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

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 314 x 219 x 13mm (WDH)
Weight 1.110kg
Travelling weight 1.4kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i5-2537M
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Memory type DDR3

Screen and video

Screen size 13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,600
Resolution screen vertical 900
Resolution 1600 x 900
Graphics chipset Intel HD Graphics 4000
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1

Drives

Capacity 128GB
Hard disk usable capacity 111GB
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 100Mbits/sec
802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 1
FireWire ports 0
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel 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
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Fingerprint reader no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 7hr 22min
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.52
Responsiveness score 0.61
Media score 0.56
Multitasking score 0.38

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 8 64-bit
OS family Windows 8

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