Advice required - Samsung 700t vs Surface Pro

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by cfduarte, Jun 20, 2013.

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  1. cfduarte

    cfduarte Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi all,

    I have the opportunity to purchase a Samsung ATIV 700t for 800 Euro or a Surface Pro for (roughly) 980 Euro, both without keyboard and 128 Gb SSD.

    I had the chance to hold the Surface and it is a bit bulky and feels heavy. How does the 700t compare?

    Also, in terms of build quality and usages, how does one compare to the other?

    Finally, and if the Samsung is the best fit (in terms of price-quality-performance), is there any way to "replicate" a touch type cover? (NOT the awful clip-on keyboard).

    Thanks! :thumbsup:
     
  2. RaphK

    RaphK Pen Pal - Newbie

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    1) Here's my comparison of the two, based on spending a few hours with both. I bought the Samsung. Raph's Website » Windows 8 tablet, part one

    The most critical bits, for you:


    Since I wrote that, the Helix came out. Last I checked, there still wasn't pressure sensitivity working on it correctly, but I could be wrong. If it does have it, the added processor speed and memory configs would be worth investigating. Though you can upgrade the SSD in the Samsung fairly easily.

    2) I don't know of a touch-cover-like keyboard for the Samsung. I would totally get one if I knew of one.
     
  3. Rousing_Dipthorne

    Rousing_Dipthorne Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Here are two differences that always stuck out to me.

    - Samsung Ativ 700t has a power boost, jumping the CPU speed from 1.7ghz to 2.6ghz when plugged into the AC adapter with the setting enabled. Although using it to it's full potential noticeably increases the heat the performance increase is even more dramatic. The Surface Pro on the other hand has no performance increase. Although it's CPU has the same potential for whatever reason Microsoft refused to give you the option.

    "Max performance mode" equivalent for the Surface Pro - Microsoft Community

    Another difference is that the Surface Pro runs runs it's ram in Dual Channels while the Samsung Ativ 700t only runs it in a single channel. In theory the Surface Pro has double the memory bandwidth of the Samsung 700t but how this effects performance in reality varies dramatically and that overall, in my opinion, having the max performance boost detailed above trumps it.

    A former issue was the lack of pressure sensitivity in legacy programs like Photoshop and Sai. More recent programs (as in released within several months) were able to utilize the Surface Pro's pressure sensitivity but until recently Samsung was one of the few companies who made custom drivers that allowed pressure sensitivity for legacy programs right out of the box on windows 8 machines.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  4. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    If the Ativ is anything like its predecessor, the Surface Pro build quality is leaps and bounds past the Samsung. That does also come with extra weight too though.
     
  5. cookies4you

    cookies4you Scribbler - Standard Member

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    When you're working with integrated graphics, it's MUCH better to have dual-channel memory.

    We're talking about a ~30% performance drop here.

    If you're any sort of gaming or 3D rendering, the Surface Pro is superior.

    We're talking around 40-50 versus 20-30 FPS here.

    I'd gladly take the superior graphics performance over the TDP boost.

    In terms of general build and what-not, the SP is an overall better device.

    Wacom's has released their Tablet PC drivers, so once it's approved my Microsoft, it'll get its pressure sensitivity.

    You can even download it now, if you wanted to.
     
  6. RaphK

    RaphK Pen Pal - Newbie

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    It's more of a wash in terms of performance than one would think. For gaming, yes, the Surface Pro comes out ahead, depending on settings. But things like file transfer speed and the like tilt the other way. A lot depends on your usecase. A good set of comparative benchmarks:

    Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T Review | Windows 8 RT Reviews

    Agreed!

    Yeah, it's been working for a couple of months now on the Surface Pro. I think Surface and Samsung may be the only ones, actually!
     
  7. meow9th

    meow9th Scribbler - Standard Member

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    For me the main difference between the Surface Pro and the Samsung 700T is the keyboard dock solution. Keyboards make a tablet orders of magnitude more functional; I don't know how people who have slates do it, but in order to maintain, I need to be able to have a keyboard with me at all times. The only time I don't use it when I'm taking notes in lectures or meetings - and even in some meetings, I'll flip out the keyboard briefly.

    My typing speed is 110+ WPM normally, and I cannot come even within a third of that speed using an onscreen keyboard or handwriting.

    So keyboards are important. What can the Type Cover offer over the 700T's dock? Easy: essentially weightless and bulkless keyboard solution. The 700T's dock weighs nearly the same as the slate portion, and has none of the trappings of the Helix's dock (extra battery, extra fans, etc). Do you want to carry a 2 lb slate with you or a 4 lb laptop? I didn't want to choose. I wanted a keyboard AND a 2 lb slate. That's why the Surface Pro was the right solution for me.

    I find the Type Cover eminently usable, and worse only than standard Thinkpad keyboards (but ... everything is worse than a standard Thinkpad keyboard). I actually like it much better than, for example, regular ultrabook keyboards (such as that on the Toshiba KIRAbook which has a spongy rather than crisp feel).

    I do not find the kickstand unstable, and I use it on my lap occasionally with no problems.
     
  8. Rousing_Dipthorne

    Rousing_Dipthorne Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Don't be too dismissive about the TDP boost! 2.6ghz with TDP is a pretty substantial difference over 1.7ghz and unlike the difference between single and dual channel ram the performance increase is universal instead of situational. That among other things this allows you to meet requirements the Surface Pro simply cannot. Yes, in many cases the dual channel set up will come out on top. And yet in other situations, like in a game like Dark Souls, although both run the game at a consistent 20-40 fps depending on what you're doing in many instances on the surface pro it throttles to the point of effectively slowing the game down on top of running at around 5-10 fps while this simply does not happen on the Ativ.

    But like I said, the performance difference varies wildly due to how situational the spec differences are. I do have to argue that the difference isn't as simple as a binary decrease of 30% or 20-30 fps all across the board on the Ativ and that one cannot claim one to be universally superior to the other. TDP may run hot and require a power source but 2.6ghz is still 2.6ghz so it must be factored in when you're comparing the fact that it runs single channel to the Surface Pro's dual.

    The build quality is definitely better on the Surface Pro though. For a keyboard dock this heavy you would expect fans AND a battery but nope.. it's just a simple clunky dock. I would gladly replace it with something else if it were possible but it doesn't seem like Samsung is going to be giving us any.
     
  9. e-schreiber

    e-schreiber ƒ(x) / fashion Senior Member

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    The Surface Pro got better WEI scores than the Ativ: http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/hardware/45608-wprime-wei-benchmarks-tablet-pcs.html
     
  10. cfduarte

    cfduarte Pen Pal - Newbie

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    After some careful consideration, I decided to wait a bit longer.

    The Surface is way too bulky and doesn't feel "right" holding it. The 700t (and larger tablets) have an edge here as weight seems "less" if distributed over a larger area.

    On the 700t, I hate the docking option and the build quality is OK for a 500 euro tablet, but not for a 800 euro one.

    At the moment, I am inclined (again) towards the Atom tablets IF I can find a decently built tablet with active digitizer for less than 500 Euro (still looking...). I just don't get the price structure on the Atom tablets...
     
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