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Old September 21, 2013, 03:11 AM
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Default PC/tablet for college student?

I'm considering buying smaller machine that better fit the needs of long battery life and transportability for note taking in class.

Therefore I've considered getting a W8 tablet with a keyboard dock since it would be nice to have a tablet anyway and I need it to fulfill a very different role than my heavier 15.6" laptop.

I've been looking at the Samsung Ativ Smart PC which comes with a keyboard dock and everything. It's 11,6" device with an Intel Atom Z2760 1.5Ghz CPU, 2 GB ram and 64 GB drive and cost the equivalent of 716 USD which is an okay price where I live. The battery should last between 8 and 14 hours depending on use.

Specs:
http://www.computercity.dk/Archive/D.../pdf/50876.pdf

I know, it's not overwhelming specs by any means but it only needs to run Office, browse the web, e-mails and a few apps so I'm thinking (and hoping) it will do.

On the other hand I could wait a bit for something with an i3 Haswell CPU and some more disc space as 64 GB is not much, but I don't know for how long I'll have to wait and I fear it'll be an expensive machine as the 716$ is my max budget. The Ativ Smart PC does support a memory card up to 64GB as well but I doubt I can install apps and other software on it?

What do you think I should do?

What do you think of the Ativ Smart PC for note taking in class and normal tablet use?

Any alternatives as to what machine I could buy or wait for?

Thanks!
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Old September 21, 2013, 10:08 AM
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The SD card can only be used for storage files/music/etc, not applications.

My brother recently got the Acer W510 which is basically identical spec wise to that Samsung you mention. It's a perfectly fine device for what you want to do, and it's what he uses it for too. It's a bit sluggish at times, but nothing too serious. However, the eMMC these use as primary storage is pretty slow, so I found disabling Windows Defender along with not using any antivirus software helped improve performance quite a bit. It only cost him $324 CAD plus tax though. I wouldn't advise spending $716 USD at this time.

All this being said, if you can wait until November roughly, there will be the new Intel "Bay Trail" processors out which should bring significant performance increases, while slimming down the form factor and improving battery life. The price should remain roughly the same or lower as well.
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Old September 21, 2013, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by JD View Post
The SD card can only be used for storage files/music/etc, not applications.

My brother recently got the Acer W510 which is basically identical spec wise to that Samsung you mention. It's a perfectly fine device for what you want to do, and it's what he uses it for too. It's a bit sluggish at times, but nothing too serious. However, the eMMC these use as primary storage is pretty slow, so I found disabling Windows Defender along with not using any antivirus software helped improve performance quite a bit. It only cost him $324 CAD plus tax though. I wouldn't advise spending $716 USD at this time.

All this being said, if you can wait until November roughly, there will be the new Intel "Bay Trail" processors out which should bring significant performance increases, while slimming down the form factor and improving battery life. The price should remain roughly the same or lower as well.
Thank you. I don't think the pricing can be much different to be honest. I live in Denmark, and hardware tend to sometimes be a bit expensive here compared to other places. Is it the timing or the product itself that would hold you off from spending the 716USD?
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Old September 21, 2013, 07:08 PM
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It's the timing. That model you are looking at launched around the $799 USD mark, and it honestly should not still be selling at that price. I realize things cost more for you, but you still are not getting a good value for your money when the updated models are due within a month or so.

Unless you absolutely need it now, I would wait it out. Maybe pickup a sale at Christmas even.

As an example of whats coming: HP unveils Pavilion x2 detachable tablets for $600 and up - Liliputing and Asus, Acer, Dell, Toshiba among first to unveil Bay Trail tablets - Liliputing
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Old September 22, 2013, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by JD View Post
It's the timing. That model you are looking at launched around the $799 USD mark, and it honestly should not still be selling at that price. I realize things cost more for you, but you still are not getting a good value for your money when the updated models are due within a month or so.

Unless you absolutely need it now, I would wait it out. Maybe pickup a sale at Christmas even.

As an example of whats coming: HP unveils Pavilion x2 detachable tablets for $600 and up - Liliputing and Asus, Acer, Dell, Toshiba among first to unveil Bay Trail tablets - Liliputing
I see. Thanks for the links, they were great. I wasn't aware new models were so close so I think I'll wait a bit more and see what happens. According to those two articles the prices sound very affordable, but based on the prices I see around in shops right now I predict that new hardware of this kind will be priced everywhere from 800$ to 1300$ in my local shops. :( Unless something makes the Bay Trail CPU's - and the devices running them - less expensive because I really thought that was some aggressive pricing in the articles?

Of course you also have to factor in the buying power (I don't know if that is the correct term in English) of the country... No matter how expensive or inexpensive the new devices will be I think it is also to be expected that current hardware will drop in price once the new toys land. So there's something for everyone. ;)

Anyway I thank you for your help.
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Old September 22, 2013, 10:29 AM
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I think Bay Trail based stuff will be cheaper as the companies building devices now also have much larger buying power as the trend is tablets and no longer laptops/desktops. This way they can focus more purchasing large quantities of tablet-hardware instead.
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Old September 22, 2013, 11:28 AM
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That sounds great. I'll keep an eye out for the upcoming devices. Thanks for your help. :D
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