Samsung Series 7 review: first look

31 Aug 2011

The super-slim Series 9 laptop drew many an admiring glance, and Samsung's Series 7 range looks likely to repeat the trick. In a meeting room at PC Pro, we were given an exclusive first glimpse of the 15.6in Samsung 700Z.

The Samsung 700Z


While the 700Z can't quite rival the millimetres-thick Series 9, it's still stunning in the flesh. The dark grey metal chassis is more than a little reminiscent of the old Apple Powerbook G4 (shhh, don't tell Apple's lawyers) and the quality of finish on show is superb. The brushed-metal finish stretches all around, with no black plastic underside to ruin the effect. It's all clean lines, smooth curves, and stiff, flex-free build.

The Samsung rep was especially keen to point out the matte anti-glare finish of the 15.6in, 1,600 x 900 display, and emphasised that matte displays would be becoming standard across Samsung's entire laptop portfolio. That's great news for glossy screen haters, and the claimed 300cd/m2 brightness rating on the 700Z meant it looked punchy and high-contrast in our brief time with it.

The Series 7 is also the first in Samsung's line-up to include Diskeeper's Express Cache technology. Frequently used files are cached into a tiny 8GB SSD embedded onto the motherboard, and Samsung claims boot times and application load times are dramatically improved as a result.

It's hard to ignore the huge multitouch touchpad. Just like Apple's glass trackpad, the whole surface clicks under the finger, and multitouch gestures allow for scrolling, zooming and flicking back and forth through web pages. Cursor control is smooth, and unlike some of the buttonless touchpads we've seen on Windows laptops, we didn't have any problems getting right-clicks to register. The soft-touch feel of the backlit keyboard is great under the finger, too; the generous key-spacing and super-wide shift keys tick all the right boxes.

Twin USB 3 ports, USB 2, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet and a slot-loading DVD writer are present and correct, and that peculiar port on the far right of the picture is a mini-VGA port; there's a dongle included in the box.

What's truly stunning, however, is the price: with the SRPs for the basic model starting at just £799, Samsung is clearly trying to make a mark with the Series 7. For that price you get a Core i5-2430M processor, 6GB RAM, a 750GB HDD and integrated Intel HD graphics. Splash out an extra hundred quid, and you can add a dedicated ATI graphics chipset and 8GB RAM to that list. The £999 top-of-the-range model, meanwhile, upps the ante with a quad-core Intel Core i7-2675QM.

Our contacts at Samsung suggested that review units will be doing the rounds in late-September/early-October, so keep your eyes peeled for the full PC Pro review.

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