87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2012
The laptop out of the box looks amazing, very thin, about 0.1 thinner than the Macbook Pro (non-retina) version. The Intel i7 3615QM is extremely fast, almost as fast as my desktop i7 2600K (without overclocking). 6GB RAM is good for the average user, but graphics/design and game intensive users, it is a bit low. There is only 1 RAM slot, a 2GB DDR3 1600Mhz stuck in there, the other 4GB are on the mother board. So, if you want to upgrade, you need to buy a single PC3-12800 1600Mhz 4GB or 8GB stick to perform the best. It is a bit of a hassle because a single 8GB 1600Mhz for laptops are hard to come by at a cheap price. The screen is pretty nice with sharp colors, 1600x900 resolution is actually a plus for this laptop compared to 1920x1080 resolution. Why? This laptop comes with a dedicated Nvidia 640M graphics card with 1GB of GDDR5 VRAM, it is a mid-range chip a bit slower than the 650M. At 1600x900, the GDDR5 640M can outperform a 650M at 1920x1080. Max Payne 3 and Metro 2033 ran smoother on this Samsung compared to the retina Macbook Pro with 650M set to 1920x1080.
The construction is a bit flimsy, thin aluminum screen assembly and plastic bottom. If you are considering upgrading this with an SSD, you have to be VERY careful. This laptop is equipped with a 8GB Express Cache mounted to the motherboard for speeding up load times. It does not do a good job, it is a Sandisk 8GB iSSD that reads about 110MB/s and writes 70MB/s with latency of around 10ms random read. Many SSDs today read and write well over 400MB/s with latency under 0.5ms, so you are stuck with a 8GB flash drive on your mother board pretty much... It is very tricky to work around the express cache when installing Windows 7 to the upgraded SSD without some sort of problem. If you look on Sandisk's website, the lifespan of this 8GB iSSD is well under 3 years with heavy usage everyday. You'd just wish Samsung charged $200 more and sold you a laptop with a 200+GB SSD installed.
With all that aside, the keyboard is very responsive and a plus with the full keyboard. The keyboard back-lit is nice. The mouse pad however is disappointing. It's got all the features like an Apple multi-touch pad, but so much less responsive and inaccurate at control. The ambient light sensor is a joke, either too dark or flash me with the brightest setting... The sensor software sometimes takes about 45 seconds to 1 minute to load with the stock 7200RPM 750GB Hard Drive.... imagine that... The Express Cache does not help at all.
The laptop runs dead silent. Samsung provides an option to only charge your battery only to 80% full to extend battery lifespan over the years, I feel like this is kind of ironic. The system comes loaded with useless software, deleting some of those actually speeds up the start-up time.
At the given price, it is still a good bargain system. Good for PC professionals.
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2012
I am currently typing on my new Samsung Series 7 laptop, and what a joy it is. I spent over a month extensively searching for a laptop that would meet all of my needs as an incoming college student studying engineering, and I found this laptop is the champion in that regard. I plan to use this laptop for heavy programming, moderate gaming, and needing something powerful that was portable and rugged.
-Intel 3615QM Processor-clocked at 2.3 but turbo boost to 3.3; this processor can handle anything you throw at it, while the fan stays very quiet and the heat output is minimal
-nVidia 640M with Optimus Technology/Intel Graphics 4000; the Intel saves battery power, but I've noticed it's able to handle most of my programs anyways, and the nVidia only kicked in when it was actually needed. Optimus saves me a lot of battery power.
-6GB ram=No nonsense. Running a couple graphics intensive games, one compiler, and ms word and chrome uses about 5.2 gb. And in no situation would I ever be running all of these at the same time. It's DDR3, fast and plentiful. Upgradeable if you want
-750 HDD; Plenty of space, not much more to say
-8GB ExpressCache SSD: Having it disabled and enabled I can tell it makes a real-world difference in the use of this computer. Chrome, Word, and bootup are very quick and convenient
-Keyboard: very responsive and fun to type on. I wouldn't be typing this much without it. The add-on of a numeric keyboard on a 15 inch machine is awesome and the function keys work as well as I can hope. High build quality and no lag whatsoever.
