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.

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