Hands-on with Samsung's 13- and 15-inch Series 7 Notebooks

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Samsung announced its new Series 7 notebooks, 13- and 15-inch systems designed to be equally at home in the boardroom and the bedroom. Starting at $999, these systems have aluminum chassis, ultra-thin bezels (which means more screen in a smaller package), and a battery which will retain 80 percent of its charge even after 3 years.

Following the path of the Series 9, the Series 7 notebooks have a thickness  of 0.9 inches. Both have a brushed aluminum lid and deck, which is classy, if understated, and a plastic underside. They also have slot-loading DVD drives, two USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet, HDMI, and a USB 2.0 port. There's no VGA port, but the notebooks ship with an adapter that plugs into the microUSB port. Other amenities include a backlit keyboard, AMD graphics, and a fan-silence button on the keyboard.

The displays on both models have a resolution of 1600 x 900, a matte finish, and 300-nit brightness. Using what Samsung calls "Max Screen" technology, the bezel on both are about 1/4 of an inch thick. This means that both notebooks have a smaller footprint than normal. For example, the smaller system has a 14-inch display in what normally would be a 13-inch notebook. 

Samsung added some software tweaks, including Quick Boot, which boots the notebook in 19 seconds; Fast Start technology, which will wake the system from hybrid sleep in 2-3 seconds, and takes a snapshot of your system so you can pick up right where you left off. What's more, the higher-end models will have ExpressCache, 8GB of flash memory on the motherboard which will speed up boot time as well as overall performance.

The integrated batteries will retain up to 80 percent of their charge after 1,500 cycles, and should last up to 9 hours with Wi-Fi turned off.  The 15-inch Series 7 weighs 5.05 pounds, and the 13-inch version weighs 4.3 pounds. 

The 15-inch version will start at $999, and the 13-inch version will start at $1,099. Both will be available starting October 2. 

Price   Processor         RAM    Hard Drive          Graphics Display size
$999 Intel Core i7-2675QM  6GB 750GB AMD Radeon HD 6490M 15.6 inches
$1,099 2.4-GHz Intel Core i5-2430M 6GB 750GB w/EC 8GB AMD Radeon HD 6490M 14 inches
$1,149 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-2675QM 6GB 750GB w/EC 8GB AMD Radeon HD 6750M 15.6 inches
$1,299  2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-2675QM 8GB  750GB w/EC 8GB  AMD Radeon HD 6750M  15.6 inches