on February 23, 2012
The only reason I gave it 4 out of 5 stars is because there is no easily accessible hard drive. I haven't looked at the service manual but I assume you have to remove the whole bottom cover instead of just a small panel. Otherwise this is a fantastic laptop so far (about 5 days of ownership).
The bad (some of these may only apply to certain types of users):
1. No easily accessible compartment is visible for a hard drive. Meaning replacing/upgrading the hard drive is not a simple task as it is on some laptops.
2. Like another reviewer said, the buttons for the trackpad are invisible. Assume a customer never reads a manual/skips all tutorials and this can be confusing at first. I had to disable the feature of being able to tap the touchpad to register as a mouse click since by sometimes clicking the actual button would register as a double click.
3. The integrated graphics/gpu switching is confusing. I wish I could force the Radeon GPU somehow. Furmark was reporting that it was still relying on the Intel HD graphics even though I had it flagged for performance mode. That was prior to the Feb 20 drivers on Samsung's site though, need to retest.
1. Thank Thor, the screen is great. Matte is how laptop screens should be. The trend of glossy screens needs to end.
2. After installing your own un-branded version of Windows, all you have to do to get your function keys working is install the Easy Settings software from Samsung. I don't mind this since the software is actually pretty useful. This is a pleasant surprise since most manufacturer-branded software is garbage.
3. Alright, I'm actually going to mention the Easy Settings software. It's surprisingly fast and useful. I'll be the last person on earth to admit something like this since I like control over everything that runs on my computer. But their software is nice. It doesn't try to get in the way, it doesn't look like crap, and it's fast at what it does.
4. Boots retardedly fast. Even after wiping out all pre-existing partitions and reinstalling my own version of Windows7.
1. The back lit keyboard and automatically adjusting brightness of the screen can be configured to be user controlled. I guess the other reviewer never looked for those settings. I have mine set to a fixed value which I adjust with the function keys. By default, it automatically uses the light sensor to adjust it.
2. If you have problems playing high resolution videos, especially with horizontal lines (looks like deinterlacing artifacts), update to the Feb 20 video drivers. Fixes that issue among, possibly others.
3. A ramdisk is not a bad idea for this at all. Just makes it even snappier. And with 8Gb of memory, you won't really miss 2Gb allocated to stuff like your temp/browsing cache files.
4. REGISTER YOUR LAPTOP ON SAMSUNG'S SITE TO GET 3 MONTHS EXTENSION ON YOUR WARRANTY! Takes like 5 minutes and totally worth it.
on March 21, 2012
This is a well-built, well-outfitted laptop. You lose something in expandability in exchange for the very sleek design, but it comes pretty well outfitted stock so this isn't a big deal. There are a few nags, however:
1) Chiclet keyboard. It isn't bad by any means, but I prefer the keyboard on my old Dell Inspiron for typing. On the plus side, the number pad is very handy (note: the photos on Amazon as of the date of this review do not accurately reflect the keyboard layout; but then, the photos at Samsung.com don't either).
2) The track pad is a little annoying; as others have noted, the buttons are hidden under the pad, with the result that you will often accidentally double-click when trying to left-click, or move the cursor when you are trying to right-click. I've never been a big fan of track pads anyway though, so I ordered a new wireless mouse at the same time as I ordered the laptop. The track pad is certainly good enough to be useful, it just takes some getting used to.
3) Video switching between integrated and discrete graphics didn't work well out of the box. Following an update it seems to be better. Though be warned, said driver update is over 700 megabytes; I'm not sure how they manage to make it 4 times the size of the unified driver update (for AMD's desktop discrete graphics), but probably not practical if you don't have high speed internet available (and the update site is rather slow, I was only getting ~300 KB/s on a connection capable of 1.5 MB/s).
4) The screen looks great (and it's matte!), but does have very limited viewing angles, particularly in the vertical direction.
There are also some great features:
1) Sleek, beautiful design. Some reviews I've read mentioned poor fit around the LCD screen; not the case at all on mine, it is beautifully put together. Not quite Macbook Pro build quality, but then it is less than half the price for similar specs.
2) The Express Cache works well so far, startup is very quick (if not so quick as my desktop with an SSD).
