Samsung has today released four new laptops and they are branded as Series 7. Lets see the specs straight away:

Samsung Series 7
Model NP700Z5A-S02US NP700Z5A-S01US NP700Z3A-S01US NP700Z5B-W01UB
Screen size 15.6" 15.6" 14.0" 15.6"
Resolution 1600x900 1600x900 1600x900 1600x900
Processor Intel Core i7-2675QM (4/8, 2.2GHz, 6MB) Intel Core i7-2675QM (4/8, 2.2GHz, 6MB) Intel Core i5-2430M (2/4, 2.4GHz, 3MB) Intel Core i7-2675QM (4/8, 2.2GHz, 6MB)
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6750M AMD Radeon HD 6750M

AMD Radeon HD 6490M

AMD Radeon HD 6490M
Memory 6GB DDR3 8GB DDR3 6GB DDR3 6GB DDR3
Storage 750GB 7200rpm + 8GB SSD 750GB 7200rpm + 8GB SSD 750GB 7200rpm + 8GB SSD 750GB 7200rpm
Ports 2x USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Ethernet, HDMI, VGA 2x USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Ethernet, HDMI, VGA 2x USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Ethernet, HDMI, VGA 2x USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Ethernet, HDMI, VGA
Battery life Up to 9 hours Up to 9 hours Up to 9 hours Up to 9 hours
Weight 5.05lb 5.05lb 4.30lb 5.05lb
Price $1149 $1299 $1099 $999.99
Availability October 2nd

All models are built from aluminum, which seems to be in right now (e.g. Dell XPS z15, ASUS UX21 and Macs). This isn't a bad thing at all and at least I prefer aluminum over the regular plastic case. Another interesting detail is the screen and bezel: The bezel is very thin. Unfortunately we don't know the dimensions so we can't make comparisons of the form factors, but Samsung is claiming that the 14" model is actually the same size as most 13.3" laptops due to the size of the bezel. The extra 0.7" should be handy with such high resolution (and hence high PPI). At least the 15.6" model has a numpad and matte screen too, which should both be good news. DVD drive is present in all models as well, but the specs and option for Blu-Ray are unknown.

When looking at the other specs, there are a few intriguing things. First, three of the four models come with an 8GB SSD. This is most likely soldered onto the motherboard, and Series 7 seems to be the first laptop with such configuration. The SSD works as a cache, similar to Intel Z68's Smart Response Technology (SRT). We don't know what Samsung is using to enable this but it doesn't seem to be SRT because it requires at least 18.6GB SSD. Samsung claims boot time of as low as 19 seconds and up to 60% gains in web browsing with Internet Explorer. Obviously, these numbers should be taken with grain of salt and as with all caching, the performance gains are only achieved when the data is in the cache (in this case in the SSD). The SSD isn't the only component that has been soldered because 4GB of the RAM is also on the motherboard, thus making it not upgradeable. There still appears to be one slot for regular SODIMM with either 2GB or 4GB pre-installed, so not all upgradeability has been taken away. 

As for the other specs, there isn't anything out of the ordinary. What should be noted is the similarity of specs between Series 7 and Apple's 15" MacBook Pros. The CPU and GPU in the $1149 and $1299 models are exactly the same as in the $2199 MBP. When you take the aluminum body into account, it looks like Samsung is clearly targeting 15" MBP buyers with Series 7. Okay, you don't get Thunderbolt but you get USB 3.0 in exchange. You can also get almost two $1149 Series 7 Samsungs for the price of one similar 15" MBP. The 14" Series 7 should also be attracting to 13" MBP buyers, especially for those who are after higher resolution screen and better graphics performance. 

All in all, Samsung's Series 7 should offer a great bang for buck. It even beats Dell's XPS 15z easily (you get quad core CPU and SSD cache for the same $). The SSD cache sounds promising and should definitely bring some healthy performance improvements without costing a ton. Right now, SSDs are still too expensive for mainstream (at least as sole storage) so a hybrid solution is the only affordable way to get rid of the hard drive bottleneck. It's surprising that we haven't seen setups like this before in other than desktops, but hopefully other companies will follow Samsung. 

Source: BusinessWireEngadget




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  • ananduser - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    Damn no edit button..."near the 13 air"... sorry. Reply
  • Gazziza - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    Asus and Acer have been in the "ultraportable" market for some time now. Asus with their UL and U series and Acer with their TimelineX series. If you're talking about the "Ultrabook" segment then sure, it's their first foray.

