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We were pretty excited when we heard that Samsung was redesigning its Series 9 laptop for the budget market. As big fans of the original, we felt there was a lot to live up to. But seeing the ATIV Book 9 Lite adopt a plastic lid, a poor screen and a white-label processor proved altogether disappointing.
On the surface this is a decent buy, and there aren't many portable laptops that can be picked up for south of £500. However, we feel that Samsung has cut too many corners, and those looking for a bargain laptop would be wise to consider other options.
We loved the price and the (almost) faithful design to the Series 9 range. The chassis is super-thin and extremely stylish, as long as you look past the redesigned lid. Overall it's a good-looking machine and at face value it knocks the socks off the competition in terms of aesthetics.
At this price, it's always nice to see a 128GB solid-state drive fitted as standard, and the snappy loading and boot times were thanks to this alone, rather than to the white-label AMD chip.
Our list of disappointments reads like a naughty schoolboy's report card. The blurry, poor-resolution screen, the plastic lid, the poor benchmark scores, and the own-brand chip all make for sorry reading. Some of these negatives are simply down to cost-cutting measures, and it's important to remember that this Samsung model exists for those on a budget. But you only have to look as far as the Asus Zenbook S200 or the VivoBook S400 for an altogether more impressive low-cost machine.
A budget laptop disguised as a premium machine, the lack of an Intel Core processor and second-rate hardware makes this laptop hard to recommend.
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