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back to article Review: Samsung Series 9 super slim notebook

Samsung has taken an expensive legal hit from Apple over copying design elements in the iPhone. Yet with the Series 9, Samsung has created something a bit special. The entire Ultrabook concept took its inspiration from the Apple MacBook Air, of course. But Samsung's Series 9 has developed a confident design language of its own …

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Anonymous Coward

WTF?

"And I did like the illuminated indicator light inside the keys for CapsLock and Wi-Fi. Why has it taken laptop manufacturers 30 years to include this on laptops"

Like my 2 year old HP?

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Re: WTF?

And Apple? (well, the caps lock at least)

Also no mention of another Apple-esque USP - backlit keyboard?

On the upside - screws, inside and out. None of this "Glue-shit-together-to-make-it-a-bastard-to-service-or-upgrade" technique favoured by the fruity one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: WTF?

erm the MBA has screws...but don't let the facts get in the way of your rant

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FAIL

Re: WTF?

Oh really? Glued batteries, anyone?

http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+15-Inch+Retina+Display+Mid+2012+Teardown/9462/1

And this on the Pro model too. Expect this new "assembly feature" in your Air soon.

PS: I own an Air...

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WTF?

Re: WTF?

USP Backlit Keyboard?

I have a 10 year old backlit keyboard under my desk, brought long before apple added it...

Or is this another 'in a mobile device' patent they might want to go for?

I own an apple laptop, simple down to best at the time of purchase, I am waiting for a decent non-apple netbook made out of something other than plastic that I can run linux on...

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Facepalm

Re: WTF?

ok, possibly some rewording required here...by "Apple-esque USP" I actually meant this was a USP that was championed by Apple and features prominantly in their blurb. Not that it was unique to Apple.

Re: patents - don't tempt them...

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: WTF?

I'll see your 2yo HP and raise you a 9yo Toshiba. No wifi, mind (not that ubiquitous in 2003).

Author doesn't get out much ;)

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Re: WTF?

i just bought a Toshiba Z830 - it has a backlit keyboard. It also weighs 1/2 lb less than an Air, has 3 hours more battery life and a full set of ports. Oh, and it costs $500, not $1000+.

That said, the resell value in 2 years will be exactly zero - while the Air will probably still be worth 70% of the purchase price...

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Re: WTF?

5-year-old Dell Studio XPS here - backlit keyboard and all.

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1600x900

Heading in the right direction but why not 1920x1200? That would be worth a grand of my money.

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Re: 1600x900

Why not 1920x1200? Probably because the laptop screen would be enormous at current pixel densities - this is the resolution of the excellent 24" Dell U2412M monitor.

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K
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Re: 1600x900

If my ultra-thin tablet can have a higher DPI.. there is no reason excuse not to place them in laptops!

Also.. WTF is mini-Ethernet?

Personally opinion is - moving in the right direction, but screen resolution is still to low and the cost too expensive.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1600x900

Eh? Apple can pack 2560x1600 in a 13 inch display and this has a 15 inch display...

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Re: 1600x900

It's the same as my 24" monitor too but you can have higher dpi than that. See fruity retina displays for example.

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FAIL

Re: 1600x900

Mini Ethernet is a chance to sell an adapter for a standard ethernet cable, but they included it O_O.

Come on Samsung this is how Apple make money.

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@Anonymous IV

My 5 year old Dell M65 has a 15" screen at 1920x1200

unfortunately laptops sporting that sort of definition are a rare beast

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1600x900

Fruity Retina displays have a 326 PPI screen. The human eye can distinguish 170 PPI. So anything over that, a human being cannot see. The highest estimate of the number of colors a human being can detect is 20 million so anything over 24 bit colour is irrelevant. HDMI generates over a billion colours.

Technology has surpassed what we can discern and denser PPI screens with more colors may be technologically more advanced and generate bragging rights, but are in effect moot.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1600x900

> Why not 1920x1200?

That's 16:10 rather than the present fad of 16:9, other than that ThinkPads and equivalent high-end offerings from Dell have had 1920x1200 in a 15.4" display for yonks - it's a delight to use.

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Re: 1600x900

I'd still like an 8K 50+ inch TV rather than this 3D rubbish though.

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Re: 1600x900

@Anonymous IV

I'm typing this on a Dell laptop with a 17" 1920 x 1200 screen... I am at a normal distance from the screen and can just about make out the pixels - well, I can just about make out a very slight jaggedness around text. I'm not desperate for a greater pixel density (as it would be on a 15" display) - and I do appreciate that many people I know have difficulty in reading small text on monitors- but I'm glad for the extra pixels, especially in the single-pixel-thick lines and wire-frames in CAD.

It might be this issue of reading text that has caused most modern laptops to have a poor resolution screen; I'm not sure how Windows 8 handles it, but setting up Windows 7 for someone with less than 20/20 vision on a high res monitor feels like a work in progress- upping the text size to 125% or 150% can can render text in some legacy programs unreadable, as it spills out of its allotted space. Some users resort to running their computers at below the monitors native resolution, just to make text and icons larger.

