Video: Samsung 9 Series Hands-on: An Ultraportable We Want (Badly)

If you’re thinking about ditching Windows to get a MacBook Air, you might want to think twice. The Samsung 9 Series, which goes on sale next month, is sexy, slim, and oh so fast. Weighing in a 2.89 pounds and measuring just .64 inches thick (versus 2.9 pounds and .68 for Apple’s 13-incher), the 9 Series is just as portable. But there’s a lot more to this notebook.

When we picked up the 9 Series we were floored with the solid feel. You can thank Duralumin for that, a material used in building aircrafts that’s twice as durable as almuinum. Then we got distracted by the brilliant display, which Samsung calls SuperBright Plus. It deserves that name because the LCD pumps out 400 nits of brightness while providing 160-degree viewing angles.

The chiclet-style backlit keyboard felt responsive, but we like the large touchpad even more. It’s one of the few we’ve used with integrated buttons that just feels natural.

The 9 Series flies through everyday computing tasks, thanks to a second-generation, low-voltage Core i5 processor, which has improved Intel HD grpahics. A 128GB SSD booted Windows for us in about 20 seconds, which is about a third of the time of the typical Windows Machine. You also get USB 3.0 connectivity and integrated WiMAX.

Although the battery is sealed in the design, Samsung promises up to 6.5 hours of endurance, which should provide plenty of runtime for a cross-country flight. The Lithium Polymer battery should last you a good three years or 1,000 cycles.

Yes, $1,599 is pricey compared to the starting price of the 13-inch MacBook Air, but the 9 Series’ head-turning design, best-in-class display, and serious power should make it worth the splurge. This ultraportable looks so good that it should also give the VAIO Z a run for its money, so long as you’re willing to live without an optical drive.

Stay tuned for a full review of the Samsung 9 Series. In the meantime, check out the video and gallery below.

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. MathieuB Says:

    I love the sleek design, but why in the world did they decide to make it SO bloody glossy…*sigh* Blushed aluminium rocks, but if only they made it non-glossy, being such a fingerprint magnet is a deal breaker for me. I want to use the laptop, not clean it every minute…

  2. Techy Says:

    MathieuB – Personal experience, people can’t really see the fingerprints because of the glossiness, only if they stand in that weird right position

    What was the laptop nest to this one? Looks like a new one

  3. Colin Says:

    Very appealing. After looking at both this and the Air, I went for the Air. The final decision was the Windows operating system vs. Mac OS X. After suffering for years with Windows (although 7 is a bit better than previous versions), the Mac just works better and is so trouble free. I always have issues with my Windows machines and they require constant attention to keep running (and sometimes even that does not work). My two Macs work as well as they did the day i bought them, and never a single issue. I just wish Windows was a better platform, as there are some non-Mac computers that have some cool features. It is just that the Mac is simply a much better computer because of the operating system.

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