Top critical review
26 people found this helpful
Light weight, heavy bloatware
on March 16, 2013
The hardware Samsung used in this laptop is stellar but through their own execution of software implementation they have cheapened their own product.
1) The battery life is great. The 3rd gen i5 maximizes the battery life and Win8 has several battery saving features, by default on, that assist with decreasing consumption.
2) The laptop boots quite literally in seconds with the addition of the Expresscache enabled 24GB SSD. The SSD is partitioned into two drives, 18GB and 6GB. The 6GB partition, to my knowledge, is used for the Sleep function where the state of the OS is stored to SSD for speedy retrieval and the same goes for the OS boot.
3) The external speakers are pretty good when they have breathing room because they are located under the left and right hand sides of the keyboard. Stereo sounds get muddled but I turned on the 3D capability in the included software and have been thoroughly enjoying the experience.
4) Easy access to hard drive and RAM through a panel with a screw on the bottom of the chasis.
5) The touch screen isn't necessary but interestingly enough I enjoy using it more for browsing. It is very sensitive and windows functions are intuitive (press and hold to move a window and press and hold for right click).
1) Bloatware. This was the most bloated laptop I had ever owned. Samsung touts on their website that this laptop is capable right out of the box. No. Upon first boot I checked Task manager and the machine, while idling, was using 79% of it's 4GB of memory. That was absurd and I began uninstalling everything I knew I could safely uninstall without comprising the parts of the software I would need down the road. Lose a star.
2) After a few hours of uninstalling software and personalizing I noticed the colors of the panel were a bit off. I realize now that on first boot the panel was an awful warm pink. Samsung didn't configure the panel? Pretty critical when they tout that this laptop is "boot and go". Google how to configure a color profile for your panel and you too will see how far off this it is from neutral. Lose a star.
3) Windows 8. Charm. Yuck. There is nothing intuitive about the charm menu. There is no included documentation about how to configure the charm menu. To remove an app from charm touch the app and drag down? I know why I was so disappointed even days after first boot. This lack of anything resembling intuitive science is not Samsung's fault but their product experience is being negatively impacted by the OS.
4. Using the brightness keys you can't turn the panel off. Why wouldn't this be a thing already? I don't want to wait for my laptop to time out, I just want to turn off the panel.
5. There are no dedicated media controls. Not that big of a deal but I have to map a three key combination because the keys I originally wanted to use are usually already taken by the program that I'm active in.
6. Fn+F1 opens Samsung's general settings program because there aren't any hardware buttons to turn wifi on/off. This was a problem because I needed to bridge my Macbook by ethernet to the Samsung while sharing the wifi. Somehow this turned off the wifi when I disabled the bridge. I took an hour to turn it back on because BIG SHOCK there was only documentation on turning airplane mode on/off (this does not turn the wifi hardware off/on just disables the radio).
Overall, the hardware is great but Samsung sucks at everything else for their customers. The panel default color is really bad and there is no screen to assist during setup to configure the panel. The bloatware resulted in 79% RAM usage upon first boot and to this day this really makes me angry. Consumers by default don't hack their registry, disable unnecessary auto load crap in Computer Management or load task manager to find the Samsung programs to delete them (there was no other way to remove them). Samsung could have made my experience with this product more pleasant if they would not have placed their work squarely upon my shoulders.