Samsung Series 9 900X3D review
Also, due to the 32nm Sandy Bridge CPU, the Series 9’s metal case heats up considerably when you start to push it with games or strenuous applications.
Battery life isn’t up with the best. The 7hrs 22mins in light use is a slight improvement on the last model, but it’s a shame Samsung couldn’t find the budget for a more power-efficient Ivy Bridge CPU.
While the 1,600 x 900 display on the previous Series 9 was the cream of the Ultrabook crop, the competition has caught up. With a maximum brightness of 420cd/m2, a contrast ratio of 736:1 and an anti-reflective, matte screen finish, it remains crisp and legible, even outdoors, but it’s no longer the best on the market.
Images have plenty of punch, but highlights are blown out and the 7,206K colour temperature lends colours a cold, unnatural tone. Colour accuracy isn’t a strong point, either: the average Delta E of 6 is far behind the 3 scored by the XPS 13.
Connectivity remains minimal. The tapered edges look great, but there’s room for only one USB 2 port and one USB 3 port. A tiny proprietary port provides Gigabit Ethernet connectivity via the supplied adapter, but the micro-HDMI and mini-VGA outputs mean you’ll probably need to shell out for new cables if you want to connect to a monitor. Still, the presence of dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4 is welcome.
Much has changed since the Series 9 emerged a year ago. The competition is much stiffer, and the 1,600 x 900 display now looks average compared to the Full HD display of the Dell XPS 13. But, for only £834, the Series 9 900X3D gets the essentials spot on. With gorgeous looks, great build and superb ergonomics, it’s more than worthy of a Recommended award.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||314 x 219 x 13mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i5-2537M|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,600|
|Resolution screen vertical||900|
|Resolution||1600 x 900|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD Graphics 4000|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk usable capacity||111GB|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||100Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||no|
|Wireless key-combination switch||yes|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||1|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||0|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|3.5mm audio jacks||1|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||no|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||no|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||7hr 22min|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.52|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 8 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows 8|