Thanks to smartphones, most of us these days are familiar with the idea of a sliding mechanism underneath a display screen revealing a physical keyboard. So why has it taken so long for someone to take this idea and use it for a tablet computer? Thankfully, both ASUS and Samsung have now introduced this feature to their new tablets, albeit in slightly different forms. The Samsung PC7 series tablet runs on an Atom processor, benefits from solid state storage and has Windows 7 as its operating system. Its high definition, touchscreen display should also be capable of comfortably handling indoor and outdoor use thanks to its 340-nit brightness.

Launched at CES 2011, the Slider PC7 series tablet computer from Samsung offers the touchscreen delights of tablet computing and the full keyboard tactile usefulness of a notebook in one device. For starters, there's a 10.1-inch touchscreen HD LCD display at 1366 x 768 resolution where users can access an onscreen virtual keyboard. Then there's also a slide-out 80/81-key keyboard underneath, and the display pushes up to an angle for comfortable viewing.

The PC7 is powered by an Intel Atom Z670 (codenamed Oak Trail) processor with integrated graphics running at 1.66GHz. This is ably supported by 2GB DDR2 memory and either a 32GB or 64GB mSATA SSD. It runs on Windows 7 Home Premium with Samsung Touch Launcher and thanks to the company's Fast Start technology, can power up and be ready for use in about 15 seconds. The 6-cell Lithium Polymer battery is said to provide up to 9 hours of continuous use between charges.

Physical connectivity is offered via USB 2.0, a 4-in-1 memory card reader and HDMI-out, while 802.11b/g/n, WiMax and 3G options take care of the wireless functionality. The PC7 can also act as a connective hub for other DNLA compatible devices.

The PC7 series tablet is due for a March 2011 release and will start at US$699.