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Samsung’s Series 9 is the Korean giant’s thin and light flagship, and one of several recent models to come to market that borrow engineering and design principles from Apple’s Air range. Which means decent performance, decent components, but minimal expansion. Samsung Series 9 900X3A notebook Slim and stylish: Samsung's Series …

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Lets see...

Clone in almost every respect to an air, including the price. So the choice actually comes down to:

- brush 'aloominum' or black

- Windows 7 (out the box) or OSX

- whether you need a backlit keyboard or not

- whose "brand premium" is worth more; Samsung's or Apple's

I suspect the vanity/poser criteria mean point 4 is the clincher for Apple, but it's good to see some competition at last. Though if the Samsung was priced below the critical 1,000 mark, I think it might swing back in Samsung's favour.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lets see...

"Clone in almost every respect to an air, including the price."

Not quite. The air has a faster processor (1.7 GHz vs 1.6 GHz Core i5) and a superior screen (1440x900 vs 1366 x 768 native resolution).

Really puts into perspective the "Apple is overpriced" nonsense so prevalent on this and other boards.

Samsung are late to the party and offer a product that is not as good value for money. So, par for the course then!

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Anonymous Coward

Well... I suppose they are using a flat screen. And it opens with a hinge. And there's a chiclet keyboard. So yeah, definitely cloned - that's three points of similarity! Send in the lawyers, Apple!

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expandability

in terms of expansion its worth noting that there are two slots and only one filled by default so its easy (and supported by samsung if you search the faqs) to install a second ram stick. this really helps.

i found the trackpad a bit annoying though!

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FAIL

For the same price...

... I can have a 13" MacBook Air with a 1440 x 900 pixel display, a better CPU, a UNIX OS with a decent GUI, the iLife'11 apps (which aren't the usual shovel-ware, although iWeb is clearly not long for this world)...

... oh yeah: and a Thunderbolt port. Which is to USB 3 what USB 3 is to an RS232 serial port. And, unlike USB, Thunderbolt lets the CPU get on with other, more useful, work instead of having to babysit the damned connection.

Thunderbolt is still a new technology, but it has a lot more headroom to play with: a single Thunderbolt breakout box can provide HDMI, DisplayPort, USB 2, USB 3, Firewire, gigabit Ethernet, and more—i.e. all the docking options you need for when your laptop is parked on your desktop, including a connection to a big display. Unplug just the one cable and you're ready to go.

USB 3 cannot even come close to this, so not including a Thunderbolt port on a laptop that already has multiple Intel-supplied components makes no sense. The royalties issue is no excuse: USB 3 has royalty obligations too. Thunderbolt is not an Apple-exclusive technology, so there's no reason not to include it other than cost-cutting.

So, no. Utter, utter fail. And then some.

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Nice rant...

Except:

USB3 = Ubiquitous and backwards compatible, cheap peripherals

Thunderbolt = Rare, expensive peripherals.

Your magic do it all on one thunderbolt and lightening box will sadly come with a very very frightening price tag because of all the output chips needed, docking stations have never been cheap and as a result not many people own one.

Ideally of course you'd have both USB3 and Thunderbolt, but where do you draw the line, why not add Firewire, Serial, Parallel, Fibre Channel, eSATA, SAS, SCSI? The answer is because in a very tiny/slim/stylish system design choices have to be carefully balanced, compromises made, and to most of the general population a USB3 port is vastly more useful. Strange as it may seem to you most laptops are not bought by power users like us... there is a whole world full of lesser folk out there, and they like the shiny shiny too!

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... oh yeah

How much leccy can a Thunderbolt carry? (Not the one that falls out of the sky - or jumps out of the ground). Right. Bricks? Check. Warts? Check. Got 'em all? Ready to go then.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Get your facts straight

Thunderbolt can deliver 10W of power, more than double that of USB 3 and 4 times that of USB 2. Not that you'd likely carry a desktop port replicator around with you anyway (the point of it being to provide a single cable docking solution) but there's no reason you couldn't do all that USB 3 can and more with it. It's not even mutually exclusive, there's nothing stopping manufacturers putting both types of port on a laptop or PC.

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Meh

Typo

"...borrow engineering and design principles from Apple’s Air range. Which means decent performance, decent components, but minimal expansion."

s/b

"...borrow engineering and design principles from Apple’s Air range. Which means more pointless drawn-out patent battles."

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Bronze badge

another nearly

Looks nice, decent size, well made not too heavy.

Stupid screen resolution and really what use is a microSD port to anyone?

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Looks nice enough, low-ish screen res and poor battery life won't help though. It's funny though how people complain about low numbers of ports when that is pretty much what everyone expects this kind of device to have, and is more or less the point. If they wanted something with lots of connectivity and all the bulk it brings then they'd buy a conventional laptop.

Clone? No.

I'd much prefer the Asus that was reviewed just before Christmas (and it's gone on my list of machines to look at when I can finally get shot of this Macbook).

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so another shit from SAMESong

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Stop

Please stop writing '802.11n' if you mean '802.11b/g/n'

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Silver badge

Why oh pedant?

Unless there are some bizarre 5ghz only 802.11n implementations then n is a perfectly good synonym for b/g/n.

A more valid moan would be what bandwidth of n it supports. Ie 300mb/s or the lesser versions.

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Linux

I love this Samsung laptop. I never ever booted the preinstalled Windows on it, but went for Ubuntu right away. Never before had a laptop that would boot up to the login screen in less than 10 seconds (takes about 8 sec from power on, and I don't mean a resume, but a real power on). I don't do much graphics, but for what I do it's super fast.

The things I like most about it:

- the display is so bright (and matte), it is easily useable in bright daylight and even sunlight (ok, resolution could be better...)

- the keyboard is awesome for a device that size. I really type a lot, and the keyboard is superb.

- it's fast, and it's silent. the fan is rarely noticeable at all (and I have seen other laptops running Linux that sound like a vacuum cleaner on an idle system - and even worse for Windows)

What's a bit annoying is that you need those dongles if you want to connect VGA or RJ45. But I bought a port replicator connected through USB, which connects all my devices. It even supports VGA over USB, which I haven't tried yet (hope I get it working for Linux as well).

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smx

I got one of the first ones out a few months back and although it shipped with a software bug it is now one of the best laptops i have had (had a lot and my last one was the samsung x460). I find the screen res fine for the size and the lack of ports hasnt been an issue for me, most things i leave on my desk connected via a USB hub anyway. Very quick and great screen.

When comparing it to Macbook Airs you must remeber that this laptop came out prior to the latest Macbook Air revision and at the time was better spec than the Air.

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Make sure you can return it

Got this laptop a few months back - laptop is fine except that the devil is in the details:

- the WiFi receiver is very weak, it loses signal for no reason when all my other WiFi receivers (mobile, laptops, etc) seem to work just fine

- the trackpad is atrocious IMHO. The drivers are so buggy they can't manage state for more than 30 minutes. Soon enough either right click won't work or you have to keep two fingers on the pad to move the mouse. No driver update has fixed that so far.

I would recommend you make sure you can return it in case you end up with a machine that either can't keep a connection up or can't be controlled because the mouse has a mind of it own.

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