Sunday, December 23, 2012

Can the Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T replace a Chromebook and tablet?


The Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T is one of the latest Hybrid Tablet / Laptop device. I have been using the ATIV 500T for about 4 weeks now, the Atom Z2760 dual-core processor is very snappy and is able to handle everything I have used it for. This brings me to the Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook. Recently I got a glimpse of the Samsung XE500C Chromebook and gave it a test, though this wouldn’t be a real test as you can only cover the basic. The first thing that really popped out was that it looked so similar to my ATIV 500T. After turning it on I noticed that the brightness was all the way up and was not too bright. The ATIV 500T is very bright compared to the XE500C Chromebook. The overall experience with the Chromebook was great. Which again made me think, the ATIV 500T can fill the place of a Windows 8 Ultrabook, Tablet and a Chromebook all in one unit.


I installed the Chrome Browser as this would give me as close to using the Chromebook with apps and extensions that I would normally use if I had purchased the Chromebook. Sure the Series 5 550 Chromebook would have cost me $449, but the ATIV 500T gives me much more out of the purchase price of $749.

With the Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T I am able to load native Windows application that I wouldn’t be able to do on the Chromebook. I have to use Microsoft Office 2010 for my work, so this wouldn’t be possible using the Chromebook. The Chromebook has its limits using the Google docs. I also use Sketchup and really use it for viewing on the ATIV 500T as I can edit but can be a bit slow if it happens to be a big file. Overall works great because 90% of the time I am viewing and doing minor editing on smaller files and can save them for later when I’m at the office. Another application that I use on the Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T is CyberLink PowerDirector Mobile. I have tried the full desktop version which is CyberLink PowerDirector 11 and can handle simple editing with no problems. I haven’t really researched on what video editing applications there is for the Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook and if it is possible to edit any videos to upload quickly to YouTube.

The other benefit of having the Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T is that not only is it a great Ultraportable, it also is a great tablet. At times when I just want to be able to search and do research, I am not limited to using the ATIV 500T as a laptop as I would be with the Chromebook.20121210_200847 With a press of a button the ATIV 500T becomes a 11.6-inch touch tablet that also has a Wacom digitizer that allows me to take notes and or markup documents, webpages and PDF files. This alone is another big plus for my use. Your use might not require the use of a tablet, making the Series 5 550 a good choice to use. I can quickly send any notes that I have marked up using Outlook, Evernote, Box, and Dropbox to share the files.

I can quickly double tap the screen and have S-Note pop up and take quick notes that allows me to save and then upload and sync with my Evernote account. I can also send them to my Google Drive as well.

The Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T does have a 11.6-inch display that can be less than ideal to travel daily, for days that require me to be out of the office or when going shopping, I would rather bring along either a Nexus 7 or iPad Mini. These device would make more sense for easier traveling. For meetings and out of office work, the Samsung ATIV 500T comes along without the keyboard dock.


The available ports on both is pretty much on par, one advantage on the Chromebook Series 5 550 is that is also has a full size SD Card reader and full Ethernet port. I haven’t really had the need to use the full size Ethernet port for quite a while now, so I really don’t miss not having the full size port. When using the keyboard dock, I do have the ability to use 3-2.0 USB ports on the Samsung ATIV 500T, along with a MicroSD slot, Micro HDMI and depending on the model of the Samsung ATIV 500T you also get NFC, and GPS which is another plus.

This leaves me with one other important feature of the Samsung Smart PC 500T, the battery life. As I looked into others using the Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook, most getting an average of 6 hours of use. With the Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T I can and have been getting between 12 hours and 14 hours of battery life! This is also having Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi and GPS on! Now that’s some great battery life that I have not been able to get with some Ultrabooks that I have tested. This would make a great blogging device.

So is the Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T worth the extra $200? This is a decision you might want to consider if you need to run full Windows applications and still be able to get a feel for Chrome OS by installing the Chrome browser on the Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T.


Jag Singh said...

Thanks - a very useful review.

I'm wondering for using the Ativ 500t as laptop, does its restricted keyboard angle make it difficult to use? Is the angle good for when placed on a desk, and how does that compre when used on lap say when communting or on a sofa.

Trying to figure out if the dock is going to be deal breaker as I want to use the 500t both as a tablet and a laptop.


HG said...


Even though the keyboard dock doesn't allow the tablet to tilt back like a normal laptop, I find that ATIV 500T has great viewing angle that it doesn't affect my viewing so no issue in that part. In a way it is better as I can't tilt back to far and get light glare.

When using on your lap, again, having the great viewing angle it is not really an issue for me. Screen is viewable when I have the ATIV 500T on the keyboard dock on my lap. I am actually testing again on my lap as I type this and to me the 11.6-inch size is great for this type of portability use.

In my opinion, this makes a great tablet and laptop combo.

May said...

Great review. How does the ativ handles large pdf files (400-500 mb?)
Thank you