Too many so-called Ultrabooks render the label nearly meaningless. The thrust of the idea is a category of extremely thin and light laptops that also perform well. However, Intel owns the trademark, and its standards sets the bar laughably low (case in point: the bulky HP Spectre actually qualifies).
Thatís why itís so good to see Samsung taking the idea seriously with the Series 9: a laptop that is very much in the spirit of the original concept. The ďultraĒ is supposed to allude to ultra-thin design, and the Series 9 isnít just a good example ó itís a head-turning one. At its thickest point, the notebook measures just 0.64 inches, which is 0.04 of an inch thinner than a MacBook Air with the same screen size. Itís also 2.88 pounds to the Airís 2.96.
Incremental differences, to be sure, but the competition to be the lightest and thinnest among mobile devices is akin to an Olympic sport ó those hairís-breadth victories matter. In fact, thanks to clever tapering along the edges, the laptop feels even thinner than it is. The overall design isnít new (Samsung debuted the Series 9 last year), but itís still beautiful.
The Series Advances
Whatís new is on the inside: the third-generation Intel Core processor (a.k.a. Ivy Bridge). We checked out a Series 9 with a 1.7GHz Core i5 chip, right in the middle of the line.
The new Series 9 also differs from its predecessor by building the connectors right into the side edges ó the old model had them flip out from drop-down flaps. Those connectors constitute a pair of USB ports (one per side), mini HDMI and mini VGA connectors, a headphone jack, and a mini Ethernet port that you use with the included adapter (since the machine is just too damn thin to include a regular Ethernet port).
Unfortunately Samsung kind of cheaped out on the USB ports, and only one of them adheres to the newer, faster 3.0 spec. Thereís also an SD card slot.
The keyboard and trackpad on this machine are simply awesome ó some of the best Iíve used on any laptop. The chiclet-style keys, which have rapidly become the norm on laptops, have just the right amount of resistance, and the Elan trackpad feels great, a bit more ďmatteĒ than other pads, such as the one on the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook.
The result is smooth scrolling and tracking at all times. Thereís support for multi-touch gestures as well, something that Iíve never found Windows machines do as well as Apple laptops. The Series 9, however, snapped the PC sideís losing streak in my eyes ó two- and three-finger scrolling were excellent.continue to mashable for the full review