Samsung Series 9 900X3D review

Price when reviewed

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.

Samsung Series 9 900X3D

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.

Samsung Series 9 900X3D

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.


Warranty1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions314 x 219 x 13mm (WDH)
Travelling weight1.4kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i5-2537M
RAM capacity4.00GB
Memory typeDDR3

Screen and video

Screen size13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal1,600
Resolution screen vertical900
Resolution1600 x 900
Graphics chipsetIntel HD Graphics 4000
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1


Hard disk usable capacity111GB
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


Wired adapter speed100Mbits/sec
802.11a supportyes
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportyes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchno
Wireless key-combination switchyes
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)1
FireWire ports0
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks1
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readerno
MMC (multimedia card) readerno
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeTouchpad
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Fingerprint readerno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use7hr 22min
Overall Real World Benchmark score0.52
Responsiveness score0.61
Media score0.56
Multitasking score0.38

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 8 64-bit
OS familyWindows 8

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