While carrying a thin, light, and small laptop is easy on your back, there’s something to be said for having all the conveniences of a desktop PC with you wherever you go. Working on a large screen with discrete graphics, and having an optical drive and a huge hard drive at your disposal—as well as lots of ports and a number pad, depending on what you use your laptop for—are not just amenities. For some people, these features are tremendous productivity boosters.
The trick is balancing those items with a notebook body weight that’s manageable—and that’s no easy design brief. But Samsung seems to have pulled it off in its Series 7 Chronos. This laptop, just a few feathers above 5 pounds in the model we tested, costs $999 to $1,299, depending on the configuration. It’s a well-endowed, consumer-oriented powerhouse.
Whichever Series 7 model you may be looking at, this peppy laptop will have one of Intel’s fast Core i7 processors, a good-size (15.6-inch, 1,600×900-resolution) screen, a dedicated AMD graphics engine, lots of RAM, and a large hard drive. The model we tested turned in strong performance on our benchmark tests, including our tough battery-life test. Our only complaint is that it has a somewhat quirky touch pad, which we were able to correct by adjusting its sensitivity.