Samsung may be more well known for their line of flimsy plastic smartphones nowadays, but the company still makes a range of high-end laptops that do not resemble anything on the smartphone side.
One of the clear examples of this elegant and premium design is the Samsung Series 7 Ultra, a high-end notebook for any Windows user, built with an integrated touch screen and some impressive specs.
We took the Samsung Series 7 Ultra for a spin to see if the Windows 8 notebook could be a great purchase against the MacBook Air and other light notebooks in the price category, or if Samsung has fallen short of the mark when it comes to the ideal experience.
The design of the Samsung Series 7 Ultra shows two things, Samsung can do premium devices and they can match up against the very best in the industry. The build on the Series 7 Ultra matches the MacBook Air in terms of quality and precision and Samsung has adapted a lot from Apple’s popular laptop line.
Instead of going almost dirty white aluminium like the MacBook, Samsung has went with a dark grey brushed metal look. Samsung has built a rather sturdy keyboard and trackpad onto the Series 7 Ultra, they keyboard is full sized and works tremendously well.
The trackpad performance is impressive too, we have no complaints. The size and placement of the trackpad makes us believe Samsung has taken a few tips from Apple. The power button on the Series 7 Ultra all but confirms Samsung has at least snooped on the MacBook Air when looking for design references.
Samsung has slapped a quality 1920 x 1080 display onto the 13.3-inch Series 7 Ultra. This is one of the leading standards of display on the market, beating the current MacBook Air 1440 x 900 resolution.
The Samsung Series 7 Ultra isn’t just a bit of glitz, the notebook packs a good punch on the internal side too, starting with an Intel Core i5 processor alongside 6GB of DDR3 RAM.
Intel Core i5 is the industry standard for high-end, but not extreme laptops and desktops and is used by most desktop users. 6GB of RAM is also in the mid-range, more than the average notebook but not more than you would find on a high-end desktop.
Samsung has also fitted the AMD Radeon HD 8570M GPU into the Series 7 Ultra, giving it increased graphics performance. The notebook will struggle to run top-end video games at 60fps, but should cope with browser based games and indie titles that are not graphically intensive without a big problem. We wouldn’t advise trying to run Battlefield 4 on the notebook, but playing Don’t Starve or The Cave is pretty suitable.
Performance on the Samsung Series 7 Ultra is excellent all round, Windows 8 runs without any lag or problems and Samsung seems to have fine-tuned it perfectly for the touchscreen, making sure there is no lag between using the touchscreen and using the trackpad.
Battery life on the Samsung Series 7 Ultra is average, hitting around 8 hours with light use and a little less when it comes to streaming videos or playing games. We would say if you are only using it to check email and use the Internet, you will probably power through one day.
Windows 8 is a not one of those love/hate issues, many hate it and not a lot of people love it. If you have never used it before, Windows 8 is a nice experience but can be a big change compared to Windows XP/Vista.sx
The desktop interface is the same as it was on Windows 7, minus the buttons becoming more square. Windows 8 biggest change is the tablet Start UI, with the integrated apps store. Many hate this move by Microsoft to create a tablet-designed OS.
For most tasks, Windows 8 works well and we find it can be better than Windows 7 in some areas. Of course you can buy Windows 7 and install it on the Samsung Series 7 Ultra if you do not like Windows 8.
Samsung has excelled at making the Series 7 Ultra a remarkably well designed notebook and the only feature holding it back is Windows 8 – but for many this will not seem like a downside. It is definitely a good choice for any high-end Windows user.