Samsung Series 9 900X4C (15in) review
Samsung supersizes its Ultrabook to create a svelte 15in stunner, but the looks come at a high price
Review Date: 14 Aug 2012
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £958 (£1,150 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
The trend for slim and light laptops shows no sign of abating, with Samsung now adding to its range with the 15in Series 9 900X4C. It shares the same wafer-thin design as its 13.3in cousin, but swells the screen size and crams in Intel’s Ivy Bridge for good measure.
The Series 9 900X4C is in a different league to most 15in laptops: it’s a mere waif by comparison, measuring just 15mm thick. And while it’s not quite as endearingly petite as its smaller stablemate, it’s gorgeous to look at. The glamorous dark blue anodising contrasts against the flash of milled aluminium around the laptop’s edges, and the chassis tapers to a delicate sliver along its front edge.
Despite its dainty profile, the metal unibody design combines stunning looks with good build quality. Yank unkindly on the thin lid and it barely flinches. Lean on the base beneath, and it too is rock-solid. It’s also light: at just 1.67kg it’s a real luxury lightweight.
That luxury continues elsewhere. A brightness sensor embedded in the bezel automatically adjusts the onscreen brightness (although it can be switched off completely), and another sensor ensures that the keyboard backlight is only enabled when the lights go down.
Those Scrabble-tile keys glow blue when the backlighting is enabled, and combine with a spacious, comfortable layout. If there’s a moan, it’s due to the shallow key action: cramming so much into a tiny chassis means that each key depresses barely a couple of millimetres, and there’s only a slight dig of feedback. It’s easy enough to acclimatise to, but it’s lacking in feel compared with the best laptops at this price point.
As for the touchpad beneath, Samsung has integrated the buttons into the surface of the touchpad itself. Clicking the bottom-left and -right corners of the pad works exactly as you’d expect, but it’s possible to press anywhere else on the pad for a left-click, or dab with two fingers to emulate a right click. Three- and four-fingered upward and downward flicks, meanwhile, serve to switch between or minimise running applications.
Inside, one of Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge processors takes centre stage. The Core i5-3317U operates at a nominal 1.7GHz and is capable of boosting up to 2.6GHz. Alongside, there’s 8GB of RAM and a 128GB Sandisk U100 SSD, and that combination achieved a result of 0.64 in our benchmarks – fast enough for most purposes.
- Apple bans developers from selling your health data
- Intel unveils eight-core Haswell-E CPU
- Forget robot butlers: meet Fuji Xerox's robot printer
- Wing it: Google's drone delivery revealed
- Facebook testing keyword searching in old posts
- It's on: Apple announces 9 September event for the iPad, iWatch and iPhone 6... maybe
- Was JPMorgan Chase hack for politics or cash?
- Samsung unveils curvy Gear S smartwatch and Circle smart necklace
- Still on Windows XP? There's now an unofficial service pack
- Round-faced LG G Watch R teased ahead of IFA
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Best of IFA 2014: what smartphones, tablets, smartwatches are expected to launch at IFA this year?
- How to uninstall a program on Windows: remove unwanted apps from your PC
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office