on May 10, 2012
This is my first ever review but this Samsung series 7 17.3" laptop is simply AMAZING in every way so I felt compelled to write this review. OK, I received it yesterday afternoon via UPS (wish amazon would offer FedEx as an option). My first impression was just how Beautiful and sleek it looked not to mention thin. It seems to be very sturdy and looks well built. Plus only about 1" thick and although its a 17" with the small border around the screen is almost feels like a 15 inch in my opinion. Just under 5lbs on the weight I believe.
I turned it on and the matte screen was very clear and detailed and Bright. I was a little leary about it being a matte screen as I never had one and hoped the screen wouldn't look too dark or unclear. Not an issue! Two things I Love about it is that it is full HD with a 1920x1080 screen rez/size. And secondly it has a lit keypad with an option on how bright you want it to be. - Excellent! Full HD and a lit keyboard are two important options to me. The JBL sound with sub woofer is the Best sound I ever heard on a laptop.
One thing I wish it had was a simple switch on it to turn off the intergrated graphics forever as to use the GT650M all the time. I had a lenovo laptop that had that. However there is still a way to do this if desired (I believe?)using the Nividia settings.(manage 3d-> "high performance" on drop down). I read from a few that the keybooard on left side will get very warm? I will say that may be true for some. I can only say that I set it up, adjusted settings and played around with it for about 2 1/2 hours straight and the keyboard on mine remained cool and not even an issue at all. Of course I didn't do anything very demanding yet. Noise level was extremely quiet on mine. It wasn't until I turned it off almost 3 hours later that I realized ..."Hey, I didn't even notice fan noise" there but very quiet for me.
The three things that annoyed me, I do NOT like are as follows:
#1. The hard drive is Large at 1 TB. - Great! but is very slow and holds it back. Samsung should have put a SSD in it. Guess they chose not to to save money. I suggest swapping out the HD and replacing it with an SSD.
#2. Pricey. The price is more then I was hoping to spend. But well worth it. You get a superior product with many features.
#3. This issue has bothered me on every amazon purchase I make. This has to deal with amazon shipping. I really wish amazon would offer an option to us buyers prior to placing an order to use FedEx instead of UPS only. I always pick 2 dsy shipping and always my purchase shows up very late (6:30pm for this laptop)- or even 3 days later instead of two. But again this is not related to the laptop itself and no fault to amazon.
My conclusion: In a nutshell. I am Extremely pleased thus far with this laptop. I would buy it again and would highly recommend it if you are looking for a top of the line very nice and fast laptop. Of course all of the above is strictly my opinion and of this specific laptop I received.
on February 16, 2013
The world of laptops is horribly confusing because there are so many variations and options. I have built up a list of features that I like and don't like, features that I must have, would like to have, don't need, etc. That's how I shopped for this laptop. My only other real contenter was the HP Envy.
Here are the primary reasons I picked this computer (my non-negotiables), and how they're performing for me:
17.3" non-glare screen, true HD resolution
I'm a photographer and really should be using a desktop for optimal screen quality but I can't be bothered to tether myself down like that. This screen is large, tack-sharp, evenly lit with no glare, bleeding or other annoyances. I still have to figure out the auto brightness adjust. It can be distracting (and a bit annoying if you're prone to becoming annoyed) because it seems to adjust itself based on the brightness of the content being displayed, not the ambient light. I may have to turn off the auto feature.
Worth every extra penny paid for this feature! I work in the dark a lot, usually while the rest of my family is watching TV. They HATE it when I turn on a light so I can see my function keys, etc. This solves that problem, and it works beautifully. Go to the Samsung support center for help optimizing how this works. Many people think it breaks immediately, but it's a setting that needs to be adjusted. The chicklet keypads are nice too, except the "J" key on my laptop is not seated quite right -- it sticks up in the corner and I can't figure out how to fix it. Note that the J and F have the little raised bump to help you orient yourself on the keyboard by touch.
