Samsung ATIV 500T SmartPC Update (Working Dock, 3G, GPS and NFC)

Updated on 03 January 2014 by

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’ve got the 64GB version with 3G, GNSS (GPS) and NFC now though so at least I can test and demo that.  3G runs up to HSPA+ speeds. In this case 21Mbps D/L and 5.76Mbps U/L. Let’s see how it performs though because I’d rather have a quality 1Mbps than an occasional 20Mbps. I’ll know more about antenna quality soon. I’m also interested in doing more with the digitizer on the AVIT 500T.

The plan is, having fully tested the Acer W510 and found issues with the small keyboard, that i’ll use this at Mobile World Congress next week as my only PC. I won’t even be taking a 7 inch tablet as I usually do.

More about that soon though. For the time being I’m happy that, after four attempts, I’ve got what seems to be a 100% working Clovertrail tablet.

One more thing. Now I’ve got 3G I’ve effectively got a huge, always-on Skype phone!

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10 Comments For This Post

  1. kuru says:

    I have been waiting for this class of machine for years, but the price still puts me off. Especially looking at the Thinkpad Tablet 2 with digitizer… only included in the most expensive version with NFC and 3G which I both don’t need. Guess I’ll wait for the Samsung Ativ to become a bit more affordable, since the XE700T1A really isn’t an option. Looking forward to an extended review!

    BTW, if you are still interested in the Pandora, please contact me and I’ll happily organize a review unit. It’s taken some time, but the project has become real after all :)

  2. jjrdias says:

    Whoa!! 900 euro IS a bit of a stretch. As much as it seems a good mobile blogging platform, I still can’t get around the fact they failed to put a battery in the keyboard. With it, you’d probably get up to 18 hours of stamina. Now, that’d be something!!
    It’s not like I’m an Asus fanboy, but I’d still go for the Vivo Tab.

    Hope no more niggling issues come your way this time. And I’d say a video re-review is in order.

  3. Chippy says:

    @jjrdias I completely understand. It’s a huge amount of money. It’s too much and I will be making that clear in my review. If the ASUS (with keyboard) had been available today I might have bought it but that option is even more expensive.

    Let’s be vocal about the extreme price. The manufacturers and retailers need to know.


  4. jjrdias says:

    I guess unlike Android devices, you have to factor in the price of a W8 licence, but, for a device without a secondary battery in the keyboard, it’s somewhat exorbitant, no doubt – and, worryingly, seems to be becoming a trend.

  5. mrwed says:

    Add me to the vocal list! I’ve been very interested in these devices for a few months now. (As is so often the case, Chippy is to blame: his Acer 510 review piqued my interest.) In many ways these Clovertrail devices are the UMPC’s I dreamed about three years ago–thin, light, fanless, full touch-interface Windows, and able to play HD video!–and I would snap one up in an instant if the prices weren’t so exorbitant. I’m leaning toward waiting for the Acer or the HP to hit $550 (keyboard included), although even at that price I’d be grumbling about overpaying for a netbook. I’d wait for the Asus 810, but I don’t expect it to drop in price any time soon.

  6. John in Norway says:

    I’ve been dreaming of a device like this ever since I bought my first Tablet PC over 7 years ago. Incidentally, that (Toshiba m200) cost me 3 times as much as my ATIV in 2005! So, in a way it’s a bargain.

  7. Chippy says:

    In that respect, yes it’s good value!

  8. Daniel K Hayden says:

    I agree with all about the cost of these hybrids coming out the gate first. We have quality issues on all, as well as very high costs vs. an incredible battery life and Windows 8.

    I snitched an Acer Iconia W510 with keyboard off Amazon here in USA for $650 used including shipping. Usually my cut off is $500, but Chippy’s review pushed me off the edge of that “I’m buying this one!” Cliff. At least with Amazon, I could send it back, but it was brand new and never used at all. As soon as I turned it on, it did a couple of BIOS updated and WOW. This thing flys. Sorry but bye bye GTAB that has served me well.

    I have my old trusty Dell latitude ST for digitizing like OneNote etc. with the pen. Just did the optimizing and eliminating useless software and have it docked next to my bed for web surfing etc. Even this one refurbished with 128GB SSD was $385 last year through Amazon and also if I don’t like it I could take it back.

    So! For that 900 Euros, I got 2 really nice machines for the price of this one. 15 hour Aconia and Dell with pen for note taking etc.

    They really need to come down in the price on these. I guess they are using the (don’t kill the messenger) Apple price ranges as a baseline to follow. Astronomical prices now and then latter on lower them later on this year around the holidays.

    What can I say….I love my toys….:)

  9. Peter Pereira says:

    I actually got one yesterday myself. I should note that I also have a Surface RT. My first observation is that the Chrome browser doesnt play nice with this tablet all the time. Sometimes the touch aspect gets lost when using it without the keyboard dock. I like the keyboard dock very much as the keys are fantastic to type on. Another curious thing is that my unit does not have the IE10 app installed…. I think IE10 on the RT is fantastic, too bad it doesn’t do flash on all sites (only on approved ones). I will also note that the screen size on the 500T (actually overall size of the device) might be a bit bigger that I want. As a photojournalist I want to be able to do photo editing on a light and portable device that has touch capabilities. So far I like the 500T but as far as portability the RT is far better. My main laptop is a Samsung Series 9 which is incredibly thin and powerful. Chippy looking forward to your observations.

  10. bily says:

    Chippy, still eagerly waiting for your update on how the Samsung ativ smart pc fared at the mobile world congress using it as your only device. what are the pros and cons that you encountered based on your experience.

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