Samsung Series 7 Chronos review
Given the recent furore over Samsung's tablets apparently aping Apple's, it's hardly a surprise that the company's new Series 7 Chronos laptop looks so similar to a Apple MacBook Pro 15in. Its slim metallic chassis is certainly reminiscent of Apple’s laptop, right down to the backlit keyboard and slot-loading optical drive.
Underneath the admittedly gorgeous exterior, there’s a good amount of high performance hardware, including a quad-core Intel processor, 8GB of RAM and a dedicated graphics card. The i7-2675QM runs at a respectable 2.2GHz, but can Turbo Boost up to an incredibly fast 3.1GHz for maximum performance. Our multimedia benchmarks loved the extra power, finishing with an overall score of 62.
As well as having plenty of storage space, the 750GB hard disk also includes 8GB of ExpressCache. This extra flash memory automatically caches your most frequently used files, which helps speed up boot times and application load times. We found that after a few restarts, Windows was indeed slightly faster and we could open large Photoshop files much quicker than before.
Beyond desktop performance, the Series 7 can also handle itself well in modern games, thanks to a dedicated AMD graphics card. The Radeon HD6750M has 1GB of dedicated video memory, which helped it handle the high levels of anti-aliasing in our Dirt 3 test. Managing an incredibly smooth 47.9fps, it should be able to handle most new titles reasonably well at 720p.
The dedicated graphics don’t come at the expense of endurance, thanks to AMD’s graphics switching utility. This detects when the laptop is running off its battery and automatically switches to the more efficient integrated chip built into the processor. This helped it achieve over five and a half hours away from the mains in our light-usage test – this might not be market leading, but it’s still more than enough to get some work done when on the move.
In everyday use, the Series 7 Chronos was simply superb. We were very impressed with the 15.6in display – not only does it have a high 1,600x900 resolution, but it also has a matt screen finish that makes it easy to use under bright lights. This would normally mean a reduction in visual fidelity, but a 300nit backlight provides ample brightness to keep colours looking vivid. We could still see a difference compared to a glossy screen, but it was a definite improvement over the matt displays we’re used to seeing in business laptops.
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