How Good is Samsung’s Series 9 Laptop?
The trend of super-thin solid-state computers inspired by the MacBook Air has spread into the Windows PC world with the coming of the Ultrabook. Ultrabooks are the latest step in laptop technology, and are a new class of computer that is thinner and lighter than any before. Almost all the major manufacturers have their own versions out, and the Samsung Series 9 NP900X4B-A02US is Samsung’s addition to the genre. Samsung itself does not refer to the Series 9 with the Ultrabook term which was coined by Intel to denote laptops with a specific set of specs. The laptop may be a little heavier than the typical Ultrabook, but everything else about it matches up perfectly, including the fact that it is only .58″ thick. The Series 9 is more expensive than the average ultrabook so shoppers may want to look for a TigerDirect or Newegg promo code to bring the price down a little.
The Series 9’s Design
The Series 9’s brushed aluminum uni-body gives it an elegant, minimalist look and a sturdy feel. Samsung says that this type of aluminum is used in the construction of airplanes, which should give users a little comfort that their laptop will not fall apart if it gets roughly handled. As is the case with most Ultrabooks, users will have to do without the optical drive and make do with the three USB ports the Series 9 has. The ports are not exposed; they are accessed via small drop-down doors on the sides which may be cool for some users but annoying for others. Users will also have to attach the dongle that comes with the Series 9 if they want to use Ethernet. Unlike most Ultrabooks, the Series 9’s touchpad is comfortably large; however, the keyboard feels slightly frail and cheap.
The Series 9’s Screen
Samsung is presently the world’s largest and most successful mobile phone manufacturer, with a reputation for quality devices. The thing that Samsung’s high-end phones are most popular for is the screen quality, which in many instances is noticeably better than that of the iPhone. The screen quality that has boosted the popularity of the Samsung Galaxy series is to be seen in the Series 9 which has an ultra-bright, 15″ display. Samsung says that its 340-nit screen is twice as bright as the standard laptop display, making it easy to view even in bright sunlight.
Key Elements of the Series 9
The Series 9 comes with a 128 GB solid state drive and a 1.6GHz i5 low-voltage CPU. It comes with 8GB of DDR3 memory as well. There is no VGA port, though there is a micro VGA dongle that does not ship with the computer. The speakers on the sides of the Series 9 are not bad, but not very good either.
* It is thin and light, like an Ultrabook should be.
* Extremely fast boot and wake-up times due to the solid state drive.
* Very bright HD matte screen with 170-degree viewing angle.
* The keyboard’s backlight is very faint.
* Both VGA and Ethernet ports require the use of dongles.
* USB ports are not directly accessible.
The Bottom Line on the Series 9
This laptop was meant to compete with the MacBook Air, and that alone should tell prospective buyers that it is not cheap. The Samsung’s price for the Series 9 is $1,499.99. Not as expensive as many laptops on the market, but definitely not for low-end shoppers either. The main benefit is portability for users who are constantly lugging a computer around and who are looking for something ultra-portable and sturdy. The high quality screen and good performance will also be major benefits for most.