-Screen: Matte, great viewing angles, can go super bright, not much you can ask for. I wish all manufacturers went matte and 1600x900 looks great. Because of the 16:9 ratio, the computer itself is more rectangular than others. But that just helps it fit into my backpack better. Colors are reproduced well, and I can use it in intense sunlight. But the high brightness eats battery like no other.
Touchpad: A lot of users have complained about the touchpad, but after you alter the settings and practice with it for a week, it's well tuned and works rather well. I was frustrated the first couple days but I learned and am pleased with the response and abilities of the touchpad. Decent palm rejection. Surface is smooth matte, click is clicky.
-Speakers-get pretty loud. For a laptop, quality is pretty good.
-Build Quality: Fantastic. Great aluminum body; yes, the bottom is plastic, but it keeps the weight lower and actually might keep the computer cooler. It's not really noticeable. Very stylish and smooth. The extra thin bezel is great, actually gives it a smaller form factor. And theres just a simple SAMSUNG logo on the lid, and just below the screen. No nonsense design. All around beautiful computer
Actually not much bloatware was installed compared to others, and Windows 7 ran well. Samsung Easy Settings is pretty useful. More convenient than control panel.
I enthusiastically recommend this computer as a high functioning, highly portable machine with great build quality and rock solid performance.
EDIT 1: I forgot to comment on the battery life: with brightness at 70% and wifi on with continuous web browsing, I get 5.5 hours. That's impressive. With brightness at 50% (which isn't as bad as it sounds) and no wifi and watching a movie, I get 6 hours straight video viewing.
-Webcam: Viewing is smooth and the image quality is great for a webcam. Colors can sometimes get grainy when the surroundings are dark, but that's to be expected. The microphone is decent.
-There are some reviews complaining about the wifi reception and strength, but I found it to be strong and reliable, and comparing it to my family's macbook air and iMac, the wifi strength was on par. Using speedtest.net on all three in the same room yielded equal speeds.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2012
I recieved this computer today and let me tell you exceeds my expectations! Just to expand on the specs:
from the box:
Intel Core i7 3615qm - duh
Nvida GT640m Gddr5 1Gb_hybrid
Intel 6235 Wirless and 4.0 Bluetooth
I immediately replaced with a SSD and this thing is blazing! I also own the np700z3a-s06us which is the slower 14inch model but worth every penny! Also to note it appears they fixed something with the track pad because it is a billion times better than the one on my np700z3a! Glad I went with these Series 7 Laptops from Samsung, Thin and Light... Beautiful!
Update: I did have a slight issue with the screen having a defect, dark spot along the edge. I noticed it after about an hour, but Amazons awesome customer service had me a replacement at my door today! This one looks better, I know the display is a deal breaker for some but I encourage you to check this system out before you buy if you can, I think you will see it will be far past 90% of people's expectations. Although, being very computer savy and deep into the tech world I do have to agree that this screen coming from the top High Def TV manufacture is very disappointing. This for me is not the deal breaker; I think it's still hard to find a package that provides a thin sexy platform along with still having a optical drive with excellent battery life. Along with the third gen intel i7 this machine is incredible in the performance category.
I still give samsung 5 stars for this laptop but if I could they would get 41/2 for the display!
Update 06/13/2012: OK reducing my rating to a 4 star review because of some reliability issues. Maybe its because this is the first run of the third core edition? First time it was the screen not its the DVD drive. When I received the second unit everything appeared to running AWESOME had zero issues until today. I decided to load a program from a cd media and found that the drive was dead. I thought maybe just my cd nope i tried everything and nothing. So Im waiting on my second replacement, I still have faith in Samsung and this particular computer because I own the 14in version and it is ROCK SOLID! So I am reducing my rating to 4 stars because of my personal experience and the display as i mentioned earlier. I think third times the charm! Fingers Crossed!!!
