"This Best Selling Samsung Series 7 NP700Z7C-S01US 17.3-Inch Laptop (Silver) Tends to SELL OUT VERY FAST! If this is a MUST HAVE product, be sure to Order Now to avoid disappointment!"
Designed to impress with a cutting edge design, this Samsung Series 7 laptop with 17.3-inch display offers a sleek aluminum construction with one of the thinnest quad-core laptop bodies. You'll get clearer, more vivid imagery with the 17.3-inch Full HD 1080p display, and the third-generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor provides multitasking capabilities whether you're playing immersive 3D games or creating HD video.
17.3-inch Full HD 1080p display (view larger).
JBL speakers with subwoofer (view larger).
Cutting edge design (view larger).
At a Glance: 17.3-inch Full HD 1080p display
2.3 GHz Intel Core i7-3615QM quad-core processor
1 TB Serial ATA hard drive
8 GB installed RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M Graphics
DVD±RW Super Multi dual-layer drive
HDMI output + DisplayPort + VGA
See full specs below
It comes with two super-speed USB 3.0 ports–the latest development in USB data transfer technology. Perfect for transferring and retrieving large files between your PC and an external hard drive or digital camera, USB 3.0 offers the fastest, most efficient way get what you need from external devices. Additionally, this laptop includes award-winning Intel Wireless Display functionality.
It comes pre-installed with the 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium and it includes Microsoft Office Starter 2010 with limited-functionality versions of Word and Excel (learn more below).
Powerful Quad-Core Performance
For a difference you can see and feel in HD, multitasking or multimedia, the visibly smart 3rd generation Intel Quad Core i7. Effortlessly move between applications delivered by Intel Hyper-Threading Technology and burst of speed with Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0.1. Experience your movies, photos, and games smoothly and seamlessly with a suite of visual enhancements built into the processor—no extra hardware required. The ideal choice for whatever you want to accomplish.
Outstanding Sensory Experience
Enjoy high quality surround sound with your 17.3-inch Series 7 Notebook. The built-in JBL speakers with sub-woofer provide the perfect entertainment experience with clearer, richer sound, deeper bass and greater tone articulation. And with the NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M technology with 2 GB of graphics memory, get superior graphics performance on multimedia applications, including photo and video editing. Get the most out of your experience.
High Brightness, More Color, More Screen Space
Seeing is believing. Get the best you can with Samsung SuperBright Technology. With screen brightness 36 to 50 percent brighter than conventional screens and 16 million colors, every photo, video, website and even document looks stunning. The exceptional screen features slim bezel technology so you get more display in a smaller package. Minimizing the bezel and maximizing the screen gives you a highly portable PC without sacrificing screen size.
Fast Start, Fast Performance
Don't be weighed down by wasted time, let your PC come alive when you need it. With Samsung's exclusive Fast Start technology, simply close the lid to enter a hybrid sleep mode. When you open the lid, you are up and running in as little as two seconds.
Go Faster with ExpressCache
Innovative ExpressCache technology provides 8 GB of flash memory on the motherboard that works as an ultrafast HDD. Its intelligent, automatic caching takes 45 percent less time to boot up and starts Internet Explorer and frequently used applications twice as fast, while still maintaining the safety and integrity of your data. (Speed will vary depending on the configuration, applications used and wireless settings.)
Your Favorite Content on the Big Screen
Stop crowding around a laptop screen and enjoy all of your personal and online content on your big screen by wirelessly connecting your laptop to your TV. With Intel Wireless Display (WiDi), you can sit back and experience your favorite videos, photos, movies, online TV shows, and more–all with great image clarity up to 1080p.
Simply connect an optional adapter for Intel Wireless Display (such as the Netgear Push2TV PTV2000 and Belkin ScreenCast adapters) to your TV, follow a few simple steps, and you're off and running. Set it up once, and sharing your screen is as easy as pushing a button.
Measure Your Battery in Hours… and Years
A battery designed for the long haul, the Samsung Power Plus technology gives you more years and more hours. This technology retains 80 percent of the original battery capacity for up to 1,500 charges. After 3 years of use, you still have a battery that works for you day in and day out. That's power when you need it.
