V3 went along to a demo of Samsung's latest Microsoft Surface product, the SUR40, this week, and we had a chance to put the table-top computer through its paces to see how it handles.
The Windows 7-powered, multi-touch SUR40, which was unveiled at CES, targets business users.
With its coffee table looks, the device is big, measuring in at 1095x704mm on top and 736mm tall when its legs are attached - though as we saw during our hands on, it can also be wall mounted.
Unlike a regular touch PC, where emphasis is on single apps, the SUR40's 40in 1920x1080 pixel screen is tailor made for multiple users.
Using a modified version of Microsoft's Windows 7 Professional 64-bit operating system (OS) the device's user interface arranges apps in a row, letting you sift through them in the same way you'd change screens on a tablet or smartphone.
The unit also lets you move and rotate open windows around the screen adjusting their angle to where you're standing.
In our time with the SUR40, it was clear that Samsung and Microsoft have worked to make the device as user friendly as possible, with it understanding all the traditional command gestures seen on most tablets.
While the unit's OS did still appear to have a few flies in the ointment, it was generally a snappy experience. In fact, packing 4GB of RAM and an AMD Athlon 2.9GHz dual-core processor we found the unit to be quite lightening quick and responsive, even when it had multiple users playing with it.
One thing that was particularly noticeable was an increased emphasis on the device's use in retail, with - outside of a few casual games - near enough all the apps we saw being designed to "streamline consumers' shopping experience". These included a number of apps designed to let consumers check stock, place orders and call for assistance.
Indeed two common features we saw across many of the apps were the use of NFC tags and QR codes and it's clear which market the SUR40 is aimed at.
In terms of connectivity, the SUR40 is fairly well stocked housing 4 USB slots, an SD card reader and HDMI in and out ports. Additionally, the device felt fairly robust, with its screen being coated in Corning Gorilla Glass - a good thing considering the unit will likely be put out for public use.
Available for pre-order now for an eye-watering £7,499 plus VAT, while we were definitely impressed by the SUR40 and its potential business applications, the price tag might need to come down further for widespread adoption.
29 Mar 2012
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