Samsung Series 7 Ultra review
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.
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 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||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||324 x 224 x 22mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i5-3337U|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,920|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,080|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Graphics chipset||AMD Radeon HD 8570M|
|Hard disk usable capacity||119GB|
|Hard disk||LiteOn SSD|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|USB ports (downstream)||2|
|3.5mm audio jacks||1|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
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|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 8 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows 8|