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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Ultrabook, Macbook Air replacement
I spent several weeks researching laptops, specifically ultrabooks. I had the misfortune of spilling coffee on my Macbook Air, rendering it a very expensive paperweight. As happy as I was with the Air, I went in search of alternatives.

Although I was unable to find a Samsung Series 9 in a physical store, I went ahead and ordered it anyway. I am glad that I...
Published 23 months ago by Steve

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Serious compromise for weight
I've been using the Samsung Series 9 for a few weeks. For every time I've been surprised how light it is I've been frustrated by the computer. The Samsung update manager repeatedly asks me to upgrade the WLan driver but it has failed to install correctly during 20+ tries. The computer cannot stay connected to Wifi and cannot reconnect after waking up from the sleep state;...
Published 20 months ago by Tulipheadkc


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Ultrabook, Macbook Air replacement, February 28, 2013
By 
Steve (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Samsung Series 9 NP900X3C-A05US 13.3-Inch Premium Ultrabook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
I spent several weeks researching laptops, specifically ultrabooks. I had the misfortune of spilling coffee on my Macbook Air, rendering it a very expensive paperweight. As happy as I was with the Air, I went in search of alternatives.

Although I was unable to find a Samsung Series 9 in a physical store, I went ahead and ordered it anyway. I am glad that I did, it is the perfect size, slightly smaller than the air in both length and width, and as for thickness, it's thinner at it's widest point, but thicker at it's smallest. Overall, it's a match for the size of the air, it just doesn't come down to such a fine edge as the air in the front.

As for the machine itself, it's great. Below are some pros and cons I've experienced so far.

Pros:
Screen is bright, 1600x900 is a great resolution. I know people are holding out for the 1080 version, but this is enough for me.
The keyboard is great, some reviews talk of bad feedback, or that the press is too short. I don't have a problem with that at all, I find typing on the device to be simple.
Speed. Wow, is this thing fast. Restarts are <15s, boot up time from sleep mode is <8s. I've notice this a lot with Windows 8, that things are faster in general, but throw that on top of today's latest Solid State Drives and everything just moves very quickly.
Windows 8. Love it or hate it, it's definitely an improvement. It takes some getting used to but in the end I think it's worth it.

Cons: (very minor, hard to call them cons necessarily, just something I want to make people aware of)
Bloatware. I'm still figuring out what everything that came pre-installed does and working on uninstalling things I don't need. Nothing so major as to warrant lowering the rating, everything comes with crap these days, just need to sift through it.
1. One service that was running was IntelliMemory from Condusiv Technologies. Now, I don't know much about this, but it made the memory usage appear to be constant at 85% in task manager. I'm sure it's because it was redistributing the memory as it saw fit, as opposed to letting the OS take care of it. I didn't like this because I couldn't see the actual usage in Task Manager. Maybe there's an IntelliMemory interface where you could see this, but I didn't bother and just shut it down.
2. I turned off all the "Intel(R)" services that came pre-installed. I doubt they're required for anything, but I haven't uninstalled them yet. A bit more research is needed to determine what they're for. The only "Non-Microsoft services" I left running are the two Motorola Bluetooth services and the Wireless PAN DHCP Server.

The track pad. Now, overall, I'm very pleased with the track pad. There are a lot of reviews that scared me, talking about loose, clicky, or strange behavior by the track pad. Thankfully I experience nothing majorly wrong w/ the track pad, below are a few annoyances that I've noticed.
1. It appears to be software driven. Not sure if this is typical this day and age, but after a clean boot, the track pad lost all of it's functionality. You need to keep the ETD Control Center (ELAN Microelectronics Corp) app running on startup. This is the process that gives the track pad all it's functionality. (double taps, gestures, and the like)
2. The track pad is a track pad through and through, from the top to the bottom, even where the "buttons" are. It's nice that the "buttons" are hidden and seamless, except when you go to press one. The action of pressing a button, typically makes your finger move slightly. This will move your cursor when you're trying to click on something. It's something you can get used to, but it's annoying the first dozen or so times you miss click. Now, most of my clicking is done via a single tap, I only use the buttons to click and drag, and this is something I think I'll get used to, so again, minor annoyance, but not enough to dock a star.
3. I need to continue to play with the settings a bit, but I do find myself accidentally clicking w/ my palm while I'm typing, from time to time.

