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Samsung Series 7 Ultra NP740U3E review



Our Score


User Score


  • Light, stylish and portable
  • Can play games at decent settings
  • Sharp and colourful touchscreen


  • No optical drive
  • Screen wobbles when touched

Review Price £999.00

Key Features: 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 touchscreen; Intel Core i5 1.8GHZ processor; 6GB RAM; 128GB SSD; AMD Radeon HD 8750M 1GB; 1.65kg

Manufacturer: Samsung

What is the Samsung Series 7 Ultra NP740U3E?

The Samsung Series 7 Touchscreen Ultra (or NP740U3E to give it its less catchy title) is, if you’ll permit an Apple comparison, somewhere between a 13-inch MacBook Air and a MacBook Pro. For around £1,000, you get many of the same benefits of Apple’s svelte laptop: it’s highly portable at only 23.5mm thick and 1.65kg in weight, and packs plenty of power within its tiny frame.

On top of that, it also offers a couple of things Apple doesn’t: Windows 8 and a touch-screen interface and dedicated graphics. It’s the kind of laptop that, on paper, could be everything you need in one – i.e. a portable laptop that’s powerful enough to play games as well.

Watch our Samsung Series 7 Ultra video review

Samsung Series 7 Ultra NP740U3E – Design & Build Quality

As you’d expect from a high-end ultrabook, the design of the Series 7 is stylish, compact and very thin. At just 18.9mm thick and weighing in at 1.65kg, it certainly lives up to its portable credentials. That does make it slightly heavier and thicker than the 13-inch MacBook Air, which weighs in at 1.35kg and stands 17.3mm thick, but that's really more of a difference for bragging rights than actual practicality.

Samsung describes the colour as ‘bare metal’, and it keeps this colour scheme for everything (including the keys and touchpad), aside from stylish glossy black border of the screen. The metal is smooth to the touch, and has nicely rounded edges: it’s a laptop that certainly looks like it deserves its price tag.

There are a generous three USB ports, a headphone jack, SD card slot, a VGA adapter, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port and, of course, the very small AC adapter point. The base of the laptop is so thin that the USB slots only just fit, and the Ethernet port actually doesn’t, requiring a pull-down tab to make space for the cable.

What it doesn’t find room for, of course, is any optical media. There’s no DVD or Blu-ray drive included, so if that’s important to you, then you’ll have to break the minimalist effect with an external USB drive, or look elsewhere.

Samsung Series 7 Ultra NP740U3E 14

Samsung Series 7 Ultra NP740U3E – Screen Quality

Samsung knows how to make a quality screen, and it shows. Like the Samsung Galaxy S4, the screen’s colours seem a little oversaturated at times, but it’s all down to personal taste.

Other than that, we have nothing but praise for the screen. It’s incredibly sharp, as you’d expect from a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution on a 13.3-inch display, with both text and images appearing crystal clear. Its peak brightness is impressively high, which should help when used outdoors. The viewing angle, meanwhile, is wide enough that you can read text from unrealistically tight angle without trouble.

The screen is touch friendly, and while this is great for navigating the Windows 8 start menu, the usual caveats apply about the fiddly nature of applying an exact touch to desktop mode, especially as the high resolution mean menu items are very small.

The only slight downside here is that the screen feels a little flimsy when it’s supposed to be locked into position. It doesn’t slip down without contact, but it often wobbles when you’re using the touchscreen, which is annoying.

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June 25, 2013, 3:32 pm

No reviews seem to pick up on the fact that only Apple designs their laptops with a smooth underside, so they are suitable using in bed etc.. Everyone else puts their laptop's vents there, making them unusable on a duvet or other soft surface. It's the sort of detail that doesn't occur when comparing specs on the web, but makes a potentially big difference to usability (and laptop life).


June 25, 2013, 5:00 pm

I agree. Although I'm not an Apple fan, I am surprised nobody else in putting their cooling vents in the screen hinge like Apple.


June 25, 2013, 5:02 pm

So is this an Ivy Bridge or a Haswell machine?


