Users pay for the Ativ's slimline design, portability and its touchscreen, but this is let down by the poor display quality and unresponsive trackpad
Quick start and wake-up times thanks to the SSD, lightweight and slim design, good keyboard, stylish, portable
Plastic-feeling chassis, low-quality screen, average performance, unresponsive trackpad
Model: Ativ Book 9 Lite
Processor: Samsung quad-core 1.4GHz CPU, AMD Radeon HD 8250 graphics
RAM: 8GB DDR3L, running at 1066MHz
Storage: 128GB SSD
Operating system: Windows 8 64bit
Display: 13.3in 1366x768 touchscreen
Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth v4.0
Ports: Mini VGA port, Micro HDMI port, USB3.0 port, USB 2.0 port, 3-in-1 multimedia card reader, headphone-out port, mic-in port, Ethernet port
Battery: Two-cell 30Wh battery
Samsung's Ativ Book 9 Lite was launched in the UK in August, and is the less powerful but more portable model in the Ativ Book series. Running Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system (OS), the Ativ Book 9 Lite has a solid-state drive (SSD) for quick boot times and a touchscreen for those rare times when you actually want to use the Windows Metro user interface.
Measuring just over 17mm thick, we test to see if Samsung's Ativ Book 9 can prove a worthy contender for those in the market for a Windows 8-powered Macbook Air equivalent.
Design and build
The Ativ Book 9 Lite's appearance follows in Samsung's usual hardware design footsteps, arriving in two main colours, a blue-black or white. Our review model was the blue-black edition, which we feel looks a little more stylish and would probably show fewer marks and stains after long-term use.
The Ativ Book 9 Lite's entirely plastic construction means it does look and feel rather cheap, but it's also very light for a Windows 8 device, weighing 1.58kg. It's skinny, measuring just 17.4mm thick, making it a brilliant device for travelling with and using in both the home and the office, for example.
The Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite's chassis is very smooth in hand, which lends to its overall slimline and elegant design. Despite its super-slim form, build quality is a strong point for the Ativ, too. Both the keyboard and the screen feel robust and sturdy, despite their plastic construction. We tested this by taking the screen and forcing it in opposite directions: we found there was little flexibility.
Another nice feature is that the Ativ Book 9 Lite's hinge allows the screen to be pushed all the way back so that it lays flat to the keyboard, making screen-sharing much easier if, for example, you are playing a two-player touch-enabled game with a friend.
Next: Keyboard, trackpad and display