

    Yes the OneNote app and also the mini s note app has a lot of lag. This is not good as Microsoft is trying to show that Windows 8 is a tablet friendly OS. Hope that it gets fixed soon from Microsoft in a update.

    Also there is a few apps in the Microsoft Store that you can use the stylus and works pretty good for those that want some type of note taking app, besides the S Note app. Super Notes in the Microsoft Store works great, you do get the ads though.

  9. saq says:

    Can u let me know what the charger says? What voltage and frequency it charges at? Im looking at buying this in the USA as im visiting soon and bringing it back to the UK for use as it’ll save me £400… I need to know the voltage and frequency to ensure i can use it here safely… Needs to be 100-240volts and 50/60hz. Thanks…

  10. HG says:

    The charger shows:

    Input: 100-240v-1A, 50-60Hz

    Output: 12v – 3.3A

    Hope that helps.

  11. Osiris says:

    Yes there is something with the way metro apps run. I believe the Snote mini app also lags quite severely whereas the full Snote app runs fine.

    I grabbed a unit with Keyboard dock and can confirm it has no battery in it.

    So far on a full burn down @ 70% Screen Brightness I have maxed 7 hours. I suspect Intels claims of 10hours media viewing are true as after the battery was recalibrated @ 50% brightness+wifi/Bt/NFC off an hour of 1080p drained 8% the battery.

    Overall quite impressed with the unit. Build quality on mine seems better than Hugos but still plasticy. Think my main gripe is the screen is a fingerprint magnet. The Asus 810 claims to have tech on the screen to minimise/reduce fingerprints so could be a winner albeit for $200 more.

  12. Jo says:


    I’m trying to decide between the following:

    -Samsung ATIV Smart PC

    -HP Envy x2

    -ASUS Vivo Tab

    I think I’m leaning to the Samsung because they all seem to have long battery life (14 hours+) but I want that stylus pen built in on the tablet. It seems to be the only one. I will mostly be using this for work.

    MY ONE CONCERN is of what appears to be a fan outlet or something on the edge of the samsung tablet. What is that? Is that going to prevent it from being in a bag for an extended time?

  13. HG says:

    As for which one to buy, kind of depends if you are okay with the Samsung ATIV build. Not that it is built poorly, just many users don’t like the plastic back. I ended up exchanging the first ATIV, I no longer have the squeaky back plastic. Feels solid.

    Your choice are very good, just keep in mind that the Samsung ATIV will be the lower price of all. I am still using the ATIV as a daily PC/Tablet and really like the portability of the tablet. For my main power desktop applications I have my Toshiba Z935 and Samsung Series 7 Slate Tablet.

    I can confirm like Osiris mention, I am getting great battery life and the Atom processor is fanless. On Thanksgiving gathering, I brought some gadgets for the family to check out and the ATIV was one of them. This thing was used from about 4:00 P.M. to about 12:30 A.M. by everyone and was at 40% battery life left. Amazing!

  14. Raymond says:

    Thanks for the review. I have difficulty finding reviews of this beast elsewhere really appreciated.

    May i ask how well the atom version works for dreamweaver, photoshop? Have you ever played a mkv or avi and what’s the performance?

    Many thanks.

  15. HG says:

    I haven’t loaded up Photoshop or Dreamweaver. I have played AVI files and played just fine. The ATIV might not be a good choice for those high end applications, but for about 90% of the general use the ATIV is a great PC/Tablet combo.

  16. alphaOri says:

    Great review Hector.
    When you say, “I do have to say that using an 11.6-inch tablet for note taking does take some time to get use too.” Did that mean you had to get used to it being bigger or smaller than you’re used to?

  17. HG says:

    Yes I meant bigger, I had been using my Galaxy Note 10.1 as my note taker. Even though I do have the Samsung Series 7 Slate which is basically the same 11.6-inch display, but really hadn’t used it as my note taking device since it is a bit thick. Now I have gotten use to the keyboard dock and is working great.

    Easy to just grab from the keyboard dock and read some news, browse the web and check email without any problems and best part. I can reply to emails with stylus as I did a bit with my other Series 7 Slate.

  18. Sal Aliotta says:

    Is anyone running into a problem with the space key on the keyboard dock? On mine, I need to press it harder than other keys in order for it work. Seems like this happened right after running the SW update, so I’m guessing it might be a driver issue. Please comment if you’ve run into this problem.

  19. HG says:

    I have tested two different keyboards and none have had that issue. I also have the latest software updates and including the BIOS updates and space is working good. I say you should exchange it for another keyboard dock. Might get worse later in time.

  20. Kingsley says:

    @Chippy, Can I Charge the samsung ativ through the usb port connected with a usb cable connected to my laptop or desktop?

  21. HG says:

    You won’t be able to charge the ATIV with the USB port. You need to use the PSU to charge it.

  22. GD says:

    from what i understand, you have been using this tablet for almost a month now. According to some review, this tablet has some issues like the longer they used the more laggy it becomes, and the spen being useless most of the time. Can you confirm/ contest this? and if it is in the dock, can you charge it? thanks!

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