June 25, 2013, 6:50 pm

No mention of Haswell, I was nearly sold until the screen size, why is it that every manufacturer is obsessed with 13 inch screens !

I understand the necessity for portability , but what about those of us that want the portability but would actually like a screen you can do proper work on at journeys end, I am not an Apple fan but with every machine that is produced lately, under powered, over priced, Apple is becoming more of a viable option.


June 25, 2013, 8:30 pm

I cannot find the 8750m version anywhere - they all seem to be 8570m - quite a step down


June 26, 2013, 9:34 am

I don't understand your problem: this is an ultraportable machine, and 13" is the sweet spot for most people. That doesn't take away the fact that there are both 15 and 17" solutions available all over at less than apple's crazy £1500 minimum asked price (for a 5400rpm equipped machine even).


June 26, 2013, 12:31 pm

Thanks for the comment, I understand that there re both 15 and 17 inch variants available, my point was pointing to the fact I like this machine but would love it in either one of the aforementioned guise's, if you have a product number for the featured model in either 15 or 17 inch I would appreciate your forwarding me the details, I have just purchased a Chronos 7 Notebook1TB NP7705ZE i7 15.6", I am not sure if this is a top machine but it is one that stood out for me, but I would also like to purchase a second machine and the model that appeals is the one featured here, but as I have said, not with a 13" screen.
Many Thanks.


June 26, 2013, 2:37 pm

Actually, the Series 7 Ultra DOES have cooling vents in its hinge :)


June 26, 2013, 2:38 pm

Might this be what you're after: http://www.trustedreviews.com/... ?


June 27, 2013, 3:43 pm

Yes, and all over the bottom too, which was my point.


June 27, 2013, 5:15 pm

In fact Samsung's own website only seems to list the 8570m which appears to be only half as fast in terms of FPS - so this is a very different proposition - is there actually a version with 8750m or is this a typo?


June 27, 2013, 7:19 pm

Looking at the photos, I'd hardly call that an ultrabook, it's way too thick.


July 1, 2013, 3:09 pm

There are a few exceptions, such as my Lenovo U300s, which has a flat bottom and vents through the keyboard (It runs cooler and quiter than my 2013 MBA too), but other than that I totally agree.

Jordan Nicholas Clarke

July 2, 2013, 11:48 am

makes it unusable?? are you having a laugh?


July 3, 2013, 1:06 pm

Try using it on a soft surface, and let me know how you get on.

Adrian Schofield

July 8, 2013, 11:28 am

I don't know about anyone else but I'm confused. The review states repeatedly that the dedicated graphics is a Radeon 8750M however the specs here http://www.samsung.com/uk/cons... state a 8570M.

The processor is stated as an i5 3337U - this is a third generation core and so NOT Haswell. This is fine it's just it was asked and it would be good to point out in the review for the technically minded.

The price? I can see costs as low as £699 (John Lewis) all the way up to £1000+ (Amazon) This seems odd to me for a laptop that is a standard spec and so can't be configured. By the way all these devices say 8570M for the dedicated graphics.
So either I've missed something or maybe Samsung is bringing out a revision with the 8750M.

Feedback from you guys would really help as I love the site and use your reviews to decide what gadgets to buy but in this case you've left me very confused.

Williams Agbeviakoh

July 17, 2013, 11:56 pm

My dream laptop


July 30, 2013, 7:11 pm

The Sony Vaio Pro also have the fans on the hinges...


July 31, 2013, 2:25 pm

The just-released 11"/13" ones? Fair enough, though even they still have a side vent, which is almost as easy to block with a duvet.

Valerie Francis

August 6, 2013, 9:51 am

Does anyone know if the Samsung series 7 has a built in surge protector?

carlos lobao

September 11, 2013, 6:41 pm

WHAT?! Apple designs laptops suitable for using in bed? Only if you live in Siberia!!!

Stuart Lee Friedman

May 2, 2014, 6:06 pm

This had the right combination of graphics performance, form factor, etc - but seems to have been dropped by Samsung just a few months since this review, and I can't fond it anywhere. Any similar products/suggestions?

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