As an added kudos for Amazon, I have never had this many problems with an item before that i purchased online, but Amazon has got to be the most efficiently and helpful company I have ever delt with even in brick and mortar stores. THANK YOU AMAZON FOR THE EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2012
I have used many brand new PC's in the last year including a samsung series 9, but I thought given the price this series 7 would be worth it. I was wrong. My issues are:
1. Windows/Samsung software issues. When first received, I couldn't change the brightness level on my computer. The button simply did not work. I thought it was a manufacturer defect until I googled it and found out I had install samsung's "easy settings" program, common with such computers. I did so, but I have to start that program every time the lighting issue comes up.
2. Power Management. 80-90% of the time when I plug in, windows recognizes its plugged in, but it won't charge and the extra fans turn on, about 2 seconds later the fan is off and its charging, less than 5 seconds later it reverts back. It does slowly charge the battery, but not efficiently. This messes up the brightness of the screen as well, even with the easy settings program. I have checked google and the other samsung and windows power management settings and couldn't figure it out.
3. Touch Pad - I have used many touch pads where the pad itself was used to click and haven't had problems. But after 2 months, this one is starting to stick and windows beeps sometimes when I am scrolling. I'm not heavily using the item, maybe 2 hrs a day, so there is no reason that this should be happening.
Stay away from this product, there are many better ones out there with similar features. I'm stuck with it due to Amazon's return policy.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2012
I did a lot of research before finally deciding to buy this laptop. I looked at HP's DV6 line with Ivy Bridge, the new Asus UX-32VD, and other Asus thin and lights with dedicated graphics, and none of those met the price to performance benchmark laid out by this machine. It's well built, incredibly fast, good for gaming and is portable with good battery life. With a few minor drawbacks, this computer is among the best I've ever owned.
The construction and build quality are booth excellent. The front and palm rest are brushed aluminum and feel / look great. Some have complained about the plastic on the bottom, but I count it as a plus. It was designed this way intentionally to keep the laptop cool. Ever felt the bottom of a MBP while under load gaming? That thing can burn skin.
This is a fast laptop. For those concerned with processing speed for their work, be it photo / video editing or compressing, encryption or modeling, this will be just fine. This is one of the fastest mobile chips available today and will handle just about anything.
I've maxed out Skyrim, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2 and Battlefield 3 on this machine without much issue. Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 run at 40-50fps with AA, and can easily push past the 100's with lowered settings. Battlefield 3 isn't really playable at Ultra settings (FPS in the 20s), but is perfectly playable on Medium (60fps in 32 man MP maps). Skyrim runs at ~30fps at max, but is 50+ on High. All games were played at the native 1600x900.
The keyboard is large and incredibly comfortable. The keys have good travel and are made of a soft-touch plastic-type material. They don't get cold, and aren't very loud to type on. The number pad is nice, though the keys are a bit smaller than the letter keys. The autodetecting backlight is a bit finicky but overall works well. It illuminates the keys well and isn't too bright on the eyes in a dark room.
The sound is overall good. Yes, it's a little bit tinny and gets distorted when the volume is maxed out, the quality and bass are excellent for a laptop. It has stereo speakers and a built in subwoofer, and gets the job done for casual multimedia. I wouldn't consider this laptop a full-fledged entertainment PC, so sound quality wasn't a huge issue to me.
I got this PC for $1200 plus a free xbox (Mom is doing continuing ed, hehe). This is a great price for this much power and quality. Though I hate to do it... the best comparison may be the 15" Macbook Pro. For similar specs, you'd be spending over 2k for the MBP equivalent. Not bad Samsung, not bad.
This computer comes with a 750GB 7200rpm drive, and an 8GB 'express cache' soldered onto the motherboard. I've noticed that my most commonly used programs load instantaneously (Chrome, Outlook, Excel, Skype), and Windows boots fast. I haven't timed it but it is certainly sub-30 seconds.