3) Samsung hasn't pre-loaded a bunch of crapware. Pretty much just their update tool (a little clunky, but works fine), Norton, WildTangent game pack, and Samsung's own media player (haven't tried it). Not totally clean, but not bogged down too much either (I didn't even feel the need to do a clean Windows install, which is unusual).
Overall a great little computer for the price. A couple of niggles, but it is fast, has loads of storage, and looks great - I'd definitely recommend it to a friend.
on May 15, 2012
Will continue editing this review later.
Let me begin by saying that this laptop deserves a 5 rating, but that I almost never give a 5 stars rating.
I was asked to suggest a good laptop for someone who does extensive international travel and after some serious research decided on this one; the user of the laptop is extremely happy with it. I spent some time with this device configuring it after its purchase and I am simply impressed. I will list the positive and the negatives that I have noticed in my interaction with this laptop.
Let me warn people to be very cautious when reading the reviews on this laptop, as many Apple fanboys and other web opinion generating teams are giving it bad reviews without actually using or owning the product. To determine the credibility level of some of the negative reviewers of this product check the numbers of reviews they have given in the past and the amount of time they have been reviewing. You will notice that many of the one star reviewers actually created their accounts less than two weeks prior to reviewing this product and have less than 3 reviews on Amazon. This is highly suspicious and smells of fraud.
Solid, great keys, the touch pad is very responsive and not the obstacle some have claimed. The back lit keys are very useful and the lighting makes typing in the dark a pleasure. The resolution of the screen is extremely adequate, but not excessive,(remember that the retina display which incidentally is manufactured by Samsung is not a useful feature in say, watching movies), and for reading text and looking at images the resolution of this screen, 1600 x 900, is extremely adequate.
Extremely powerful and fast.
The laptop has a very quiet fan that goes on depending on the demand placed on the processor. Most of the time it is off.
The sound system is very very adequate and a pleasure to use.
It has a dedicated graphics card.
Built in Bluetooh.
It has a USB 3 port.
The laptop runs cool even when watching movies. Someone claimed in a review that watching Netflix films was a problem. That is absolutely false.
The self adjusting lighting property for this laptop is extremely useful as it makes reading in daylight quite comfortable. I have noticed that under certain mixed lighting conditions the screen will flicker. This is caused by the censor that decides on the lighting intensity of the screen. To remedy this issue, you can deactivate the self adjusting screen lighting, or just slightly change the angle of your screen.
Some people have claimed in reviews that the is a blue screen issue when this laptop does Windows upgrades. I have not had that experience with this device and have found updating Windows to be extremely trouble free.
The operating system of this laptop is housed in a solid state drive (SSD) and thus offer extremely fast on/off capabilities and also booting.
The fact that the screen of this laptop is non-reflective is a big plus as it allows users to use the laptop in very bright lighting without seeing their reflection on the screen. Just this feature is many times more useful than increasing the pixel density of the screen to an unnecessary level.
Updating the drivers of this computer using the Samsung updating utility was a pleasure, but make sure that the laptop is connected to an outlet when you do so. I encourage people to update their bios something that is almost trivial to do in this laptop using the Samsung updating utility program, but to ensure the update runs as smooth as possible deactivate your antivirus program while the update is taking place.
The touchpad of this laptop is extremely rich and requires that people spend some time familiarizing themselves with it. It is extremely responsive, but mine came at a lower level of sensitivity causing me to think it was slow, but it was easy to increase the speed using the system properties in Windows. This touchpad is loaded with features that will make surfing and using the laptop an pleasure, but if you are not inquisitive or don't spend a small amount of time familiarizing yourself with its many features, you will likely have some issues with it. Fortunately, you can deactivate the touchpad.
The Slot-Loading DVD mechanism makes it much less risky to damage the dvd drive when the laptop is in transit.
The maximum amount of ram possible is 8gig, but this is a lot more than necessary unless you plan on editing picture files of over 6 gig; also remember that Windows 8 will be less resource intensive than Windows 7 and thus that you will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 with no problem, if you chose. Windows 8 is due for release in or around Nov of 2012. Then laptops like this will sell for much more after being upgraded by manufacturers to Windows 8. Because Windows 7 will be supported by Microsoft for at least 5 more years, it makes sense to purchase a Windows 7 laptop now when they are being sold relatively cheaply and upgrade later when the bugs of Windows 8 are taken care of.
