Samsung Series 7 Ultra review

£1000
Price when reviewed

Still, it’s a welcome addition, and provides markedly more power than Intel’s integrated graphics chips. In our low-quality Crysis test, at 1,366 x 768, the HD 8570M helped the Samsung to a smooth average of 60fps – a result that puts it well ahead of the 42fps scored by the Dell XPS 13’s integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 core. For casual gaming, the extra horsepower of the AMD GPU will make all the difference.

Samsung Series 7 Ultra

Disappointingly, there’s no sign of Intel’s Haswell processors – instead, Samsung has installed an Ivy Bridge Core i5-3337U alongside a 128GB LiteOn SSD. The combination isn’t quite as quick as the Core i7 CPU and 256GB LiteOn SSD in Dell’s XPS 13, but it isn’t far off. The Samsung’s score of 0.66 in our Real World Benchmarks is hot on the heels of the 0.73 scored by the Dell, and it’s only a whisker behind the Haswell Core i5 CPU in Sony’s VAIO Pro 13, which scored 0.68.

The Series 7 Ultra partners its solid all-round performance with impressive reserves of stamina. In our light-use battery test, the Samsung clung on for an impressive 8hrs 38mins. That’s quite a bit behind Sony’s VAIO Pro 13 and Apple’s latest Macbook Air 13-inch – both of which lasted well over 10 hours in the same test – but it’s a great result considering the Samsung’s last-generation CPU and dedicated GPU.

Samsung Series 7 Ultra

Samsung has put the Samsung’s slightly thicker chassis to good use in other areas. There are two USB 2 ports, a USB 3 port, HDMI, a 3.5mm headphone jack and an SD card reader, as well as the rare sight of a Gigabit Ethernet port. There’s also a mini-VGA port, but you’ll need to shell out extra cash for a proprietary adapter. Wireless connectivity, meanwhile, sees dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi join forces with Bluetooth 4.

The Samsung is a little pricier than several of its nearest competitors, not to mention a fair bit heavier, but this classy Ultrabook has the goods it where it counts. With a stunning touchscreen, best-in-class graphics performance and a long-lasting battery, it’s easy to forgive the Series 7 Ultra’s minor flaws. Those after the lightest possible Ultrabook would do well to consider Sony’s featherweight VAIO Pro 13 instead, but if you can live with a few extra grams in your bag, the Series 7 Ultra is a delight.

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 324 x 224 x 22mm (WDH)
Weight 1.600kg
Travelling weight 1.9kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i5-3337U
RAM capacity 6.00GB
Memory type DDR3

Screen and video

Screen size 13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Graphics chipset AMD Radeon HD 8570M
HDMI outputs 1

Drives

Capacity 128GB
Hard disk usable capacity 119GB
Hard disk LiteOn SSD
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 1
SD card reader yes
Pointing device type Touchpad
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Fingerprint reader no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 8hr 38min
3D performance (crysis) low settings 60fps
3D performance setting Low
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.66
Responsiveness score 0.80
Media score 0.69
Multitasking score 0.50

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 8 64-bit
OS family Windows 8

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