BY | November 11, 2012

Two great Windows 8 tablets namely Microsoft’s Surface Pro and Samsung’s ATIV Smart PC Tab Pro are set for release pretty soon

A broad array of Windows 8 tablets are soon to come out. Microsoft’s Windows 8 reference tablet the Surface Pro is scheduled for release in January ‘13 with a set of other tabs to follow or to precede it. Surface Pro is actually an elder brother to Surface RT, Microsoft’s already released Windows RT-based tablet. Apart from this $499-priced iPad killer, Surface Pro is a full-blown tablet that can be turned to a mini Ultrabook if you hook it up with the optional Touch Cover.

Of course, other tech makers will be there to lift challenge to Surface Pro. Samsung’s ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T tablet is going to become one of critical rivals to Surface Pro. Samsung has also placed its ATIV Tab as a competitor to Surface RT. So here comes ATIV Smart PC Pro against Surface Pro. We compare these two Windows 8 machines here.

Processor, RAM: Well, it is one of major factors that differentiate a Windows Pro machine from a Windows RT tab. The former is meant to run on advanced Intel x86 processors, while the latter is to tout ARM-based chips. In the case of the Samsung and Microsoft Windows Pro tabs, both the machines get power from the third generation Intel Core i5 CPUs, 4GB of RAM and Intel HD Graphics 4000.

Display Screen: Surface Pro is rather smaller with a 10.6-inch display compared to ATIV Smart PC Pro that sports an 11.6-inch LED Full HD display. Both the devices have the same screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Well, there is a difference of an inch in screen size and so the Samsung machine is more ideal for using as an Ultrabook, but it will not be as comfy as Surface Pro for on-the-go use.

Storage: Apart from the Windows RT and Android tablets, Windows 8 tablets have solid-state hard drives and they do offer a higher 128GB capacity as well. Surface Pro comes in 64GB and 128GBs, while ATIV Smart PC Pro also has a 128GB version. That is, users who have to store lots of data can just opt for these machines apart from the ordinary tablets.

Firmware, Apps: Needless to specifically mention, both Samsung and Microsoft tablets feature Windows Pro, a full-blown version of the new operating system from Microsoft. It is the same version that you can find in personal computers. Therefore, all computer centric Windows applications and software items will work in the tablets. It makes the devices highly compatible for office and enterprise purposes. Users can perform all their computer activities on the move now; they can easily compose mails, receive mails, prepare and edit docs, spreadsheets and presentations on Surface Pro and ATIV Smart PC Pro.

Dimensions: Surface Pro features the dimensions of 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53 inches, while ATIV Smart PC Pro measures in at 11.6 x 7.2 x 0.5 inches. Yes, the latter is thinner, which is also lightweight with 1.89 pounds when pitted against the 2-pound Surface Pro.

Connectivity: When it comes to connectivity options, Surface Pro has USB 3.0, microSDXC, headphone jack and DisplayPort video out. It is when the Samsung Windows 8 tablet has USB 3.0, headphone-out, micro HDMI, multi card slot and more.

Price, Availability: Microsoft is yet to declare pricing details of Surface Pro. The tablet is reportedly to go for shipping in January next year. As per rumor mills, Microsoft that sells Surface RT for a starting price of $499 may head to price the basic model of Surface Pro at something around $1000.

This is when Samsung is to start selling ATIV Smart Tab for a starting price of $1,199. Both the machines will be coming for higher prices since they are something beyond mere tablets. You will have to purchase the dock connecting keyboards for extra prices, however. Surface RT’s Touch Cover comes for a price of $100.


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  • tiz

    A good article, only one thing: Surface Pro weighs less than a Kg not 2Kg.

  • tiz

    Sorry i was reading it in italian 1 Kg = 2 pounds,!

  • Steven

    The Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro also has a WACOM pen stylus! For me this is a huge differentiator.

  • Kevin

    The Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro would be the winner if Samsung would ship it. It is interesting that none of the slate / tablet / surface that use the WACOM stylus are shipping weeks after the release of Windows 8 Pro. Make you wonder if there is an issue with the dual digitizers or drivers for WACOM?

  • Deamion

    I doubt it is a driver issue. My Asus EP121 has a WACOM digitizer built in. When I formated my HDD (Was Win7) and installed Win 8 Pro, it installed the drivers all by itself. I can report there hasent been a issue with, and I use the WACOM digitizer with Art Rage and One note all day. I’m very impressed.

  • Med Student

    Smart Tab has already shipped some units, plus ATT is selling it in their shops this week or the next. That’s old news, sometimes I think I should run a blog.

    Conspiracy theory: All the Win 8 tablet manufacturers made a deal to hold off a couple months on the full fledged tablets so that they would have any chance of selling their RT models

  • L

    Actually the Samsung Ativ pc Pro is available in Microsoft stores. I have one in my hands as we speak! Its great and the wacom digitizer is absolutely amazing!

  • Jill

    I bought a Samsung Series 7 Slate (model before the Ativ) in July, 2012. Immediately it had hardware problems. Brought it back to MS store which swapped it for another one. Four months later, the touch screen stopped working. That’s two Slates gone bad in four months due to hardware problems.

    I want to like the Ativ but now I’m really sour on Samsung tablets. However, with the Surface Pro’s smaller screen and a price possibly higher than the Ativ, I’d buy the Samsung again, hoping the third one will be a winner. Yeah, I know, fool me once….

  • Karl Thomas

    I have used the samsung ativ smart pc (atom) powered one , yes an amazing tablet but I just read Jill’s comment yes I spent over 799£ for this tablet with the clamshell cover I love it and the digitiser works brill but after 3 days guess what MOTHERBOARD FAILURE yes it’s now back with samsung for a warranty repair so be aware