Home' LAPTOP Magazine : June 2011 Contents thin-and -lightnotebooks
ever since steve Jobs pulled the original
Macbook Air out of an envelope, Windows
laptop makers have been trying to beat the
thinnest, lightest notebook in town. We’ve
seen some notable efforts, such as the sleek
but underpowered Dell Adamo series and
the powerful but unsexy thinkPad X301.
now samsung has taken up that challenge
with the series 9, a machine that rivals
the latest 13-inch Macbook Air not only in
terms of design but also in performance.
the series 9 definitely has the air of an Air
killer, but is it worth $1,649?
the series 9 is a beau-
tifully crafted machine.
It’s made mostly from a
metal called duralumin,
which is used in aircraft
claims it’s twice as strong
as aluminum, and at 2.9
pounds, the series 9
feels a hair lighter than
the Macbook Air, though
they weigh the same.
You’ll find the few ports
on the series 9 along
the edges rolled up into
Chiclet keys aren’t
new to samsung ma-
chines, and our only regret is that the
keys themselves are flat. otherwise, they
offered plenty of travel and feedback. the
backlit keyboard is also a plus, especially
in low-light situations.
the touchpad on the 13-inch series 9 is
a bit smaller than the Macbook
Air’s (3.9 x 2.7 vs. 4.3 x 3 inches) but it
offers a smooth surface free of friction.
We didn’t notice the series 9 getting
hot in our laps, but on a flat surface, the
underside registered 99 degrees after
playing a Hulu video at full screen for
15 minutes. the area by the vent was
naturally hotter: 108 degrees. the space
between the G and H keys got up to 100.
We consider anything above 95 degrees
to be uncomfortable.
Although the resolution on the series
9’s display is standard (1366 x 768), sam-
sung calls it superbright
for a reason. the matte
screen has a brightness
of 400 nits, which offers
vivid colors and deep
blacks, plus good vis-
ibility even at extreme
horizontal angles. the
13-inch Macbook Air
has a higher resolution
(1440 x 900), but is a
hair less vibrant.
the samsung series 9
boasts a second-gener-
ation 1.4-GHz Intel Core
i5-2537M processor, 4Gb
of RAM, and a 128Gb ssD,
which together earned
the notebook a PCMark Vantage about
3,000 marks higher than the ultraportable
average and almost 1,500 more than the
13-inch Macbook Air (5,390).
We had a great experience playing full
HD video on the series 9, both from the
hard drive and streaming from Youtube
and Vimeo. We saw smooth movement
and crisp edges. the system never
lagged, even with lots of activity going
on in the background.
on the LAPtoP battery test, the samsung
series 9 lasted about 20 minutes less than
most notebooks in this class. the Macbook
Air lasted more than an hour
Sexy, sturdy, and pricey, the 13-inch Samsung Series 9
makes a statement and backs it up with plenty of power.
samsung backs the series 9 with a
generous three-year international war-
ranty, 24/7 U.s.-based tech support,
and two-way free standard shipping if
something goes wrong.
With its sleek and strong design,
ultra-bright display, excellent keyboard
and touchpad, and fast performance,
the samsung series 9 is one of the
most compelling premium ultraportables
we’ve tested. However, $1,649 is a lot of
money to spend on a laptop, even when
you factor in the three-year warranty.
the series 9 isn’t an Air killer, but it is a
killer Windows notebook that combines
plenty of style and substance. We just
wish it lasted longer on a charge.
— k. t. bradford
CPU: 1.4 -GHz Intel Core i5-2537M Operat-
ingSystem: Windows 7 Home Premium (64-
bit) RaM/Expandable to: 4Gb/8Gb hard
drive Size/Speed: 128Gb/ssD Optical
drive: none display Size/Resolution:
13.3 inches/1366 x 768 graphics/Video
Memory: Intel HD 3000/shared Wireless:
802.11b/g/n, bluetooth 3.0 + eDR Ports:
one Usb 3.0, one Usb 2.0, mini HDMI,
mini ethernet, headphones, mic, kens-
ington lock slot Card Slots: microsD
Size: 12.9 x 8.9 x 0.6 inches Weight: 2.9
pounds Warranty:three-year limited/24/7
slim but strong design
Very good touchpad and backlit
Fast Core i5 performance
below-average battery life
microsD card instead of full-size slot
Runs very warm in spots
PCMark Vantage 6,857 3,570
3DMark06 2,188 1,367
test (h:m) 5 :11
test (Mbps) 68.8
(min:se c)* 0:25
14/7 fps 45/12
* Lower is better
Laptop | June 2011
Click to play video
Watch as we compare these
two systems side by side.
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