Bigger than your average Ultrabook: Samsung's 15 inch Series 9 reviewed
4.2Overall Score
Price (RRP): $1999 Manufacturer: Samsung

Ultrabooks may have been the domain of the 11 and 13 inch form-factors up until now, but Samsung is trying its hand at something bigger, with an offering that increases the size to 15 inches and packs in the performance of a full-size, to boot.

Features

Samsung has been giving the sub-notebook design a good swing for a few years, ever since the Ultrabook concept sort of came to life, and with the new Series 9 (advertised as such on the box), the company is in its third-generation of the idea.

Last year, it got it almost dead on, with very little to complain about, and a machine that – bar performance and price – was as close to 13 inch perfection as it could be.

With this model, it’s the first 15 inch to feature this snazzy Samsung design and thickness, and from the specifications, it looks like it should make a lot of people happy. It’s still not technically an “Ultrabook” mind you, at least not how Intel classes it, but it’s about as close to one as it needs to be.

Intel’s third-generation Core i7 technology is on-board here, clocked at 1.9GHz and working with 8GB RAM. Our review unit featured a 256GB solid-state drive though you can find configurations supporting a 128GB drive.

The 15 inch display included here is anti-reflective (more commonly known as matte) and LED backlit, while the resolution is 1600×900 (900p).

Connections on this machine include WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, a special micro-connector for Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000) with the adaptor included, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0, headset jack, a micro HDMI port, and a compact VGA port that requires an optional adaptor.

A webcam is built into the small frame surrounding the display, set at 1.3 megapixels, while an SD card slot is also included on the right under-side of the machine.

The keyboard featured backlit keys.

Performance

We were fans of the first Samsung Series 9 laptop we checked out, and so we have high expectations of the new one. It’s the first big-screen slim machine that has really grabbed us with visions of being light and portable, so here’s hoping Samsung can nail it.

Let’s start with the good, and there’s a fair amount of that to check out.

As per usual, the build of Samsung’s Series 9 machine is just simply lovely. Somewhere between those simple clean metallic lines and the dark blue colouring, this laptop is one elegant device, and is hard to ignore.

We’re still fans of this simple design as much as we were last time around, and it’s just as lovely to look at as it was before, even though it is obviously bigger in this machine.