Samsung: 2017 Brand Report Card

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Samsung makes a few solid laptops, but apart from its high-end Chromebooks and sleek Galaxy Book, most of the company's systems fail to stand out from the pack. Even worse, the company's tech support agents failed us multiple times and kept routing us to smartphone support.

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Samsung's Key Strengths

  • Innovative designs: The Chromebook Pro/Plus and Galaxy Book both add significant improvements.
  • Balanced lineup: Its Notebook 7 spin, 5 and M fill in the gap between high-end ATIV notebooks and affordable Chromebooks.

Samsung's Main Weaknesses

  • Flailing tech support: No, Samsung, we're calling about a Notebook 7 spin, not a Note 7 phone.
  • Major asterisks: The wobbliness of the TabPro S and the half-baked software in Chromebooks made these devices problematic.
  • No must-haves: None of Samsung's laptops were good enough to earn Editors' Choice awards.

Top-Rated Samsung Laptops

MORE: The Best Samsung Laptops

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Reviews (25/35)

Samsung had our worst overall review score among laptop vendors this year. We reviewed five laptops (the Chromebook Pro and Plus were counted in one review), and none them was strong enough to receive our Editors’ Choice award.

The 4-star Chromebooks were easily Samsung's best entry, thanks to streamlined design and great pen integration, but the software was half-baked. The Notebook 7 Spin and the Notebook 9 Spin were average (and expensive) 2-in-1s, and last year’s Galaxy TabPro S (3.5 stars) had a great OLED display but wobbled in our laps and had a shallow keyboard. While there was nothing from Samsung we outright suggested not to get, it also did very little to stand out, Chromebooks aside.

Design (11/15)

Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to Samsung's laptop designs. The company eschewed creating traditional laptops in favor of transforming convertibles, with the exception of the Notebook 9. But instead of sticking to one type of hybrid design, Samsung delivered several, such as the Galaxy Tab Pro S with its magnetic, detachable keyboard; or the Notebook 7 Spin, which relies on a single, large hinge to switch from laptop to tablet.

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Samsung continues to make handsome — albeit unassuming — laptops with polycarbonate or aluminum chassis, which look and feel premium. Heck, even the Chromebook Pro has a top-end look about it.

But like most laptop manufacturers, Samsung is committed to populating the world at large with systems that are either black or gray. It's a shame, when you take into account the company's smartphones, which are available in gold, pink, blue, white, black and sometimes red.

Support (13/20)

In our testing, Samsung phone support agents gave us incorrect or incomplete answers in two out of three calls. We were particularly disappointed when a company rep didn't know how Samsung's own SideSync software works. Even worse, the voice-activated phone tree kept routing us to smartphone support when we asked for help with our notebook.

Innovation (6/10)

With its Chromebook Pro/Plus, a touch-screen convertible 2-in-1 that offers pen input, Samsung has helped to reinvent the Chromebook. The 2-in-1 lets you take notes and sketch on the go, and everything gets saved to the cloud. The TabPro S has been another standout, because it was one of the first convertibles with an OLED display. Samsung is now turning its attention to the TabPro S’ successor, the Galaxy Book, which offers convenient smartphone features such as the ability to respond to text messages.

Value and Selection (10/15)

In recent years, Samsung employed a two-pronged approach that consisted of its premium line of ATIV notebooks that were balanced out by its budget-friendly Chromebooks. However, over the last 12 months, Samsung has been doing an admirable job of filling in the gaps with a number of systems priced between $400 and $800, like the Notebook 7 Spin, the Notebook 5 and the Notebook M. Samsung even has 15-inch gaming laptops in the Notebook Odyssey to go along with its standard productivity machines, so there's something to frag on, too.

Warranty (3/5)

Samsung's warranty policies are acceptable, but not exceptional. The company offers a standard, one-year, limited warranty for all of its laptops and, unlike a few other brands, provides free shipping (complete with a label) if you need to send your system in for service. Changing your RAM or storage voids your warranty, though, and the company does not offer extended warranties.

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18 comments
  • M.J.Durrani Says:

    I had bought a $1600 Samsung ATIV Laptop in 2016.From Day 1, the keyboard would transpose alphabets. I sent it back to Samsung Service Center. It was fixed for few days and came back again. I did this for several months.The problem never went away. Now its out of Warranty and I am out $1600 and holding a lemon laptop. Moral For Me:I will NEVER buy a Samsung Product.Buyer Beware of Samsung.

  • Elijah DeCan Says:

    How much is a good Samsung computer that has 8 GB of RAM and it has a CD holder

  • Maria Hawley Says:

    I'm worried, just purchased a Samsung 10.0 off My Airmiles....... I need a computer but could. Not afford!.. I Will Just Be Using The Laptop For Very minimal Day To day use... Hoping it's good enough for this use?

  • Leonardo Says:

    At least they are better than Apple, lets face it anything is better than apple

  • erick Says:

    don't buy Samsung laptops specially in Korea...the product fucking sucks. The company screws their own people and sells shit products. Recently bought a new laptop with SD drive, Intel core chip...and too many problems with the system. For one the laptop doesn't sleep...so it just freezes and you have to reboot....too many things to list....Samsung sucks.

  • surendra behera Says:

    All product is good but if customer demanding any product is give the most facility then customer demanding that.

  • nawaz Says:

    Any_one can suggest me a best lap series in any of the following. I'm happy for dell, hp or msi/ not others. I want pretty much sure about hardware functionality. I had a hp pav_15 earlear which was overheating dude. I have to do just normal internet and some video processing works. Any suggestions???

