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Good to go with Samsung's TabPro S
IF you have ever wondered what Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system would look like on a sleek tablet, the answer is in Samsung's TabPro S.
While it is not the first slate powered by Windows, Samsung's latest powerhouse benefits from the fact that the TabPro S is not conforming to expectations set by laptop makers.
This device is made by Samsung's mobile division, which has longed battled against Apple, in trying to come up with powerful machines housed in gorgeous bodies.
Unlike Lenovo, HP, Asus and Acer, it is not burdened by the need to create a Windows laptop that folds open, and is filled with top-end hardware. It is also not stuffed with ports all over the place, to satisfy a user's need for connectivity.
By only supplying one USB-C port for charging and connecting other devices, such as an external monitor or hub, it trades some features for portability, so this machine is not for the workhorse user.
Measuring 290.3 x 198.8 x 6.3mm, and weighing just 693g, the TabPro S is one of the lightest Windows machines in the market. It conveniently uses the less powerful but more energy efficient Intel Core M processors, and if it is not turned on, has the look and feel of a 12-inch Android tablet.
It also comes with a full-length keyboard that also acts as a cover for the device, which is not common, as some Windows tablets require a separate keyboard purchase.
Magnets hold the tablet to the keyboard and when opened, there is a resting slot on the keyboard for the tablet to sit on, to hold both devices in place. Connectors on this slot link both devices, so the keyboard does not require its own power source.
The design of the cover means that the TabPro S can be used in only two open positions, so it is not as flexible as laptops.
And at just 4.9mm thick, the keyboard does not offer much in terms of key travel and the comfort of typing is absent on the accessory.
Where it is useful is when it is paired with the Samsung Galaxy S7 phones. Instead of typing out passwords, simply place the phone by the NFC marker on the keyboard, to use your fingerprints, which are registered on the phone, to unlock the TabPro S.
Once turned on, the Super Amoled display, which Samsung also uses for its flagship phones, is simply gorgeous. Colours pop out on the screen, and the deeper blacks that look intense on a smartphone, carry the same intensity on a larger screen.
Because of the landscape orientation of the tablet, there are speakers on the right and left side of the tablet. But once you hold the tablet vertically with one hand, the top/down delivery of sound is not as impressive.
For those clamouring for more ports, there is a S$128 adaptor that provides an additional USB and HDMI port, as well as a USB-C one, but unless an external output or use of a thumb drive is a must, the TabPro S, like most tablets out there, work better with cloud services.
The biggest boon is that Samsung has added a SIM card slot here, so this is one of the few Windows machines with 4G LTE support. The unit also uses a simple USB-C wall charger to power the device, instead of a bulky power brick, which makes this easier to bring around on work trips.
Battery life is great, and the unit lasted for more than eight hours of real world use. Alas, there is a power drain issue. Even though Airplane Mode is in place, there were instances when the battery had been drained, even though it was fully charged the last time it was in use.
Samsung TabPro S
Processor: 6th generation Intel Core m3, Dual Core 2.2GHz
Display: 12-inch Full High Definition+ 2,160 x 1,440 pixels, Full Touch (C-type) Super Amoled with Adaptive Display
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
Camera: (Rear) 5MP with Auto Focus, (Front) 5MP
Memory: 128GB SSD with 4GB RAM
Battery: 5,200 mAh