Review: Samsung Series 7 Chronos laptop
When thinking about Samsung products, users will generally jump to mobile phones, washing machines, sounds systems and televisions, but not necessarily laptops. Samsung recently introduced their new Chronos laptop, and so far it is one of the best we have seen this year.
Under the hood, the Samsung Chronos is a bit of a monster. It features an Intel Core i7 processor, 1GB Hybrid VRam with 8GB memory, 500GB harddrive and projects all this onto a 15.6” LED HD screen.
With that amount of computing power, it boots up incredibly fast. We ran a speed test and the entire boot-up process up to desktop access took less than 40 seconds and that included entering the password at the login screen.
While it is an incredible machine, it is not completely devoid of faults. One of the problems that plague today’s Ultrabooks and laptops, is that the keys are positioned rather loosely in their sockets. This causes the keys not to register when struck, or it results in duplicate letters being produced.
The biggest culprit on the Chronos’ keyboard is the spacebar. The key only picks up a command when hit squarely in the middle, as the sides seem to be on a rocker. Tapping the edges of the spacebar will result in absolutely nothing – which is rather frustrating when typing fast.
Other than that, the full size keyboard, complete with a Numpad on the side, works well under normal usage. The keyboard also features backlit functionality, and what is special about the Chronos, is that it has a light sensor built in. It will detect when the lighting conditions deteriorate and will automatically switch on the back lights. Good luck on turning on the back lights when conditions are ideas, as the system won’t let you.
The keyboard naturally has all kinds of shortcuts to be used in conjunction with the Function Key, such as screen dimming, volume, backlit intensity, running on silent mode, Wi-Fi activation and a nifty button for ejecting the Optical Disc Drive (ODD).
In terms of build, the Samsung Chronos is a bit on the heavy side, but there are a number of different laptops that weigh much more. Featuring a matte steel finish, it can withstand all the bumps and scratches that would normally accompany general usage.
On the left of the user, sits the headphone jack, a mini Display port, full size HDMI, network port, charge connection and two USB ports. One of the USB ports can be used to specifically charge a USB device, even when the laptop has been switched off. Just underneath the Numpad sits another USB port, together with the optical ODD drive. Because of the way the lid opens, no connection points have been built into the back.
Being a Samsung product, the Chronos comes pre-installed with a whole bunch of exciting programs that are ready to be used. Applications such as Kies, Samsung AllShare, Intelli-studio, a trial version of Adobe’s Lightroom 3, Easy Settings and Samsung RAW Converter all have a shortcut from the desktop.
Samsung’s Easy Settings is actually a nifty application that allows users to changes a variety of settings through one program. It will grant users access to change the settings of ExpressCache, Power Management, Wireless Networks, Display properties, Sound Alive and the desktop’s background, among other things.
The Chronos is really a remarkable piece of machinery and operates beautifully, despite the dodgy spacebar. Other than that, it looks amazing, works really fast and really well, and will serve its user’s every need.
Our rating: 8.5/10
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor