Samsung's Effort to Build the Ultimate Ultrabook Falls a Tad Short
REVIEW: There’s a lot to like about the Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook, but that doesn’t mean everything turned out as well as we'd like.Samsung bills its new Series 9 Ultrabook computer as being as good as any notebook computer out there, while also being visually stunning, blazingly fast and more useful. While it’s a very nice computer, Samsung made some compromises either to meet its physical design goals or to make it really thin, and those compromises may impact how you use your computer. The Samsung Series 9 is a very thin notebook and it’s really light. The company says the device is a half inch thick and that it weighs 2.55 pounds. The company also says the LED-backlit screen is at least twice as bright as ordinary laptops. These facts should be accompanied with an asterisk, because they’re both overly broad or are only true in some circumstances. The version of the Series 9 we received for testing is technically the NP900X3C-A04US. This means it comes with an Intel Core i7-3517U processor, 4GB of memory that’s shared for video, a 128GB solid state drive, built in WiFi that supports 2.4 and 5 GHz. It also comes with a dongle for use with wired Gigabit Ethernet. You can get dongles for VGA and HDMI as options. Samsung claims that the battery life is up to 9 hours. Windows 7 Professional is pre-loaded.
Overall, this seems to be a pretty nice computer. It’s attractive with its metallic cover that looks like titanium, the screen is large enough to be useful, and you have actual keys for typing—something that normally isn’t included with the tablet computers with which the Series 9 competes. But then you start to run into the consequences of Samsung’s choices that were required to make this ultrabook thin and stylish.