Samsung ATIV Tab 3 Preview

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.


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.


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.



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.



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.

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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18 Comments

1. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

Wow look at that BEZEL!!

3. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Dude if you don't like Samsung product stop trolling their articles ! I would love for you to find me a product which runs full Windows 8 and has thinner bezel then this let alone which runs android too !

4. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

(----) okay

11. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

why? you andro fans always whining about Nokia's phone and thick bezels. Feel the same. Besides, he just mentioned the fact. The bezel is quite thick. Obviously samsung doesn't have much love for windows products.

13. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 2013

miauw miauw miauw...

17. vincelongman

Posts: 5728; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

But Nokia's thick bezels are on phones, which make them a lot bigger, for example the 4.5" Lumia 928 is basically the same size as the 5" S4 (only a few mm taller, less than a mm narrower and thicker). This ATIV Tab 3 is a tablet, which requires some bezel to hold more comfortablely. And its a very similar size to other 10.1" tablets. Through there are benefits of having thicker bezels on a phone, such as more durable, less accidental touches and easier to make cases with raise edges (for better screen protection).

5. umadden

Posts: 90; Member since: Apr 14, 2013

hurrrr bezel because people want their hand covering the screen all the time while holding it lel you just went full retard

6. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

Samsung Knight!

18. ZeroCide

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

The Bezels Are There For Your Protection!!! Move Along Prople!!!! :)

2. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

It looks like the Galaxy Note 8!!

7. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Samsung is quite good with smartphones, but when it comes to tablets they always dissapoint me Clover Trail? LPDDR2 RAM? We had better Windows 8 tablets than that last year already. :(

8. robocopvn

Posts: 504; Member since: Mar 10, 2010

with that price ! sorry I cannot afford it

9. Potato.

Posts: 607; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Those bezels, that PPI, that design. One word only: Awful.

10. Potato.

Posts: 607; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

That price too

12. jove39

Posts: 2147; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Get real samsung...$599 for this? It should be no more than $399

14. dre786

Posts: 46; Member since: Nov 10, 2012

if samsung make this their final product i would be very suprise. this is a cheap plastic attempt to discredit WIndows 8

15. dre786

Posts: 46; Member since: Nov 10, 2012

surface all the way cant wait for surface 2

16. HildyJ

Posts: 338; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

One note. The Lenovo competitor is the ThinkPad Tablet 2 (the Tablet is their Android device). As to why you'ld want one, it runs full Windows - real Office, real Firefox, real Acrobat Pro, real Evernote. With a pen you can use handwriting to input text and use ink annotation in Office, Acrobat, and Evernote (as well as other programs that support it). I'm writing this on my ThinkPad Tablet 2 which I love. My only concern with the Samsung would be the S-Pen versus the TPT2 Wacom pen.
ATIV Tab 3
  • Display 10.1" 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Processor Intel Atom, Dual-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB

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