Samsung Series 9 blasts away tablets - review
Cape Town - Samsung is making a move to dominate developing markets and it asks an important question with the Series 9 laptop: Who needs a tablet?
The Series 9 is from the ultrabook school of laptops and at only 1.4kg, it feels almost weightless, especially when compared to regular laptops with their heavy components.
The Intel Core i5 1.4GHz processor provides more than enough grunt to take care of the most demanding tasks and while the 128GB may not be enough for some, it's more than adequate, especially when external storage is cheap.
Aside from the decent specifications on the top-of-the-line Series 9, Samsung has done something far more significant with this machine: It is beautiful - solid aluminium casing, backlit blue keyboard, and brilliant display takes this user to laptop heaven.
Acer unveiled its thin ultrabook at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and though it's lighter than the Series 9, the Samsung product is available in South Africa now.
Using the Series 9 is easy with the Windows 7 64-bit operating system and even after 5 hours of continuous, graphics-heavy use, the battery still had lots of life left.
RAM is more than useful at 4GB and there are some clever enhancements to the usual laptop hardware.
The inclusion of soft buttons on the large touch pad makes the device look and feel more elegant; and recessed USB slots (one USB 3.0) make sharing content simple.
It also has a MicroSD card reader so there are more options to copy content from smartphone to the laptop.
The built-in webcam with facial recognition software takes reasonably good pictures and Samsung has provided a suit of editing tools to have fun with your look.
Start-up takes place in under 10 seconds and the Function key provides easy access to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and power use settings.
One can even set the backlit keyboard to auto-adjust its brightness based on ambient light readings.
Critics might argue that these ultrabooks have no optical drive, and it is a necessary compromise to limit power consumption while allowing for a high-power notebook.
Sound quality was decent from the recessed speakers and Samsung has ensured that the device looks the part to match its nose-bleeding price.
Samsung has been touting "Built for Africa" at its most recent Samsung Connect event and the Series 9 is perfectly portable for developing countries where power may not always be reliable.
Perhaps it might not be heresy to suggest that the monopoly that Apple has had on consumer product design has come crashing down as Windows users now have access to functional, as well as beautiful devices.
The Series 9 is expected to retail at around R16 000.
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