  • MD ANWAR HOSSIN Says:

    please tell me when all the best laptop? And this laptor about information? And how prise that?

  • tesjay Says:

    could anyone tell me how i could buy keyboard for my samsung laptop S525?

    it's not available in sri lanka, where i am or qatar where i bought it.

  • Bob Bellah Says:

    I also bought the All-In-One Desktop Samsung computer that is a piece of junk....sent it back to Samsung to be fixed and got it back exactly the same as before. My suggestion.....DO NOT buy anything Samsung makes as a computer..you can write David Choi at officeofpresident@sea.Samsung.com to tell him of your displeasure of his product.

  • Selaelo Maifala Says:

    I'm very shocked that Samsung even made it on the list! How accurate are these? Well maybe they have improved something from the 2014 failure. I bought a Samsung notebook in Saudi Arabia, after having a fantastic experience with my Samsung phone I expected the pc to be of the same quality. Unfortunately I was and still am extremely disappointed, the hardware of my laptop was of very cheap material and started breaking apart after 5 months of use, its 11 months old now and the sides have completely cracked and the charging pot has stopped working. Samsung doesn't have an international warranty, I'm no longer in Saudi and cannot take it anywhere or receive any help.

  • Claude Lombana Says:

    I bought this piece of trash from Samsung (the all-in-one desktops that they sell as GALACTICALLY GOOD), and it is the BIGGEST PIECE OF TRASH I ever had. Memory conflicts, frozen screens, USB recognition problems, etc., etc., etc... Don't waste your money!!!

  • khurshid Says:

    i want your all kind of model and its price list to start business.
    I have chronos 7 np700z5b. The design of laptop is 10/10. I fall in love with design but touch pad started to feel bad first year. I also had bad pixel on the screen since I bought it. I sent it before warranty finishes. I also said I have an issue with touch pad. it was denting. They didn’t change the touchpad/trackpad but they changed keyboard and around metal frame. Keyboard and metal frame still looks nice but touchpad/trackpad messed up. Its been killing me last 7 months and now. It is clicking itself. It doesn’t point right direction. I also have an issue with plastic frame. Its been loose and effects my screen. I hope my screen won’t be broken. The experience I had, wasn’t nice.

  • TW Fung Says:

    I just want to report what a hassle it was to get a replacement battery pack for a Samsung Ultrabook which is only 2 years old. Nobody carries that part in stock except Samsung warehouse. The Samsung parts company who sold me the part had a terrible phone system. After trying twice and waiting online for 10 minutes, I finally talked to someone who really didn't want to work today. The customer rep on the phone was rude. I will never buy another computer from Samsung.

  • hem chandra nepal Says:

    i want your all kind of model and its price list to start business

  • Daniel Wayne Says:

    I have chronos 7 np700z5b. The design of laptop is 10/10. I fall in love with design but touch pad started to feel bad first year. I also had bad pixel on the screen since I bought it. I sent it before warranty finishes. I also said I have an issue with touch pad. it was denting. They didn't change the touchpad/trackpad but they changed keyboard and around metal frame. Keyboard and metal frame still looks nice but touchpad/trackpad messed up. Its been killing me last 7 months and now. It is clicking itself. It doesn't point right direction. I also have an issue with plastic frame. Its been loose and effects my screen. I hope my screen won't be broken. The experience I had, wasn't nice.

  • Daniel Wayne Says:

    I have chronos 7 np700z5b. The design of laptop is 10/10. I fall in love with design but touch pad started to feel bad first year. I also had bad pixel on the screen since I bought it. I sent it before warranty finishes. I also said I have an issue with touch pad. They didn't change the touchpad but key

  • Cerelia Says:

    I'm assuming whoever did this review never actually had an issue with the Series 7 Chronos which required serious technical support.

    Important to note that Samsung has the worst warranty process I've ever experienced, and as a result, I'll never purchase their laptops again. I've had Toshibas, Dells, IBMs, etc. I'm a high-end power user (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc.) and I'm also extremely tech-savvy when it comes to fixing electronics. I purchased this laptop and the drive crashed after 2 months. I had to send the laptop to their Texas facility (it took 3 weeks for the turnaround)... 2 months later, the system crashed a second time. In a 1 year period, this laptop has crashed a total of 4 separate drives. Each time, reloading my system with all my software takes a good 4hrs. Imagine, each time you lose your laptop for 3 weeks. Their "executive customer relations" department is without a doubt, the worst, rudest, and most arrogant department I've ever had the misfortune to deal with. Samsung's entry into the laptop market really leaves a lot to be desired. This has been a nightmare experience from beginning to end. They don't give a damn about the customer.

    When they finally offered a "same as or better" replacement, they considered that offering me a 15.6" laptop screen instead of the 17.3" I currently had was the "same or better". Also, their "refund" was not for my full purchase price - it was for $200 less after a year of continual crashes. I finally gave up with them, filed a claim with Amex platinum and they refunded me the entire price - let them deal with this garbage. My time is worth much more than spending in excess of 10hrs dealing with Samsung...

    Incidentally, after the 1TB drive failed that arrived with the system, I purchased a solid state drive. It then crashed that drive. Luckily that drive (by Crucial) was under its own warranty and they have had to continually replace it for me 3 times. At this point, they won't replace it for me any more as it's obvious the fault is with the laptop. So, I'm out the price of the solid state drive ($350). Samsung, even though they accept responsibility that the laptop caused the failures will give me no reimbursement at all.

    It really is the absolute worst customer service. It is not only the laptop that stops me from buying from them again, it's the support - if something goes wrong, you really are in trouble.

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