USB 3.0 ports
I routinely download 16GB of photos to my laptop. My old computer required 30 or more minutes to do this. Quite honestly, I haven't downloaded a full set of pictures yet, so I'll have to return to let you know how that goes. I can tell you that when transferring my iTunes library of 42GB, it took 45 minutes to get it off my old computer (USB 2.0) and 10 minutes to get it onto the Samsung (USB 3.0).
3rd generation i7 processor
I'm not technical at all but I am good at research. This is the top of the line processor. My old computer had a 1st generation i5 processor which worked very well. Frankly, at this point I'm not seeing that much of a difference in speed or performance. If that changes, I'll update my review.
I'm not opposed to Windows 8 but I'm not ready to re-purchase all my photography software that won't run on it. So I wanted Windows 7, simple as that. And the HP Envy comes only with Windows 8, so I tossed it out of my pick-list.
1TB hard drive
The hard drive speed gets beat up pretty bad by reviewers. It has 4x the capacity of my old laptop, which was appealing, although I do still keep a 1TB external drive tethered to serve as back-up for my photos. (I don't trust my photos to be in just one location. The risk is too high.) I don't find the drive speed to be any different than my old one. But that may be why I can't see any difference from the i7 processor, either.
This touchpad gets a lot grief from folks. Let's face it, no trackpad is truly great except maybe the mac. But I like this one, even though I usually use a mouse. It doesn't interfere at all with my typing (honestly, do people LAY their arms on their computer when they complain of this? My wrists are nowhere near the mouse when I type!). And yes, the trackpad is centered to the alphabetical portion of the keyboard, not the center of the entire keyboard including the number keys. I can't imagine wanting the trackpad shifted over to be centered -- that seems counterintuitive to me since 99% of my time is spent on the alphanumeric keys, not the numeric touchpad.
Here is how the laptop is performing against some of the criticisms people have had:
I honestly don't know if I'm Wireless N in my house, but it connected fine the first time and has a strong signal -- just like my old laptop. No complaints whatsoever here.
Fan noise and heat
There is none of either. In fact, it's quieter and less hot than my other laptop. It does warm up after hours of use but it never gets hot. I can't use it to warm my freezing fingers like I could my old laptop! And it doesn't blow hot air from the side. I don't know how it's dissipating heat but it has been great.
And last, some of the features that weren't as important in making my purchase decision but that are worth pointing out:
The sound. Wow! All that from a laptop!?! But it's pretty annoying that volume controls are buried in the middle of the function keys, and you have to hit the Fn+F7 or Fn+F8 to control the volume from the keyboard. There's always the option of using the mouse from the taskbar...
The Samsung brand is right up there from my perspective. I don't trust Toshiba at all, HP is okay but seems finicky and just not up to snuff. Dell is great but overpriced and clunky looking, Acer and Asus just didn't have the features I wanted. Plus, there is no bloatware on this laptop! I was up and running within 3-5 minutes of taking it out of the box. No trial software to unload, opt out of, register, no prompts to buy this or that. Just what I need and nothing more. The computer does have a link to let you register it. Note that the serial number is silk-screened in tone-on-tone ink on the bottom of the machine and is virtually impossible to read. The Samsung online chat agent was able to immediately tell me how to get the serial # from the computer itself so I could register it. (And the only chat was available at midnight no less!)
Start-up time is fast, it is a pretty sleek looking computer. Nobody would ever mistake it for a Mac but it's not an embarassing brick, either.
One last thing. I noticed some of the larger laptops have little plastic feet on the bottom, presumably to let air flow around the base when the computer is on a hard surface. I can't imagine this would be comfortable on your lap! This Samsung has little rubber bumps that don't dig into your leg but would elevate it slightly on a hard surface.
I believe I made the right choice! Hopefully this information is helpful to you.
on June 14, 2012
I made this purchase about two weeks ago and really wanted to test drive it before writing a review. I will be brief.
