PROS / The 13.3-inch screen features HD+ technology with a wide 170-degree viewing angle that is great for watching HD movies.
CONS / There are only two USB ports on the Series 9.
VERDICT / If you are looking for one of the best mobile ultrabooks, the Samsung Series 9 is great choice with plenty of top-end features.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
Lightweight, thin and beautiful, the Samsung Series 9 ultrathin portable ultrabook is nearly perfect when it comes to design. The laptop has a clean finish and durable unibody build. The display has a resolution that stands out from other 13-inch ultrabooks, though it falls short of true 1080p resolution. The processor and memory may not be enough for you depending on your computing needs, but there are plenty of options to upgrade this laptop. Overall, the Series 9 offers great power for casual gaming, photo editing and enjoying your media.
The core component that makes this one of the top ultrabooks is the i5 Intel processor. With core speeds up to 1.7GHz, you can accomplish any task without worrying about slowing the system down. Programs such as Photoshop start up quickly and run flawlessly. You have the option to upgrade to an i7 processor, and to reach speeds of up to 3.1GHz with the Turbo Boost function. Pair this with 4GB of RAM – and the option to upgrade to 8GB for not much more – and you have a system that can run any application without any problems.
The integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics are decent for everyday gaming, as long as you temper your expectations and adjust the graphics settings. You won't be running anything like "Battlefield 3" on its ultra settings, but you can enjoy most 3D games without causing the ultrabook to overheat. You can choose between a 128GB or 256GB SSD, which contributes to the computer's ability to boot up in fewer than 12 seconds and wake from sleep in two seconds.
A 13.3-inch display greets you when you open up the laptop. Its 1600 x 900 resolution implements HD+ technology that is close to true 1080p but falls slightly short. The SuperBright Plus display is twice as bright as a standard notebook screen and reproduces up to 16 million colors. You can hook up external displays, but the ports require dongles for Micro-HDMI, Ethernet and VGA adapters. This surprised us because there is plenty of room to add a full-sized HDMI and Ethernet port on the chassis.
There are two USB ports – one 2.0 and one 3.0 –on the Series 9, but this falls short of the top ultrabooks that have three or more USB ports, which comes in handy if you connect a variety of peripherals to your computer. There is a built-in 720p webcam and mic for video chat and web conferences. The ultrabook also supports Bluetooth 4.0 technology.
One thing we love about Samsung is its customer support, especially through social media channels. We were in direct contact with a representative via Twitter and never had to wait for longer than an hour to receive a response. You can also email or call the support staff, and download manuals, BIOS and driver updates, as well as visit the community Q&A section.
With plenty of options to upgrade the memory, storage and CPU, the Samsung Series 9 is one of the best ultrabooks. The display is pure, the colors are rich and the contrast is deep. The thin, lightweight design makes it an ideal system to take on the road. We wish there were a full-sized HDMI port as well as an Ethernet port for hardwiring internet connectivity, but if you're looking for true mobility, the Series 9 ultrathin laptops are a great choice.