My version came with 8GB of 1600mhz DDR3--some of the fastest ram you can buy for laptops. Multitasking is fast, and I tend to keep a lot of things open. With 100 tabs in Chrome and a bunch of emails open and big spreadsheet and a 1080p YouTube video, everything is butter.
Samsung claims 8hrs battery life on this machine--I haven't been able to get that. With wifi on, screen set to 1/2 brightness, I can do web-browsing, email and productivity for 7hrs max. This isn't horrible by any means, and is great for a machine this powerful, but keep in mind that it's hard to get the advertised 8hrs.
This is a pro and a con. The resolution is excellent. I think 1600x900 is a good resolution for a 15" laptop. I would take 1080p if it were available, but really this is probably more comfortable for long-term use. Unfortunately, the viewing angles aren't amazing. Colors can wash out quickly on the vertical end. Horizontal is a lot better, but nothing compared to the IPS screens found on the MBP and HP Envy series. Also, there is slight light bleeding in the middle of my model, which is only visible on an all-black screen. I could probably return it for a replacement with these issues, but honestly I just don't care enough :P
WiFi connection seems to be a little spotty so far. When this laptop is sitting right next to my desktop (connected to my WiFi network using a cheapo $20 WiFi dongle), the desktop gets a better connection than the laptop. It's been so bad sometimes that I'll have to leave BF3 or SC2 games with latencies above 1000. Not good. I'm hoping this gets some driver updates in the near future.
Overall I am one pleased customer. I would recommend this laptop to anyone, especially enthusiasts who want a thin and light machine with some oomph. It's probably overkill for 99% of the average consumer's uses, but computing in excess is the hallmark of all enthusiasts in the first place. I give this baby 5/5 stars.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2012
I received my laptop on Friday and I was a little worried about how I was going to like the screen given what I'd read in other reviews.
Now that I have it I love it, the screen it the best I've ever owned in a laptop. Beautiful color and good resolution for a 15.6 inch. The matte finish is really good for the way I use my laptop.
- Excellent size and weight
- Best screen I've ever had on a laptop
- Ivy Bridge i7
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 640 m graphics. I was a little worried since there was no Passsmark data yet, but it plays Diablo III, Warcraft, and Starcraft 3 all on max settings at solid frame rates. I'll reserve final judgement for a while on the card, but it seems capable enough for my needs.
- Backlit keyboard with a 10 key
- Came with restore media, I don't need to make it!
- Limited to 12GB of RAM with the 4Gb built into the board and only one slot, not a huge con for me, but some people will insist on 16GB
- The hard drive could be faster, it feels more sluggish than it should. I will likely replace it with an SSD drive if it becomes annoying, but I don't think it will bug me or most other people that much.
Overall, I'm loving it!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2012
when i started to research the chronos 15 i longed for the ivy bridge update. The specs are exactly what is in the description including the express cache which really comes in handy when starting the computer up. My one and only complaint is the scree, clearly its not going to be as good as an LED display or other higher end displays, but the right and left edges get a bit of a faded effect of you aren't basically perpendicular to the screen and finding the sweet spot to keep the screen horizontally took a little bit. other than that the display is perfectly fine and most heavy multimedia is done on desktops or TV's. This shouldn't discourage you from buying the laptop. After playing with the color settings the screen looks great, and the fact that you can work in direct sun is a plus. Also the track pad after playing with the settings is awesome too, almost up to par with apples track pad. performance wise it never slows down. the only upgrades that i can see myself doing in a few years would be a ssd and a ram upgrade. this seems like a solid investment and i am very happy with my purchase, but if the screen is important to you i would proceeded with caution but if used for school work and internet related uses, perfection in a stylish design.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2012
Had this laptop for less than a month before the charging circuit gave out. The system is very poorly designed. The power supply maxed out at 90 watts but the laptop needs about 98 watts under load (new Call of Duty gave it a good run for its money). Under full load the system drains the battery even when plugged in and eventually throttles when the battery is dead which causes noticeable drag in game play. I sent it back for warranty repair and explained very clearly what the problem was and they told me they could fix it. After wasting my own money to ship it to Samsung (they will not pay to ship items to them) they told me since it was a hardware problem they would have to charge me to fix it. How stupid is that! You are a hardware company not software your warranty should cover hardware defects! Luckily I spoke to the store manager at the Microsoft Store where I bought it and they offered to take care of it for me so I told Samsung to ship it back because they will never see a dime of my money after this terrible experience. I know this is too small for them to care but I am in the middle of swapping cell phones for my company and they just lost out on 50 Galaxy S3 sales because I know how poorly my employees will be treated if anything were ever to go wrong.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2012
The specs and design of this laptop are wonderful. The i7-3615QM processor and NVIDIA GT 640m GPU provide excellent performance and are about as good as you'll get in a laptop of this size. The machine is very thin considering its performance, and no wider or longer than a 15" laptop needs to be. It felt well built and very sturdy.