First off the look and feel of this machine is truly awesome. The keyboard (backlit) is responsive and quiet, though a some rare occasions, I have noted what others have where a very occasional keystroke is not registered. The Touchpad is great though I confess I still prefer a mouse so that is what I generally use. The screen is bright and adjusts to ambient light. The speakers are awesome there is actually some real bass (a subwoofer is located underneath it). My last laptop was a Gateway P-7805u, three years old but is still kicking but these speakers are like a night and day difference, these JBL's really sound nice. Granted the Gateway has a higher Def screen than this one (1920x1200), but this is enough for my work (which is how this will be primarily used). Windows 7's Scores are very high, all except the Hard Drive (the weakest link in the Notebook) Though is packs a 1tb HD, it spins and only 5400RPM slowing some things up considerably. From what I read the next versions will have a 750gb HD but will run at 7200RPM. The good news is that it also has an 8gb SSD drive on the motherboard that makes boot times and 'everyday programs' launch very quickly. The Laptop is light for a 17 inch and of course the i7 Processor and Nvidia Video Card are truly awesome. While you can switch the Video Card to remain permanently on the Nvidia Chip (from the Nvidia Control Panel), power consumption will lag if you do. For most tasks, the onboard Intel Video is just fine.
Gripes: Yes I do not some. First off upgrading this thing is going to be difficult as the entire bottom of the Chassis has to come off - no small compartments for HD or wireless replacements or upgrades. Second the Battery is not replaceable at (this time). Samsung Claims this battery will last 1500 cycles and still go strong. Me, I am rather skeptical but have employed the special Samsung Battery Life Extender Which sets the full charge at 80%. I still get a good 4+ hours of life with light to moderate usage. So until the battery croaks, I have no complaints. My hope is that they will eventually sell a replacement battery online in a couple of years as I plan on keeping this notebook until it dies on me. FYI I still have an old Dell Inspiron I bought in 2005, so Yes, I do hang on to my old computers and don't have a problem plopping down a hundred bucks every three years or so to get a new battery. BTW, I did query Samsung via email about a replacement battery on their site about this but never got an answer back.
Second gripe, I understand that there is only one HD bay (though I have not opened up the Chassis to find out). That kind of sucks because a second bay could easily make the HD speed issue moot. Just add another drive. The good news with this PC is that unlike many others, they actually put in a Real Live complete recovery DVD. I am glad because I know I will need it one day.
Third Gripe. For many this may not seem important but it is for me. Samsung does not support Linux. I have run the Live CD with Ubuntu 11.04, 12.04 and the latest version of Bridge Linux (based on Arch). The Ubuntu flavors gave me grief whereas the Arch Linux version ran smooth and was most responsive. However in none of the Linux versions did the backlight on the keyboard work. I have yet to take some time out and actually install it for real and probably won't for some time. Frankly I purchased this because I wanted to get one before Windows 8 comes and Linux versions get locked out because of UEFI secure boot. It was the primary reason I bought it now.
Overall, I am most happy with the purchase. I am not a Windows fan but will 'suffer' under it until I have a couple of days to spend setting up A good stable Linux partition to run along side Windows.
Five Weeks Later
Still in love with this machine. I have finally made the system Dual boot and am now using Linux Mint. Most things work. What does not work with Mint are
1) The Keyboard backlit does work, but appears to have settings in the bios that allow the lights to come on only if they were left on when you booted out of windows.
2) Wireless networking works until you put it to sleep, then it will not reconnect no matter how hard you try. This is a common problem with the New Intel systems and Linux. Workaround - I have a small USB wireless card that works fine, unplug and then replug it in and all is well.
3) The Subwoofer: It does not work in Linux; two main speakers are fine... but no bass.
4) Some of the hot keys (alongside of the Function keys) do not work.
5) Nvidia does not support Optiums in LInux so you are stuck with Intel integrated graphics. Unless you are gaming or doing some heavy video editing, you will not notice a difference.
6) The 8GB internal SSD drive is for Windows only. Linux does not recognize it and its features are not available.
But you can still do most things. Clearly this box was made to be primarily a windows machine. The the disappointing support for Linux is starting to be a trend with many hardware makers.
If there is any other gripe I can level at this is the lack of multi-media keys. With a machine this nice it would be nice to have play/pause/back/forward keys. There is certainly plenty of room around the keyboard and palm-rest for them.
