Samsung Series 9 review

Simply super-looking. But power is sacrificed

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Samsung Series 9 900X3B review

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

Cinebench 10: 7,265
3D Mark 06: 3,577
Battery Eater 05: 172 mins

In our lab tests, the Samsung Series 9 900X3B offered mixed results, and whichever way you look at it, this is a portable PC that will appeal more to style-conscious web surfers than power users.

The processor tests revealed a good score for the Intel Core i5 processor, which is in line with other Ultrabooks, and the Apple MacBook Air. There's more than enough power to edit pictures and multitask your favourite programs without testing the limits of the chip.

However, the graphic benchmarks left a lot to be desired. As with most Ultrabooks, the Samsung relies on the built-in Intel HD 3000 graphics core, which delivers mediocre performance.

Samsung Series 9 900X3B review

You can forget gaming, but there's enough power there to keep an HD movie smooth and seamless, and use programs such as Photoshop Elements.

We can forgive the poor graphical performance of the Samsung Series 9 900X3B, just because of its waif-like size. It's not designed to take on the might of the Apple MacBook Pro, and it's an achievement that a laptop this slim can still have enough power to be used as a primary machine.

On such a portable laptop, battery life is key, but this fell short of our expectations when tested in our labs.

Samsung Series 9 900X3B review

We use a highly demanding testing process that involves looping HD video and performing an automated writing task until the battery dies. The Samsung Series 9 900X3B lasted 172 minutes - a little under three hours - which equates to five hours of light use.

To put these results in context, the Asus Zenbook UX31 lasted 234 minutes, and the MacBook Air 205 minutes under the same conditions.

One huge selling point of the Samsung Series 9 900X3B is its excellent screen, which is one of the best matt displays you'll find. It's pin-sharp and really bright, making it great for creative types and media lovers. But by dispensing with the visually enhancing glossy TFT coating, it won't be rendered useless in direct sunlight.

Samsung Series 9 900X3B review

High definition movies looked superb, with vibrant colours punching out from the panel, and we would highly recommend it for anyone looking to pass the time on long commutes, or just catch up on TV shows in bed.

Despite the lack of graphical power and the mediocre battery and processor scores, using the Samsung Series 9 is extremely pleasurable, thanks to the responsiveness of the system.

The 128GB SSD hard drive does a lot of this work, enabling the Samsung Series 9 900X3B to start up in around 10 seconds.

The SDD and Sandy Bridge processor also combine for some scarily fast system resumption times. You can open the lid and have a responsive desktop in about two seconds, which is a big sell for anyone looking for the immediacy of a tablet, but functionality of a Windows PC.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 3000
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Solid State Drive Capacity128 GB
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product Family9
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Keyboard BacklightYes
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 Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.31 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM65 Express
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologySuperBright Plus
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports2
Memory StandardDDR3-1333/PC3-10600
Height16 mm
Width328 mm
Depth227 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series9
Product ModelNP900X3A
Product NameNP900X3A Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNP900X3A-B03UK
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing InformationMobile Computing Made Easy

How mobile do you need to be?

From among of the world's lightest, to the most powerful, Samsung mobile computers take productivity with you wherever you go.

Maximum Memory4 GB
Package Contents
  • NP900X3A Notebook
  • Standard Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year