Samsung Sliding PC 7 Series hands-on

Samsung's laptop/tablet combo was first unveiled at CES in January, but there's been some developments since then. Firstly, it's dropped the moniker TX100, opting for the far more catchy Sliding PC 7 Series (erm), and the company is now allowing people to fondle it - previously restricting access to a glance or two while it was in the hands of a Sammy employee.

Back then, such behaviour was understandable; nothing much worked on its Windows 7 operating system, and the sliding mechanism on the prototype was as wobbly as an admin assistant at an office party. But, while the version shown at the recent Samsung European Forum in Budapest (with Pocket-lint in attendance) still needs a touch of love and attention before it's fit for consumer consumption, the current build is certainly good enough for a proper initial play.

As previously mentioned, the Sliding PC 7 Series runs on Windows 7 (Home Premium) so it's naturally more like a computer than a tablet. It's also a heavy beast in comparison to the company's Galaxy Tab 10.1, so you're unlikely to want to read the works of Jackie Collins on it in bed. Additionally, the 1366 x 768 10.1-inch LCD screen may be multi-touch, allowing pinching, pulling and other school playground actions, but it's less responsive than a dedicated multimedia tablet.

Instead, its folded form factor is more likely to be used for convenience - web browsing and the like - with anything of substance enforcing use of the sliding keyboard. And that's the clever bit.

Unlike other laptop/tablet combination products, instead of twisting and flipping, the screen slides up to reveal its keyboard underneath, which can then be locked into a sort-of 45-degree angle. And voila, you have a fully capable netbook. It's incredibly easy to enact, and the new test unit was suitably resistive, suggesting that the final product can take a healthy amount of manipulation and battering.

It also includes a track pad, although you can still use the touchscreen too, allowing for an interesting experience with applications. And with Media Centre pre-installed, you can even consume entertainment in PC mode, or slide it back to watch as a tablet once again.

In its bowels, there's plenty of oomph. There's a 1.66 GHz Intel Atom Z670 (Oak Trail) processor, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, and a 6-cell battery offering use of up to 9 hours. The Sliding PC 7 Series also contains a solid state drive of either 16GB or 32GB of storage, giving both extended life due to the absence of moving parts and faster access speeds. Naturally, Wi-Fi and USB 2.0 are offered too, as well as an extremely useful HDMI port for connection to a big screen or projector.

When closed, the device measures 266 x 175 x 19mm - about the same at a normal 10.1 screen-sized tablet, but deeper - and at 990g, it feels like a normal netbook in the hand.

We fully expect to see the Sliding PC 7 Series hit stores next month (March) sometime, and although no UK price has been mentioned yet, it is expected to retail at around $700 (£431.53) in the States.



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