Skip to navigation

Samsung Series 7 Chronos review

Verdict

Great performance, build quality and excellent battery life make Samsung’s Series 7 Chronos a laptop to be reckoned with, but it’s not quite the match of the Retina MacBook Pro

Review Date: 25 Jun 2013

Reviewed By: Mike Jennings

Price when reviewed: £1,083 (£1,300 inc VAT)

Buy it now for: £1072
(see more store prices)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

In a market dominated by Ultrabooks and stick-thin hybrids, Samsung’s Series 7 Chronos gleefully bucks the trend. With a powerful quad-core processor and high-powered AMD graphics chipset crammed into a stylish metal chassis, it’s no average desktop replacement – Samsung is gunning for the likes of Apple’s MacBook Pro.

The latest Chronos is an update to last year’s machine, and although Samsung hasn’t tweaked the design, it’s still lovely to look at. It’s built almost exclusively from brushed aluminium, and the understated, elegant design is dotted with pleasing touches. The Scrabble-tile keyboard is inset slightly into the brushed metal keyboard surround; the trackpad is a featureless slab of silky smooth metal; and only a couple of unobtrusive logos and tiny status lights disturb the minimalist metal design.

Attractive looks go hand-in-hand with sterling build quality. There’s hardly any give in the wrist rest or the base, and the touchscreen and lid feel reassuringly solid. To be fair, it’s what we’d expect, given the Samsung’s bulk: at 2.5kg, it’s half a kilo heavier than the latest MacBook Pro, and its 30mm girth – including rubber feet – is substantially thicker than the A-Listed Apple’s 18mm body.

Sit down with the Series 7 Chronos, however, and it’s a pleasure to use from the off. The keyboard is superb: the base is solid and, while there’s not much travel in the keys, their action is comfortable and consistent. It’s backlit, too, with a light sensor beside the webcam fading the lights up and down, and there’s room for full-sized keys and a number pad. The touchpad is similarly impressive, due to its responsive surface and full support for Windows 8’s touchscreen gestures, and it depresses with a light, crisp click.

Samsung Series 7 Chronos

Up front, Samsung’s equipped the Series 7 Chronos with a 15.6in, Full HD touchscreen. The touchscreen itself supports 10-point multitouch, and the smooth, glossy surface responds accurately to the lightest of touches. Thanks to the relatively wide bezels either side of the screen, Windows 8’s edge-swipe gestures work well, too.

Image quality is well up to par. Unlike many touchscreens we’ve seen, there’s no hint of graininess to the panel coating, and wide viewing angles are matched with excellent colour accuracy. Put to the test with our X-Rite colorimeter, the Samsung’s panel managed an average Delta E of only 2.5 – not far off the 1.5 scored by the more expensive MacBook Pro 17in. The LED backlighting reaches a modest maximum brightness of 254cd/m2, but the contrast ratio of 806:1 makes for punchy, solid-looking images. It’s one of the better screens we’ve seen on a laptop, but if you’re hoping for Retina-beating clarity or colour accuracy, you’ll be disappointed: the MacBook Pro’s display is brighter, its colours are more accurate, and its Retina resolution of 2,880 x 1,800 makes it sharper still.

1 2

Best Prices

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£1072
£1972
Subscribe to PC Pro magazine. We'll give you 3 issues for £1 plus a free gift - click here
User comments

Surprise, surprise

In the title, you state this device cannot match the macbookpro.

Hardly surprising when you them admit that the mbp costs 40% more.

Talk about stating the blindingly obvious.

Will you soon be reporting that the Ford Mondeo cannot match the speed of a Ferrari?

By qpw3141 on 25 Jun 2013

Smartcard reader

I think you'll see there is an SD card reader on the right-hand side of the chasis, as shown in your gallery - http://www.pcpro.co.uk/gallery/reviews/382594/sams
ung-series-7-chronos/196378

By EddyOS_2K9 on 25 Jun 2013

If you fitted a good quality SSD to bring it in line with MacPro specs (£160 for a 256GB SSD) you're still looking at £1460 versus £1799 in the Samsung's favour. I'm not sure I could stomach the extra £339 to get the retina screen.

