Samsung Series 7 Chronos review

£1300
Price when reviewed

The Chronos’ sizable chassis is chock-full of powerful components. The 2.4GHz Core i7-3635QM is a quad-core Ivy Bridge processor, and as it’s able to use Turbo to hit a top speed of 3.4GHz, it racked up a speedy 0.9 in our Real World Benchmarks – only a sliver behind the 0.92 scored by the MacBook Pro.

Graphics power comes from a Radeon HD 8870M – one of the beefiest mobile GPUs that AMD produces. It whizzed through our 1,920 x 1,080 High-quality Crysis test at 38fps – six frames more than the MacBook. If you’re seeking a laptop that can smash through the latest games, the Series 7 Chronos is more than capable.

Samsung Series 7 Chronos

Such reserves of power would ordinarily leave a laptop limping home in the battery-life stakes, but it’s simply not the case here: the Samsung’s huge, eight-cell battery lasted for 8hrs 36mins in our light-use battery benchmark.

Amazingly, heat isn’t an issue either: the touchscreen and wrist rest both stayed at comfortable temperatures when we stress-tested the Chronos, and the processor’s peak temperature of 82°C isn’t high enough for us to worry. It’s a better showing than the MacBook, which hit a top temperature of 54°C along the keyboard’s top edge and was noticeably toasty elsewhere. The Samsung’s fans also remained virtually silent, even during the toughest benchmarks.

Samsung Series 7 Chronos

The rest of the Samsung’s specification is standard fare. There’s 8GB of RAM, and Samsung’s saved a little cash by opting for a 1TB hard disk rather than a high-speed SSD. There’s no lack of connectivity, however. Gigabit Ethernet is a welcome sight, as are the D-SUB and HDMI outputs, and there are two USB 3 ports and two USB 2 ports. With dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4 thrown in for good measure, there’s nothing missing.

Samsung’s put together a cracking desktop replacement in the Series 7 Chronos. If you can find an extra £400 in your budget, there’s no question that Apple’s Macbook Pro with Retina display is the classier all-round package, but the Samsung still has plenty going for it. It, too, blends power with an attractive design. Considering the superb Full HD touchscreen, it’s the most refined Windows 8 desktop replacement we’ve seen so far in 2013.

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 376 x 250 x 30mm (WDH)
Weight 2.500kg
Travelling weight 2.9kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i7-3635QM
RAM capacity 8.00GB
Memory type DDR3

Screen and video

Screen size 15.6in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Graphics chipset AMD Radeon HD 8870M
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1

Drives

Capacity 1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity 931GB
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

USB ports (downstream) 2
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader yes
Pointing device type Touchpad
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 8hr 36min
3D performance (crysis) low settings 88fps
3D performance setting Low
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.90
Responsiveness score 0.87
Media score 0.94
Multitasking score 0.89

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 8 64-bit
OS family Windows 8

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