Hands-On Review: Samsung Series 7 Notebooks

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Samsung’s Series 7 Windows notebooks pack plenty of processing power into a compact, sleek chassis. Featuring a dual- or quad-core Intel processor and loaded with 8GB of RAM, the 15.6" models are less than an inch thick and weigh just over 5 lb. They’re loaded with Windows 7 Home Premium, featuring a 64-bit architecture that can handle most demanding professional software applications. There’s also a more compact 14" model with 1TB built-in storage; the three larger models offer 500GB to 1TB.

But specs aren’t the only thing to recommend these performance-oriented notebooks: Each of the Series 7 models features island-style keys and a large, bright 1600 x 900 display with a matte finish that cuts out glare from sunlight or indoor lighting. Each notebook has a slot-loading DVD burner/optical drive, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and WiDi technology, and at least one super-speed USB 3.0 port. What’s more, the powerful battery will keep the Series 7 notebook running for a full workday. Whether you’re interested in gaming, general computing or photo or video editing, be sure to get the full story from our hands-on video review.

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  Series 7 NP700Z3A-S06US 14” Notebook  Series 7 NP700Z5A-S06US 15.6" Notebook Series 7 NP700Z5A-S09US 15.6" Notebook  Series 7 NP700Z5A-S0AUS 15.6" Notebook
Operating System  Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
CPU/ Processor Intel Core i5-2450M Dual-Core Processor Intel Core i7-2675QM Quad-Core Processor Intel Core i5-2450M Dual-Core Processor Intel Core i7-2675QM Quad-Core Processor
CPU Clock Speed (Max.) 2.45 GHz 2.20 GHz 2.45 GHz 2.20 GHz
CPU Cache 3MB L3 6MB L3 3MB L3 6MB L3
Screen Size 14" 15.6" 15.6" 15.6"
Resolution 1600 x 900 1600 x 900 1600 x 900 1600 x 900
Brightness 300 nit 300 nit 300 nit 300 nit
Graphics Chip AMD Radeon HD6490M (PowerXpress) AMD Radeon HD6490M (PowerXpress) AMD Radeon HD6490M (PowerXpress) AMD Radeon HD6750M (PowerXpress)
Graphic Memory 1GB (GDDR5) Not specified by manufacturer 1GB (GDDR5) 1GB (GDDR5)
Standard System Memory 8GB 8GB 8GB 8GB
Memory Type DDR3 DDR3 DDR3 DDR3
Max. System Memory 8GB 8GB 8GB 8GB
Hard Drive Capacity 1TB 750GB 500GB 1TB
Optical Disc Drive DVD +/-RW Super Multi Dual Layer (S-ATA) DVD +/-RW Super Multi Dual Layer (S-ATA) DVD +/-RW Super Multi Dual Layer (S-ATA) DVD +/-RW Super Multi Dual Layer (S-ATA)
Speakers 3W Stereo Speaker (1.5W x 2) 3W Stereo Speaker (1.5W x 2) 3W Stereo Speaker (1.5W x 2) 3W Stereo Speaker (1.5W x 2)
Web Camera 1.3MP HD 1.3MP HD 1.3MP HD 1.3MP HD
Wireless LAN Intel 802.11 a/b/g/n Intel 802.11 a/b/g/n Intel 802.11 a/b/g/n Intel 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiDi Yes Not specified by manufacturer Yes Yes
Bluetooth Bluetooth v3.0 High Speed Bluetooth v3.0 High Speed Bluetooth v3.0 High Speed Bluetooth v3.0 High Speed
Wired Ethernet LAN Gigabit LAN Not specified by manufacturer Gigabit LAN Gigabit LAN
HDMI Yes Yes Yes Yes
USB Ports 2 (1x USB 3.0; 1x USB 2.0) 3 (2x USB 3.0; 1x USB 2.0) 3 (2x USB 3.0; 1x USB 2.0) 3 (2x USB 3.0; 1x USB 2.0)
Headphone Out 1x 3.5mm mini jack 1x 3.5mm mini jack 1x 3.5mm mini jack 1x 3.5mm mini jack
Microphone  Integrated mic; also shares 3.5mm jack with headphones Integrated mic; also shares 3.5mm jack with headphones Integrated mic; also shares 3.5mm jack with headphones Integrated mic; also shares 3.5mm jack with headphones
VGA VGA connection available through dongle (optional) VGA connection available through dongle (optional) VGA connection available through dongle (optional) VGA connection available through dongle (optional)
RJ45 (LAN) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multi Card Slot 4-in-1 (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC) 4-in-1 (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC) 4-in-1 (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC) 4-in-1 (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC)
Keyboard 86 Key Backlit 102 Key Backlit 102 Key Backlit 102 Key Backlit
Touch Pad Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kensington Lock Slot Yes Yes Yes Yes
AC Adapter 60W Not specified by manufacturer 90W 90W
Number of Cells / Cell Type 8 / Li-Po 8 / Li-Po 8 / Li-Po; 5420 mAh 8 / Li-Po; 5420 mAh
Battery Life Not Specified By Manufacturer 7.8 hours 7.8 hours 7.8 hours
Compliancy Energy Star Certified (5.2) Not specified by manufacturer EPEAT Gold; Energy Star  Certified (5.2); TCO
 Certified (3.1)
EPEAT Gold; Energy Star  Certified (5.2); TCO
 Certified (3.1)
Dimensions (W x D x H) 12.7 x 0.93 x 8.8" / 32.26 x 2.36 x 22.35 cm 14.26 x 0.94 x 9.39" / 36.22 x 2.39 x 23.85 cm 14.2 x 0.94 x 9.3" / 36.07 x 2.39 x 23.62 cm 14.2 x 0.94 x 9.3" / 36.07 x 2.39 x 23.62 cm
Weight 4.56 lb (2.07 kg ) 5.05 lb / 2.29 kg 5.04 lb / 2.29 kg 5.04 lb / 2.29 kg

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