Samsung Series 9 900X3D review
A fantastic Ultrabook that boasts superb build quality and a balanced specification at an appealing price
Review Date: 7 May 2013
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £695 (£834 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
When Samsung’s Series 9 arrived on the scene, it was a revelation. Combining outstanding build quality with a svelte, millimetre-perfect figure, it had only one weakness: its price. Now, the Korean manufacturer has revisited its premium Ultrabook, trimmed the specification and cut the price to only £834 inc VAT.
Visually, Samsung hasn’t changed a thing, and with good reason: the Series 9 remains one of the swankiest laptops money can buy. The main alteration is the colour: the previous model we reviewed came in a dark, lustrous blue; the Series 9 900X3D is finished in sparkly, matte silver.
Squint and you could mistake it for an Apple MacBook Air, but the Series 9 has a look of its own. Unlike the Dell XPS 13, which grabs attention via flashy carbon fibre and shiny chamfered edges, its smooth curves and simple lines create a more understated figure.
It’s beautifully constructed, too. Despite weighing only 1.11kg, it feels rock-solid throughout. The lid is only 4mm thick, yet barely moves when you try to yank it to and fro, and we almost hurt our wrists trying to find any give in the base. No other Ultrabook, the MacBook Air included, can match the standard of its build.
The Series 9 oozes quality. The keyboard backlight smoothly comes to life when the lights go down, and, while we’d like more feedback from the short-travel keys, the spacious, Scrabble-tile layout and grippy, matte keycaps make amends. The glass touchpad is top class: Windows 8’s edge-swipe gestures feel slick and activate reliably; zooming, pinching and two-fingered clicks all work with zero effort.
Pushing such refined design below the £1,000 mark clearly hasn’t been easy, and the main compromise is performance. Samsung has, in fact, downgraded the CPU from the last model to a 1.4GHz Core i5-2537M, and, with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, the 900X3D is anything but top of the range. Its overall score of 0.52 in our Real World Benchmarks is a long way behind the XPS 13’s 0.73.
Error with integrated Graphics
This laptop looks lovely and agree that it would be better to get an Ivy Bridge architecture Intel core. I did some research on the processor and Intel says it is an Intel HD 3000 integrated with that processor not 4000.
Please change if possible
By computerresearcher on 7 May 2013
Full marks for a matte screen!
Samsung is one of the few manufacturers to offer matte screens on its laptops and to those of us who don't like the shaving mirrors which most lap[tops come with (they call them screens), it's a welcome change. I wouldn't buy this model because I don't see the point in a laptop so thin that it can't include either a DVD drive or a conventional hard drive. I accept that some people do have a fetish for thinness at all costs, hence this machine and Apple'[s offering, but it's not for me. Fortunately Samsung soes offer a range of more sensible laptops too.
By JohnOfStony on 9 May 2013
Looks really good, but...
I'm in 'wait & see' mode because I'm expecting a crop of really nice Haswell-based portables & tablets at very competitive prices.
Samsung is clearly gearing up with a 'clear out' of what will soon be last-year's models....
By wittgenfrog on 10 May 2013
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