GADGET WATCH: Samsung Series 9

It’s a good time if you want to buy a laptop, considering the choice that’s available on the market. There are plenty of gadgets to suit whatever work requirements you have, or your budget.

The Samsung Series 9 comes after the Series 5 was released last year. They’re thin, powerful, and are attempting to corner the moderate-price range market. Does Samsung’s latest effort hold up?

Hardware and features

The Samsung Series 9 ultrabooks are incredibly thin, just 0.64 inches at its thickets point. The device itself is powered by a Core i5 1.4Ghz processor, with 4GB of DDR3 1066 RAM. It comes with a 128GB SSD hard drive, although more storage is available, has no optical drive, although comes with a MicroSD card reader.

It features one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port, a mini-HDMI port, headphone and microphone plugs and a LAN port included with a dongle.

The camera is a 1.3 megapixel high-definition webcam, while the device also features Bluetooth connectivity as well.

What’s the consensus?

This is a good-looking laptop. The device is finished not with any sort of brushed metal or plastic, but a strong, aluminium case that gives the gadget a sturdy feel, even if it attracts more fingerprints.

At Engadget, the publication also praised the thin body of the device, and said that due to the small size it’s a lot harder to put more ports in – including an Ethernet port.

“On the plus side, it comes bearing two USB 3.0 ports, along with one of the 2.0 variety. There’s also a combined headphone/mic jack and a 4-in-1 memory card reader, located underneath a door hidden on the laptop’s right side. Looks like Samsung’s engineers also heard your complaints about the last-gen model’s absent SD slot.”

Engadget also said the keyboard is shallow, and the arrow buttons are a little bit larger than on smaller ultrabooks – it also said the entire keyboard feels a little bit “sticky”.

Performance-wise, however, is where the Series 9 stands out. At TechRadar, the publication found that while there are certainly faster laptops, the device is “more than capable” of image editing and handling of HD video.

“The decent processor is backed up by 4GB of RAM, which is standard for Ultrabooks and ultra-portable laptops. Intel’s built-in HD graphics do the job nicely for basic tasks, and there’s also an SSD drive, which massively boosts performance.”

This definitely isn’t a gaming laptop, it said, but noted the device is powerful enough to use programs such as Photoshop.

“We can forgive the poor graphical performance of the Samsung Series 9 900X3B, just because of its waif-like size. It’s not designed to take on the might of the Apple MacBook Pro, and it’s an achievement that a laptop this slim can still have enough power to be used as a primary machine.”

However, it did mention the trackpad had some problems as well, being super-sensitive.

Over at CNET, the publication noted that ports are hidden in docking bays, which wasn’t a plus. However, software-wise, it said the device was “mostly clean” and annoyances were kept to a minimum.

And battery life, while mediocre, still gave a solid performance.

“Playing back a movie at full screen with all power-saving features turned off and screen brightness and volume set to maximum, the battery lasted three hours and 29 minutes, an excellent showing.”

Who’s it for?

If you’re after a powerful laptop, the Samsung Series 9 delivers. It looks great, packs a punch, and you won’t have any portability issues at all. It’s not a powerhouse, but it’s a quality build that will be a solid buy for the price.

The only question is whether you can bother handing over such a high price – between $1,500-$2,000. If you don’t want a MacBook, and don’t mind the mediocre battery life or slightly higher price, then the Samsung Series 9 is an excellent choice for an ultrabook.


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