The Bottom Line
Jan 15 2013 - Samsung seems to have shifted their focus in their latest Series 7 all-in-one. It is less about premium features and more of a mainstream design. While it doesn't offer as many features as the past model, it has certainly cleaned up the design and managed to put together a system that offers a bit more value than its primary competition. The downside here is that to achieve this, they had to sacrifice some of the overall performance. It certainly works very well as a mainstream touchscreen computer that can also double as a media center.
- Priced More Affordably Than Most Of Its Direct Competitors
- Very Thin and Compact Design
- Bright and Responsive Multitouch Display
- Dual Core Processor Provides A Bit Less Performance
- Lesser Integrated Graphics Versions
- Intel Core i5-3470T Dual Core Desktop Processor
- 6GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 1TB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 23.6" WUXGA (1920x1080) Multitouch Display With Intel HD Graphics 2500 Integrated Graphics
- Intel HD Audio With 7 Watt Stereo Speakers
- Gigiabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetouth
- Two USB 3.0, Three USB 2.0, HDMI (in), HDMI (out), 3-in-1 Card Reader, 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- 22.6" x 17.3" x 7"
- Windows 8, Office Starter,
Review - Samsung Series 7 DP700A3D-A01US
Jan 15 2013 - Samsung's latest all-in-one that they call Mercury or as the Series 7 DP700A3D-A01US is a very different design from their past model. Gone is the flat base that the display panel rested on top of and instead is a traditional monitor or TV design that is remarkably thin for what it provides. Its not as thin as the latest Apple iMac as it uses a more uniform panel thickness. Of course part of this reason is the use of an external power adapter. The one drawback to this design is the lack of tilt angle. The previous version could fold back flat which was very useful with the touchscreen interface while this version has a traditional tilt angle.
Powering the Samsung DP700A3D-A01US is the Intel Core i5-3470T dual core processor. This is a very low wattage desktop part that provides it with a solid level of performance while helping Samsung keep the system small. It is only a dual core processor though which puts it at a slight disadvantage compared to many in its price range that opted for a similar low wattage i5-3330S that features four cores. Now in basic computing this won't necessarily be noticed but it is something to consider if you might be doing video editing or transcoding that can really benefit from the extra cores. Rather than providing 8GB of memory like its competition, Samsung has elected for just 6GB. This runs smoothly enough with Windows 8 but once again may limit more demanding computing tasks.
Storage features on the Samsung Series 7 are pretty typical of what most of the all-in-one systems seem to offer. A one terabyte hard drive provides it with a fair amount of storage space for applications, data and media files. The drive does spin at the slower 5400rpm rate which is likely done to help keep the system cooler in the confined space. The downside is that it is a bit slower at booting up or loading programs than those that use traditional 7200rpm drives. If you need additional storage, there are two USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external storage drives. Both of them reside on the left hand side of the screen which is a bit inconvenient if you want to attach a hard drive at all times as the cable is much more visible. A standard dual layer burner burner resides on the right hand side of the screen for playback and recording of CD or DVD media.
Samsung takes their experience with displays and really puts that to work with the DP700A3D model. The 23.6-inch panel offers a very nice and bright that is very good at handling media playback. It handles full 1080p high definition video thanks to its 1920x1080 native resolution. The system can also be used as a monitor for a cable or satellite receiver, game console or Blu-ray player thanks to the HDMI input. The only real downside here is that the color is not as in-depth as Apple's offerings which may disappoint those that might have wanted to use it for graphics work. The multitouch interface works well enough and supports Windows 8 gestures adequately. One thing of note is the graphics processor built into the Core i5 processor. Samsung notes it as an Intel HD Graphics 4000 but it is in fact the HD Graphics 2500. This provides less 3D performance which makes it less suitable for even using it for casual PC gaming. It also doesn't provide as much acceleration when encoding media with Quick Sync compatible applications.
Priced between $1000 and $1200, the Samsung Series 7 DP700A3D-A01US has a number of competitors. The Apple iMac 21.5-inch model is more expensive but provides a quad core processor, better display panel without touch abilities and dedicated graphics processor in a more stylish design. Dell's Inspiron One 23 offers a bit more memory and faster hard drive but it also is slightly more expensive. HP's Envy 23 TouchSmart offers a faster processor, better hard drive and dedicated graphics but also is a bit more expensive. Finally, Sony's L Series offers more hard drive space and faster integrated graphics but relies on mobile processors for less overall power.