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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  • cdanc - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Maybe they put those 8GB of SSD only to be used to dump the content of the RAM during hibernation. This explains both the small size (8GB is enough because the laptop has 4GB RAM onboard + max 4GB into one slot) and the quick startup (from hibernation). Reply
  • kenyee - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Is it a regular LCD....IPS? The Macbooks all use IPS which is why their colors look so saturated.
    Is it glossy? Matte?
    Reply
  • etherealkev - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    The macbooks don't use IPS panels. They're just better-quality TN panels, and only the iMacs and cinema displays have IPS panels. As for glossy/matte, apparently all the models are matte screens with 1600x900 resolution, so if Sammy puts high quality TN or even VA/IPS panels in there, they have a winner. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Anandtech talked about the different panels in the last mac article he did. Reply
  • FlyBri - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Sorry, but for me, if you don't have a 1080p screen option for a 15"+ laptop, it's a fail for me. I have a 1080p screen now on my current laptop, and I'll never go back because the extra screen real estate is great for work. Reply
  • a2d - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Does anybody know if these beauties do support Power Express Switchable Graphics (AMD's equivalent to NVs Optimus Technology)? Reply
  • bhima - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Pretty sure these don't compete with MBP since these Sandy Bridge procs are the ULV version numbers and thus, aren't as fast as the full fledged SB processors that are in the MBP. Even still, that 14" with 1600x900 screen looks tasty, wish it had better graphics but thats probably all you can fit in such a diminutive chassis. Reply
  • etherealkev - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Those aren't ulv processors. In fact the i7 one even seems to have higher clocked version of intel hd 3000 integrated graphics card. We really need to see a full review of these laptops. Hope I can finally replace my 2007 mbp with these. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    i7-2635QM is as fast as i7-2630QM (or actually slightly faster given the 100MHz faster GPU Turbo), the difference is packaging. 30QM uses rBGA998 whereas 35QM uses BGA 1224 Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    These laptops are an improvement, but still not as thin as the MacBook Pro. There is a weird flip down Ethernet jack that I'm not sure I'd like. The track pads are large but not centered. The 16x9 display could be a weak point PC makers rarely spec high end panels. I love the edge-to-edge glass display of the MacBook Pro, it would be difficult to give that up. I can't wait to see what Apple can do when they ditch the Optical drive on the MacBook Pro. My guess is a three way split - thinner, bigger battery, better cooling. I think they will ditch the Ethernet port, they have to to make it thinner. Luckily, I prefer WiFi for simplicity above performance. Reply

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