So I have the Samsung Series 7 Slate for a while now, thanks to being giving it by Microsoft at the BUILD conference back in September. I actually immediately made it my production workstation…yep even though it is running Windows 8 Developer Preview!
It’s great to see all the Sales VP’s who were awarded them at the Management Summit at beginning of January for hitting their figure using them.
I absolute love the form factor of this device and have used various tablets in the past including a Fujitsu T5010 back in 2008. The battery wasn’t great on that and it was a little too heavy to carry and scribble on with the stylus. This slate is perfect. The dock allows me to hook into Ethernet and out via HDMI to monitors.
There are a few things you need to make this your primary device:
The slate has a micro-HDMI out for video…which is great for 50” TVs but not when you’re on the road to customers and they have crappy old projectors with VGA only. There are plenty of USB-VGA devices, non of which seem to work with Windows 8 developer preview and are big and bulky. Samsung have a micro-HDMI to VGA cable which is perfect! $40USD isn’t that bad either.
I got an extra dock too…this was ridiculously expensive and didn’t come with an AC adapter either…this’ll be one reason it won’t succeed if accessories are going to be that expensive just to get an Ethernet port, HDMI out and USB port dock. It was originally $150 and is now down to $99 on the store. The 3mm audio jack doesn’t work either with Windows 8 and still needs to be plugged into headphone socket of actual slate.
As the dock didn’t come with an AC adapter and there is no official one on the site, I took my chances on Amazon. I purchased this one that seems to work great and is actually smaller than the one you get with it. This one was $30USD.
Because the dock is HDMI out, most monitors are either DVI or VGA. Now, you can’t use the micro-HDMI on the slate itself (with adapter above) when plugged into dock. So I had to buy a HDMI to DVI cable from Amazon.
The keyboard on the accessories page is not that great and found the keys kept catching in my laptop bag and snapping off. I went with the same keyboard I got with the ASUS EEE Slate EP121 which is the Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000.
BTW the reason I sold my ASUS was because the form factor was too large and heavy compared to this one.
In terms of mice on the go, I use the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse as it folds nice and flat in my bag and has a little USB stub that goes in the only USB port.
Unlike the ASUS slate, there is NO WHERE to put the stylus when you’re not using it. None of the cases have holders and the device itself doesn’t. Wei from work hunted and found a great little thing that hoops through the stylus and plugs into the 3mm jack on side of the slate. You don’t want to lose that pen…trust me…they are not cheap! My ex once picked it up off the floor and put it in our pen pot, it took me 4 days to find it again!
I also use a USB hub in back of the dock to get around the one USB port thing.
Dan Holme raves about the hard case, but I’ve been just chucking it in my laptop bag and it’s been fine.