Along with their ATIV, Smartphone, and Series 9 coverage and their Galaxy Note II, Samsung has released additional details for several upcoming Windows 8 Ultrabooks and Slates. The Series 5 and Series 7 slates (ATIV PCs) are obviously the biggest attention grabbers, as they’re using Intel CPUs to power Windows 8 tablets. There’s some conflicting information on branding, with the slates alternately being called ATIV, but we have the full specs and MSRP now so we thought we’d revisit the topic. Let’s start with the specs table.

Product Samsung Series 7 Slate (XE700T1C-A01US) Samsung Series 5 Slate (XE500T1C-A01US) Series 5 Ultra (NP540U3C-A01UB) Series 5 Ultra (NP540U3C-A02UB)
Size 11.6” 11.6” 13.3” 13.3”
Resolution 1920x1080 1366x768 1366x768 1366x768
Touch Screen Capacitive
(10-point multitouch)
Capacitive
(10-point multitouch)
Capacitive
(10-point multitouch)
Capacitive
(10-point multitouch)
Dimensions 11.6"x7.2"x0.5"
295x183x12.7mm
11.6"x7.2"x0.38"
295x183x9.65mm
12.4"x8.6"x0.66"-0.78"
315x218x16.8-19.8mm
12.4"x8.6"x0.66"-0.78"
315x218x16.8-19.8mm
Weight 1.89 lbs. 1.65 lbs. 3.83 lbs. 3.83 lbs.
OS Windows 8 Windows 8 Windows 8 Windows 8
Processor Core i5-3317U Atom Z2760 Core i5-3317U Core i3-3217U
RAM 4GB 2GB 4GB 4GB
Storage 128GB 64GB 500GB w/ 24GB
ExpressCache
500GB w/ 24GB
ExpressCache
Networking Gigabit LAN (via adapter)
802.11abgn
Bluetooth 4.0
Gigabit LAN (via adapter)
802.11abgn
Bluetooth 4.0
Gigabit LAN
802.11abgn
Bluetooth 4.0
Gigabit LAN
802.11abgn
Bluetooth 4.0
MSRP $1199 $749 w/ keyboard
$649 w/o keyboard
$849 $799

The Series 5 ATIV PC uses an Atom Z2760 processor/SoC codenamed Clover Trail, which we’ve discussed previously. The short summary is that it’s Cedar Trail but for tablets rather than netbooks/nettops. It appears to be clocked at 1.8GHz with a higher clocked PowerVR SGX 544MP2 GPU. The interesting aspect of such a tablet is that, unlike ARM products running Windows RT, Atom chips are able to run the full backlog of existing x86 software along with all the Metro/Modern/Windows 8 applications. Pricing is obviously quite a bit higher than what you’ll currently pay for an Android tablet (though it’s slightly less than the new 64GB iPad), but the software side of the equation might be enough to get some people to pony up and you can also buy the optional keyboard dock for additional flexibility—note that the keyboard does not include any extra battery capacity.

The Series 7 ATIV PC is priced significantly higher, but it’s essentially a full-blown Ultrabook with the ability to undock the display and use it as a tablet. It comes with a 128GB SSD, 4GB RAM, and a 1080p display, putting it in the same performance category as higher end Ultrabooks. It also comes standard with the keyboard dock, though again the keyboard doesn’t add any additional battery life. We’re obviously going to see a lot more interesting devices like this in the near term, and how successful they end up being will determine whether we see more companies go the hybrid route. It’s certainly an innovative idea, but selling a $1200 hybrid device compared to the $200 to $600 typical tablets might be asking too much—you could buy a $400 tablet and an $800 laptop and end up with two devices that might work better individually instead of a single do-everything device, though there’s certainly a convenience factor in being able to use a single device for both functions.

Moving on from their ATIV/Slate offerings, Samsung also has a couple new Series 5 Ultrabooks coming out with multitouch screens. The specs are essentially identical with the exception of the CPU; the $799 model will use an i3-3217U (1.8GHz, no Turbo) while the $849 model goes with an i5-3317U (1.7GHz with Turbo up to 2.6GHz). The storage solutions use ExpressCache, similar to the Series 7 Chronos laptop we reviewed, and we haven’t found it to be particularly great in our previous experience; we’d much rather ditch the caching and just get a 128GB SSD as the baseline instead, but obviously there’s a cost factor that Samsung needs to deal with. We don’t have any details on the type of screens used other than the resolution and multitouch capabilities, but given they’re Series 5 we wouldn’t expect high-end LCD panels—those are usually reserved for Series 7 and 9 products. Certainly Microsoft is putting a lot of emphasis on touchscreen interfaces with Windows 8, and for tablets, slates, and smartphones that’s the wave of the future. How that will translate over to laptops and desktop is a different question, but we should have plenty of opportunities to try it out in the near future.

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  • sciwizam - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Looks like Samsung has a prototype 13.3" Series 9 with a matte 2560x1440 display at IFA. Get to production, Sammy.

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/31/3282360/samsung-...
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    11.6" 1080p, 13.3" 1440p? I could get used to that. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Not unless windows gets DPI scaling improved significantly. Reply
  • haukionkannel - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    So you are waiting for win8... Win8 will improve very much DPI scaling, but the programs allso have to support that and it can take time...

    But you are very right. Better resolution screen reguires good DPI scaling and that is one of those good things in Win8. These allso seems to be touch screen laptops, so it is easy to see what they are after.
    Reply
  • Rand - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Win8's DPI scaling is the same as Win7 on the desktop, it is substantially improved in Metro though.
    Which is great... as long as you never need to use the desktop. Unfortunately, many people will.
    Reply
  • Spivonious - Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - link

    Hey, you have to start somewhere. Windows has supported high DPI screens since at least XP, but app developers haven't built it in.

    That said, most of the desktop apps I use have no problem running at 120dpi, so at least some devs are supporting it.
    Reply
  • rruscio - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Is it too soon to expect proper full size touchscreens for Win8 on desktops? Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I've seen AIO systems with multitouch; but not any stand alone displays.

    At the risk of sounding overly cynical I'd expect foot dragging on the latter since there's more money to be made selling $1000 computers than $200 monitors.
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Not before we seen capacitive AIOs. Perhaps at the same time, but not before. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    At the risk of being even more cynical than DanNeely, I have no desire whatsoever to reach up and touch my large LCD rather than using a mouse. For a kiosk touchscreens make sense, but on my home PC? Ugh. I already try to avoid reaching for a mouse most of the time if I can use a keyboard shortcut, and I hate fingerprints on my displays. The few times I've played with large touchscreen PCs, it just feels totally out of place IMO. It's a tablet UI forced onto desktop and laptop users. Anand, Brian, and Ryan went off on this in the last podcast. Anyway, others can have touchscreen desktops if they want; I'm sticking with my 30" LCD. :) Reply

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