Samsung’s going premium for the new year, phasing out lower-end notebook models such as the ATIV Book 5 in favor of the new ATIV Book 9 2014 Edition. The new and improved machine is a 15.6-inch ultraportable priced at $1,899. Hoping to improve on the success of the stellar ATIV Book 9 Plus, the company claims its latest notebook will be more powerful and have 40 percent longer battery life than last year’s model.
The ATIV Book 9 2014 Edition has ditched the midnight blue aluminum chassis for a stately black finish. The new color looks nice and we love the shiny chrome lining the edges. However, we soon discovered that the notebook was susceptible to smudging from the oil in our fingertips. That little wart aside, the ATIV Book 9 2014 Edition is lovely to behold. Measuring 4 pounds, 14.73 x 9.84 x 0.63 inches the 2014 Edition is lighter and slimmer than the 15-inch MacBook Pro (4.5 pounds, 14.1 x 9.7 x 0.71 inches).
The laptop’s interior serves up more black aluminum with a full-size island-style keyboard and a large chrome-lined touchpad. Samsung revamped the keyboard to give users a more comfortable typing experience. The keyboard delivered firm springy feedback.
MORE: 5 Best Samsung Laptops
The ATIV Book 9 2014 Edition has undergone a bit of a downgrade in the display department. Instead of the Book 9 Plus’ 3200 x 1800-pixel Retina-like display, the 2014 Edition has a 15.6-inch 1080p display. However the 2014 Edition still offers 10-point touch capabilities. The notebook delivered vibrant color with sharp details. The laptop also has generous 178 degree viewing angles allowing a group of friends to gather around and get in on the action.
When it hits store shelves in April, the 2014 Edition will be the first notebook to feature lossless audio. This technology reproduces an exact duplicate of the original audio stream, adding life and nuance to compressed MP3 files that can sound a little flat. It was certainly music to our ears as we listened to Miles Davis’ “Green in Blue.” The piano was smooth and rich, but the trumpet was the star of the show, exuding warmth and an aural sensuality.
In terms of battery life, Samsung is claiming the 2014 Edition can last an impressive 14 hours using the MobileMark benchmark. The ATIV Book 9 Plus posted 8 hours and 6 minutes on the LAPTOP Battery Test so we’re looking forward to see what the 2014 Edition can do. The notebook can be purchased with either an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor with up to 256GB of storage and Intel integrated graphics.
Port-wise, the notebook will feature a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, HDMI, mini-VGA, Ethernet (with adapter), SD card reader, a combination headphone/microphone jack and a security lock slot.
Consumers interested in snagging the ATIV Book 9 2014 Edition will have to wait until April.