Top critical review
87 people found this helpful
Would be fantastic if not flawed! :0(
on 28 December 2012
I purchased this device just under 3 weeks ago before a business trip, It was easily setup within a matter of hours, and initial impressions if that it was a joy to use! Whilst it does feel a little on the plastic side, it's not noticeable in normal use, and those who state that a firm grip can distort the display, must be gripping it very hard indeed! Not once during normal use did I manage to do this. The up side of this is that it's very light, and in tablet mode is a joy to hold for prolonged periods without ache. Portrait mode is strange being so tall, but you get used to this quickly and appreciate the extra length (coming from an iPad 1)
For a low powered processor, you would not know this at all, it's more than capable of doing day to day stuff like surfing, e-mail, office etc. Just don't expect high powered workloads (photo / video editing / CAD / number crunching etc.) from such a portable device!! The screen is crisp and clear, however it did take a while to get text calibrated to be clear (i've not had to do this before).
Won't go into Windows 8 too much other than it's actually a joy to use with a touch screen, and found it very fast to navigate once I learnt the tricks around the start menu - particularly with the keyboard dock! The mouse however was slightly sensitive to flicks which switched apps when I was just moving the pointer.
The integrated pen is a nice addition, and works a treat, particularly as an avid OneNote user, I could use the pen to note take, and even convert it to text later, with the added bonus that OneNote syncs across all my devices.
Under very heavy use I got a day out of the battery, in most cases I would comfortably get 2 days use between charges. Thats typically being used whilst connected to a Wireless AP too.
As much as I enjoyed using it, a fatal flaw manifested after 2 weeks, which I don't appear to be alone on... When docking into the keyboard, if you moved the tablet, or touched the screen, the keyboard would disconnect and reconnect (also confirmed by the audible sound), this become very irritating after a while if typing, and using the screen to move fields. This disconnect / reconnect flaw also continued when I placed the docked tablet in my bag, which kept waking the tablet up and draining the battery after a few hours! Cleaning the connector did improve this for a couple hours, however that was all, it would be back to irritating you after that!
***UPDATE 19 JAN 2013***
Curious to see if my experience was just a one-off (as I loved the device despite it's keyboard connectivity flaw), I was in a large commercial estate a couple weeks back, and went into 4 different retailers which had the Ativ Smart PC on display, and 3 of those display models displayed the exact same symptoms as mine! As soon as you nudged the screen, tapped it or shut the lid, you could hear the keyboard chime as it disconnected / reconnected. The model which did work fine, I asked the supervisor how long it had been on display, and his response was 2 months, so it seems there is a couple out in the wild which can survive some abuse, but clear that 75% of those display models had the same issue.
It was for the above reason that it seemed and inherent issue with the device and it's method of connectivity that forced me to return this. Very disappointed as it was a joy to use before this point, and now have a void to fill, as I expected a replacement to eventually end with the same fate.