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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Samsung Series 7 All-in-one (Windows 8) review:

A pretty face that's good enough

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Toshiba LX835-D3380 (2.4Ghz Core i7, November 2012)
187

Asus ET2300INTI (3.0GHz Core i5, November 2012)

247

Apple iMac 21.5-inch (2.7Ghz Core i5, November 2012)

264

Dell Inspiron One 2330 (2.7Ghz Core i5, November 2012)

268

Vizio CA24T-A4 (2.5GHz Core i5, November 2012)

401

Samsung Series 7 (2.9GHz Core i5, February 2013)

406

Cinebench 11.5

(Longer bars indicate better performance)


Rendering Multiple CPUs  

Rendering Single CPU  

Toshiba LX835-D3380 (2.4Ghz Core i7, November 2012)
6.471.42

Asus ET2300INTI (3.0GHz Core i5, November 2012)

4.981.35

Dell Inspiron One 2330 (2.7Ghz Core i5, November 2012)

4.661.33

Apple iMac 21.5-inch (2.7Ghz Core i5, November 2012)

4.441.28

Samsung Series 7 (2.9GHz Core i5, February 2013)

3.31.24

Vizio CA24T-A4 (2.5GHz Core i5, November 2012)

2.871.28

The Samsung's performance results reflect the penalties that come with its pared-down components. On most tests, the Series 7, with its dual-core chip and reduced memory, lags appropriately behind PCs with more robust hardware.

The one advantage of the dual-core chip is that Intel can often provide better single-core performance on CPUs with fewer cores. That explains the Series 7's excellent iTunes performance. If you spend a lot of time converting audio files between formats, the Samsung might actually be a more appropriate performance choice than its competition.

The connectivity options included in the Samsung Series 7 include everything you should expect to find in a contemporary all-in-one, all of which are well integrated into the clean system design. A pair of USB 3.0 ports, an SD Card slot, and a set of analog audio jacks hide behind a panel on the left edge of the system.

The back of the system maintains a clean appearance by situating the ports underneath a narrow plastic shelf, with the HDMI-in, HDMI-out, Ethernet port, and a trio of USB 2.0 ports are all well marked. The Series 7 doesn't have more exotic ports like digital audio output, Thunderbolt, or different video connectors, but most mainstream consumers should find the input/output options adequate.

Conclusion

Samsung imposed some very clear limits to the Series 7 to keep its price down, but it also made a modest effort to make up the difference with a well-conceived system design and high-quality touch-screen input. You won't have to pay too much more for a substantially faster Windows 8 all-in-one, but the Samsung Series 7 is worth considering if you want a PC that looks great and offers good-enough performance for a reasonable price.

Performance testing conducted by Joseph Kaminski. Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations
Apple iMac 21.5-inch (November 2012)
Apple OS X Mountain Lion 10.8; 2.7GHz Intel Core i5-3330S; 8GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 512MB Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics card; 1TB 5,400rpm hard drive

Asus ET2300INTI
Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit); 3GHz Intel Core i5-3330; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 630M graphics card; 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive

Dell Inspiron One 2330
Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit); 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-3330S; 8GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 32MB Intel HD Graphics 2500 (embedded); 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive

Samsung Series 7 All-in-one
Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit); 2.9GHz Intel Core i5-3470T; 6GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 32MB Intel HD Graphics 2500 (embedded); 1TB 5,400rpm hard drive

Toshiba LX835-D3380
Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-3630QM; 8GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 630M graphics card; 2TB 5,400rpm hard drive

Vizio CA24T-A4
Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit); 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-3210M; 6GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 32MB Intel HD Graphics 4000 (embedded); 1TB 5,400rpm hard drive

What you'll pay

    Visit manufacturer site for details.

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