Samsung Series 5 Ultra review

Finally - an Ultrabook that offers total value for money

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Samsung Series 5 Ultra review

TechRadar Labs

Samsung Series 5 Ultra review


Cinebench 10: 5,809
3D Mark '06: 3242
Battery Eater '05: 191mins

So, after tearing through the specifications, the real question is how does the Samsung Series 5 Ultra 530U3B perform day-to-day? This is an Ultrabook, after all.

The answer is, reassuringly well. We couldn't find much fault with running Windows 7, as programs opened swiftly, and even with multiple folders, web pages and media running, it kept up with our movements.

Boot-up from sleep was near instant, taking less than two seconds, and powering on from a full shut-down took us only 35 seconds - not bad, but a bit longer than Samsung's official reckoning.

Samsung Series 5 Ultra review

There's a reassuring lack of bloatware that often clutters start-up with pop-ups and update messages, which we're always thankful for.

Once you're powered up and using the Samsung Series 5 Ultra 530U3B, you immediately feel comfortable with the machine. We've got used to the shallow travel of Ultrabook keyboards by now, and had no trouble adjusting to the Series 5 straight away.

The keys are large and isolated, and although there's no numeric keypad, it's great to see a keyboard where the arrow keys are a decent size.

Similarly, Samsung has given us a huge, responsive touchpad with physical left and right buttons. We've been critical of integrated touchpad buttons on the Acer Aspire S3 and HP Envy 14 Spectre, and using the Samsung Series 5 Ultra 530U3B's pad is a real pleasure.

Samsung Series 5 Ultra review

Even better, the touchpad supports multi-touch and takes advantage of gesture-controlled Windows 7 so you can pinch to zoom or use two fingers to scroll.

There are two stereo speakers at the front of the chassis, one on either side, that complement the main speaker at the base of the screen during media playback.

Although the Samsung Series 5 Ultra 530U3B doesn't get up to serious volume, the distribution and balance of sound is excellent. Audio doesn't feel tinny and there's no distortion when you do push the volume up.

Samsung Series 5 Ultra review

Predictably, the battery life on the Samsung Series 5 Ultra 530U3B is neither wonderful, nor woeful. We squeezed a reasonable 191 minutes from the Battery Eater benchmarking program - running with a looped 720p high-definition video in the background.

Samsung quotes 6.4 hours of regular use on a single charge and, with care, you can certainly manage this - lasting you almost an entire day at the office. This should be more than sufficient for most users, but ideally we like to see Ultrabooks score over 200 minutes.

Even so, you really have to push the Samsung Series 5 Ultra 530U3B to start bothering it. During use it kept quiet and moderately cool, and the overall experience, especially where the keyboard and touchpad are concerned, was positive.

We weren't especially blown away by the Samsung Series 5 Ultra 530U3B but, at the same time, we knew it wouldn't let us down.

Tags

Tech Specs

Product TypeUltrabook
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 3000
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product Family5
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli5-2467M
ColourSilver
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
ManufacturerSamsung
Product ModelNP530U3BI
Product NameNP530U3BI Ultrabook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNP530U3B-A01US
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
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