I can say that I have had no issues with it, it is fast, no lockups and no issues with the video card (as was reported with earlier ATI models) and when our power went out during the recent DC storm, I had about 8 hours of 'play time' with the battery.
Again, you cannot go wrong with this. It is a very fine system. The newer ones appear to have a smaller but faster spinning hard drive (750gb). I just don't think anyone looking for a Macbook like system can go wrong with this computer.
on May 24, 2012
There are many 17" laptops out there, but few that pack the specs of this Samsung Series 7 without gaudy "gamer" looks. The new Chronos 17" features the latest 3rd gen Core i7 processor, the new Geforce GT 650M (2GB), 8GB ram, and a slow 1TB HDD (5400 RPM). The price is higher than an Asus or Toshiba (and those have slightly better specs), but you are getting a beautiful, well designed machine that rivals Apple's product offering.
The laptop comes minimally packed, with little more than a manual, AC plug, and restore disc, but Samsung loads their machines with easy to use software that guides you through updating drivers and configurating your machine with ease. There is minimal bloatware- a games suite and some annoying Norton popups, but for the most part you're ready to go.
Performance is great. The laptop has a quick-wake feature which boots virtually instantly from sleep mode. If you prefer to shut your machine down, the startup times are incredible- literally 1/4 of the time compared to my old machine and my work laptop (running Windows 7/Vista). The keyboard is chiclet styled, and I find myself making some mistakes on it because I am too fast for the keys, but it is well spaced and includes a number pad. The backlight is tastefully done, and allows you to pick how bright it is. The machine is not silent, but the JBL speakers will overpower the fans, and they sound awesome- a huge leap over any other laptop I've owned.
Although the laptop is powerful, I am not sure it's right for gamers. I have put about 15 hours into Diablo 3 on this machine with great results (the game runs with max settings minus shadows and hits around 40-60 FPS), but the center of the unit gets very warm and the fans don't seem to do a very good job keeping it cool. I purchased a Cooler Master notebook cooler to help out, since I am nervous about the long term with this unit overheating. There are not a lot of vents on the machine and it is very thin, maybe I'm just worrying but I don't know what long term effects heavy gaming would have on the internals.
The screen is mind blowing- it's matte, so initially it will not look as vivid as a glossy screen, but the colors are beautiful and it's bright and very sharp. Samsung has different video profiles that will shift color temps according to what programs you are running. The screen opens and closes with little flex, and the rest of the laptop feels very well made and durable.
Overall it's a great machine, you're paying a little more for the style, but you're not paying $1000+ more like you would be with a Macbook. I like how they included a restore disc, but do not like that they only put in a 5400 RPM HDD and a CD/DVD burner instead of a BD ROM drive.
on July 9, 2012
Purchased this machine expecting Samsung quality, fell short due to FATAL flaws. The biggest deal breaker is the absolutely atrocious wireless N performance and stability. Since this is a laptop/notebook, wireless N is crucial to the machine; I cannot be expected to carry around an external wireless adapter or a very long Ethernet cord. The Wi-Fi would have random latency spikes and packet drops (can be seen if you run continuous ping test) when any continuous streaming activity was initiated (such as video streaming, and gaming). This would happen as soon as you are one wall or more away from the router (ASUS RT-N56U). The other devices in my household on Wireless N do not have this issue and are connected to the same router on the same band. In fact, the HP Envy 17 I purchased to replace the Samsung machine has the same Wireless card (Intel 6235) as the Samsung and it does not have this problem. Wireless G on the Samsung machine seems okay, but I paid for a Wireless N laptop.
Aside from Wireless N issues, this machine has many other problems (as listed below in the Cons section). For one, Battlefield 3 at Medium-low settings is enough to push this machine to its thermal and power limits and the GPU/CPU aren't even at absolute full load yet. Some people may argue that this machine isn't "designed for games" and "excessive load applications" etc, but I expect to be able to use what I paid for, otherwise, why bother putting in high-end components (CPU, GPU powerhouse) into this machine which would be like putting a Jet engine in a compact-sized car only for showing off?
