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Samsung ATIV Tab 3 Preview

Samsung ATIV Tab 3

Posted: , posted by Victor H.

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Interface and Functionality

The biggest advantage of the Samsung Ativ Tab 3 is of course the fact that it runs a full-blown Windows 8 (32-bit) with legacy app support. Windows 8 comes with a split personality - you can use it in either the new touch-friendly Modern Live Tile interface, or switch to the good old desktop mode more suitable for use with a mouse and a keyboard.

The Samsung Ativ Tab 3 can switch between Windows interface modes - Samsung ATIV Tab 3 Preview
The Samsung Ativ Tab 3 can switch between Windows interface modes - Samsung ATIV Tab 3 Preview
The Samsung Ativ Tab 3 can switch between Windows interface modes - Samsung ATIV Tab 3 Preview
The Samsung Ativ Tab 3 can switch between Windows interface modes - Samsung ATIV Tab 3 Preview

In terms of applications, you have the standard Microsoft pack including Internet Explorer, Bing, Maps, Weather, Skype, and so on. Windows 8 comes with the People Hub for all your contacts and it is deeply integrated with social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Apps not optimized for touch would run in the old desktop mode and you can run some serious software like Photoshop from there.

Standard Microsoft apps - Samsung ATIV Tab 3 Preview
Standard Microsoft apps - Samsung ATIV Tab 3 Preview
Standard Microsoft apps - Samsung ATIV Tab 3 Preview
Standard Microsoft apps - Samsung ATIV Tab 3 Preview

If you haven’t yet used Windows 8, there is a slight but definite learning curve. The system is gesture driven, with a swipe from the left edge of the screen used to switch between apps (as if you’ve pressed Alt + Tab). A gesture from the right to left brings up the charms menu which is contextual, so its functionality differs across apps. In the context of the home screen, that is how you access most common settings.

The Modern UI offers some customization options with the possibility to change background patterns and color schemes, but its capabilities feel a bit limited in comparison to, say, Android.

Typing on the Ativ Tab 3, without the separately sold keyboard book cover, happens on an on-screen keyboard. It has a couple of layouts including a standard full-width keyboard and a split keyboard for easy reach of the thumbs.

On-screen keyboard - Samsung ATIV Tab 3 Preview
On-screen keyboard - Samsung ATIV Tab 3 Preview


S Pen

Samsung successfully differentiates the Ativ Tab 3 by bundling in an S Pen stylus. It is built right into the device, and Samsung also includes a dedicated S Note 2.0 application for drawing and jotting down notes with the S Pen.

We are no professional artists, but sketching in the S Note app is easy and straightforward. The S Pen has 1024-level pressure sensitivity. In reality that means that whenever you press more, the line you draw becomes thicker. The S Note application would also recognize your handwriting and transform it into typed text if you want. Samsung has given users a few ideas about various types of content that you can create with the S Note application - a journal, recipes, drawings. The app matches the wobbly shapes you draw and allows you to insert images and other media into your notes.

The S Note app - Samsung ATIV Tab 3 Preview
The S Note app - Samsung ATIV Tab 3 Preview


Processor and Memory

The Ativ Tab 3 runs on an Intel Atom Z2760 processor (previously referred to as Clover Trail), and not on a Core series chip like say the Surface Pro. Performance is fairly smooth across the Live Tiles home screen, but in some more demanding applications like the browser you can definitely notice a stutter. Those are some rough edges we hope will be addressed in the final device.

On the technical side of things, the Z2760 is a 32nm dual-core chip clocked at 1.8GHz and it comes with a PowerVR SGX545 graphics. The processor supports hyper-threading technology for multi-threaded applications and the GPU is decent enough to handle some games. Somewhat strangely, the 2GB of RAM are of the slower LPDDR2 kind.

The tablet has 64GB of internal storage, of which nearly 45GB are available to the end user as some 20 gigs are used by the system. Luckily, you can expand the built-in memory via a microSD card.


Internet and Connectivity

The Ativ Tab 3 supports both Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and 3G/4G LTE cellular connectivity. A dedicated SIM card slot is on the side.

Web browsing - Samsung ATIV Tab 3 Preview
For browsing the web, Internet Explorer 10 is pre-installed on the device, but you can freely download your favorite Windows browser like Firefox or Chrome. Being a full-featured Windows machine, it also has full support for Adobe Flash. Needless to say, all standard desktop browser functionality works here. We did notice some stutter when scrolling around and zooming in and out, though, something that we hope will be polished in the final product.

Other connectivity options available here are DLNA, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and NFC.

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PhoneArena rating:
Not rated
Display10.1 inches, 1366 x 768 pixels (155 ppi) Super PLS LCD
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Intel Atom, Dual-core, 1800 MHz, Z2760 processor
2 GB RAM
Size10.13 x 6.51 x 0.32 inches
(257.4 x 165.3 x 8.2 mm)
20.46 oz  (550 g)

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