No vga outlet, but it has a miniature one the purchase of whose adapter will leave you 30 dollars short.
The battery is not removable.
Under certain writing angles you feel the edges of the laptop on your wrists and for some this could be a bit uncomfortable. I must admit that I was aware of it almost immediately but then adjusted my writing angle and forgot about it.
It would have been wise for Samsung to have made the laptop upgradable to at least to 16 gig of ram or more. With extremely HD video editing and picture editing growing in popularity and I see many people wishing that capability.
The battery life is not as long as claimed, 7.8 hours. I would say it is approx 10 to 20 percent shorter, depending on what you are doing with the laptop.
Slot-Loading DVD drives do not accept miniature discs, a problem with all slot-loading DVDs. Fortunately there is little use these days for miniature discs, and if any installation software comes in a miniature disc, you can almost certainly download the software to your hard-drive from the Internet.
Requires some adjusting to. Because this product has many new features, people that are not very inquisitive about technology or people with below average intelligence will find it a slight bit challenging. Fortunately, for such people there are Apple products; although for the same (useful) hardware specs the price could easily double or triple, not to mention the limitations imposed by Apple's jailyouin approach to technology.
I would highly recommend this product especially to people that do lots of traveling and require an easily carried non-ultrabook laptop with *lots* of power and that abides by modern open standards in technology. If you have no experience using a computer and lack basic inquisitiveness or have below average IQ, you should avoid this product. This product is a great buy and once Windows 8 becomes available upgrading to it should be easy, and certainly since Windows 8 will require even less resources than Windows 7, you will have no hardware issues with the upgrade. I wish Samsung had made this laptop with user replaceable batteries and with more ram upgrading potential. Had that been the case I would be happy to own one.
on April 23, 2012
I purchased my Samsung NP700Z5A-S0AUS from the Microsoft Store in February for my birthday. It was between one of the 15" MacBook Pros and this laptop. I needed something portable but didn't skimp on quality hardware (the reason why I passed immediately on the MacBook Air).
Buying from the MS Store gives me Microsoft Signature and allows my system to run effortlessly and I didn't have to deal with bloatware that you get from Best Buy and other retailers. Using this computer has been a dream for me. It's fast, efficient, handles my gaming adequately, and is a very well-planned machine. I know other reviewers are having a hard time adjusting, but what do you expect when you move on to a new model? I haven't had any issues with it.
The trackpad works fine and if you're accustomed to using a trackpad in the first place, as opposed to just plugging in a USB mouse, you should have no problem whatsoever finding the "buttons". Of course, you have to tweak the settings to what you're comfortable with. Apple uses the same trackpad so I hope no former Apple users are complaining.
I love the backlit, chiclet keyboard. It's quiet and makes it easy to type. Another thing about it is that if you spill anything through this type of keyboard, the laptop takes less damage because of the way it is designed. You can control the backlighting with just a touch of a button. The keyboard comes with a full numeric keypad (which at this point I cannot live without). I punch in numbers all day so it's a great feature. And don't complain about the chiclet keyboard either because it's designed by Sony with many manufacturers employing it: Apple, Sony, Dell, ASUS, MSI.
The LED LCD screen is a pure matte. Like another reviewer mentioned, you don't have to worry about anyone looking at your screen because with this laptop, they won't see anything. It is a very bright 15.6" screen that Samsung has managed to fit into a 14.2" chassis so you still have a larger screen within a slim, sleek frame.
The battery life is insanely long. I can have my computer on the High Performance battery setting without having to worry about charging it any time soon. The battery being built-in gives me relief of not having to worry about it falling out if my laptop is ever dropped in the future.
This model has 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 2.0 port that keeps powering your device no matter what (ex. a cell phone), 1 HDMI port, 1 power jack, 1 ethernet port, an SD slot, audio/mic port, and a slot for a Kensington cable lock.