+17.3" Full HD (1920x1080) screen
+Powerful 3rd gen i7 quad-core (Core i7 3615QM)
+Decently powered mobile graphics (NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M w/ GDDR5)
+8 GB DDR3 1600 RAM
+Heat sources are towards the center-right of the machine, away from WASD keys
+Decent speakers for a laptop
+Trackpad is reasonably responsive
+Sleek look, better than Macbook Pro
+6.3 lbs, very lightweight for a 17" notebook
-Poor wireless N performance and stability (guessing due to the full aluminum lid and palm rest creating a partial Faraday cage)
-Only above average TN panel LCD screen
-Bevelled screen appearance near / above the Samsung logo (maybe I just got a bad one?)
-Runs at near thermal limits of the machine's components
-Hot air exhausts upwards, directly onto the lower edge screen (can't be good for longevity of the screen or the material holding the screen to the chassis)
-90W power adapter is not enough to run the machine at full speed (CPU is 45W, GPU is also 45W, rest of the system ~20W, that means 110W minimum), results in power throttling on CPU and GPU
-Very slow hard drive (5200 RPM 1 TB)
-8 GB ExpressCache has little to no effect on improving system performance
-Painful to upgrade anything other than the one stick of RAM exposed (have to open the back cover which is made entirely of flimsy plastic, held by 10+ screws, and numerous fragile plastic tabs)
-The other 4 GB of RAM is soldered directly onto the board, cannot be upgraded
Samsung might have put a 90W power brick in the machine on purpose; they probably knew the beautiful chassis and cooling system could not handle the two power-hungry components (CPU and GPU) so they intentionally did this to keep the machine's full potential from being unleashed.
I am very disappointed by this Samsung notebook because of these fatal flaws that simply cannot be overlooked especially when purchasing a high-end product; the laptop deserves 2 stars because of its sleek look, weight, and specs. Amazon's great service convinced me to give another star.
on June 21, 2012
I have gone through many laptops in the last 5 years, which include Dell Inspiron, HP DV4, Sony Vaio FZ, Acer, HP g series and Apple MacBook Pro 13". With this in mind, I'll give you guys my impression of this premium Samsung 17" Chronos laptop. Starting with the...
Measuring 17.3" at 1920x1080 resolution, the display on this laptop is simply amazing. Having never owned a 1080p display laptop scren, you will appreciate the vast real estate available to you. The brightness is simply the highest among the laptops I have had the chance to own. According to an Engadget review, the brightness is measured at 300 nit. Even at lower than half brightness, your screen will feel sufficiently bright.
The only negative I found was the way Samsung's driver (Samsung Easy Settings) handles the screen brightness. Although there is a setting to disable automatic brightness, on occasion the screen automatically change its brightness, whether during game play, movie viewing or web browsing. It didn't bother me too much, and it doesn't happen often enough to be a problem.
The number one bottleneck for laptops nowadays is the hard drive. It's no surprise that my gripe with this laptop is inclusion of 5400RPM HDD (Samsung Brand). Although there is a mSSD cache to help boost the overall zippiness, I definitely felt the performance suffering from the lack of SSD. I would rate the performance of the laptop at (5/5) once you put the SSD. If you need help opening the back plate of the laptop, you can watch the how to on youtube:
Another benefit of installing SSD is the lack of hard drive noise, and the heat in the left palmrest area. Also, I don't know if this is a coincidence, but it also reduces the frequency with which the fans turn on.
In terms of gaming, I can honestly say this is the laptop to get if you want to play the latest games. I play Diablo III and it runs 40-60 FPS at 1080p on high settings. The GeForce GT 650M is simply one of the hottest mobile GPU.
Not much to say here. JBL speakers on this laptop gives plenty of bass and the sound is as good as if not much better than most USB speakers. Definitely better sound than any of the laptops I have owned in the past.
If you've owned a MacBook Pro (or an Acer Aspire TimelineX), you'll know that those machines are QUIET when you're doing non-graphic intensive stuff. This laptop is the same. When you're simply browsing the web, watching Youtube videos or writing on WORD, you won't hear the fans come on.