That's it for now. As I said, I've only had the device a few days. I'll update this review after I've had more time to play with it if anything important comes up. As of yet I can't much comment on battery life or how well it holds up running several applications.

Update:

One thing I wanted to mention as well. There are 68 (ish) reviews on Amazon for this product, but about 50 of them are for the A01 series. It appears that many of the issues that people are giving this item 1 or 2 stars for are not for this specific product. Be sure to check what item the reviewer is reviewing at the top of the review.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Computer, May 8, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Series 9 NP900X3C-A05US 13.3-Inch Premium Ultrabook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
I went with the 3XC-A05 after a pretty thorough search through a lot of different computers. I have only had it for a few days but I will update this review in a month or so with more thoughts and of course if anything stops working, etc.

I paid $980. Since ordering, have seen it as low as $900, However I was in a time crunch as my old computer was circling the drain. I think you are hard pressed to find a laptop that comes close to this for under 1000 bucks. (honestly, I believe this is the pound for pound king of ultraportable laptops that run windows right now)

The two main computers that draw immediate comparison are the macbook air and the macbook pro with retina screen. I am well positioned to review them in comparison as my girlfriend has a macbook air and my roommate has a 13 inch retina macbook pro that were purchased within the past 9 months. I read a million reviews online and just wanted to point out some areas where what I saw in person didn't really match up with what i read online.

Versus the macbook air, the more natural comparison

1. The thickness and size difference is pretty irrelevant to me. It is a little bit smaller than the macbook air, but no big deal. As proof that the size really doesn't matter: my case for the series 9 is a macbook air case I found, which fits the series 9 great. So once it goes into my bag it occupies the same space. (Note: I would give this computer a big advantage over the 11 inch macbook air as it is almost as small but still has a 13 inch screen. I have not handled a 15 inch series 9 but it is a 15.0 inch screen not a 15.6 like most "15 inchers" and is probably closer to a 14 inch computer in terms of external dimensions so it might be a good option if you want screen space but not a monster computer)

2. The trackpad on the series 9 is amazing. It is the closest thing you will find to a mac trackpad. I only comment on it because I have seen a lot of bad reviews about the trackpad and I have no explanation for why people feel that way. Mine works perfectly directly out of the box, so I don't know if the people who had issues did not have windows 8, or if people need to update their samsung software, their windows software, or customize it with their own personal preferences, but I wanted to point out that this thing is truly stellar. I cannot tell the difference between this and the (undisputed king of trackpads on the) macs even when I use them side by side. I would venture to say that unless you consider yourself very well versed in computers, you probably would be hard pressed to find the difference. You might be able to tell a difference if you were coming from a mac and were very familiar to the mac trackpad, but a handful of my friends with macs have used the series 9 and commented on how similar it feels.

3. I have also seen a lot of complaining online about the keyboard. My old laptop had full depth keys (not the chicklet keyboard), and the switch has been fine for me. The macbook air travel is perhaps a little deeper but in my opinion it is not a place where you should make your decision. It might not bug me because I type softly (i.e. quietly) and quickly so perhaps a low travel keyboard is better suited to my typing style. I was actually nervous the keyboard would take a while to get used to but I am already back to typing without looking down at all at the keyboard and its only been a couple days.

4. build quality. The samsung feels incredibly well built, as does the macbook pro. when you open the computer and pick it up with one hand from the corner of the computer there is no flex whatsoever. no flex in the screen when you adjust the screen by only touching it on one corner either.