17.3-inch LED-backlit display with Full HD 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels)
2.3 GHz Intel Core i7-3615QM quad-core processor (3.3 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology; 6 MB L3 cache)
1 TB SATA hard drive
8 GB of installed DDR3 RAM (maximum)
NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M Graphics with 2 GB GDDR5 graphic memory
DVD±RW Super Multi Dual Layer (S-ATA) Slot Loading Drive
Built-in JBL stereo speakers with subwoofer
8-cell / Li-ion with Samsung Power Plus technology
Wireless & Networking Wireless-N Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) for ultra-fast connectivity to home and business networks. Intel Wireless Display capabilities enables you to wirelessly stream videos, photos and music from your hard drive, home network, or the internet straight to your HDTV. Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000)
Connectivity & Expansion 2 ultra-fast USB 3.0 ports with up to 10x the speed of USB 2.0 (and is backward compatible with your USB 2.0 peripherals). 2 standard USB 2.0 ports HDMI port for connecting to a compatible HDTV or home theater receiver for uncompressed digital audio and video via a single cable. Mini DisplayPort video output VGA video output (analog, RGB) Multi-format memory card slot (compatible with SD, SDHC, SDXC, and MMC media) Microphone and headphone jacks
See larger image.
See larger image.
What's in the Box
Series 7 laptop with 17.3-inch screen (model NP700Z7C-S01US), AC adapter, rechargeable battery, operating instructions
1-year limited warranty on parts and labor.
See larger image.
Pin web sites with Internet Explorer 9 (view larger).
Windows 7 Home Premium
The Best Entertainment Experience On Your PC
Windows 7 Home Premium makes it easy to create a home network and share all of your favorite photos, videos, and music. You can even watch, pause, and rewind TV or record it to watch whenever and wherever you want. For the best entertainment experience, choose a PC with Windows 7.
Windows 7: Your PC Simplified Improved desktop navigation features like Snap, Peek and Shake, make it easier to manage all of your open windows. Find virtually anything on your PC–from documents to songs to email–just by typing a word or two with Windows Search. Designed to make your PC sleep and resume quicker. Watch, pause, rewind and record TV with Windows Media Center to watch whenever and where ever you want.*
Get a Faster, Safer Web with a New PC and Internet Explorer 9 Helps protect against identity theft and malicious software with SmartScreen Filter. Movies, TV, and videos look better and run more smoothly.
Create, Connect, and Share with Windows Live
Windows 7 and Windows Live bring it all together for free. Get the free set of programs that make it simple to create and share amazing photos and movies, organize mail, and stay connected with your closest friends. Get free online storage with Windows Live SkyDrive. Sync files on your PCs automatically with Windows Live Mesh. Share photos during video chats with Windows Live Messenger.** Easily edit photos. Combine the best parts of multiple photos into one perfect photo with Photo Fuse.
You can download Windows Live for FREE at download.live.com.
Create, connect, and share (see larger image).
Complete Your PC Experience with Microsoft Office 2010 Includes reduced functionality versions of Microsoft Word and Excel with advertising. (Note that PowerPoint or Outlook are not included.) Purchase Office 2010 today and get the most out of your new PC.
* Additional hardware may be required. Not available in all countries. (See windows.microsoft.com/products/windows-7/system-requirements/ for more information.)
** Requires a compatible microphone, speakers or headset, webcam, and broadband connection.
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 1920×1080 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.
Painful to upgrade. Rather harrowing experience but there are guides online for the previous gen 17″ that work well.
SSD upgrade a must. 1tb very slow.
Ivy Bridge + Keplar have lived up to their names. Very powerful, very energy efficient.
No room for RAM upgrade. Wish it had 4 slots.
Keplar GPU + intel 4000 make a really neat combo.
GPU does all modern games i’ve seen at med to high ( 1080p ) with some tweaking.
Very light for a 17″.
Long battery life for a 17″ ( 2 – 3 hours with med to heay use roughly )
Nice keyboard and backlight.
Very attractive case. Well put together.
Minimal flex in Display, considering it’s a 17″
Very, Very sharp and crisp LED display. Looks amazing.
Very generous touchpad.
4 USB ports 2@ 3.0 and 2@ 2.0. USB 3.0 is amazing ( I use an external SSD for system backups )
Meh DVD drive. Slot loaded. makes noise.
Only 1 hard drive slot.
Built in 8gb SSD cache is interesting. Not useful, just interesting.
Nice, clear sound.
Overall I am very pleased with this laptop. It delivers the almost-mac experience without the mac-esque price. A very sleek, attractive, useful laptop that is intended to be portable power for anyone who needs it. For the price range there are very few competitors, and most of them have design flaws. That being said, if you’re looking at doing mostly gaming and don’t mind something about 3x thicker the ASUS G75VW is also a very good buy and delivers better gaming performance (and has 4 RAM slots and two hard drive slots).
But if you’re an adult who doesn’t want a computer that looks like a spaceship, and also don’t want to tear open a shoulder joint carrying your laptop this is the way to go.
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 (1920×1200), 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.
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.
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.
Measuring 17.3″ at 1920×1080 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.
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
- 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).