Where this laptop shines compared to the MacBook Pro is when you're playing graphic intensive games or streaming 1080p movies. MacBook Pro fans are super loud when you're doing graphic intensive work, but this laptop is still relatively quiet. It's definitely audible, but nowhere near as loud as the MacBook Pro fans.
Two relatively quiet fans help dissipate heat quickly. I played Diablo III for a couple hours and the laptop was never too hot. The hottest areas were the backplate and the area near the screen, where the vents are located. Still, nowhere near as hot as MacBook Pro.
The keyboard looks almost exactly like the one on MacBook Pro. It has backlighting, which come on when the computer detects low lighting. But like the auto screen brightness, the software is buggy and the backlighting sometimes flickers on and off with slight change in my positioning. I chose to turn off the automatic backlighting in favor of manual toggling. Other than that, the keyboard is the standard keyboard and I have no complaint.
The touchpad is the most disappointing aspect of this laptop. Much like the MacBook Pro touchpad, this one also doesn't have any buttons. You can click left of the half way point and it's the left click and vice-versa. However, when you click far too right/bottom or left/bottom, the glass touchpad dips down quite a bit. It almost looks like it'll break, although I highly doubt it will. Another gripe is the ELAN driver. It has very limited settings and the tap is way too sensitive. You can't even change the tap sensitivity, and so I found myself typing and accidentally clicking someplace on the screen. It's annoying, but you can turn off the tapping and rely on clicking instead. Also, I found that having one finger near the bottom and another finger for moving the cursor sometimes results in the inability to move the cursor. You'd have to then release one or both fingers and try again.
Battery life (4/5):
It's rated at 7 hours, but I have been getting about 4-5 hours on Samsung optimized settings. This is not too shabby considering this is how much battery life I was getting on the MacBook Pro. (On a side note, my Acer Aspire consistently lasted me 8 hours!)
In conclusion, I'll give this a thumbs up and a 4/5 score. You're basically getting the same specs sans retina display as the "MacBook Pro 15" with Retina" for $600-700 less and with bigger screen. Although 17" might discourage most mobile-minded people, this laptop is light and thin for a 17" laptop.
If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer it.
on June 8, 2012
I bought this laptop because I wanted a fast college laptop that was sturdy and could hold up against the Macbook Pro in terms of power and physical dimensions. I spent hours browsing online for the perfect laptop before going into a Best Buy to talk to the sales representatives there and see what they thought I needed. I asked what the most powerful machine in the store was and they brought me to this monster laptop. Though concerned about the size at first I bought it after realizing that it wasn't even an inch thick and weighed just barely over 6 lbs. Now onto the laptop,
This laptop is ridiculous. I tested it out by throwing on Skyrim on the highest settings and it didn't even stutter. This laptop can do anything and everything. Forget Alienware's $2,000 price tag, there isn't a game or setting that this laptop can't handle. Needless to say every other program runs like lighting on this laptop. The physical aspects of it are just as nice. Less than an inch thick, lighter than the current Macbook of the same size, with a full HD screen. The resolution is beautiful by the way, I could stare at this computer for hours (and I do). This laptop also makes almost no noise. I read some reviews online before purchasing it and it turns out that it is quieter and produces less heat than the Macbook. Now I could not independently verify this but I do know that it is extremely quiet and cool. And if it becomes too loud you can shut off the fan with the push of a button. Simply put this laptop was total overkill. I didn't need this for college, but I am overjoyed to have it. With the 1 terabyte hard drive I can migrate my entire desktops files onto this computer and bring the data with me (on a faster machine).
The only gripe I have with the computer is the track pad which can be over sensitive or annoying to use but I find ALL track pads overly sensitive and annoying to use. Even Apples track pads annoy me beyond belief. That being said I attached my mouse to the laptop and it is now the PERFECT laptop. I love this machine, thanks Samsung :)
on October 3, 2012
I did a lot of research before landing on this computer.
- Removed DVD Drive, put it in an external USB case for when needed (which is rarely)
- Moved 1TB HDD into DVD Drive location, using a drive caddy
- Added 256GB Samsung 830 SSD Drive as new Windows 7 boot drive
These mods are not for the faint of heart, but, if you are careful (case removal), can be done and are fairly straightforward. Note: be sure to remove the plastic "door" for the DVD drive (4 screws) that is attached to the case. If you don't, the drive caddy won't fit well and will prevent the case from fitting well.
