Samsung Series 5 Ultra review

2012-12-10 08:37
The Samsung Series 5 Ultra is a top-end laptop with a hefty footprint. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

The Samsung Series 5 Ultra is a top-end laptop with a hefty footprint. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Samsung has raced to ensure that it can offer the latest version of Windows to consumers as soon as possible.

The Samsung Series 5 Ultra is a notebook powered by Windows 8 and while it's significantly heavier than ultrabooks, it makes up for it with some decent specifications for a road warrior.

At its core is an Intel Core i5 processor mated to 4GB RAM that gives the notebook lots of grunt for intense computing and there were no slowdowns observed in extensive use.

One of the hero features of the new Series 5 is the inclusion of a touch screen which helps a lot in navigating the Windows 8 Pro operating system installed on the device.

As has become virtually standard on high-end laptops, there is no optical drive, but you get a USB 3.0 port along with HDMI and a standard network port when you decide to tether the device.

Touch screen

There is a 500GB hard drive (amazing that this is now regarded is pretty standard) but you lose around 50GB when it's formatted for Windows and it's worth noting that the OS consumes around 60GB.

The high definition touch screen makes using the Series 5 much easier than a traditional laptop running Windows 8, and the 33.8cm size makes it comfortable for a device intended to be mobile.

The SD card slot is neatly recessed on the right of the laptop and the entire machine is finished with an elegant metal finish that gives it good-looking bragging rights.

However, despite the hints of mobility, the Series is noticeably heavy - in fact significantly heavier at 1.5kg than the Samsung Series 9, though the latter runs Windows 7 (for now).

Also, the battery life is not acceptable for a machine in this price range, lasting less than five hours with normal use.

Both the weight and battery life may be due to the touch screen, but the cost of the Series 5 almost makes buying a separate ultrabook and tablet viable.

The Samsung Series 5 has made its bid for your Christmas stocking, but it might be worth your while holding out for an updated Series 9 (with touch screen or even dual screen) or living with a previous generation Series 5 at a fraction of the cost for much of the same functionality.

The Series 5 sells for R13 999 at Incredible Connection.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter

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