The Bottom Line
Nov 11 2011 - The Samsung Series 7 laptop is going to be easily confused as being a MacBook Pro 15 clone. It shares many similarly features and appearances but it will retail for hundreds less at $1299. The base display and graphics are a step above the competition and it offers a few unique items such as the ExressCache function. It certainly makes compelling option for those that would like a compact but full features laptop. It just would have been nice to have it look like something other than yet another MacBook Pro clone.
- Quad Core Processor With 8GB RAM Should Provide Solid Performance
- Higher Resoltuion Display With Above Average Radeon HD Dedicated Graphics
- ExpressCache Claims to Provide Faster Boot Times
- Uses Integrated Touchpad Which Has Been Problematic With Windows Multi Button Requirements
- Design Is Just Another MacBook Pro Clone
- Intel Core i7-2675QM Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 8GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 750GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive With 8GB ExpressCache Flash Memory
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6" WSXGA (1600x900) LED Backlit Dosplay With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- AMD Radeon HD 6750 Graphics With 1GB Memory
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Two USB 3.0, One USB 2.0, HDMI, 4-in-1 Card Reader
- 14.3" x 9.4" x .9" @ 5.1 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter
Preview - Samsung Series 7 NP700Z5A-S03US
Note: Samsung's Series 7 laptop is going to be released relatively soon. Since I was unable to get a physical unit to look at prior to its launch, this is a preview based on the information provided by Samsung. In addition, I have not given it a star rating.
Nov 11 2011 - The Samsung Series 7 is the company's new middle of the road mobile. It fits between their ultrathin Series 9 laptops and the more affordable Series 3. It will likely be compared directly to the Apple MacBook Pro 15 because it shares a very similar aluminum clad look with the majority of the ports on the left hand side and a slot loading optical drive on the right hand side. The keyboard is also an isolated black finish keyboard with a large trackpad with integrated buttons.
Powering the Samsung Series 7 is a claimed Intel Core i7-2675QM quad core processor. Now, Intel currently does not show any specifications for this model of mobile processor but Samsung's specifications make it look to be similarly to the i7-2670QM that is used in many of the performance oriented laptops. This processor is combined with 8GB of DDR3 memory which should provide it with some solid overall performance especially for those looking to do heavy multitasking or demanding applications such as desktop video editing.
The storage setup of the Samsung Series 7 should be very interesting to see. It comes equipped with a 750GB hard drive that is sizable but not that much bigger than what many similarly priced laptops are offering. What makes it different is the inclusion of the ExpressCache. This is 8GB of flash memory that acts somewhat like a hybrid hard drive or Intel's Smart Response Technology. Essentially, it takes some solid state memory and caches frequently used data to improve boot speeds and application loading. The 8GB is a relatively small amount so it is hard to say how much it will improve performance. If the drive doesn't offer enough storage space, there will be two USB 3.0 ports to provide near internal storage speeds with compatible external devices. The slot loading optical drive is your typical dual-layer DVD burner for playback or recording of CD or DVD media.
One way that Samsung sets the Series 7 apart from the majority of other 15-inch laptops is the display. Most laptops have decided to standardize on the 1366x768 resolution. Some more expensive models offer a very high 1920x1080 for full HD video support but the pixel sizes can be difficult to read. Samsung takes a middle ground approach with 1600x900 resolution that should offer a good amount of virtual workspace without thing being too small for those with poor eyesight. The graphics are also above average thanks to the AMD Radeon HD 6750 graphics processor with 1GB of memory. This should allow the system to be able to handle 3D gaming although it might not always be able to reach the full screen resolution with high detail levels. It also should provide a nice performance boost for applications such as Photoshop.
Battery life for the Samsung Series 7 is going to be something that they haven't provided in the specifications yet. They make mention of it being an eight cell lithium polymer battery but do not provide any capacity ratings. They claim up to nine hours of running time. The current leader in battery life is the Apple MacBook Pro 15 which also uses a lithium polymer battery pack with a very larger 77.5 WHr capacity rating to achieve over five hours of DVD playback and nearly nine in typical usage. If they do use a similar capacity battery pack, it should achieve nearly the same running time but this is just speculation.