Samsung Series 9 900X3D review

£834
Price when reviewed

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.

Samsung Series 9 900X3D

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.

Samsung Series 9 900X3D

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

Warranty1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions314 x 219 x 13mm (WDH)
Weight1.110kg
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

Drives

Capacity128GB
Hard disk usable capacity111GB
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0

Networking

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
Modemno
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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