By pveater on 25 Jun 2013

If this is like the previous Chronos the bottom is sealed so its not an easy job to swap out the HDD for an SSD.

By russell_g on 25 Jun 2013

Agreed

Apple MacBook Pro is better.

By TimoGunt on 25 Jun 2013

Sealed bottom

Yes Russell, you are correct the Samsung has a sealed bottom so you have to take the entire laptop apart to change the hard drive - FAIL big time. Last thing I'd want to do having shelled out over £1k is have to take the thing to bits just to change the hard drive over.

By JohnSheridan on 25 Jun 2013

@MJ

Didn't you recently make a poor GPU comparison (possibly read a few more comments in your reviews)?
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/graphics-cards/3822
97/nvidia-geforce-gtx-650-ti-boost

To compare two laptops with quite a large price difference (£1300 to £1799); also with a large hardware component difference (CPU/GPU/HDD etc) is ridiculous.

By idris on 26 Jun 2013

Not available yet

This doesn't appear to be available in the UK yet even if you did want to buy it.

By jmiii on 26 Jun 2013

Not available yet

Yes it is, for example:
http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/lap
tops/samsung-series-7-chronos-np780z5e-15-6-touchs
creen-laptop-silver-20582418-pdt.html

By TechVegan on 26 Jun 2013

Not available yet

Yes it is, for example:
http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/lap
tops/samsung-series-7-chronos-np780z5e-15-6-touchs
creen-laptop-silver-20582418-pdt.html

By TechVegan on 26 Jun 2013

Still not available

That has an i5 processor and a less good graphics card apart from anything else

By jmiii on 26 Jun 2013

No Haswell, no sale....

This model has to be on the way out, and the Haswell version should be cheaper & lighter, and last a LOT longer....

By wittgenfrog on 26 Jun 2013

Frustration !

I have been trying to purchase this direct from Samsung for over a week, the main problem being specification.
Every review I have read and watched has shown this machine with an i7 config, curry's, pc world, amazon, only seem to provide this machine with i5 for the same price as the i7 version, I have even provided Samsung with 2 product codes, NPP770Z5E AND NP780Z5E, so far no reply, when I try to buy the above model NP780Z5E from Samsung it brings up the Chronos 7 with optical drive, Samsung just don't seem to be bothered about letting their customers where and how to buy.

By Gavalar on 26 Jun 2013

Not Yet Available

As other have said, curry's, but they only sell it i5 when every review I have read is the i7 version, or is this i7 version only available to review companies for benchmarking etc?

By Gavalar on 26 Jun 2013

Is This Available?

Could PCPRO please confirm availability of this product. It is not listed on the John Lewis site (the closest match is a Chronos 7 without touchscreen or DVD drive).

Thanks

By mmore on 13 Jul 2013

Is This Available?

Could PCPRO please confirm availability of this product. It is not listed on the John Lewis site (the closest match is a Chronos 7 without touchscreen or DVD drive).

Thanks

By mmore on 13 Jul 2013

PC Pro is very confused about this

First thing is that the review in the printed mag is slightly different. In particular, the closing remarks are "good enough to elbow the MacBook Pro aside". And it's the "Enthusiast Laptop" in the printed A-List. Also, they say it's £999 inc. vat from John Lewis where it most certainly is not available.

Second thing is that I believe the correct new Samsung Full HD i7 Touch is in fact NP880Z5E-X02UK which is available from the Samsung Store in Westfield (020 7467 6070) for £1399. It's available elsewhere for a similar price, if you google it. It seems to have the same spec, at first glance, including the same 3rd gen i7 processor.

C'mon Samsung, where's Haswell?!

Not that I'd buy a Samsung laptop, in any case, when they make it so difficult to do something as rudimentary as change the hard drive. Oh, there's no dedicated PrtSc key either, if that matters to you - have to use a Fn combination. I'm going elsewhere.

