Tuesday, August 28, 2012

samsung series 7 14" - 1600x900 discrete graphics

my dad wanted a laptop. luckily, my parents were kind enough to suggest i buy a new laptop, give my mom my current laptop, and have my dad take my mom's laptop that's 6 years old.

so i went on a laptop hunt. it took a while (like 10 hrs) because there were some strict, slightly unreasonable criteria i wanted: 1600x900 HD+ resolution or better, ivy bridge, less than 5 lbs, 14.1" screen size or less, optical CD drive, a thin bezel if possible, and a discrete graphics card would be nice. it turned out that not too many laptops had the above combination.

initially i wanted a convertible tablet too to take notes with. but the combination of the above just doesn't exist in a convertible tablet form. the closest was the t902, but that thing cost $2000, still didn't come with discrete graphics, and was bigger and heavier than most of the regular laptops that had a bigger screen size.

reasons i wanted what i wanted:
i wanted an optical drive because i feel insecure without one. (what if i suddenly wanted to play Battlefield 3 and didn't want to wait 2 hours for it to download but instead decided to run to target, buy the disc, and come back in 30 minutes. well without a cd drive, i'd be screwed) actually, i ended up getting the samsung series 7 14" (aka NP700Z3C, NP700Z3C-S02US for the US version), and that thing only comes with a gefore gt 630m, which is relatively weak, and can't really play BF3 =(

i also wanted something with a small footprint so it can fit on not-so-large coffee tables. so i started taking into account not only the screen size, but the actual width, depth, thickness, as well as weight. and the samsung series 7 blows the competition out of the water. (except for weight, in which case it's beat by the sony viao S series). the series 7 basically is a 14" screen in a 13.3" body. so this is basically a 13.3" laptop with 1600x900 resolution. it's pretty amazing how the footprint is smaller than most of the actual 13.3 inchers (because it has a small bezel!!!)

i wanted to 1600x900 resolution because it's so much 1337er than noob 720p.

and yeah, i got ripped off compared to slickdeals deals, but i didn't feel like waiting around for along time. plus i think it's very rare that there will be any other laptop with a smaller footprint for that screen size and resolution.

also, i looked through most of toshiba, hp, dell, acer, asus, and fujitsu's product lines. most didn't offer 1600x900, and if they did, it was more expensive and still lacked a discrete graphics card or optical cd drive. (for example the hp spectre 14" looks really good has a small footprint, but costs about $400 more and lacks discrete graphics. and of course, the macbook's are amazingly designed (and from looking at the samsung series 7 you can see why apple sued samsung so often), but i can't afford the macbook.

Update - september 14, 2014
After using this laptop for about 2 years, its had enough bugs and disappointments that I'm going to try to never buy a samsung laptop again.

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