    I'm not sure why you think I'm nitpicking Asus. My biggest complaint against Asus and Acer is the type and quality of LCDs that they use in their laptops. They consistantly rank either average or below average. They've continually displayed 1366x768 junk on their laptops over the past couple of years. You can read the myriad of Anandtech reviews which have dogged Asus for using low quality screens. It's become a pattern for them. I hope Asus and Acer finally decide to step it up in the quality and resolution of their screens on their ultrabooks. However, I'm not holding my breath for it to happen and I'll believe it when I see it. Companies like Apple, Sony (Z series), Dell (RGB+), Samsung (9 series), HP (Radiance) and Lenovo (IPS in their X220) have all made commitments to putting higher quality LCDs in their top tier laptops. Why haven't Asus and Acer?

    I mean you can say I'm nitpicking about screens but for me, screen quality is the biggest deciding factor when it comes to buying a laptop. The CPU's will be good enough and I don't do any laptop gaming so gpu is not a big factor either. I basically pass on any laptop that has a 1366x768 rez on a 13"+ LCD. That's the only reason why I bought the MBA over the Samsung 9. I don't completely agree with your argument that Apple and PC manufacturers don't compete with each other based on my experience of getting the MBA over any Win 7 laptop. Had the 9 had better resolution, I would have gotten it instead as I like Windows 7 much better than OSX. Likewise, I have a Sony Z (last gen) simply because it has a 1600x900 resolution.
  • Miggleness - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Another reason to get a Mac is so you can make iphone/ipad apps using Apple's SDK. I'm seriously considering getting an old Mac just for that purpose, even though this new Samsung series 7 would be much cheaper and faster than a year old MBP. I read there are ways to get around the Mac requirement, but I read you cannot use some functions.

    My eye's on this series 7. the 15.6" looks to be the best buy, hope that they can cramp the same specs into the 14".
  • B3an - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Thats a ridiculous reason reason to get a Mac. HAVING to own a Mac in order to use the SDK is something you should be angry about. Another thing is that you cant even submit apps to the Apple App store without using a Mac. It's a joke. If MS did this sort of thing everyone would seriously bash them and you know it. It's just another typical bad business practice for Apple, which are becoming even worse than MS were in the 90's.

    And if you want to make apps then atleast make them for a superior platform like Android.
  • bji - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    I guess the hardware isn't everything huh? There's something called software also, and I'm pretty sure that's a pretty big part of the equation for most buyers of Apple laptops.

    I don't even own an Apple laptop or computer (never have) but I get somewhat offended by people who call other people 'sheeple' just because they want something different than the insulter does from their computer. Stop being a spoiled brat and just let people buy what they like without insulting them, ok?
  • markiz - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    I feel unqualified posting here, but what exactly is the advantage of OSX for the normal person?

    After using it for about a week, i developed a strong aversion towards it. But i was mighty impressed with the hardware.
    Have i missed something, or have i fallen a victim to habit (using windows right from the start)?
    Since i also hated every linux i ever tried, i guess it's the latter.
  • bji - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    It doesn't matter whether or not you like MAC OS X, the point is that for the majority of people buying Apple computers, it is an important feature for them.

    And to answer your question, I would guess that it's just that you are very comfortable with Windows, given that you don't like anything else you have tried.
  • markiz - Friday, September 2, 2011 - link

    That's why i asked. I only know 2 people with macbooks. My cousin who is trying to become the next paris hilton, and my uncle who bought it because of the quality.

    But i'll take you're word for it.
  • michael2k - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    You have to admit that the Apple Tax is lowest when a product cycle is new and largest when Apple is about to retire the product (in other words, they are in their profit maximization phase of the life cycle).

    You're comparing a "new" series 7 design to a three year old aluminum unibody design.

    There is expectation and rumor that Apple is going to expire the design next year with one modeled after the MacBook Air (tapered, SSD, removing the optical drive). The only reason it wouldn't be cheaper is that the cost of SSD would raise the price, but it would be competitive with a similar system also utilizing SSD.
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    The problem is, they are only rumors. Nowadays there are plenty of Apple rumors, of which most are inaccurate. Sure, at some point Apple will change the design and at some point, Apple will utilize SSDs.

    I doubt Apple will use SSDs as sole storage in MBPs anytime soon though. The prices are way too high at the moment. Apple can't go from 750GB HDs to 128GB SSDs, there are people who need more storage. A hybrid solution is possible as it wouldn't cost too much but that wouldn't justify the premium of MBP.

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