Samsung Series 5 Ultra review

Finally - an Ultrabook that offers total value for money

TODO alt text

Samsung Series 5 Ultra review

Samsung has taken the middle ground on equipping the Series 5 Ultra 530U3B, opting for an Intel Core i5-2467M (1.6GHz) CPU, 4GB RAM and a 1366 x 768 screen resolution.

The processor is part of the Sandy Bridge family (a prerequisite for Ultrabook-class), so the graphics memory is built into the CPU core.

Don't expect any hard gaming on the Series 5 - if that's what you're looking for, Samsung has crafted the Series 7 Gamer especially for you.

Gaming aside, the integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 chip doesn't do a bad job. You'll find streaming movies over Netflix or using editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver is within the grasp of this machine.

Samsung Series 5 Ultra review

If you do crave a slightly bigger graphical grunt, the 14-inch Series 5 packs in a dedicated AMD Radeon HD7550M GPU. And, while both machines come with 4GB RAM as standard, there's the option to upgrade to 8GB for a bit of extra future-proofing.

One of the main features of the Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook is the decision to include a 500GB hard disk drive, as well as a 16GB SSD (an SSD-only option is available).

In order to keep to Samsung's stated 20-second boot-up time, the Series 5 Ultra 530U3B also includes a 16GB iSSD and a technology called ExpressCache. Start it up and ExpressCache loads the operating system and most-used programs straight from the iSSD, while the HDD is left to boot in the background.

Samsung Series 5 Ultra review

It appears to work very well, and the Series 5's boot-up time stands up against the other Ultrabooks we've tested. The extra storage space is undoubtedly a bonus.

Even though external hard drives don't cost a fortune any more, buying one to go with your Ultrabook still means extra bulk to carry around. If you've got a large media library or a wealth of documents and programs, you'll thank Samsung for giving you the extra space.

Samsung takes a certain amount of pride in its bright screens, and the 300nit screen on the Samsung Series 5 Ultra 530U3B is no exception. The lack of a Super-TFT coating means bright lights and reflections don't interfere with usability.

This should prove popular with anyone looking to use the Series 5 as a mobile workstation, although media enthusiasts might miss the richer colours and deeper contrast supplied by a reflective coating.

The 1366 x 768 pixel resolution is perfectly serviceable for watching films in 720p high definition, and the silver bezel doesn't intrude on the experience.

Tech Specs

Product TypeUltrabook
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 3000
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product Family5
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli5-2467M
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameSamsung
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size33.8 cm (13.3")
Number of Cells4-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.47 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologySuperBright
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Height17.5 mm
Width315 mm
Depth218.4 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series5
Product ModelNP530U3BI
Product NameNP530U3BI Ultrabook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNP530U3B-A01US
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing InformationConnectivity without Compromise

Your laptop should cater to you, not the other way around! With the Samusung Series 5 Ultrabook, you have all the connectivity and ports that you need to get things done. From blazing fast USB, to a full size memory card reader, you have all the ports that you need. Dont let your laptop limit your creativity, let your laptop unleash it.

Speed and storage come together with ExpressCache technology

The blazing fast performance of solid state. The massive storage of a hard disk drive. Samsung ExpressCache combines both in one technologically advanced package.

Battery ChemistryLithium Polymer (Li-Polymer)
Limited Warranty1 Year