The Good Side
One of our criticisms of the Samsung Series 6 Ultra was a plastic feel. This isn’t an issue with the higher-tier Series 7 Ultra, which has an all-aluminum chassis. It has the aesthetics you’d expect from an Ultrabook, such as a sleek profile and a weight that’s just under 1.5kg.
For an Ultrabook, the Series 7 Ultra has pretty impressive hardware. Besides a choice of either Intel Core i5 or i7 ultra-low-power processors, users can configure up to 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. It also comes with discrete graphics from AMD.
The AMD graphics would be handy to drive the 1,920 x 1,080-pixel screen on this 13.3-inch laptop. This is an even higher resolution than Samsung’s flagship Series 9 laptops, and probably means we’ll be hearing about an updated Series 9 soon. Screen brightness is also rated at 350 nits, which helps to alleviate the reflections from its glossy screen.
A useful Ethernet port is included, along with HDMI and mini-VGA outputs. Interestingly, there’s also a 4G LTE version available.
A touchscreen option, which results in a slightly thicker and heavier machine, is also available. While Samsung hasn’t released the prices for either version, the touch-enabled model would likely be more expensive.
The Bad Side
We can understand why the Series 7 Ultra doesn’t sport a Thunderbolt connector, as the connectivity standard hasn’t really taken off yet. But why is there only a single USB 3.0 port out of the three available? No doubt, it’s a minor annoyance, but the little details could be what separates an excellent product from a good one.
Besides being a sliver thicker, the touchscreen adds close to 200g to the laptop’s weight, resulting in a total of 1.65kg for the touch version. With many 13.3-inch Ultrabooks coming in under 1.5kg–the larger 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch is just 1.55kg, albeit with a carbon-fiber body–it seems that Samsung could do better.
The Series 7 Ultra also doesn’t have an optical drive. It’s not a big deal nowadays, but you should keep that portable optical drive handy if you haven’t weaned off optical media yet.