Samsung Series 9 is top class - review

2012-09-03 08:26

Cape Town - Windows computer users have a legacy of functional, but not pretty devices; the new Samsung Series 9 is a looker like few before it, regardless of platform.

Samsung has gone above and beyond in the design of this ultrabook and it could easily double as an art piece in the living room when you tire of working.

The hardware is impressive with brushed accents and full sized keyboard. The design is evolved from the previous version, but there fewer sharp edges and the feel is elegant - but not in a Top Billing kind of way.

Under the skin is an Intel Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM and 256GB SSD hard drive driving Windows and the effect is a smooth experience and the boots up from a cold start in 11.79 seconds, and almost instantly from sleep mode when the lid is opened.

The lack of traditional hard drive and optical drive results in a fast user experience but doesn't compromise battery life because there are fewer moving parts than in a regular PC.


Samsung has endeavoured to keep the Series 9 thin and it is 13mm at its thickest section and the built in card reader and speakers are neatly hidden.

The display on the 34cm screen is excellent and the device and one's eyes do not tire when watching movies on the device.

The keys are also well-spaced and even a user with clumsy, big fingers was easily able to hunt-and-peck his way to write this review. It dim light, the keyboard also automatically illuminates without adding glare to the screen.

The glass touch pad supports multiple gestures and though the device runs the Windows 7 operating system, the size of the touch pad should be an easy fit for the multiple gestures supported in Windows 8.

There are some compromises in such computer that some users might find annoying.

As is common with ultrabooks, there is no standard network port, but Samsung provides a USB adaptor in the box and the keyboard has no "End" button of the keyboard.

There was also a glitch on the review unit where the [@] and ["] keys appeared to be reversed when one uses the UK keyboard layout, but it is likely that Samsung will resolve this issue for users.

Launcher dock

The Series 9 supports USB 3.0 and hardware settings like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, fan control can be accessed directly from the keyboard.

Samsung has built in its own launcher dock that might look vaguely familiar to fruit company computer users, and it grants access to utility, customer support, entertainment and multimedia functionality.

Users who demand an optical drive will be disappointed as it consumes battery power. Battery life, though, is remarkable - it runs a full working day on one charge and one can access additional settings that extend battery life.

Price on this device at the top end for computers running Windows at a recommended retail of R15 999.

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  • martyfx - 2012-09-03 09:21

    Gotta love the repetition. Whoever wrote this article clearly understands nothing about computers. "256GB SSD hard drive". SSD stands for Solid State Drive. I have never heard of a Solid State Drive Hard Drive...

      sudhir.hira - 2012-09-05 09:26

      They do. Apple latest laptops have SSD hardrives. Samsung follows suite as usual.

      SilentNite - 2013-01-07 13:05

      then maybe learn more about computers before you comment MARTYFX

  • cj.venter - 2012-09-03 09:24

    hey apple...hey apple...hey apple...can you do this? hehe

      alastair.grant.98 - 2012-09-03 10:15

      Been doing it for years...

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-09-03 11:52

      cj.venter ~ Apple has been doing this for years but it is refreshing for Samsung to do something on their own instead of copying Apple.

      philjoubert - 2012-09-03 21:32

      Yes, they can do it.... And better.\r\n\r\nWith retina display nogal. And now, cheaper too. The new macbooks with i5's are the same price - and without the clunky Microsoft OS. \r\n\r\nKeep trying PC, keep trying.

  • neilmurray13 - 2012-09-03 09:41

    "There was also a glitch on the review unit where the [@] and ["] keys appeared to be reversed when one uses the UK keyboard layout, but it is likely that Samsung will resolve this issue for users." This is not a glitch the @ key and " key are transposed on the UK layout verses the US layout used in South Africa. Do your research and understand the product before you write a review. The "glitch" was between the keyboard & the chair.

  • shauncro - 2012-09-03 09:54

    Still prefer the Dell XPS with it's i7 beast. Samsung, you got some way to go.

  • sharon.hamilton.737001 - 2012-09-03 10:41

    Apple is going to rue the day that it started petty patent litigation, as someone is going to sue apple for plagiarizing and copying UNIX for all its OS's

  • arno.botha.71 - 2012-09-03 14:22

    "There was also a glitch on the review unit where the [@] and ["] keys appeared to be reversed when one uses the UK keyboard layout, but it is likely that Samsung will resolve this issue for users." - my girlfriend had the same problem when she bought her new laptop recently (it's not a samsung) and this is actually just the incorrect localization setting for that specific keyboard, it's a very easy fix if you search it online.... just thought i'd say :)

  • fhumulani - 2012-09-03 19:33

    Tim: \They have copied our Launcher Dock Too?, definitely we going back to court\

  • martyfx - 2012-09-03 21:39

    More patent infringements..... Samsung clearly have a lot of money to dish out to Apple.

  • brandon.faber.908 - 2012-09-05 06:47

    16k is still a lot for a samsung laptop though in my opinion.

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