By dhaverty on 17 Jul 2013

PC Pro is very confused about this

First thing is that the review in the printed mag is slightly different. In particular, the closing remarks are "good enough to elbow the MacBook Pro aside". And it's the "Enthusiast Laptop" in the printed A-List. Also, they say it's £999 inc. vat from John Lewis where it most certainly is not available.

Second thing is that I believe the correct new Samsung Full HD i7 Touch is in fact NP880Z5E-X02UK which is available from the Samsung Store in Westfield (020 7467 6070) for £1399. It's available elsewhere for a similar price, if you google it. It seems to have the same spec, at first glance, including the same 3rd gen i7 processor.

C'mon Samsung, where's Haswell?!

Not that I'd buy a Samsung laptop, in any case, when they make it so difficult to do something as rudimentary as change the hard drive. Oh, there's no dedicated PrtSc key either, if that matters to you - have to use a Fn combination. I'm going elsewhere.

By dhaverty on 17 Jul 2013

HDD easily swapable.

For those concerned about the slow HDD, don't be. A high-end SSD (like Samsung 840 Pro) can be installed easily and the total cost of this powerful laptop + SSD would still be much much than a MacBook.

I made a mini video guide showing how I cloned my HDD to an SSD, removed the back cover and installed it in there. Check it out here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnM7DcgQcDk

Oh, and the SSD is faster than the MacBook's SSD, the graphic card is much more powerful than a MacBook's and the battery life is the same as a MacBook - nearly 12 hours on power-saving and 7+ hours on normal use. So no, MacBook ISN'T better. In fact, I tested it - this laptop renders videos and interior 3D scenes much faster and also stitches 100 mega pixel panoramas much faster than a MacBook does. Even the Photoshop performance or MS Word performance is better. MacBook is a premium product with a very hefty price, but this performs better in a REAL world scenario and costs waaaay less. Use the laptop first, before commenting on random reviews.

By flopjoke on 17 Jul 2013

HDD easily swapable.

For those concerned about the slow HDD, don't be. A high-end SSD (like Samsung 840 Pro) can be installed easily and the total cost of this powerful laptop + SSD would still be much much than a MacBook.

I made a mini video guide showing how I cloned my HDD to an SSD, removed the back cover and installed it in there. Check it out here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnM7DcgQcDk

Oh, and the SSD is faster than the MacBook's SSD, the graphic card is much more powerful than a MacBook's and the battery life is the same as a MacBook - nearly 12 hours on power-saving and 7+ hours on normal use. So no, MacBook ISN'T better. In fact, I tested it - this laptop renders videos and interior 3D scenes much faster and also stitches 100 mega pixel panoramas much faster than a MacBook does. Even the Photoshop performance or MS Word performance is better. MacBook is a premium product with a very hefty price, but this performs better in a REAL world scenario and costs waaaay less. Use the laptop first, before commenting on random reviews.

By flopjoke on 17 Jul 2013

4th gen i7

Hi there, does someone knows if they will have the 4th gen i7 processors on this model this year yet?? thanks!

By brunoc on 5 Aug 2013

Leave a comment

You need to Login or Register to comment.

(optional)

Latest Category Reviews
Gigabyte P34G v2 review

Gigabyte P34G v2

Category: Laptops
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £989
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 (11 inch) review

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 (11 inch)

Category: Laptops
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £500
Asus Memo Pad 8 review

Asus Memo Pad 8

Category: Tablets
Rating: 4 out of 6
Price: £180
MSI GE70 2PE Apache Pro review

MSI GE70 2PE Apache Pro

Category: Laptops
Rating: 6 out of 6
Price: £1,300
Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 review

Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2

Category: Tablets
Rating: 4 out of 6
Price: £649
Compare reviews: Laptops

advertisement

Most Commented Reviews
Latest News Stories Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Blog Posts Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Features
Latest Real World Computing

advertisement

Sponsored Links
 

 
SEARCH
Loading
WEB ID
SIGN UP

Your email:

Your password:

remember me

advertisement


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010
 
 

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from www.pcpro.co.uk

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at http://www.pcpro.co.uk/registration.

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.