12-23-2011, 02:18 AM
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| | Re: Tab with Sliding Screen
Las Vegas –Samsung didn't let all those Windows 7 tablets from Asus, Lenovo, MSI, and countless others go unnoticed. At CES 2011, the company launched its first Windows-based tablet, calling it the Sliding 7 Series PC while adding to its extensive tablet lineup. And by extensive lineup, I really mean the different carrier versions of the 7-inch Galaxy Tab. The Sliding PC 7 series is not your average convertible tablet, as the screen slides upward to reveal a physical keyboard. So, technically speaking, it's also a netbook, albeit a pricey one for $699. I spent some time playing with an early pre-production unit, and here are my initial thoughts.
The unit itself is bulkier than what Samsung had in its press shots. Its looks won't hold audiences enthralled, as it's constructed more like an inexpensive netbook than an innovative tablet. An exposed screen is what differentiates it from netbook convertible tablets like the Lenovo Ideadpad S10-3t and the Dell Inspiron Duo. The 10-inch screen is pushed up to reveal a physical keyboard and then pulled forward at a 45 degree slant. It doesn't swivel like the S10-3t or flip vertically like the Duo; you'll have to safeguard it the same way you would a slate tablet.
Samsung spiced up the keyboard by coloring it blue (traditional black is available as well). The gaudy color didn't bother me as much as the cramped keyboard. It measures 92% of full size, a pitch reminiscent of 2 year old netbooks. The tiny touchpad and mouse buttons made the navigating experience a difficult one to like, but you have the touchscreen to fall back on.
The touch experience had its share of imperfections, although Samsung insisted the software load wasn't final. A 1,366-by-768 resolution on a 10-inch widescreen isn't ideal for touch, which is why Samsung developed its own layer of touch-friendly icons, called the "Tablet Launcher". There are icons that link to applications and web pages, and you swipe horizontally to access more icons. I couldn't gauge how well these apps worked, though, because internet connectivity on the show floor was non-existent. However, Samsung demoed a 1080p MP4 video file that played back flawlessly. There were some hints of sluggishness while navigating through the different file directories in Windows 7, but I couldn't tell whether it was the unfinished software load or that the components couldn't keep up with Windows 7 Professional.
The Slider Series 7 is equipped with a number of ports and slots, including HDMI (back of the unit), USB 2.0, a 4-in-1 card reader, an SD slot for storage expansion, and a 1.3 Megapixel front-facing camera. Storage capacities are either a 32GB or 64GB SSD. If calling it a netbook tablet isn't already an indication, the Slider 7 series runs on an Intel Atom processor, specifically the Z670 (1.66GHz). It's equipped with 2GB of memory, and the Lithium Polymer battery is non-removable. Samsung is claiming up to 7 hours on a single charge.