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FAIL

Re: 1600x900

The display's been upgraded from shit to unacceptable.

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Re: 1600x900

@K

It would be nice to be able to use a high-res tablet as just a dumb monitor, to add a screen to one's laptop. It doesn't strike me as being too difficult/costly a thing to achieve technically (or am I wrong?) and would give said tablet a unique selling point.

One could imagine buying x86 laptops without screens, and plugging them into a ARM tablets in dumb-monitor mode... this could lead to improvements in ergonomics over traditional laptops, since the screen and keyboard could then be placed further apart from each other.

If it is backed up by appropriate circuitry, can a microHDMI port act as an input? (i.e, is it purely a scaled-down HDMI socket?)

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Re: 1600x900

@AC

> The human eye can distinguish 170 PPI.

Alas, if only things were that simple, but things involving biology rarely are. The human eye can distinguish more detail in different situations, and uses some tricks in 'post-processing' to achieve even more, especially when illumination or movement is involved. It is the centre of our vision (rare animals we are, with two front-facing eyes- most trade front-on depth perception for greater situational awareness) that is very sharp, and it is estimated that to fool our eye into thinking a picture is real would require 500 megapixels filling the full vision of one eye (not including trying to simulate the dynamic range that our eyes can perceive).

Whilst we might only be able to distinguish 20 million colours, this number is not evenly distributed amongst the hues (we can distinguish more shades of green, for example) so it is better that the hardware can handle more, so that it can display at least the number of greens that we can see.

Yeah, in essence I agree with you- more pixels can only benefit the user so far.

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Re: 1600x900

I'm running 1920x1200 on a 4-ish year old 15" Dell Latitude E6500 laptop - this capability was the major selling point when I bought the laptop (and it was under a grand). It'd be nice if more manufacturers offered high-res laptops in their range without the painful prices associated with the "premium" brands, be they fruity or otherwise.

Samsung looks nice though.

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Stop

Re: 1600x900

Aargh. 16x9 is terrible. I want a computer, not a movie screen.

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Re: 1600x900

A sheet of paper printed at 300dpi is about 2400 pixels across and 3300 deep. If you degrade your printing to 150dpi (1200 x 1650) you most assuredly notice the jaggies on slanting linse and glyphs!

300dpi is old hat. Many of today's laser printers are 1200dpi, although I'm not convinced I can tell the difference between a 1200dpi laser and a 600dpi laser. 600dpi looks crisper than 300dpi although that diffrence is more subjective than objective.

Anyway, this shows there is a limit to the number of pixels that could benefit a laptop user, but we haven't yet got close to it with screens and monitors.

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Re: Mini-Ethernet

Mini-Ethernet? Hadn't heard of it before, but looking at the pictures it's clear that it would have been very hard to fit in a standard RJ45 connector.

Anyone know if it's a standard (like mini-USB)? If so the cables will become widely available at low-ish prices and interchangeable between manufacturers. Maybe we'll even start seeing mini-Ethernet connectors on tablets, where a full RJ45 would be quite impossible.

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Mushroom

Re: 1920x1200

My 10 year old Dull Inspiron 8500 had 1920x1200 on an 15" laptop. OK it was a brick to lug around but the screen was great.

Anything less than 1920x1200 should be classified as LoRes.

1280x1024 became the standard screen res in about 1987/88 didn't it. Please can we have some progress somewhere.

Perhaps manufactures should be forced to quote a MegaPixel rating so that Joe public understands just how shit most modern screens are.

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Go

Re: 1600x900

@Dave 126 - I do this with my iPad, using a tool called Air Display. App on the pad, bit of software on the workstation, makes the iPad available as an extra screen for Mac or Windows desktops over wifi. Works at pixel-doubled or retina density, your choice.

http://avatron.com/apps/air-display

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Re: 1600x900

Cheers JamieV,

I've heard of a few competing software solutions, for all iOSXAndroidWindows combos- there were plenty of blogs that announced it works, but none that I could find that actually said how well it works. Thanks for your recomendation, I don't know why I was of so little faith...

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FAIL

Re: 1600x900

@The anonymous coward making up nonsense about PPI.

What nonsense.

The eye's ability to 'distinguish PPI', to use your slightly non-sensical phrase depends on viewing distance and is not an absolute.

Have a look at the PPI comparison images part way down this page http://kcbx.net/~mhd/2photo/digital/pixel.htm

I can clearly see a difference between the 250 and 300 ppi images at my normal viewing dstance (about 12") and I do not have particularly great eyesight.

Not checking your facts and just pulling figures out of your arse is inexcusable in a Word with Google. That you think the rest of us are as stupid as you is just insulting.

'FAIL' icon for obvious reasons.

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Meh

Re: 1600x900

Eh? Samsung can pack 2560x1600 in a 10 inch display (in the Nexus 10) and this has a 15 inch display...