5. The insides are essentially the same in my opinion. When you are talking about this price range, you are more or less stuck with what they offer. solid state was one of the only "must haves" on this computer. I am very light on CPU/RAM usage so this makes little difference to me.

So, if you're still reading this long winded review, then I basically could have summed it up in a few words: It is a black macbook air with windows 8 instead of mac OS. In reality, it basically is, but there are two HUGE differences.

1. The screen is unbelievable. It is superior in every way to the macbook air screen. See below where I compare it to the retina display, which is a more appropriate comparison.

2. This is more subjective, but the black casing on the computer is gorgeous. It is one of the best styled computers out there. It looks every bit as good in real life as it does in the pictures. It is a head turner in a serious way. Perhaps everyone is just growing tired of the silver macbook look, but in my opinion (and the opinion of lots of my mac-owning friends), it is simply a sleeker looking machine. More understated, less loud and thus classier in my opinion.

Thats it for the comparison to the macbook air. I think they are much more similar in a lot of categories than most of the reviews online I read are, but the screen is in a different league and (in my opinion) the exterior styling is as well. Really happy I did not shell out 300 bucks more for the Air, as even if they were the same price the series 9 would still get the nod.

As for comparing it to the retina pro, which is currently $1500 (or $600 more than this computer is listed for), here is what I have decided. The resolution on the retina is just staggering. You can't compare the samsung with in resolution. However, keep in mind that this only holds true when (1) you are delivering content that is HD or better, and (2) you are in a dark room with no windows.

For me, I don't watch HD movies on my 13 inch laptop. I watch them on my 50 inch 1080p plasma (which you could almost buy for the price difference).

Also, it doesn't matter how many pixels there are on the screen, it is still covered by glass, and I am finding that unless you are in a dark room, I will take the lower resolution samsung screen that has less glare 9 times out of 10. This screen is absolutely amazing, and what it lacks in resolution it makes up for in anti-glare. I can't imagine what the new series 9 with the HD version of this screen looks like. I use my computer all over the place (the point of an ultraportable), and I think that in the real world, the retina pro's biggest advantage on paper is really minimized for a person like me. But after seeing them side by side, unless you watch HD content on your computer and rarely take it anywhere with sunlight or windows, I can't imagine spending an extra 600 bucks for the retina.

In fair full disclosure, you do get more for the 600 than just the retina. You get more ram, you get more processing power. You also get more bulk. I think the retina pro's fall into the "thin enough" category where the difference in thickness is negligible, but the difference in weight is definitely not negligible and for me is a much bigger distinguishing factor than the thickness. But I would really ask yourself if you need the processing power as well as if you will utilize the beyond-HD screen the retina macbook offers, because 600 bucks is not chump change.

I just wanted to highlight that my assumption before buying the series 9 was that there was no way it could match up to the retina pro (It was so out of my budget that I didn't consider it). On paper, it doesn't. However, for the vast majority of the world that isn't gaming or editing RAW photos (which would make me wonder why you aren't on a computer with a bigger screen than 13 inches), in real life the differences are much smaller than they seem. I came away feeling like for me, the series 9 was a better fit regardless of the price.

That's my two cents, if you have any questions comment below
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A winner!, March 12, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Series 9 NP900X3C-A05US 13.3-Inch Premium Ultrabook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
Please do not let negative comments about the touch pad in other reviews scare you. Samsung has fixed all of the touch pad problems. When this computer arrived, I performed all of the Samsung updates via their automatic update application. The touch pad software was updated several times during the process. This touch pad is one of the best performers I have ever experienced. It works flawlessly.

This computer is very well built, It is solid, doesn't flex, runs cool, and has a very appealing industrial design. The display is just the right resolution - about half-way between a normal display and a full 1080P display. A full 1080P display on a 13-inch screen is just too fine, even if you adjust screen settings to blow things up a bit. At 1600 x 900, this display is in the sweet spot. With a little care to adjust the screen brightness down when on battery, you should get 7 hours.

