Samsung Series 9 (900X3A) Notebook Review

By on July 4, 2011
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The MacBook Air has true competition.

Good: Beautiful design, excellent keyboard, decent performance
Bad: Mousepad is finicky, a bit on the expensive side
Price: AED 6,999
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

The 13.3” screen on the Samsung Series 9 is simply gorgeous with beautiful the color reproduction. I’m glad Samsung chose a matte finish which I always prefer over glossy screens. About the only thing that seems a bit laid back is the 1366×768 resolution- Samsung should have opted for a slightly higher resolution to make things looks crisper. While nitpicking, also let me add that Samsung equips the Series 9 with a light sensor that automatically adjusts the screen brightness but I had to disable that as it seemed to be working in an over-drive mode with continuous adjustments to the screen brightness.

What I really like about the Samsung Series 9 is the chiclet keyboard that is easily one of the best that I’ve used in recent months. It’s also backlit- a feature missing from the current generation of MacBook Air. While the keyboard works wonderfully, I just couldn’t get comfortable with the multi-touch trackpad that I unintentionally kept tapping- quite a frustrating experience. Two finger scrolling works, but not necessarily as well as I’d hope- I had to repeatedly slide fingers on it to register.

Coming to the performance, the Samsung Series 9 is equipped with a Core i5 CPU and an SSD so I was obviously expecting it to run through our benchmarks without breaking into a sweat. The following table shows the results and compares Series 9 to some of the other notebooks we have tested of late.

CPU Memory 3D Graphics Hard Disk Overall
Samsung Series 9 2583 620 193 1290 790
Lenovo IdeaPad U260 1399 541 190 400 573
HP Pavilion dv3 2989 352 352 694 1195

As you can see from the table above, the Series 9 proved to be faster than Lenovo’s thin and light solution but is still not as fast as a full-featured laptop like the HP dv3. Basically, it depends on what you want to do with your laptop- if all you will be doing is browsing the web, checking your emails and creating documents, then the Series 9 works really well especially with it’s super fast SSD that launches applications and loads up Windows real fast. However, if you will be doing video encoding or anything else thats taxing then you will find the Series 9 a bit on the slower side.

Wrapping things off, the battery life on the U9 proved to be just about average with me getting a little over five hours out of it while doing standard stuff like browsing the web with the occasional flash video, composing emails and documents. During my tests, Wi-Fi is continuously enabled which I think resembles a real-life usage.

Priced at AED 6,999, the Samsung Series 9 certainly comes out a bit on the pricey side. But when you look at the competition, or the MacBook Air 13″, that sells for around the same with a slightly worse CPU but a better battery life and GPU. If Windows is your thing, then the Samsung Series 9 is definitely your best choice for something that is incredibly thin and stylish with good performance.

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Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

  • Life_Saver

    Thanks for the good review ..

    By the way, how is this laptop comparing to ASUS U36 ?? My cousin got it lately ..

  • Life_Saver

    Thanks for the good review ..

    By the way, how is this laptop comparing to ASUS U36 ?? My cousin got it lately ..

  • Anonymous

    Samsung Series 9 Notebook architecture and weight are of adapted advantages to those who like to plan while travelling. Also,  it’s much better for video editing and gaming.

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