Samsung 700Z Chronos review

Great looks, stacks of power and a superb screen: a great, cheap alternative to a MacBook

Dave Stevenson
3 Nov 2011
5
Price when reviewed 
1,014

Page 1 of 2 Samsung 700Z Chronos review

When it comes to dislodging the excellent-value Lenovo IdeaPad Z570 from the A-List, manufacturers have their work cut out – Lenovo’s good-looking machine is a snip at less than £600 exc VAT. Enter the stunning Samsung 700Z series: a range of 15.6in high-end laptops. Can Samsung’s handsome new range tempt us to part with £400 more than Lenovo asks for its Core i5 everyman?

It’s a very good-looking piece of kit: the dark, brushed-aluminium chassis not only feels like it will withstand all but the most serious misuse, but it’s positively gorgeous as well.

The keyboard is beautifully constructed too. There’s no flex beneath the widely spaced keys at all, and the number pad to the right of the main keys gives the 700Z some extra appeal for spreadsheet users.

Samsung 700Z Chronos

It’s an absolute pleasure to type on. It’s also backlit, which lends the machine a touch more glamour while making it arguably more practical, for typing on overnight flights for example.

The trackpad has grand ideas, and will attempt to detect multitouch gestures. A double-fingered drag down scrolls down a document, and pinching your fingers either together or apart is interpreted as “pinch to zoom”, although without proper support in Windows, how well it works varies enormously from application to application. It’s horribly implemented in web browsers such as Chrome, and it’s hard to see it getting much day-to-day use.

Samsung 700Z Chronos

The lack of any apparent mouse buttons looks good, but produces some irritating behaviour: if you want to click and drag something, it makes sense to click with one finger and drag with another, but on a trackpad whose entire surface is a button this is liable to annoying misinterpretation, as selecting text or dragging icons around the desktop becomes infuriatingly hit and miss.

There are other gestures: a four-fingered swipe down produces Windows’ Flip 3D task switcher, while a four-fingered swipe up performs the equivalent of Windows-D, sending you back to the desktop. Neither gesture works reliably or usefully compared to the grace of the Apple system Samsung is aping. Luckily, head to the Control Panel and you can turn most of it off.

Page 1 of 2 Samsung 700Z Chronos review

Warranty

Warranty1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions362 x 239 x 24mm (WDH)
Weight with extended battery2.3kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i7-2720QM
RAM capacity8.00GB
Memory typeDDR3

Screen and video

Screen size15.6in
Resolution screen horizontal1,600
Resolution screen vertical900
Resolution1600 x 900
Graphics chipsetAMD Radeon HD 6750
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1

Drives

Capacity750GB
Hard disk usable capacity673GB
Spindle speed7,200RPM
Hard diskHitachi
Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Optical driveMatshita DVD-RAM UJ8A7AS
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0

Networking

Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a supportyes
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportyes

Other Features

Wireless key-combination switchyes
Modemno
USB ports (downstream)1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks1
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readerno
MMC (multimedia card) readerno
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeTouchpad
Audio chipsetRealtek HD Audio
Speaker locationBelow keyboard
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating1.0mp
TPMno
Fingerprint readerno
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use5hr 8min
Battery life, heavy use1hr 39min
Overall application benchmark score0.78
Overall Real World Benchmark score0.78
Responsiveness score0.81
Media score0.82
Multitasking score0.72

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
OS familyWindows 7
Software suppliedNone

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