The back-lit keyboard was pleasant to use. The touchpad is admittedly frustrating, but less so with time. Dragging objects with a touchpad is always a bit tricky, and it was particurally difficult on this machine. I frequently use a wired mouse and was thrilled to have all the ports along the left side of the machine.
The system ran silently, cool (though I did not push it real hard) and was very fast to boot up or put to sleep. The battery life is excellent. The built in speakers are great. As with every other laptop it came with a lot of junk already installed.
The display, however, left much to be desired. My machine came with several defect (bright) pixels and what appeared to be a darkened region along the right edge of the display. This of course is luck of the draw, but even without these defects the display left me unimpressed. The viewing angles were extremely narrow and I wasn't even sure if you could view the entire display from the 'optimal' angle at once. Even at the optimal angle the display was still unimpressive and appeared washed out. In addition to this there is an ambient light sensor that will automatically adjust the brightness of the display. This is extremely annoying when watching a movie, the display would frequently adjust to different brightnesses depending on what was shown on screen. I consider myself fairly tech-proficient, but after about 30 minutes and playing with half a dozen ambient light/'dynamic brightness' settings I couldn't get it to turn off. The display is not full HD (rather 900p), but this is not a big deal, and in some situations can be beneficial (improved performance from games).
I have returned my machine due to the defects in the display (with a thanks to amazon for the excellent customer service). If the defects were not present I would have kept the machine, but since I have returned it I will likely look for something else with a higher quality display.
I highly recommend looking at this item in store before purchasing, I've seen that advice in other reviews and wish I had followed it. If you like the display this machine is an excellent value. If Samsung release new revision with a better display this machine will be near perfect if you need a powerful laptop.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2012
This computer is perhaps the best value for $1000 +/- $100. Of course the specs are amazing, but the feel of the keyboard, the screen, and the build quality are top knotch--the parts of the computer you interact with are amazing. This is what makes the macbook pros so great, but this Samsung has the hardware (at a reasonable price) to back it up. I am in agreement with some other reviewers who feel the trackpad is a little dissapointing. It is jumpy and sometimes annoying but I use an external mouse most of the time and it is not a big deal, certainly not a deal breaker. The Wifi has not been an issue at all. If you are concerned about the wifi problems don't be, you can buy an external wifi adapter for 20-40 bucks if you experience an issue. Like I said, mine works perfectly. This is an extremely capable, well-built, beautiful, and satisfying laptop that I can't believe isn't more popular. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Improved track pad function tremendously by playing around with options for control pad. It actually has some pretty nice shortcuts. Deleted a little bloatware (not much on it really) and the computer is strikingly quick. Wifi still excellent. Battery is rather impressive, getting at least 4 hours of actual use with high brightness on one charge. Speaker sounds not too bad. Now that track pad is fixed I have no real complaints. If you're on the fence go for it this computer is superb.