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Strong and sexy: Samsung’s Series 9 laptop reviewed

By Leigh D. Stark | 11:42 am 25/07/2012

Samsung’s answer to the MacBook Air may not technically be an Ultrabook, but that doesn’t stop it from being any less gorgeous or impressive. Can it topple its best in show Apple rival?

Features

The second model of Samsung’s Series 9 notebook – now featuring the branding “New Series 9″ – has been updated to support the very latest of Intel chips, and is now faster than ever.

We were first shown the Series 9 last year right before Intel’s Ultrabooks were making their way out into the world, and Samsung was talking up the Series 9 as the first laptop to sport a duralumin build, making it insanely strong and, well, durable. It’s also very thin and light, with a thickness of 12.9mm and a weight of 1.16 kilograms.

The left side has the ports for power, USB 3.0, micro HDMI, and the bundled Gigabit Ethernet adapter.

Under the hood, you’d expect some high quality gear to power this thin machine, and with Intel’s 3rd generation Core processor technology released, you can see the chips used here, with a 1.7GHz Core i5 quad-core chip on-board. You’ll also find 4GB RAM installed here, 128GB of solid-state storage, and Windows 7 64-bit ready for you to use.

There’s also a high quality screen here, with the 13.3 inch display Samsung has thrown into this machine supporting a resolution of 1600×900.

A staple of things that you’d expect in a premium machine are included, with USB 3.0, USB 2.0, microHDMI out, mini-Display Port, a 1.3 megapixel camera, and backlit keys.

Connectivity also comes in the form of Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, SD card slot, and a small proprietary port connector that has an uncanny resemblance to microUSB (it’s not) and plugs into a bundled Gigabit Ethernet adapter.

The right side has a microphone, mini DisplayPort, headset jack, and USB 2 port. An SD card slot is also located on this side, just under the edge.

Performance

From the moment you open the box and find another box waiting inside for you, it’s clear that Samsung wants to send you a message that you have just purchased a premium laptop.

The box within a box tactic gives the impression that this is a luxury piece of kit, with the outside package advertising the laptop, and the inside box opening up like the original iPhone or Galaxy smartphone packaging: you hold the lid and the box falls out underneath, slowly, as if to make you wait to see the product you bought.

When it eventually does show itself, you’ll see that it was entirely worth it. Samsung has built one of the sexiest laptops we’ve ever laid eyes on, coming up with a design that even Apple would be envious of.

A box within a box. Not even Apple does that.

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Price (RRP)

$1599

Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Beautifully designed; Matte screen has some of the best colour and viewing angles ever; Excellent build quality;

Product Cons

Mouse click feels shallow; Backlit keys aren't particularly bright; Power cable lacks the solid design found in the laptop; Only one USB 3 port;

Ratings

Overall

Features

Value for money

Performance

Design

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