For the past year, I've been lucky enough to be part of #CurrysCollective (you may remember some of my posts about it) and I've been trying out some student tech over the course of this academic year, including the Olympus PEN E-PL7 and the HP Pavilion 2 in 1 laptop. This time, I'm trying out the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, a brand new tablet/laptop hybrid aimed at combining everyday usability with high performance. For the last couple of weeks I've been using this to do a lot of my everyday bits and pieces including university work, blog post writing, general internet browsing (aka window shopping online) and just general bits of things to get a real feel for the laptop. I even took it to Whitby on my glamping trip last week so it's safe to say I've now gotten to grips with this lil hybrid.
So the first thing you'll notice about the TabPro S is how sleek and thin it is. The keyboard is virtually flat and actually doubles up as a screen protector, meaning it's perfect for us bloggers and students who are always on the go as there's no need to pack it into an extra bulky case. The keyboard attaches to the back of the tablet/screen magnetically to create a stand and the keyboard itself clips easily into the bottom of the tablet. It's so easy to use and is much easier to put together and separate than the other 2 in 1 laptops I've used before - you don't feel like you're going to break it every time you detach the keyboard which is always a plus. Overall, it's a really great design. It looks amazing (as you can see), it's easy to use and it's super light, something which is really important for us as students when we're walking to and from lectures, the library and of course, the many coffee shops we visit for study breaks.
The tablet itself is a 12 inch screen meaning that when it doubles up as the laptop, you get a really good sized screen for your work. It also means that when you're using it as a tablet it feels huge, especially to me as I'm used to my iPad mini! I actually really like it though. Sometimes it's hard to do things like shopping and blog browsing on my iPad because it's too small and fiddly so it's actually really nice to be able to sit with the tablet scrolling down without having to squint or zoom in.
The quality of the picture on the screen is also amazing. You obviously can't tell as much on the photo as you can in real life but the screen picture is the clearest, crispest image I've ever seen. I set one of my New York photos as my background and it just really shows the quality and the fine details of the photos, with bright, sharp colours and edges. The screen resolution is the same or higher than many HD TVs so it's been fantastic for watching Netflix and my fav YouTubers on. Ahem, not that I'm doing much of that during the exam period....
I'm sorry to mention the D word but I finished off my dissertation (I'm so sorry to trigger the trauma) using Microsoft Word on the Samsung TabPro S and it was actually so nice to use Microsoft Word again! I've been using Apple for the past year and although you can get Word on it it's just not the same so I'm definitely going to be using the Samsung for any typing or documentation I need to do. I've also typed up my revision notes on it and it's just really easy to get to grips with for that kind of thing so is great for us students who have a lot of essay writing to do.
I've seen a bit of negative press about Windows 10 and as the TabPro comes with Windows 10 built on it, I was a little bit worried about it - I'd heard it was difficult to use and quite buggy! I've had no problems though so I don't really know what all the fuss is about. Windows have brought back the old "start" menu which I was pleased about because on my last Windows laptop all of that was gone and I found it hard to get to grips with as everything was a bit messy. Everything is nicely in order now in traditional but updated Microsoft style with a few new additions keeping it up to date. Cortana is a new addition and it's actually really cool. Just click the button in the bottom left of the screen and speak to it and it will reply. It's super fast and actually understands what I'm saying, even with my dodgy northern accent!
What I really wanted this laptop for though, is travelling. I spend quite a lot of time on the roads, in hotels and in airports so I wanted something light with a long battery life that I could take with me for writing posts and replying to emails on the go. I took the TabPro with me to Whitby on a glamping trip last week that Karl booked for our seven year anniversary (ain't he cute?!) to test out whether I would want to take it with me on my travels this year. The verdict? It will be coming with me! Although there was no wifi in the wig-wam I got to write up a couple of posts and do a bit of revision and I didn't need to charge it once. The battery life claims to be 10.5 hours and while I wouldn't say it quite lasts that long (maybe more like 8-9 hours), it still lasts long enough to use on a train or a plane. The only downside I would say to using this style of 2-in-1 laptop is that it lacks a USB port. For me that's not really a big deal as my cameras have built in wifi but if you rely on a USB cable you won't be able to upload your photos.
Overall, I've really been enjoying this laptop and I'm going to be taking it travelling with me for sure. Thanks to the Windows App store there are a whole variety of photography apps, productivity programmes and games and it's lightweight, sleek style means it's perfect for popping in your bag, whether you're going on holiday or just to the library. The 2-in-1 style laptops have been on the rise recently and it's with good reason. They give you everything you need from a laptop in the form of a super convenient, easy to use tablet.
As you can probably tell, I'm not really that clued up on the techy techy side of things and I'm more focused on how things actually work and fare up in practice. I'll leave the real techy stuff and specifications below so you can check that out if you want some more information! The Samsung Galaxy TabPro S is now available at Currys so be sure to have a look online or even pop down to your local Currys store so you can have a look at the TabPro yourself. It's the perfect balance of simplicity and effectiveness for us students!
Have you ever tried a tablet 2-in-1?
*Laptop sent c/o of Currys. All words and views remain my own
p.s. have you entered my 18k giveway where you can win a £75 Dorothy Perkins voucher and a package of surprise goodies?!