The Samsung 900X is, in many ways, a perfect laptop. However, it is missing some key features that make it less than ideal for business customers. If you can work around these, though, it's a powerful and useful machine
Thin and light, great screen, powerful processor and plenty of RAM
Expensive, Windows 7 Home Premium, limited ports and docking options
£ 1300 (inc VAT)
Intel Core i5 1.4GHz processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 13.3in LCD screen wuth LED backlight, HDMI out, 2x USB (1x2.0 1x3.0), Intel HD Graphics 3000MicroSD socket, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n, 6-cell Lithium, 6300 mAh battery, 2.9lbs,
Apple seems to have had the monopoly on stylish looking computers for quite some time. That's not to say there aren't nice Windows-based PCs out there, but Apple still leads the way in design.
As we've come to expect from the Koreans, though, Samsung wants to compete technically and stylistically, and we think it's done a pretty good job with the Series 9 laptop. The only problem is that the 900X not only looks as great as Apple's devices, it attracts a premium price tag too.
On the series 9 we're testing, that tag says £1,300. For that money you get an Intel Core i5 processor running at 1.4Ghz and 4GB of RAM. Storage is handled by a 128GB SSD while the graphics is still only the Intel HD integrated functions, despite the price,
While the 900X is a little more expensive than the MacBook Air, it's worth mentioning that the Samsung has a better stock configuration. The Air has a Core 2 Duo processor running at 1.8GHz, and 2GB of RAM as standard.
While it's easy to point out the obvious differences between a Mac and Windows PC, there are some more subtle things that make Macs nicer to use. The first is the exceptional boot-up time and smart sleep modes.
With MacBooks of all varieties, closing the lid puts the laptop into a battery-reserving mode that can make the machine last days on end, while still being able to spring back to life at a moment's notice.
Sleep and boot
The Samsung seems to manage identical, or very close, performance. Shutting the lid puts it into a sleep from which it will wake very quickly when opened again. Great when you need to stop working suddenly, but don't want to waste time shutting down.
The 900X also scores well when it comes to boot time. From turned off to booting Windows can take as little as 15 seconds. This is thanks to the decent hardware spec, including its fast, silent SSD. This may push the price up, but when you've used a PC with an SSD, we think you'll resist going back to spinning platter drives.
Keyboard and trackpad
Another area where Samsung has followed Apple, but with much less success, is its trackpad. As with the MacBook, there are no buttons on the Series 9. Instead, mouse clicks are achieved by pressing the trackpad.
Mac users will know this works well on Apple hardware because there is no right click mandated by the operating system. Microsoft, on the other hand, makes quite extensive use of this feature so Samsung has opted to have the right hand side of the pad act as the right click, and the left as a left click.
Sadly, this just doesn't work when you want to right click on something that you've moved the cursor left to get to. It's not a show stopper, but having to remove your hand from the trackpad to shift over and right click defies the purpose of this system.
Samsung does, however, redeem itself with a pretty spectacular backlit keyboard. Again, this is something you'll find on Macs, and it's pretty handy for dark conditions where you can't quite see the keys properly.
Illumination is customisable, and we really think it works well. Typing on this keyboard is also a joy. The island-style keys are well positioned and large, everything seems perfect for typing and we found this machine's diminutive weight makes it an ideal laptop for using on the train.