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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  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Quads have higher TDP and thus require more cooling. The same applies to beefier GPUs. It's already pretty good that Samsung has fitted a decent discrete GPU and ODD in the 14" model. You are paying for the smaller form factor too, don't forget that. Reply
  • Exodite - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Indeed, I understand why they choose to go that route... I'm just miffed at the lack of options. And the fact that I'll get a quad for less if I can settle for the 15.5" model.

    Personally I don't see the point of bottom-end discrete graphics either, I'd rather just use the integrated and save some space, power and a little cash.
    Reply
  • markiz - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    i though that amd is middle class?
    Also, didn't rhey say that because of the thin bezel, 15.5 is more like 14.5 chasis?
    Reply
  • etamin - Sunday, September 4, 2011 - link

    The 14" is also SRT ready while the base 15.6" is not. I actually think this 14" has the best price/performance ratio for a notebook this year. It's hard enough to find anything with a resolution larger than 1366x768 these days let alone WITH a discrete graphics card and a slim aluminum FF for less than $1500. The 10W saved in the i5 vs the i7 is at least beneficial to heat dissipation even if the smaller battery cannot match the larger one in battery life. Reply
  • etamin - Sunday, September 4, 2011 - link

    I think the bigger disparity in price/performance is between the 14" and the 15.6" that costs $50 more for a quad and better gpu. The jump from the $1149 to the $1299 15.6" model is nonsensical though as you only get 2 more gigs of ram out of the premium...RAM speed is probably 1333mhz so I'd rather upgrade both sticks to 1600 anyways. Reply
  • wutsurstyle - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    where are the left and right click touchpad buttons? Reply
  • Hulk - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Specifically how thick? Reply
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    These actually look very nice. 1600x900 14" screen? Thank you, Samsung! No fucking 1366x768 in sight, thank christ. Reply
  • Conficio - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    I have my doubts that his is worth it.

    SSD performance depends on the number of dies in parallel, the smaller the capacity, the lower the die count usually. And then the overhead of the controller.

    I'd rather have +8GB of memory and let the OS do the rest.
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    8GB suggest a single die as that is what 25nm provides. If it's 34nm, then 2x4GB is possible. Reply

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