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Samsung 700A7D: High-resolution computer for the whole home

Most computer manufacturers now have one or more all-in-one computers in their range, and now it’s time for Samsung too to take the step from laptops and onto the desktop. They have released a couple of models before, but this is the first one we have seen in Sweden.

Design
Their computer 700A7D has a design that is completely in line with slightly simpler and smaller models from the company’s television range. It has a picture frame-like silver edge and shiny metal base, which makes it a good fit even in the slightly smaller living room.

Samsung 700A7D
In addition to the computer, you get a remote control and wireless mouse and keyboard. The mouse is boringly plastic, but the keyboard really good.

Instead of regular on-screen menu controls, you’ll find an on and off button for the computer on the front, as well as things like volume control, opening the DVD player and activating power saving mode. The computer can also be viewed from behind, with a smooth, slightly curved surface and no visible hatches or connectors.

Functions
On the side are two USB 3 ports, headphones, microphone and SD card reader. The other ports, including a bunch of usb 2 connectors, hdmi in and out and network port, are a bit difficult to access. They are located far down the back and are directed downwards.

Here we also find an input for a TV antenna, and the computer is equipped with a dvb-t receiver. You also get a remote control for the computer. However, we didn’t find any media center software on the computer, but this is a pre-release copy, so it may be included when shipped. Otherwise, you can buy for Windows Media Center or any competitor. There are also good free options.

Some programs are pre-installed on our computer, for example a user-friendly program to make certain settings such as enabling USB charging when the computer is off, switching between screen profiles, managing Wi-Fi and more. There is also a simple but well-functioning backup and recovery program for the system that provides a little more security than what Windows itself delivers.

Samsung 700A7D
The screen is bright and high-resolution, but the viewing angles are not optimal. It works best if you sit with the computer in front of you on a desk.

Screen
The monitor is 27 inches and has reasonably good viewing angles, but not so good reflection protection in the glossy surface. At tight angles, you don’t see much of the image. It appears to be a pls panel, but it is not clear from Samsung’s technical specifications.

The brightness is clearly approved for indoor use with its roughly 200 cd/m2. The most interesting thing about it, however, is the resolution. We get a whopping 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, which is now becoming increasingly common on better-sized all-in-ones and desktop monitors.

The touch screen works well, but we think the interface is a bit stiff in some Windows apps that have a lot of scrolling. In terms of performance, the computer is nothing remarkable, but is sufficient for most work and media purposes. It has a dual-core Core i5 processor, eight gigabytes of memory and a large but slow hard drive. However, the graphics card is faster than many other computers in the same class, so it can also handle most games with good quality.

Samsung 700A7D
If we turn the computer over, it is just as beautiful. Almost.

There is nothing directly wrong with the computer’s built-in speakers, but they don’t impress either. The sound is thinner than in many televisions of the same size, so if you are going to use it as a music and film computer, a couple of external speakers may be a good idea.

Opinion
According to Samsung’s recommendations, the price tag should be around SEK 16,000 for the computer when it is released for sale later this spring. It is roughly on a par with similar computers from Asus, Acer and HP, with the added bonus that the screen has more pixels. So Samsung can definitely join and compete among desktops as well.

The computer is not available at the time of writing, but is said to reach Swedish stores sometime between May and midsummer. Some changes in specifications may occur from this test sample.

Update: Samsung announces that the model we tested will not be sold on the Swedish market, but that another variant of the 700A7D will be introduced. It has a more powerful Intel Core i7 processor, but instead lacks a TV card and has the usual 1920×1080 pixels instead of the high-resolution screen.

Samsung 700A7D
Manufacturer: Samsung. www.samsung.se
Processor: Intel Core i5 3470T, 2.9 GHz dual core.
Graphics: AMD Radeon HD7850M, 1 GB.
Memory: 8GB ddr3.
Storage: 1 TB hdd, 5400 rpm.
DVD: DVDrw.
Connections: 2 pcs usb 3, 3 pcs usb 2, lan, hdmi in, hdmi out, tv in, headphones, microphone.
Wireless: 802.11b/g/n, bluetooth 4.
Card reader: Sd/sdhc, sdxc.
Screen: 27 inch glossy led, 2560 x 1440 pixels, multitouch.
Brightnessmonitor: 203 cd/m2.
Webcam: 0.9 megapixels.
Operating system: Windows 8.
Power consumption: 65-105W.
Sound level: 35-37 dBa.
Size: 65 x 18.5 x 48 cm.
Miscellaneous: Wireless mouse and keyboard, remote control, dvb-t, television receiver.
Award: Around SEK 16,000 (recommended price from Samsung)

Plus: Stylish design. Bright screen. Many connections.
Minus: Glossy screen. Slow hard drive. Sad speakers.
Grade: (8 out of 10)

Performance
Cinebench CPU: 3.24 points
Cinebench graphics: 51.63 fps
Disk, reading: 78.5 MB/s
Disk, search: 20.5 ms

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