- FAST - CPU and Graphics are A-grade (I am a power Windows user. Office, Photoshop, etc.). I don't use this for gaming / just business applications.
- LOVE the giant screen. I am able to use this effectively for one-on-one presentations (slide shows / Powerpoint). Great colors.
- MODERN - passes the 'cool' test when pulled out in business meetings.
- BATTERY LIFE - Rock solid. No issues.
- RELIABLE - Bought it in early August (Best Buy, due to promotion) - no failures, issues or problems.
- BACKUP - Performs wonderfully as a full backup system if/when my desktop monster PC has issues. This was a key requirement for this level of laptop purchase.
- Ports are all well labeled and easily accessible.
- WIFI performance has be A-grade. I was nervous about this given the few negative reviews on this. Don't know if wiping out the Samsung install and then starting from scratch (Win 7, drivers, no crapware, etc.) helped, but, WIFI connectivity has been solid (reliability/drops, distance, management).
- Keyboard is well laid out and has good tactile feel to it. Number pad was not a "must have" for me, but, I like having it and use it.
- Weight - for a laptop this size, the weight is fine (not an issue).
- Samsung system (driver) software works but is poorly written. Not really a con, just a reality (and a bit of an annoyance).
- NO WIFI HARDWARE SWITCH - Really miss this from my past Lenovo laptops. Some Samsung engineer overthought this (removing it).
- Expensive - but, I knew that. Given the performance and reliability, I am OK with having paid ~$1,500 for this.
- Having to install Windows 7 from scratch. Why doesn't Samsung just sell this with their 256GB SSD drive? Not a big deal, but, ate some time.
- TRACKPAD - far from refined but usable, particularly when you learn and adjust to its quirks. I am hopeful that future software updates will take the edge off this, but, I'm not holding my breath. Not a deal killer, but, this should be easy for Samsung to get right - but they didn't.
- CASE - the outer edge of the case where your palms rest when typing is needlessly "sharp", making it somewhat uncomfortable to rest them there. Not a deal killer, but, still, even a little user testing by Samsung should have identified and fixed this. Also, the PLASTIC TABS on the bottom half of the case are disappointing. Another design failure, but, as long as you are careful (really - be extremely careful), this shouldn't bite you when 'upgrading' the innards or eventually replacing the battery (which, as INCORRECTLY reported on many websites, CAN be replaced. Just unplug it and it comes right out.).
This would have been an expensive dog without the SSD surgery. I love having the 1TB drive as a real-time backup drive and data-dump scratch drive. Fast. Reliable. Sleek. A definite workhorse with considerable style. I am a long-time Windows power user, so, Mac OS-based computers don't do it for me. Others around here with their MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros agree that this laptop belongs in "the club". Two weeks into the Best Buy 30-day return period, keeping this was a done deal (for me).
on May 24, 2012
After 2 Sony Vaios, a lot more money and their batteries dying after just a couple months of regular use, I am done with VAIOS.
I don't remember feeling this satisfied about a computer purchase.
It is just PERFECT: Fast, sleek, powerful, has all components I was looking for. OK yes, a SSD would be a nice upgrade, but at this price?! Find me a better configuration. I did my research, and today after setting it up, I am finally WOWED! It has been YEARS since I felt this happy about a new computer. IT is just fantastic. The 17" screen is so sharp, it adapts to the lighthing, just like the back-lit keyboard.
Highly recommend it.
on May 16, 2012
After using nothing but Dell XPS Laptops for the longest time, I decided to take the switch and jump on the Samsung bandwagon. I am glad I did. Extremely fast, responsive, and beautiful. This laptop gives me everything I can imagine.
Maybe this will be of some help to everyone, but here's the windows performance index scores, straight out of the box.
Gaming graphics 7.1
Hard Drive 5.9
This does show that the hard drive is the weakest link of the system. I can't wait to trade it out for an SSD or at least a 7200RPM.