on 26 December 2013
I was looking for a Windows 8 tablet which I could also use as a laptop. I was looking at Microsoft's Surface Pro 2, Dell's Venue, and HP's offerings, but Samsung's convertible laptop fitted the bill. Not only did it need to include an attachable and comfortable keyboard (or charge a reasonable price if it's an optional extra), but also a stylus. The good thing about this product, is that both are included (and there is a place to stick your stylus when you're not using it so it doesn't get lost)! I also wanted an i5 core processor (with wireless display, or WiDi), and 4 GB of RAM, and this was actually one of the cheapest to include these features. I also wanted at least a 10 inch screen, and at 11.6 inch, the screen on the Samsung laptop is not too big for me, but understandably, maybe for some.
Bear in mind, these features mean you're not going to get the slimmest or lightest tablet in the world, but if you want ultra-thin portability, that comes at a cost - be it features, or money.
The main thing lacking in this package is that there is no embedded battery in the keyboard, unlike some of HP's convertible laptops, but at 8 hours, the battery life is quite adequate. I just wouldn't go too mad with apps etc. when you're not plugged in. The weight of an embedded battery would also help the laptop not to topple over, as once the screen is connected to the keyboard dock, it becomes top-heavy.
Storage is 128 GB which, as with most manufacturers, is taken up a lot by bloatware. You could just delete it, but the remaining storage should be ample for most people. If it's not, you can always do my way of having networked storage, or have a portable hard disk with you. Saying that, 128 GB is much better than 64 GB, which is what most tablet/laptop convertibles would offer at this price for solid state drives.
Connectivity is also pretty good with this product. As a tablet, you have a micro HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, and a microSD card slot, as well as a jack for the charger. Once it becomes a laptop, you get an extra 2 USB 2.0 ports and another jack for the charger. The extra USB ports are handy for connecting a mouse, as the touchpad is awkward to use. But don't forget the stylus, and the fact that it is a touchscreen. The only main thing that you might wish for is an ethernet port, but as a portable device, personally it's the last thing I would worry about with decent WiFi in this day in age. There is also Bluetooth and Intel Wireless Display (WiDi), so you can wirelessly connect this product with an HDMI TV with Netgear's Puch2TV or other similar product.
So to sum up:
Decent size screen (not too small, or big for me)
Good package with keyboard and stylus included
No embedded battery in the keyboard.
So to conclude:
As a convertible laptop, it is a great all rounder, and is very pleasant to use. However certain features have been overlooked which could have made this an excellent product. One of the best features is the price, which makes this laptop convertible a much better valued alternative to Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 and Dell's offerings.