Hands on with the Samsung Ativ Book 8 - Geek (blog)

Features Ativ Book

In a continued effort to chase down the elusive “no compromise” design for a laptop, Samsung’s Ativ Book 8 offers power and touch with impressive battery life and a nice display.

Ultrabooks are a great way to accomplish portable computing, but you inevitably sacrifice something with that design. The light and thin designs are amazing for sliding into your bag and heading out to work, but rarely are you able to do so without also packing your power cord. If you are able to go without your power cord, you’re probably stuck with a 128GB or smaller SSD with not enough RAM to perform complicated tasks. Samsung has made a laptop that packs the right amount of storage, processing power, RAM, and an 8 hour battery that adds up to a machine that is a little too heavy to truly be an Ultrabook.

Samsung’s 5.6 pound laptop comes with a 10-finger 1080p touch display that is fantastic as long as you are alright with reflecttve surfaces. Outside of being a serious fingerprint magnet, the laptop previously known as the Series 7 Chronos isn’t quite bright enough to use outdoors. You’ll be fine in brightly lit rooms, but in direct sunlight the laptop dowen’t stand a chance.

The 1TB 5600 RPM drive in the Ativ Book 8 causes it to feel a little sluggish on startup compared to its SSD wielding siblings, but the obvious trade off there is the significant boost in storage. Anything else you go to do with this laptop is nice and fast, the 2.4GHz Core i7 and 8GB of RAM deliver more than enough power for most serious tasks and casual gaming.

The Ativ Book 8 fits squarely in the desktop replacement category. It’s just enough hardware that you can do anything with it, and just heavy enough that you have to think about it before picking it up and hefting it around. It has 4 USB ports, an SD card slot, an HDMI slot, and an ethernet port. As long as you don’t need an optical drive, there’s no reason this couldn’t replace a desktop for most productivity users.

The touch pad and the touch screen both respond to Windows 8 commands, allowing you to take advantage of the Modern UI however you choose. The 15.6-inch form factor makes it just small enough that it is still comfortable to reach out and touch the screen, but just big enough to deserve a full sized backlit keyboard.

Despite being slightly heavier than a 15-inch Macbook Pro, the Ativ Book 8 feels like a great machine. Its very clearly targeting users who want just a little more than an Ultrabook can offer, and at $1,100 it’s priced to compete with most of the devices in that category.

Now read: Robot swarms self-assemble into flying units of any shape or size


Post a Comment