I am a very discerning buyer. This is the 5th computer I have tried in the last month. The first four have been returned. This one I'm keeping, and the cool thing is that the other four were more expensive. I can't find anything wrong with this thing.

Update: Okay, the keyboard is a little shallow. It will take some getting used to. It's as good as can be expected on such a thin form factor.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful ultrabook. Almost perfect., June 7, 2013
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This review is from: Samsung Series 9 NP900X3C-A05US 13.3-Inch Premium Ultrabook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
For $895 brand new and no tax, this is one hell of a steal. There are a few things about this ultrabook that bother me, but overall I'm very satisfied.

This ultrabook is no doubt very stylish and well-built. It's arguably the best-looking laptop that exists today. It's just so thin, light, and fast.
The screen is very bright with excellent color reproduction and viewing angles. Gotta love the matte finish and perfect 1600x900 resolution.
Super fast SSD and boot times. Office work and web browsing is very snappy. Oh, and what's with the people complaining about the keyboard having a small travel distance? It is AMAZING to type on. The touchpad is very nice too (if you disable all the crappy windows 8 gestures).
In terms of battery life, I'm able to get 6.5 hours of word processing (with wifi off and brightness set to 3 notches above minimum). You'll get about 5 hours of web browsing or 4 hours of youtube video playback. This is all on the balanced setting (tweaked a bit so that there's no limit on CPU performance). If you turned everything down and put it in power saving mode, I reckon you could probably get 8 hours out of this thing.

The most serious issue: the wireless card. For some reason, the Intel 6235 wireless card likes to hang in 'limited connection' at random times for an indefinite period, or until you reset the connection or switch on/off airplane mode. This can be incredibly annoying if you rely on a stable wireless connection for your work/entertainment. Even with the newest updated drivers, this issue persists. Keep in mind though that there are some days when it works fine throughout the day with no problems, and others where I'll have to constantly reset the wifi to maintain a connection. This probably has the greatest impact on video streaming, but if you don't mind spending 5 seconds toggling your airplane mode a couple times a day then it shouldn't be too bad. Also you might get lucky and get a card that has no problems at all. That said, you might also get a laptop with many more problems than mine, as documented in many of these reviews.
Be advised that this thing is a FINGERPRINT MAGNET. It's beautiful and all but you'll have to clean it once in a while otherwise the oil from your fingers will oxidize the finish and it will be impossible to remove.
Oh, and don't drop the notebook. And don't scratch it. Please.

Would I recommend? Of course. I absolutely love this notebook. But try to get it for under $900 (Ive seen it as low as $860!). With Haswell already released on some new ultrabooks (having amazing battery life), you'll be regretting your purchase soon enough if you spend more than that.

****************************** EDIT/UPDATE: ******************************

After two weeks with this laptop I've noticed a few very important things.

First of all, the wireless issue I mentioned before can be very simply solved by either reinstalling windows 8 and downloading the wireless drivers from INTEL instead of with the samsung update software, or just uninstalling all wireless-related drivers/programs and reinstalling just the driver from the intel website. No more wireless problems. Yay!

A few weeks in I realized my touchpad started going crazy and sometimes froze up on me. This seemed to happen when the laptop was plugged into the charger for a while, but then it started happening when it had been unplugged for a long time. I reinstalled windows 8, windows 7, all different combinations of elan drivers and the issue only got worse. At one point the touchpad didn't even work anymore and I had to use a mouse for a couple days. Now, THE TOUCHPAD WORKS PERFECTLY.

