Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite review

Samsung gives its coveted Series 9 a budget makeover

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite

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We're used to laptops coming laden with Intel's all-conquering fourth-generation Haswell processors, which now have a monopoly on Windows and Mac machines. However, the low price of the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite undoubtedly comes from the Korean manufacturer's choice to use a rebranded AMD A6 processor instead.

Side connections

The requisite connections are tidy and compact

It's a quad-core chip, but only offers a maximum clock speed of 1.4GHz, and runs at just 1GHz for basic tasks. Meanwhile, 4GB of RAM shores up the processor's memory requirements.

Samsung has furnished the Lite with a 128GB solid-state drive, saving the blushes of the basic CPU. Overall boot time is decent enough, and programs and files are snappy to load from cold.

The touch sensitivity of the ATIV Book 9 Lite makes easy work of the Windows 8 interface. It's a responsive and accurate panel, and registers presses and gestures well. Unfortunately, the plaudits don't extend to the screen's visual quality.

Fuzzy screen

The 1,366 x 768 resolution is fuzzy and pale, and looks like last year's technology. The paleness is often down to the appalling viewing angles, which is almost impossible to remedy when using the ATIV Book 9 Lite in an office environment. Any slight movement of the screen betrays its mirror-like reflectiveness, which is difficult to ignore.


The buttons are plastic, but at least the keyboard is spacious

The original Series 9 keyboard is a shining example of what can be achieved on an ultra-portable laptop. But as you might have guessed, the ATIV Book 9 Lite has been given an inferior set of plastic buttons. While the feel is nowhere near as luxurious, the keyboard is spacious enough to allow comfortable typing for extended periods.

The trackpad has a plasticky feel, and clicking it is akin to popping the top of a jam jar, although it does come with a range of gestures that are normally the preserve of premium machines.


Clicking the trackpad can feel like popping a jam jar lid

Connectivity options feel a bit awkward, and the super-thin chassis means the full range of normal connections you'd expect to find on a laptop are absent. There are two USB 3.0 ports, but only mini-HDMI is included, which will leave you frustrated if you don't have the right cable.

An Ethernet port has also been sacrificed, replaced by a supplied dongle. That's fine as long as you remember to take it with you, otherwise you'll be unable to connect to the internet.