Samsung Series 9 900X3B

The Samsung Series 9 900X3B is a fantastic-looking laptop that doesn't sacrifice usability like many ultra-portable laptops. Yes, there's a lack of power here, battery life is uninspiring and the price is colossal. Those things usually equate to a bad review, but the Series 9 commands a certain respect.

The engineering and vision that's gone into making something beautiful and unique goes beyond benchmark scores and gripes over price. We made excuses for the original Apple MacBook Air, which wasn't usable as a main machine.

We liked

The look and feel of the Samsung Series 9 900X3B is almost unrivalled. But aside form the design, we loved the speed and responsiveness of the system, thanks to the SSD drive.

The speedy resume from sleep, and the ability to be in a fully functional version of Windows in just 10 seconds makes the Series 9 as usable as a tablet, but infinitely more versatile.

We disliked

While we got used to the trackpad, we still found it to be a hindrance rather than an enabler. The input features - namely the trackpad and keyboard - can't touch the MacBook Air for quality, and that's a big issue.

Windows isn't really that gesture-friendly either, while OS X Lion is, so the only time we really noticed the amount of gestures on offer was when we'd accidentally zoomed Internet Explorer to the size of a postage stamp.

While five hours of light us is acceptable on any laptop, we were slightly underwhelmed by its poor score in our lab test. It was outstripped by many existing Ultrabooks, and for a laptop with the emphasis on portability, we'd like to have seen more longevity.

Verdict

The Samsung Series 9 900X3B is one of the best looking Windows laptops we've ever seen, and one of the most covetable, too.

There are performance issues, arising from its waif-like size, but it's still more than capable of serving most people's needs, while offering head-turning style that few competitors can offer.

Indeed, for anyone who wants portable style, the only decision is this or the MacBook Air - but you won't be choosing this on price.