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.
Hoping to study Computer Science at University in the near future, you’ll seldom see John without a computer in touching distance! His interests include building computers, reading all sorts of literature and of course writing for Zath to keep you updated on all the latest in the world of tech! You can follow John on Twitter as @british_geek.