Hands on: Samsung Ativ One 7 2015 review

A curved screen desktop for home use

What is a hands on review?
Samsung Ativ One 7 2015 review

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We liked

The Ativ One 7 comes with two 10-watt HD audio, Dolby Surround speakers that will make your neighbors hate your guts. If you're an MP3-jay and you want to rock the party all night long, I highly suggest you make this your desktop computer.

What's also really cool about this machine is its ability to pair-up with any Samsung phone so that you can provide one-click music play from your handheld device onto the desktop's mega speakers. For example: let's say you return home from a run and you want to continue playing the Rocky IV soundtrack while you blend your kale smoothie, but you don't want to use your phone's weak speakers. You can simply click one button in your Samsung music app that wakes up your Ativ One 7 and begins bumping "Hearts on Fire" before you scoop in your second spoonful of protein.

The Ativ One 7 also provides link integration with Windows file sharing. You can drop all of your family's music and photos onto the machine's 1TB of storage - providing you with a makeshift network attached storage option for the home.

We disliked

Maybe it's just me, but I don't really see the value in a curved monitor for small form-factor desktop use. It's one thing to provide a more immersive experience for large format televisions that take up a ton of real estate in your living room. However, throwing a curve onto a 27-inch monitor doesn't do anything to enhance my experience, especially if that experience is dominated by Google Docs, Spreadsheets and email, which is how I typically use my desktop.

If you're watching a movie in 4K on one of Samsung's 105-inch TVs, you're almost literally immersed in the experience. You feel as if you're surrounded by the content. But in order to get the same feeling from a 27-inch curved desktop you almost have to sit an inch away from the monitor.

Speaking of 4K: If Samsung was focused on display innovation, why not bump up the resolution higher than full HD? Anyone who is excited enough to purchase a desktop because it curves is likely also going to crave 4K content. Samsung has led the pack when it comes to 4K TV, and they're about to lead the way for 4K smartphone displays, so why go cheap on the display for the Ativ One 7?

One more thing: I find more value in a touchscreen monitor than I do in a curved monitor, especially at 27 inches. I doubt I'll feel immersed in content using the Ativ One 7, but I'm positive touchscreen functionality would come in handy for activities like Netflix browsing, photo flipping and Angry Bird launching.

Early verdict

Buy the Ativ One 7 for what it is and not what you're likely to think it is. It's a fast enough desktop with a beautiful build whose tremendous speakers can get the party poppin'.

But don't be fooled by the shiny new object. Curved screens have their place, I just don't think that place is in small form-factor all-in-one computers.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.