Of all the laptops I have had, I've really taken a liking to this one. It's a stunning machine in and out. It was my first Samsung laptop purchase and it surely won't be my last. I just wish there were more accessories made for this computer.
on February 24, 2012
I bought this laptop two weeks ago and have enjoyed it quite a bit. One thing I didn't realize when I purchase it was they've included an 8gb cache ssd inside (likely soldered on board). This combined with the proper drivers speed up windows boot quite a bit. I did wipe the laptop and install Ubuntu 11.10 x64 and it ran great. I didn't have any issues with finding drivers. The only problem I had to trouble shoot was the laptops track pad (a bit too sensitive in Ubuntu). Other than that one hiccup it works great. The only reason I gave this 4 stars instead of 5, is the display. While the screen is quite a bit better than most laptops, It's still a tad odd if you don't have it angled just right. That said, for the given price, you're not likely to find an IPS panel in a laptop.
Solid construction, lightweight and an overall beast of a machine. These laptops are considered part of the Microsoft premium collection for a reason. You won't be disappointed.
on April 10, 2012
I'm a techy and I do a lot of research before I purchase items. I was about to purchase another brand laptop for around $2000 dollars which included a company discount. Before purchasing it, I as usual, did my research and all the reviews both customer and professional pointed toward Samsung. This device for a thousand less has everything in it and more with the exception of a Blu-ray player. The construction and performance is superb. For those whom complained about the viewing angle, all I can say is get a life or learn about security. I don't want people peaking or shoulder surfing my laptop, that how identity theft occurs, so I'm happy. To sum this up, if you're not checking Samsung out before you purchase electronic gizmos and appliances you're making a big mistake. Their TV's are awesome! PS: Amazon your handling and delivery is unparalleled in execution.
on April 14, 2012
What can I say? It's a great laptop. Wanted something for hard-core web development, general purpose biz apps, and games. Satisfies all of those things all at once. Keyboard light-up looks great, touch feels awesome and responsive, no probs with the trackpad as I've read with others.
Screen has a matte finish and super-bright (I turn mine down a bit in a typical room lighting.) 1TB harddrive is fast, SSD for "near instant" Windows boot is cool. 3D games play perfectly fine on it. Overall the thing looks and feels great. I was going to buy a MacBookPro when my last laptop failed, but this Sammy7 is $1000 cheaper and even more capable.
Nothing wrong with this laptop. If you think you want it - don't hesitate!
on May 1, 2012
Got the laptop and 5 hours later i knew i had made a great choice. Couldn't be happier with this machine.
What i like:
Fast quad core processor.
ExpressCache, getting into windows is almost SSD fast:)
Slim, light and excellent design all around.
Keyboard is pleasant o use.
Capable graphics, fired up Skyrim, DOW 2, Dirt 3, FIFA 12, Starcraft 2 and played all fluidly well.
Decent battery life.
Screen brightness is awsome and the 1600x900 resolution suits the 15.6 size
High quality build.
Owes nothing to a MBP.
Cooling system is somewhat limited.
Intel 3000 to Radeon HD 6750 switching needs some work but if you know what you're doing it really works fine.
Could have shipped with a 750GB 7200 rpm drive instead of the slower 1TB 5400 rpm.
on March 27, 2012
The new samsung series 7 laptop is an excellent value for the price and has many great features. In particular the boot up time after the computer is restarted or when being turned on after being in sleep mode is extremely fast.
The only reason I gave it a four out of five stars was due to the track pad. The track pad for using the mouse can sometimes be a bit unbearable and its over sensitive sometimes highlighting entire pages when nothing is clicked.
But, don't let that discourage you, the computer is great and once you get adjusted to the mouse its much more usable.
on April 1, 2012
This computer has crashed twice and froze while playing a youtube video in 720p, and the spacebar is glitchy. I've only used it for two days.
I also ordered a second one for someone else who has reported no problems.
I just ordered a replacement, and will update my review if that replacement computer works well.
UPDATE: Replacement came in and works great. No glitches so far. Others mention the trackpad is bad, but after using it for a week I got used to it and like it now. Computer is very fast. I installed a bunch of stuff and needed to reboot, and from the time I clicked reboot to the time I got back to the home screen was 40 seconds. Not bad.
UPDATE 2: Screen glitched and crashed when playing a HD youtube video in full screen mode. Also the shift key on the left doesnt work well. Might try one more replacement.