As Samsung slugs it out with Apple, over the performance of the 10.1 Android Galaxy tablet, the Korean Company has launched a new strategy to get around Apple with the roll out of an 11.6″ 900 gram Windows based Series 7 Chronos slate tablet, which some say will be Apple’s “worst nightmare” next year.
The new slate which will go on sale in November, runs all currents Windows based applications, has an i5 processor, a unique touch screen interface overlay which allows users to easily access applications and a very bright screen which is rated at 400 nits, it also has an excellent 170 degree viewing angle and boots in 2 seconds with a fast start of 15 seconds from a cold start.
The big question now is should current notebook users buy a new Ultrabook or a Windows Slate which comes with its own Bluetooth keyboard and a small square dock that allows users to connect to the Internet and attach any HDMI device.
The dock which has Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 and HDMI, is well designed especially if you travel and want to throw the dock into a bag without it taking up a lot of room.
At $1,400 the new Slate will be highly competitive with the new generation of Ultrabooks that are set to be launched next month.
The new Samsung offering comes with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB solid state drive and delivers around six hours of battery life due to the use of the low voltage Intel Core i5 CPU.
In the hand this device felt and performed well and no matter which way we turned the slate the orientation of the screen changed automatically. I am tipping that once Microsoft delivers their new Windows 8 OS for this device mid next year Apple will have a lot to worry about.
There are cameras on both the front (2-megapixel) and rear (3-megapixel) of the unit along with a micro SD slot and audio ports. There is also a micro-HDMI, USB 2.0 slot, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, but 3G connectivity is optional.
As part of the package there is a stylus pen which made taking notes easy, even for my writing.
The device uses Windows 7’s built-in tablet features for handwriting recognition this allows users to easily use Word or any other Microsoft applications.
Personally I would prefer to use the new Telstra 4G USB Next G wireless card with this device via the USB 3.0. This gives you the flexibility of fast Internet access especially at places like airports.
Walking away from playing with The Samsung Slate I realised that if Steve Jobs had launched this device the media would have been raving, “Brilliant” “he’s done it again”.
I also realised that the time had come for me to ditch my notebook for a Slate and Smartphone as it runs all the Windows apps that I use every day. Business and consumers will love it because of the convenience. The only thing missing is an App Store.
The device is longer and narrower in landscape mode than iPad — and thicker, more like Motorola XOOM or Asus Transformer.
At a recent developer conference in the USA Microsoft handed out 5,000 of these devices running the new Windows 8. Three days later very few wanted to hand their device back.
The Apple iPad has not won the tablet wars despite what many analysts are saying. This new Slate is set to be a hard core competitor and as the Windows ecosystem is larger than what Apple is able to deliver it will appeal to the tens of millions who currently use Windows at both home and work.
The good news is that from here on this device will only get lighter cheaper and faster as developers start delivering new apps for the Windows Metro OS.
This is a hot new competitor in both the tablet and notebook market, it’s visionary and defiantly the device that could well kill off the notebook in its current form.