Samsung isn’t well know for their tablets, mostly because, let’s face it, at this point you’ve got to be both amazing and dirt-cheap to draw any attention away from Apple. But fans of skinny electronics might find themselves interested in Samsungs ATIV Tab 3: It’s not only one of the skinniest tablets, it’s fairly powerful for its size and weight.
First off, the most impressive feature is really that this runs Windows 8. Yep, no Windows RT, no half-assing it for the sake of making a claim, this is a full-featured Windows 8 tablet. It even comes with office, S-Note software, the S-Pen, and a keyboard cover, so you can ditch your laptop if you really feel like it.
As you might expect, it’s not a computing superpower, in relative terms: It’s packing a a Z2760 Atom and 2GB of RAM, so it’ll work fairly quickly, but it probably won’t be quite as powerful as your laptop for some tasks. But hey, it’s got a ten-inch screen, so everything will look good on it, at least. This raises the question of whether you can play a lot of Steam games on this thing; we bet Gunpoint would be a lot of fun using a touchscreen.
Speaking of looks, this is one surprisingly well-designed tablet. It’s just a third of an inch thick, and weighs just over a pound. Samsung claims that the battery can stand up to 8.5 hours of use, but that seems a little too good to be true.
It’ll be arriving in August, as a complete package with the keyboard cover, for $699. If that sounds a bit familiar, it’s because Samsung is competing fairly directly with the Microsoft Surface. It seems questionable to take on both Apple and Microsoft at the same time, but on the other hand, they’ve got the thin tablet to do it.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.