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Samsung's Ativ Smart PC Pro: another take on the hybrid
This was a review unit I received from Samsung in early 2013. At the time, I said: "Samsung’s ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T looks like a slightly clunky, generic black Ultrabook at first blush. Until you detach its keyboard base, that is, and it turns into a sleek and powerful tablet with better battery life than a Surface Pro."
The top-heavy design and the odd arrangement of ports were dealbreakers for me. The review unit went back to Samsung.
You can read my original review here.
Samsung Series 7: the official slate of Windows 8
The Samsung Series 7 might look a bit dull today, but it was one of the very first pure Windows tablets. And if its design seems familiar, well, it should be: it's the commercial version of the unlabeled device that was given to every paid attendee at Microsoft's 2011 Build conference, where Windows 8 made its public debut.
The 2nd Generation Intel i5 chip in this device tends to runs hot, and its battery life was less than stellar. Still, it was a proper introduction to what Windows 8 can do on a pure tablet.
Dell's Latitude 10: brilliant engineering in a drab package
I love this little tablet, which has the sort of gray-flannel, businesslike design Dell is known for. It won't turn any heads in an airport waiting lounge, but it works spectacularly well as a tablet and (with the optional dock, shown above) it fits nicely on the desktop.
The Atom processor in this device means it gets very good battery life, nearly eight hours in my typical usage, although the Atom's low power requirements also equal occasionally low performance. I've added a 64GB SD card filled with music, which means it plys as well as it works.
But the killer feature for me is that the battery can be swapped out (this feature is only available on the business edition of the Latitude 10, not on the Essentials model). I picked up an optional second battery that bulges out a bit from the back and allows the device to run another 12 hours. Even with that larger battery the device weighs well under 2 pounds.
For travel, I carry a Microsoft Bluetooth Wedge keyboard that also doubles as a stand, and this device is good enough to be the only one in my bag.