Update: Samsung informs us that it has updated its pricing breakdown for the Series 7 all-in-one, and it will offer only two models, a $999 Core i3 model that is exclusive to Best Buy, and a widely available Core i5-based unit for $1,199.
We didn't know what to expect from Samsung when it told us it wanted to meet to show off its first U.S.-bound desktop, the Series 7 all-in-one. Toshiba, the other newest player in the U.S. desktop market, introduced its by-the-numbers
Imagine our relief when the 23-inch Samsung Series 7 all-in-one turned out to be neither of those things.
On its looks alone we anticipated a higher-end price tag. Samsung's design is marginally reminiscent of the quirky Lenovo IdeaCentre A Series in that both tuck the computing parts into the base of the system to allow for a thin display. Samsung's design is more confident than Lenovo's, though, and the Series 7's standard hinge makes it easier to adjust the display than the Lenovo's off-center post does.
We also like that Samsung has taken the display's wide tilt range to its obvious extreme, allowing you to adjust the touch screen along a full, 90-degree arc. Not everyone will have the need, or the physical space, to use an all-in-one like an interactive tabletop, but it can offer a certain novelty (air hockey, anyone?) We also thought HP left the job half-finished with its
Throw in welcome touches like surface acoustic wave (SAW) touch sensing, HDMI input, second-generation Intel Core mobile CPUs, and a unique, simple touch software interface borrowed from Samsung's imminent tablet, and it seems that Samsung's desktop is not simply lining up with the other bland all-in-ones out there.
And the price? The most high-end Series 7 all-in-one, with a Core i5 CPU, will sell for $1,199. A Core i3 model will go for $999. The unit Samsung left with us is a third variant, exclusive to Best Buy, with a Core i5 chip, that will sell for $1,099 when it goes on sale October 10.
We'll test it. We'll give it some hands-on time. The protruding optical drive on the base gives us pause, although at least it's a slot-loader. With the design, unique features, and value we've seen so far in this system, our overarching first impression is that Samsung has given thoughtful consideration to its U.S. desktop debut.