Windows Phone development on a Slate [Developers]

Taken with an HD7. Eeek!

Those of you who follow the Microsoftie world will probably know of the Samsung Series 7 Slate. Microsoft gave these out for free to every attendee of the BUILD developer conference in Anaheim this past September (press had to return them though). Roughly a month after the conference they popped up on the Microsoft Store available for pre-order - albeit slightly nerfed.

I finally bought myself one in December for Windows 8 development. Since then I haven't really touched any dev in Windows 8 (going to wait for the Beta) and have just been using it as my secondary Operating System. What I have been doing on the Slate though, is WP7. And it's awesome!

Take a look at the spec's below:

  • Display: 11.6 in SuperBright LED-backlit HD (1366 x 768) - 8 finger multi-touch
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2467M 1.60 GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB DDR3 1333 MHz
  • Hard drive: 128 GB SSD (also available in 32GB and 64GB)

While it doesn't look particularly powerful in relation to today's desktop's and laptop's - it really does pack quite a punch. Booting into Windows 7 takes around 20 seconds to be fully loaded and Windows 8 a mere 10 seconds. For day-to-day tasks there isn't a single program that my 6-core Phenom can run faster (presumably this is because of the SSD).

Here is a short video demonstrating an app, Relaxify X, running in the emulator, along with deploying it to an actual device:

So if you have a thousand bucks spare and want a really shiny late Christmas present, I suggest picking one of these up. There's no denying that they are very expensive for what you get compared to a traditional laptop, but if you're looking to get into the Windows 8 market early, or just want to do Windows Phone 7 development without being tied to a device then it's perfect.

Also taken with an HD7. Much shinier in real life.


Reader comments

Windows Phone development on a Slate [Developers]


I seriously do want a slate, but I think I'm going to employ a little patience and wait until Windows 8 ships and the field opens up a little so their will be more manufacturers and models to choose from. Hopefully by that time they will be producing them in numbers sufficient to drive the unit cost down a little as well.

Agreed. For people like me it's worth getting one of these now, but for the average user it would be worth waiting. Costs should go down a lot - there is no competition for this (besides the EP121) so Samsung can charge what they want.

Well, having identified a few holes in the app market that I'd like to see filled I've decided to take it upon myself and try my hand at developing for WP7, but justifying the expense to myself is not so difficult as getting it past my wife. ;)

Honestly, if you don't need one now, it makes sense to wait not just for those reasons but because of continuing build quality issues on the Samsung.
I love my Series 7 Slate, but will be returning it and waiting a few months due to build quality issues.

this is great but
i think you are sending the wrong message to developers
Microsoft has shootdown xna and app making for windows phone on tablets
xna and silverlight will not run on tablets , this has all been told at build 2011
you can still develop on the prohtotype that was handed out at build
but when you will be able to buy the real tablets in a few month
there is no support for this

I think you are confusing some information here.

  • XNA will still be fully functional in Windows 8 as it stands now except it will not be a "Metro" style app, and cannot be sold in the Marketplace.
  • Silverlight will still live on as a cross browser plugin, and so will the development of it. However you cannot make "Metro" apps in Silverlight as it stands, but rather in XAML. Essentially, there isn't much difference. For a lot of devs this is simply a name change. And for devs doing more complicated things, this is a slight change of framework (to move to WinRT).
  • Traditional desktop mode (Windows as we know it today) will be fully supported on on x86 devices, and although there was rumour of it being left off ARM devices, Paul Thurrott explains that here: http://www.winsupersite.com/article/paul-thurrotts-wininfo/wininfo-short-takes-december-2-2011-141488


Basically, Windows and everything you do today, will do just fine on W8.


I have replaced my laptop and do not carry a tablet now that I have a Series 7 Slate.
This is a great PC and really should be advertised more. 
When taking the full value into account, the cost really isn't so bad. Consider what a person would pay to get a 64GB iPad at $700. That's a device that will leave you still in need of a laptop to accomplish all of your daily tasks and only has 1/2 the capacity of the S7S (I have the 128GB model). Once you factor in the price difference between getting a tablet and a laptop, or just getting a single Slate PC that does everything, that cost starts looking a bit more appealing. Plus, the slate has a Wacom digitizer which may not matter to some but it actually is a big deal. I drew the artwork for an app that I'm developing on my S7S just last night and I'm no artist!
It's good to see some talk about the computer though, I really wish Samsung and MS would adverstise better. I've to the MS store in Tysons, Va twice since they opened and if the in store sales that I saw happening both times are any indication these are selling well.

Someone mentioned Windows Phone development on the slate. Is that in Windows 8? I have an Asus EP121 with Windows 8 on it. I can't run the Windows Phone Dev tools in the VS 2011 environment that runs on Windows 8.

In the video I am using Windows 7. The developer preview of W8 does not play nicely with the WP SDK, but apparently the beta of W8 will support it. Hopefully coming out soon after CES.

Just bought one the other day at the Microsoft Store! It's a wonderful machine. As a long time tablet user, I can safely say it rocks. Anyway, they told me that today was the last day for the sale -- 25% off. I paid $1179 (before tax) for their package deal which included the tablet, blue tooth keyboard, dock, Wacom pen, single license of Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Student, an Arc Touch Mouse (the one that flattens for sliding in your bag), and a 2 year accidental warranty. On top of that, it's a Microsoft Signature PC which means it comes with NO junk on it and it's been optimized for performance.
A sweet deal if you ask me (:

I would like to purchase one for development; however, am having one challenge. I go to lots of events, and developing without a keyboard is a headache. Has anyone found a case that can carry the slate and keyboard while making it look like one piece? ...I just don't want to look nerdy carrying around a slate, a separate keyboard, and a stand for the slate.