The Good Side
The Samsung Series 7 Chronos retains the sleek and clean design of its predecessor, an impression that’s aided by a full aluminum chassis. The laptop isn’t as light as its slim profile suggests. It clocks in at just over 2.3kg, which is actually similar to the previous model. Samsung did shave around 3mm off, so you could be forgiven for thinking that it looks even thinner.
As one would expect from a premium 15.6-inch desktop replacement, the Chronos has a full-HD screen. It’s an upgrade from the older model, which featured a 1,600 x 900-pixel screen. Another change on the new model is the addition of a touchscreen, which is increasingly common for a Windows 8 laptop.
With the latest AMD Radeon discrete graphics under the hood, the Chronos should meet the graphics requirements for most users, short of gaming enthusiasts. In fact, AMD touts that the Radeon HD 8870M inside this laptop is up to 70 percent faster than the Nvidia GeForce GT 650M found on the MacBook Pro with Retina display. It helps that the laptop comes with 2GB of dedicated video memory, too.
The other hardware specifications are incremental upgrades: A quad-core Ivy Bridge Core i7-3635QM processor and up to 16GB of RAM. The laptop also comes with four USB ports, though only two are using the newer USB 3.0 interface. An Ethernet jack, HDMI and VGA complete the port selection on this machine.
The Bad Side
The Series 7 Chronos comes with a 1TB hard drive to satisfy the storage demands of professional users, but we would also like to see an SSD option. While Samsung claims that the RAMaccelerator software on the Chronos can “provide a 150 percent increase in speed for browsing and running apps”, it works by tapping into the laptop’s onboard memory, which could be an issue if the laptop is configured with the base 4GB of RAM. We’re also pretty sure that the 12-second boot time for the Chronos that Samsung quoted would be much improved with an SSD.
The laptop also doesn’t have an optical drive, not even a slim slot-loading version found on its predecessor. Although it would have been a reasonable omission on a 13.3-inch Ultrabook, it’s more difficult to make a similar argument for a 15.6-inch desktop replacement.
Instead of following Apple in removing the optical drive in a product ostensibly meant for professionals–the latest MacBook Pro also lacks one–Samsung could have tried to include this feature to differentiate the Chronos from the competition.