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CES: Samsung Series 7 Ultra hands on review

Samsung Series 7 Ultra home screen
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LAS VEGAS: Samsung initially announced its plans to use Windows 8 to increase its presence in the enterprise space in October 2012, when it unveiled its Ativ series of convertible tablet-laptop hybrids.

Following up its opening salvo, Samsung unveiled its Series 7 Ultra ultrabook at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Monday.

Eager to get a look at the device, V3 wrestled past the crowds at Samsung's CES booth and took a hands on look at the Ultra to see how it measures up to its more established Lenovo, HP and Dell-built competition.

Design and build
The first thing that strikes you about the Ultra is its unashamedly ultrabook design, featuring the telltale polished aluminium chassis that has become synonymous with with the title.

With its familiar brushed metal finish, the Samsung Series 7 Ultra looks sleek and stylish and feels fairly solidly built.Samsung Series 7 Ultra keyboard

It also looks to be extremely travel friendly, measuring just 18.9mm thick and weighing a modest 1.65kg.

Underneath its shiny metal exterior, the Ultra packs a surprisingly large backlit keyboard. But during our tests we found the keyboard, though usable and responsive, did feel slightly less well built than the rest of the device. The keys had a disconcerting spongy feel when pressed.

The Ultra sports a surprising number of ports, despite its diminutive size, packing a single USB 3.0 port, a pair of USB 2.0 connectors, HDMI, mini VGA and HP/MIC options.Samsung Series 7 Ultra side

Another added boon for business users is the inclusion of a 720p HD camera, which when tested was more than adequate for video calling.

The Samsung Series 7 Ultra packs a 13.3in Full HD 1920 x 1080, 1080p, 10-point multi-touch screen.

Using the device we found the screen was suitably responsive, recognising our pinch, zoom and swipe commands instantly, making navigating its Windows 8 Pro operating system an absolute joy.

Ultrabook performance
The Ultra we tested was powered by an Intel Core i7 processor though there is also an Intel Core i5 model is to launch too.Samsung Series 7 Ultra Windows 8 Pro

Testing the i7 version we were pleased how well Ultra handled, with programmes loading blazingly fast. We're looking forward to pushing the Ultra further and seeing how it handles more intensive tasks come our full review.

Samsung claims the Ultra will boast an eight-hour battery life. If true this will be another strong selling point for the Ultra, adding to its "use on the go" travel friendly appeal.

The Samsung Series 7 Ultra offers great performance - although a critical point, as ever will be price, a key bit of information Samsung's chosen to keep quiet about.

Check back with V3 later for a full review of the Samsung Series 7 Ultra.

08 Jan 2013

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