Ahead of Windows 8′s arrival on October 26, Samsung is launching a couple of Slate PCs with their Series 5 and Series 7 naming. Both slates have been designed to turn from laptop to tablet, thanks to their detachable display and QWERTY dock. In the Android world, this would be something like the Asus Transformer Series. These two tablets are powered by an Intel processor, so they run the desktop version of Windows 8.
Because of that, these tablets can truly run any Windows program, past or future, and that should be most important to those who have legacy or enterprise applications that they can’t live without. There is definitely a market for that.
Samsung has also built upon the work done on its Galaxy Note mobile devices: The Samsung Series 5 and Series 7 Slate PCs feature S-pen, the same type of pressure sensitive (1024 levels) pen that is already making the Galaxy Note 10.1 a rather unique tablet. Some of the same apps that can be found on Android will be available to Windows 8, and it will be very interesting to compare how they run on both.
By themselves, the tablets weigh between 1.65lbs and 1.89lbs, which is a bit more than the latest iPad, but on the other hand, they have a 11″ display, a much faster CPU and can run the desktop version of Windows. With the keyboard dock on, they feel like a small laptop, and the keyboard seems a littler larger than the Transformer series.
Specification-wise, the Series 7 Slate will come with a 1080p display, a Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. It also have Wired Ethernet and WIFI A/B/G/N support along with Bluetooth 4.0. It is priced at $1199.
The Series 5 Slate is more modest with a 1366×768 display, an Intel Atom Z2760 processor, 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. It does come with the same WIFI and Ethernet connectivity as the Series 7. It is priced at $749 with the keyboard dock and $649 without it.
Overall, both tablets were very fast under Windows 8, and the build quality looks high. We haven’t had time to look at MS Office performance and other benchmarks, but we’ll come back to that during our full review of the slates.
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