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Unhappy

Re: 1600x900

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but 1920x1200 is now almost extinct on new laptops. Seriously, there is only ONE laptop manufacturer in the world that still makes 16:10 laptops, and depressingly, that's Apple. Every single Samsung, Dell, HP, Lenovo etc. laptop made today has a 16:9 screen. Yes, that's depressing. Still, the screen on the Samsung Series 9 is a good screen. Yes it'd be better if it were 16:10, but it's still at the top end of a bad bunch.

If you're after a 16:10 screen today though, your only 3 options are an old laptop, an Apple laptop, or to wait until manufacturers come to their senses and stop this ridiculous obsession with multimedia-oriented 16:9 screens.

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Re: 1600x900

To be honest I don't give a s*&t about aspect ratio, I care about having a reasonable number of lines of dots on the screen.

1080 might be fine for people who only want to watch movies, but I want to get some work done on this screen.

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Re: 1600x900

You might have problems with Windows with a resolution that high. Windows itself will be fine, but not some of the programs written for it.

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Linux

"These are no sharper than an Apple machine."

I disagree. This looks damned sharp to me and has Win 7 to boot. :) Colour me interested.

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Coat

I'm too weak to resist! nobody has said is so sod it I'm going to!!

Only Apple is allowed to make rectangle laptops, it's Apples copyrighted Shape, Samsung should have maade a star shaped one. Let the sueing commence!!! Coat, peg, i'm going ..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At least it's not win8...

You do realise that the author of the article probably put that line in there just to elicit the response that you just gave.

Congratulations for being one of the most predictable Reg Commentators.

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Re: At least it's not win8...

Look, if you use software that only works under Windows, you don't have a choice of OS. I use Win 7, and though there are annoyances (I'm sure every Windows user has their own list of pet hates) it is the only tool for the job.

OSX might be suitable for some, Linux might become usable for Joe-public if the application names gave even the smallest clue as to their function....

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Re: At least it's not win8...

Windows 7 is the Obama of os'es. Obama is no Bush (vista) and the public decided to have him for another 4 years in stead of Romney (win 8).

Same here. I'll stick with 7 for now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At least it's not win8...

Two other selling features of Win7? It's not MacOS and it's not Linux.

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Anonymous Coward

@Dave 126 - Re: At least it's not win8...

Like for example Adobe Acrobat or Quick Time ? You know what, just stick with Windows and OS X and forget about Linux, OK?

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Re: At least it's not win8...

Much as I agree with the sentiment, Win7 is a lot better than XP in a number of areas.

Fanboyism aside, the way things _should_ be done, is:

Work out what you want to do.

Work out which software does it best

Decide on the OS which runs it best

Decide on the most suitable hardware.

Buying hardware because it's sexy is "tail wagging the dog"

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Re: At least it's not win8...

Not really. Pretty much every laptop you can buy over £300 nowadays is overly capable for the needs of 95% of users, so when you've got a choice of hundreds of possible machines that would suit you why not get something pretty?

It sells MacBooks by the million, and it works for Tosh, Samsung and Sony too.

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Re: @Dave 126 - At least it's not win8...

>Like for example Adobe Acrobat or Quick Time ? You know what, just stick with Windows and OS X and forget about Linux, OK?

Er, no- most Mechanical CAD packages won't run under Linux, including the one I use. Few run under OSX, though AutoDesk products do. Maybe mainstream mechanical CAD will become available for OSs other than Windows (and it is a candidate for using rented computer power from elsewhere) but that day hasn't arrived yet, and my point stands.

So, I repeat: Sometimes the software one uses dictates the operating system one uses. An example: Bloggs accountancy software is used by many small businesses, because the Tax Man here in the UK seems to like the format of the reports it generates (a virtuous circle, from Blogg's perspective). If you are a shop, a third party might develop stock control software that integrates with Bloggs, but is specific to your trade. All of which is designed to run under Windows. You might experiment with running Bloggs+add-ons in Linux under WINE or whatever, but why would you? I'm not saying it is fair, but it is the way it is.

I do use Linux, I like it, but sometimes the application names appear to be the result of playing cerebral games with recursive acronyms than they do a considered effort to be clear to the user.

[I use Foxit reader or whatever is integrated with my web-browser, but don't bother with Quicktime... it might be better if you don't make assumptions]

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Bronze badge

Concur

In the early days, if you worked with documents, you did it with WordPerfect or Office. If you did graphics, it was Photoshop and MacOS. Same difference here, just specialized complex programs built for purpose, built one way for one OS.

I remember.

;)

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Anonymous Coward

what are the specs, please

i.e. RAM, hdd or ssd, some benchmarks.

p.s. I don't need to know it's got 2 x USB 3 ports ;)

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Linux

Does it boot a recent Penguin flavour ?

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SecureBoot is a Windows 8 feature/annoyance... so that would be "Yes". I'm assuming it has Intel HD 4000 graphics, and there have been reports of issues on Win and OSX machines, so you'd best check with your fellow penguins if you want it to do more than boot into VGA mode.

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