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The Samsung Series 7 Chronos NP700Z5A-S03 has a very sharp wrist rest.

Samsung Series 7 Razor-Sharp Wrist Rest

The Samsung Series 7 Chronos NP700Z5A-S03 has a very sharp wrist rest.

The Samsung NP700Z5A is so sharp, it hurts.

I researched the Samsung Series 7 Chronos for several days, reading glowing review after glowing review.

Not one mentioned the wrist rest edge is literally sharp enough to hurt.

Either the reviewers all have very small hands, or they completely overlooked this awful design flaw. While the Series 7 is a thing of beauty closed, while open & in use, it’s torture.

The wrist rest is so sharp, it literally makes a scratching noise against skin & leaves white scrape marks. The problem is Samsung put the wrist rest surface inside the outer case (which is metal), so the sharp edge of the outer case sticks up slightly & its unbeveled metal edge digs into your wrist. Not nice.

Another significant usability flaw is the ELAN touchpad. With the default settings, scrolling a page is jumpy & the motion actually reverses direction every few seconds. Also since the pad is so huge, it’s hard not to touch the edges inadvertently when typing & ELAN’s palm filtering isn’t nearly as good as Synaptics’ touchpads. Eventually I was able to improve things by lowering the sensitivity to the 3rd-lowest level. To add insult to injury, the touchpad buttons usually stop responding after resuming from sleep mode.

Yet another flaw is the wifi range. This issue actually was mentioned in most other reviews, so I won’t go into detail other than to say I get one bar with the Series 7 where I get 4 bars with our other laptops. To watch streaming HD video, I have to be in the same room as our 802.11n wifi router.

My last gripe is with Samsung’s screen auto-dimming feature. It uses an ambient light sensor to adjust the screen brightness. However the Series 7 does it in very sudden & noticeable steps, in immediate response to every little change in ambient light. If you’re working near a window on a partly sunny day, or have an overhead light behind you & don’t keep perfectly still, the auto-dimming feature on the Series 7 goes bezerk trying to adjust. Luckily you can disable the feature entirely.

The Series 7 also has a lot to like, such as the thin case, light weight, super-fast boot time, long battery life, non-glare matte screen, fantastic backlit keyboard …

The touchpad & auto-dimming could be fixed with software updates, but the knife-edge wrist rest is just plain stupid. For now, the horrid usability issues ruin what would otherwise be a very nice laptop.

UPDATE: Okay, another gripe — I’ve also been getting a Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) caused by asmtxhci.sys when resuming from sleep mode, whenever I have my iPhone plugged in to one of the USB 3.0 ports. The asmtxhci.sys file is the USB 3.0 host driver from ASMedia Technologies, Inc. The BSOD happens often enough to be a nuisance. Once again, hopefully a software patch will fix it. For now, it’s yet another problem that doesn’t improve my opinion of the Series 7 Chronos. Using the USB 2.0 slot for my iPhone seems to work around the problem.

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3 Comments

  1. Tushar

    You wont believe me, but I 100% agree with you on all the negative findings you had about this laptop. Just got mine yesterday after waiting for about a month. I was about to cancel it since the wait was so long. I am going to return this crap since no matter how good it looks, if its going to slit my wrists and the mouse jumping everywhere, plus the display brightness not comfortable at all. Actually i noticed the screen brightness no matter what you try it is either too bright or too dark. I think the Koreans are aping Japanese for electronics and computers and Cars, but they look nice at the beginning then you realize what crap you got.

    I have not used this more, but it already gives me headache on the screen and wrists start hurting. Now I am scared to even use the touchpad at all.

    I did see your comments after I had already placed the order, but I thought you might have got a bad piece. Now I wish I should have trusted your opinion.

    • Wick

      Oh, I believe you. I can deal with the screen brightness thing & the poor wifi range. I use an external mouse to work around the jumpy touchpad. But for the sharp wrist rest, there’s no way around it. It’s a very serious design flaw & a huge oversight on Samsung’s part, which is too bad because otherwise the Series 7 Chronos would be one of the better laptops out there. Usability testing should have indicated to Samsung they needed a beveled or rounded edge. It’s so sharp. I thought about putting some foam over the edge, but then the laptop won’t close. I have to stop typing now. My wrists hurt. Thanks for the comments!

  2. Matthew

    Actually, I’m going to disagree with you guys on the wifi range and wrist rest thing… I’ve had mine for about a week now and have been using it around 7 hours a day ever day for work/at home and haven’t had any issues with feeling like my wrists are getting slashed. But I can see how the wrist rests, if something was a little wrong, could actually be horrible and sharp. I’m kind of wondering if this is more a problem with quality checks than it is the laptop in general, because looking at the edge, if the metal wasn’t flush on my machine with the rest of the body, it would be aweful. As for the auto dimming, you can disable that if you’d like.

    I’m TOTALLY not going to begin to defend the mouse pad though. It bothers the shit out of me that such a nice computer has such buggy, sensitive software driving one of two methods of input. I ended up turning off the tap click functions as soon as I got it. I was tapping things every five seconds, not to mention the times I’d go to use the “click” method of selecting and managed to drag/double/tripple and quadruple click things..

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