Review: Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro (Part I – Build-up and Intro)

I haven’t been writing on here for that long, so many of you will be unaware that I am known (somewhat unfairly, I would argue) as being a bit of an Apple fanboy.  I have always claimed to be a lover of gadgets and technology in general, rather than being focused purely on one particular company. However, I couldn’t help but notice that things had got rather out of hand recently, and I found myself drowning at home under an ever growing sea of Apple-branded gadgetry.
To counter this, and also in part to satisfy my desire to try out Windows 8, I decided that I should look into getting one of the new Windows 8 tablets.  My first instinct was to look at Microsoft’s very own Surface tablets. I went to John Lewis to have a play around with one, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed swishing around the new Windows 8 interface on the RT device. I had some niggling thoughts, however, and so decided against an impulse-purchase and instead went away to do some more homework.
Surface RT
The Surface that I had played with in John Lewis was the Surface RT.  This meant that it did not run the full version of Windows 8. This is quite a large limitation, and I was keen to be able to experience Windows 8 in all its full glory. In addition, I was keen to use a device that came with a stylus, and Windows RT devices do not support styluses. The Surface Pro (which does run the full version of Windows 8, and does come with a stylus) was not out at the time and there were horrible rumours about it suffering terrible battery life flying around the interwebz, so that was also off the cards.
After coming to the realisation that Microsoft’s own hardware solutions would be no good for me, I started looking into alternatives.  It led me to look into the slightly different world of laptop/tablet hybrids.  The Asus Transformer Book had been getting some good reviews, but unfortunately it does not come with a stylus.  My attention then switched to Samsung.  Samsung have a good history of creating hardware which comes with a stylus – the S-Pen that comes with their Note devices for example.  This was looking promising…
In the end, my decision boiled down to whether I wanted to go for the more entry-level ATIV Smart PC, or the more powerful ATIV Smart PC Pro. Both run the full Windows 8, both come with an S-Pen, and both look perfect. The price difference was substantial with the more basic model selling for £649.95 and the Pro model at £949.95. In the end I decided as this was going to be my first Windows computer in a number of years, I would opt for the Pro version. I hoped that the faster processor would give me a better overall experience, and plus I preferred the black colour of the Pro compared to the blue of the more basic model!
I will be writing more parts to this review in due course. The next instalment will include my first impressions of the device, and will include a bit more in the way of detailed specifications.
Part II – coming soon…!
Unboxing pics of my Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro

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