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Samsung Series 9 Full Review "an Ultrabook" in the making


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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).

That?s why it?s 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 ?ultra? is supposed to allude to ultra-thin design, and the Series 9 isn?t just a good example ? it?s 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. It?s also 2.88 pounds to the Air?s 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 ? those hair?s-breadth victories matter. In fact, thanks to clever tapering along the edges, the laptop feels even thinner than it is. The overall design isn?t new (Samsung debuted the Series 9 last year), but it?s still beautiful.
The Series Advances

What?s 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 ? 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. There?s also an SD card slot.

The keyboard and trackpad on this machine are simply awesome ? some of the best I?ve 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 ?matte? than other pads, such as the one on the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook.

The result is smooth scrolling and tracking at all times. There?s support for multi-touch gestures as well, something that I?ve never found Windows machines do as well as Apple laptops. The Series 9, however, snapped the PC side?s losing streak in my eyes ? two- and three-finger scrolling were excellent.
continue to mashable for the full review

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