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Samsung Series 7 Ultra NP740U3E - Keyboard, Touch Pad and Verdict

By Alan Martin

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

9

Samsung Series 7 Ultra NP740U3E – Keyboard

Despite being only 12.7-inches wide, the Series 7 has no problem fitting in a full sized keyboard, though it does dispense with the number pad for space. Even so, the keys all manage a decent couple of millimetres gap between them, and almost an inch of space around the edges. As such, typing quickly isn’t a problem at all, and we were tapping away at top speed within minutes.

The keyboard is also optionally backlit – a function that is switched off by default, but easily turned up between three brightness levels by adjusting a couple of the function keys. This makes typing in the dark a bit easier for those who can’t touch type, although the light does bleed a little unevenly from the sides of the keys while illuminating the actual letters.

Samsung Series 7 Ultra NP740U3E – Touch Pad

Samsung sees the worth of a large touchpad, even on a compact system like this, and as such the touch area is roughly 4-inches by 3-inches. It’s a smoothed off area, slightly lowered with a darker colour, and we found that it worked well in every way we wanted it to: gestures were easy to pull off smoothly and the segments for left and right click were clearly defined.

Like Apple’s touchpads, it can be pressed in anywhere, or lightly tapped for quick navigation. It's a pleasure to use, and the lack of actual buttons isn't a problem and maintains the minimalistic look nicely.

Other things to consider

To keep it light, Samsung has not included a DVD/Blu Ray drive with the Series 7. If this is important to you, a third party USB disk drive could be added, but it’s an increasingly common move that’s hard to disagree with given the size and weight.

As you would expect from a laptop of this size, the sound quality isn’t anything to write home about, with bass audio struggling to come through on tinny speakers. But the speakers go loud enough without distortion for casual use.

There's also a 720p webcam, but as with most built in cameras the results are actually pretty grainy. As is always the case here though, you’ll be using this for Skype, not taking memorable holiday snaps, so this isn’t exactly a problem.

Should I buy the Samsung Series 7 Ultra NP740U3E?

It’s pretty hard to find fault with the Samsung Series 7 Ultra NP740U3E. If you’re looking for something with the right payoff between performance and portability, it’s tough to find a worthy competitor in the same price bracket – especially if you want to play a few games.

One obvious contender is the 13-inch Macbook Air, but in actual fact they’re less similar than first appears. The Samsung has dedicated graphics so it can play games to a better level, while the MacBook has far superior battery life.

It’s the same story when compared to more recent Windows ultrabooks, like the Samsung Series 9 900X3B, and in any case the Series 7 makes an excellent case for itself.

Verdict

A premium ultrabook that offers high performance at a high price tag, the Samsung Series 7 Ultra NP740U3E is a great option for anyone who wants portability with a little extra performance and gaming potential.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 7
  • Build Quality 9
  • Design 9
  • Heat & Noise 8
  • Keyboard 8
  • Performance 9
  • Screen Quality 9
  • Touchpad 9
  • Value 9

mode11

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).

MattMe

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.

MattMe

June 25, 2013, 5:02 pm

So is this an Ivy Bridge or a Haswell machine?

Gavin

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.

vectorious

June 25, 2013, 8:30 pm

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

SetiroN

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).

Gavin

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.

TechVegan

June 26, 2013, 2:37 pm

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

TechVegan

June 26, 2013, 2:38 pm

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

mode11

June 27, 2013, 3:43 pm

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

vectorious

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?

BlackAle

June 27, 2013, 7:19 pm

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

pgchamberlin

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?

mode11

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

Orphan

July 30, 2013, 7:11 pm

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

mode11

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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