Posted by: kurtsh | June 20, 2011

INFO: Samsung Series 9 ultrathin Windows 7 laptop

imageI love my new Samsung Series 9.  This is the first ultraportable laptop that I’ve ever used that TRUMPED my previous full-sized laptop.

The biggest difference (besides the obvious size/look & feel differential) is the switch from Core2Duo to Core i5 w/ Sandy Bridge architecture.  The performance on this thing is stunning.

I created the following table from a variety of sources to compare it to “the other guys”.

Attribute

Samsung Series 9

Apple MacBook Air

Processor Core i5 2537M 1.40GHz, 3MB cache w/SpeedBoost to 2.3Ghz (Sandy Bridge) Core2Duo 1.86Ghz (optional Core2Duo 2.13Ghz with 6MB cache)
Memory 4GB DDR3 1066
(8GB RAM max)
2GB DDR3
(4GB RAM max)
Dimensions .64” thick .68” thick
Screen size 13.3”Active Matrix TFT 13.3”
Display technology LED-backlit 400NIT SuperBright Plus LED-backlit
Resolution 1366×768 1440×900
GPU Integrated Intel HD 3000 GPU nVidia GeForce 320M (256MB) GPU
External Display Port Mini-HDMI
(w/Mini-HDMI-to-VGA dongle)
Mini-DisplayPort
Wireless Display Yes (Intel Widi) No
Front facing camera Yes (1.3Mp) Yes (1.3Mp)
Storage 128GB SSD 128GB flash storage(optional 256GB)
Keyboard Backlit+Matte finish Non-backlit+Glossy finish
Pointing Device ClickPad (Multi-touch gesture) Trackpad (Multi-touch gesture)
Speaker 3 watt (1.5Wx2) stereo speakers + 1.5 watt subwoofer Stereo speakers
Audio ports Headphone+Microphone Headphone only
Ethernet Built-in Gigabit Add-on 100Mb USB adapter
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n 802.11a/b/g
Expansion MicroSD slot SD slot
TPM TPM 1.2 (A02US only; not A03US) No TPM available
Bluetooth 3.0 2.1
USB 3.0 2.0
WiMax Yes No
Battery
(Company reported)
LiPoly 7hrs LiPoly 7hrs
Battery
(3rd party tested)
5hrs 22min (CNet) 4hrs 58min (CNet)
Weight 2.89lbs 2.9lbs
Warranty 3 years, all-inclusive warranty.  International parts & labor parts & labor; 3 years technical phone support 90 days phone support + 1 year limited hardware warranty.  Similar 2 year US-only protection available through AppleCare for $250
Price $1,599 + free Xbox 360 4GB $1,299 (requires $1,599 for 256GB)

 

Other noticeable differences:

  • TEMPERATURE
    Runs cool… even when SpeedBoosting!  Not gonna burn your lap… unlike the MacBook Air which may leave a scorch mark on a wooden boardroom table.
  • CHASSIS
    The laptop is encased in “Duralumin”, a metal composite used to build jet airliners for it’s strength & lightweight.  It is of very sturdy construction as a result.
  • NETWORK PERFORMANCE
    The Series 9 has a native, integrated gigabit network adapter with actual performance of up to 1Gb/sec data transmission rates due to its integration with the PCI-E bus.  The Macbook Air’s lesser 100Mbps network adapter is a USB adapter that not only takes up a USB slot, but is relegated to USB data channel performance.
  • SALES TAX
    An interesting thing about the Samsung is that you can buy it out of state and avoid paying sales tax.  For example:  In CA, you can pick up the Samsung from Amazon and be tax free & shipping free.  Not so much with the MacBook Air:  Apple’s likely got a store in your state and if that’s the case, you’re paying sales tax.  This is roughly a $140 premium for really no value.
  • WIRELESS DISPLAY
    Something that no one seems to mention is because the Samsung Series 9 leverages the integrated graphics processor – the HD 3000 – on the Core i5, Intel’s Wireless Display technology or “WiDi” is available to the user.  This allows users of the Series 9 to wirelessly transmit their laptop screen at 1080p full 30fps to their consumer HD TV using a WiDi receiver, requiring no additional hardware on their PC.  Great for video sharing!

A few great links for the Samsung Series 9:

  1. Samsung’s official site for the Series 9 including marketing photos:
    http://www.samsung.com/ca/consumer/office/mobile-computing/performance/NP900X3A-A01CA/index.idx?pagetype=prd_detail&returnurl=
    &pid=ca_mobilecomputingtype_keyvisual1_np900x3a_20110504
  2. TechRepublic’s very excellent hardware tear down of the Series 9:
    http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/itdojo/samsung-series-9-worthy-rival-to-apple-macbook-air/2607
  3. Tej Babra’s look at the Intel WiDi Wireless Display feature of the Series 9:
    http://www.tejbabra.com/index.php/reviews/samsung-series-9-laptop-review-with-intel-widi/

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