Of all the new Windows laptops that have made it to the market this year, Samsung’s Series 9 has me most excited. A clear competitor against the MacBook Air, the Series 9 manages to succeed where Apple has so far failed with the Air: it’s packing an Intel Core i5 processor, compared to the Core 2 Duo processor that you will still find in the Air.
Is sheer processing power enough, though? Can Samsung finally succeed at making a good looking, functional, and well built laptop that can compete with Apple for looks and performance? I was finally able to take a look at the new machine recently, so let’s take a closer look at it!
Let’s get straight to the guts of this thing, because at the end of the day, that’s what we all care about, right? The Series 9 goes one better than Apple’s Air in the CPU department, packing a Sandy Bridge Core i5 processor in that tiny chassis that it comes with. In comparison, the Air is still stuck using an older generation Core 2 Duo processor, which runs OS X great, but if you want a Windows machine too, things will seem a little faster on the Series 9.
If you like to feel like your machine is as future-proofed as a computer can be, then you will be glad to hear that the laptop is rocking a USB 3.0 port for all your high speed data transfers. You’ll find 4GB of RAM to play with, and Windows 7 Home Premium comes pre-installed on the 128GB SSD.
Look and Feel
The Series 9 has managed to do something that very few PCs have: move away from the ‘plasticky’ realm of computing. The exterior chassis is comprised of duralumin, and gives the machine a very classy look which almost justifies its $1699 price tag alone. Unfortunately the duralumin isn’t all that this machine is comprised of, in fact the bottom of the laptop has a slightly familiar plastic feel to it, although it’s one of the most sturdy feeling PCs I’ve had the pleasure of seeing.
The 13.3″ model of the Series 9 comes with a matte display, and is capable of a 1366 x 768 resolution. I have conflicting feelings about this display; I love the matte, which I feel should be standard or at least a free upgrade on most computers on the market, but I can’t help but feel that Samsung could have pushed the resolution a bit further. The 1440 x 900 resolution on the MacBook Air really makes a difference, and this would have been great to see on this machine. Still, the display looks great thanks to the ‘SuperBright Plus’ technology that’s present.
The Series 9 is the closest that any PC has come to matching – and beating – the MacBook Air. The Sandy Bridge CPU gives it that extra push when you’re looking for a little more power, and its the sturdiest PC I’ve held since the aluminium MacBook was introduced.
If you’re looking for a lightweight, good performance Windows machine then you cannot go wrong with the Series 9. It’s the best lightweight PC I’ve used for a long time, completely outperforming rivals such as the lightweight Vaio machines. The only think that could make you reconsider is the high price tag, although when a manufacturer ditches plastic for duralumin then the premium price is to be expected.
The Series 9 is currently listed from $1599 on Amazon.com, although there isn’t much sign of it in the UK just yet. If you’re in the States, you can pick the laptop up right now.