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Posted on June 20th, 2013 by Jonathan Bray

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus review: first look

Samsung Ativ 9 Book Plus

With the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus, Samsung looks to be taking the Ultrabook form factor to the next level.

It’s essentially a slight redesign of the handsome¬†Samsung Series 9 900X3D laptop we recently reviewed. The chassis is a combination of brushed, dark silver aluminium, ¬†measuring a mere 13.6mm thick when the sturdy lid is closed, and weighing a reasonable 1.39kg. Samsung has added a Kensington lock slot on the rear right hand side, but that’s the only noticeable physical difference.

Samsung Ativ 9 Book PlusPop it on the scales, however, and you’ll soon discover it’s a touch heavier than the previous Series 9. It weighs 28g more, something that’s almost certainly down to the addition of a touchscreen and Samsung’s new, ultra-high resolution 13.3in 3,200 x 1,800 panel.

As with the Ativ Q, announced at the same event as the Ativ Book 9 Plus, this gives the Book 9 Plus a Retina-beating pixel density of 275ppi, and its tough, scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass coating should keep it looking pristine.

The rest of the differences can’t be seen in the photographs, but they add up to what amounts to a significant upgrade. There’s improved palm rejection on the touchpad, so brushing its surface shouldn’t result in the cursor jumping all over the place. There’s greater travel for the keys on the keyboard, and a locking, two-stage hinge mechanism that’s designed to stop the screen wobbling when dabbing the touchscreen.

Samsung Ativ 9 Book Plus

The latter is a simple enough concept: open the lid and it stops at just past the vertical; give it a bit more of a shove and the ‘lock’ disengages, allowing the screen to be folded back to a more oblique angle, or all the way back so it lies completely flat (handy if you want to put your laptop in a desktop stand or even on a lectern while delivering a presentation).

Under the hood is a choice of either Core i5 or i7 Haswell ULT processors with Intel HD Graphics 4400, up to 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of SSD storage. This delivers, Samsung claims, a boot time of 5.9 seconds and a wake-from-sleep time of 0.9 seconds. That’s impressive if it turns out to be true, and so is the quoted battery life of 12 hours. Based on our experiences so far with Haswell-based, that sounds a reasonable claim, although we’ll have to wait until we have our review sample to confirm it.

In all, it’s a very impressive upgrade to what was already an attractive Ultrabook. We’re none too keen on the name change, but if Samsung can get the price right, it should have a winner on its hands.

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8 Responses to “ Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus review: first look ”

  1. JohnAHind Says:
    June 21st, 2013 at 8:48 am

    13.3in 3,200 x 1,800 – Now that’s what I call resolution! If they bring this in at a reasonable cost, it could be pretty irresistible. About time the PC industry started moving forward again.

     
  2. DaveyK Says:
    June 21st, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Looks nice! The only question from my point of view is whether it’s possible to get it with a none-touch matte screen. Samsung have become well known for being one of the few laptop makers that favour matte screens and my missus’s series 9 laptop is wonderful for working on in bright locations as a result.

     
  3. Chatan Says:
    June 21st, 2013 at 11:47 am

    On a slightly off issue question (in relation to @daveyk’s comment), does using a matt screen cover on a glossy screen work?

     
  4. DaveyK Says:
    June 21st, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I’d be interested to see! After all, I don’t necessarily get why touch screens have to be glossy. Plenty of trackpads have a matte finish to them and they still work fine!

     
  5. wittgenfrog Says:
    June 21st, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    “a Retina-beating pixel density of 275ppi”

    Take THAT Cupertino!

    Nice to know that these spiffy screens are no-longer the preserve of the fruity ones.
    Even so it’s still mainly a gimmick IMHO!

     
  6. andyturner157800988Andy Says:
    June 21st, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    The issue is the OS scaling unfortunately.

     
  7. Ship69 Says:
    August 25th, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    3,200 x 1,800 is bonkers!

    On a 13″ screen it will need more than 200% textsize DPI and that will break most Windows applications layouts, particularly website.

    Also Full HD 1080p videos will look need to be blurred in order to fill up the screen.

    What are Samsung playing at?

    Why did they make a native 1080p version?

    Also in the UK you still cant get a decent spec (e.g. 4 not 8 GB of RAM and only 128GB of SSD)

     
  8. Ship69 Says:
    August 25th, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    TYPO: I meant:
    Why didn’t they make a native 1080p version?

     

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