Samsung Series 7 Ultra in Tests – Haswell Could Mean Bargains or Refresh

Posted on 31 May 2013 By


After nearly two years of Ultrabooks the Samsung Series 7 Ultra came along and ticked all the boxes we had listed for an Ultrabook. Finally a combination of screen, performance, battery, ports, storage and price that looked interesting. Our first hands-on was positive but it’s take a long time to reach the shelves and we’re now just days away from Haswell. Can Samsung expect sales or is it going to get crushed by the third generation of Ultrabooks on the 4th Generation of Intel Core processor? We suspect that most will be waiting for a Haswell refresh before even considering it.

Ultrabook King gives the Samsung Series 7 (730U3E non-touch) an 84.5% score. Engadget called it a “good deal.” Digital Versus gave it 5/5. Mobile Tech Review gave it 4/5. It’s a bloody good Ultrabook.

With Haswell round the corner how are manufacturers going to handle the phasing out or re-positioning of ‘old’ Ultrabooks? Remember now that next generation Ultrabooks (with Haswell cores) must have touch and WiDI and that pricing of these new models is sensitive. Haswell brings, however, some seriously large benefits in battery life which for many is the #1 figure to check for in reviews.

Haswell will also bring 50%-100% (1.5x – 2.0x) improvement in graphics too along with a boost in CPU performance. Even the Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks are going to look very under-powered, very quickly. Device built on the ‘new’ Ivy Bridge Y-series at 1.4Ghz and 1.5Ghz are going to look silly if they are priced within even the budget Haswell Ultrabook space!

Pricing is the key here.

The Samsung Series 7 Ultra will remain a very good Ultrabook, if the pricing is changed. That won’t have to happen immediately as you won’t see any killer street-pricing on Haswell Ultrabooks until there are 10-20 models available and that could take until the end of July but when that happens and a Haswell Ultrabook with 7hr battery life at $799 appears, discounting will be needed…

…unless everything get’s a refresh and that’s what’s likely to happen as soon as possible for the top touch-enabled models in order to retain the higher pricing. Non-touch Ultrabooks with Ivy Bridge will drop in price quickly or will need to be taken out of the market. Customers looking for bargains should be watching in July for some interesting back-to-school offers. The Samsung Series 7 should be amongst them as one of the best 2nd-gen bargains out there.

We’ve looked through the recent and popular 2nd-gen Ultrabooks and along with the non-touch ASUS Zenbooks, the Samsung Series 7 / ATIV Book 7 could be the best of the bargains during the change-over.

Here are a few Samsung Serie7 reviews for you to read. Don’t hit that order button just yet though; Prepare yourself to hit the button sometime in July. (Or full information page here.)

Ultrabook King – Samsung Series 7 (730U3E) Review (German)

Engadget – Samsung Series 7 Ultra Touch Review

DigitalVersus – Samsung Series7 Ultra Review

MobiletechReview – Samsung Series 7 Ultra Touch Review

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  1. #1 by Touko on May 31, 2013 - 18:26

    Requiring all 3rd gen ultrabooks to have a touch screen is absolutely retarded!

    With much help from review sites like Notebookcheck, non-reflective screens finally started to show up in more and more notebooks, allowing people to work outside or in brightly lit rooms without staring at their own faces in their laptop displays.

    If the entire computer industry is hellbent to solely focus on the couch-potato consumer segment only, its going to be frustrating as hell.

    • #2 by Steve Chippy Paine on May 31, 2013 - 20:51

      If Intel want to slim down the Ultrabook market that’s not going to stop anyone creating a product outside this sector if they feel there’s a market. Matt touchscreens exist too so I don’t see much problem here.

    • #3 by artaman on June 2, 2013 - 14:52

      I also tend to agree with Touko on the part of the touch screen requirement/need.

      I would really like some people to give some very concrete examples of how one’s real productivity can increase using touch screens (when programming, when using autocad, when editing video etc)

      Because to be able to upload a Justin Bieber video on facebook in 3seconds using touch screen capabilities, whereas it would take 10seconds not using touch screen capabilities is not productivity; it is plain nonsense in my opinion.

      And I am afraid that touch screen will 99% of the time involve such nonsense activities…

      I would be happy though to be proven wrong through very concrete professional-oriented examples though.

      • #4 by Touko on June 26, 2013 - 15:43

        I’d challenge touch screen users to match my speed on keyboard and mouse on any task, except drawing, sketching, painting and last not least professional diskjokey playback applications…

        So, if someone is an artist, by all means opt for a convertible with touch screen, the benefit will outweigh the drawbacks.

        For a regular non-convertible ultrabook, a touchscreen is utter nonsense, as you’d have to work with an outstretched arm and deal with a display that bobs back and forth every time you touch it. (exceptions to that rule: Samsung’s latest stabilized hinge design and laptops where the display can open flat to 180 degrees.)

  2. #5 by Robert on June 1, 2013 - 14:37

    I just got my Samsung series 9 back from repairs within under a week I am so impressed, I just bought a series 7 (17 Inch) on top of it Haswell or no.

    • #6 by Touko on June 26, 2013 - 15:45

      Both nice machines.

      And glad that Samsung has a fast turn-around too. Nice to know.

  3. #7 by gwrace on June 6, 2013 - 14:44

    Does it always have to come down to productivity? Adding touch screens to a notebook just makes sense by providing additional ways to get things done. When it’s faster to use the touch pad and keyboard, use the touch pad and keyboard. When it’s faster to navigate or perform functions with the touch screen use the touch screen. I’ve worked in IT for the last 30 years and have owned and supported more laptops than I can count. None of them provide decent visibility in bright sunlight. My son had never seen Windows 8 until the start of school last year. He took his new Acer touch ultrabookand within minutes had it custom configured to his needs.

    • #8 by Touko on June 26, 2013 - 16:04

      “Does it always have to come down to productivity?”

      Sure hope so, but games are less fun too when you see more reflections than content.

      “None of them provide decent visibility in bright sunlight.”

      I guess you have never used a Zenbook or Samsung Series 9, because they do.

      You can work in the train even if you’re sitting on the wrong (sunny) side, right next to the window.

      But that’s not nearly all. Indoor display reflections increase stress on your eyes and diminish the focus on your work.

      If you work on computers for a living, you want to avoid that, as constant eye strain can lead to serious eye injury.

      Glossy screens maybe fine for sporadic users, but not for working folks, unless they are spooks working in darkened rooms.

      As for your son configuring Windows 8, what does that have to do with anything? I’ve seen a 3 year old configuring Android to her liking. They are just born with this stuff around, for better or for worse.

  4. #9 by Touko on June 26, 2013 - 16:19

    Oh hey, Steve…

    Series 7 Ultra bargains would sure be nice, in light of Samsung staying mum on that line so far.

    But I have this sneaking suspicion that they might have throttled production well ahead of time, as availability of these units seems kinda low. I see a lot more Series 9 models (C, D, E versions) floating around at various discounted prices.

    For example: when I type “Samsung 7 Ultra” (which should catch both “Samsung Series 7 Ultra” and “Samsung Ativbook 7 Ultra”), into Pricegrabber.com, all that comes up are bunch of old Samsung Spinpoint hard drives…

    Aside from hoping for your assessment on that situation, it gave me an idea: how hard would it be to implement some sort of price-finder links on your site?

    Well, maybe you don’t actually want that, to keep the site nice and clean, like you seem to have avoided any and all advertising on your site as well. (or is my adblocker killing your income? I’d be happy to whitelist your site if that’s the case)

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