All I can say is that this is one WEIRD laptop. I'm completely satisfied with mine now, but buy at your own risk! Remember that your warranty is voided with Amazon, so you won't be able to get anything fixed if you run into any problems.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly 5-star laptop after "upgrading" to Windows 7, May 26, 2013
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This review is from: Samsung Series 9 NP900X3C-A05US 13.3-Inch Premium Ultrabook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
I must say that I am extremely picky when it comes down to electronics, especially laptops. This particular device has truly met the standards of a perfectionist. Its pros and cons have been extensively reviewed by other reviewers. My focus will be switching Windows 8 to Windows 7.

I basically did a "clean" re-installation of Windows 7 from a USB drive. You can search Google for quick guide on how to turn a USB drive into a bootable Windows 7 installation disk. To install Windows 7, you do need to tweak the BIOS. By the way, to access BIOS you need to spam-click F2 key right after the computer is turned on. In a nutshell, everything in the "Advanced" tab needs to be disabled. Under the "Boot" tab, change OS Mode Selection to "CSM OS" and disable Secure Boot and Internal LAN.

I deleted all partitions created by the factory, and this includes a 26GB partition which serves as system recovery. After deleting all previous partitions, I divide the hard drive into two partitions and formatted both. The installation went very smoothly. The only trick is to disconnect the USB drive after "Expanding Files..." has completed, otherwise it would keep booting from the USB drive.

I installed all drivers without problems. You need to also install the "Samsung Easy Settings" to make the function keys working. Then I did all important Windows updates. The boot time from the moment I press the power button to everything loads up is about 13 seconds.

It is a truly impressive laptop with Windows 7 taking control. 5-star.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slim and trendy, February 10, 2013
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This review is from: Samsung Series 9 NP900X3C-A05US 13.3-Inch Premium Ultrabook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
According to me it is the best portable laptop out there. Was deciding between Asus Zenbook prime, Macbook Air and Samsung Series 9. I bet this was my best decision with all 3 being in the same price point when I bought.

In the first week I have it, the boot time is 5 seconds.

I was looking for the best portable laptop for editing photographs. The one thing that sold me for the use was the matte screen which gave me high viewing angle. Asus had a matte finish but I read reviews about the buggy touch pad. Macbook lost the war when it had a glossy screen which had the worst light reflections when I tried it in best buy.

Touchpad, I don't find anything bad at all. doesn't come in the way of my typing. smooth as butter. I like the Win 8 gestures. Those are awesome and the most used.

Pros: Actually portable, ease of use as I work with Windowns (a win over IOS), Matte screen, very bright display,

CONS: -

Update: I saw some reviews about bad wifi connection. There is nothing wrong with the product and you need to adjust the wifi performance to medium under Power settings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid product all-around!, January 13, 2013
By 
Loosh (Illinois, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Samsung Series 9 NP900X3C-A05US 13.3-Inch Premium Ultrabook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
I bought this for my wife, for Xmas. Originally she had her sights on the Apple Air laptop but had never used iOS before. She liked the fact that the Apple was slim and had a long battery life, but I was afraid of the learning curve and the fact that we had to purchase additional software compatible with iOS. Enter Samsung Series 9: Amazon ordering was easy and shipping was lightning-fast, as always. When she opened the box she was absolutely amazed at how well the laptop looked. However, she really started loving it when she saw how fast it was, due to the solid state drive and pretty fast processor. She loves the fact that it's "pretty", it's fast, looks good overall and only charged it a couple of times over the last week or so.
Solid product and happy wife!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Samsung Series 9 13", February 4, 2013
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This review is from: Samsung Series 9 NP900X3C-A05US 13.3-Inch Premium Ultrabook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
I bought this to allow me to do more than I could with the ipad. It is very light, sleek, but fingerprints a bit. I am not an apple or samsung employee (or zealot.) Some of the reviews read like they are from mac zealots who want to damage samsung. I love the keyboard appearance and touch. Why would anyone complain about the depth of key depress when there is no key depress on an ipad? Trackpad functions well, but I'm used to old school track pads and the new combo pads take a bit of getting used to. Display is very good, but it is not even close to the ipad in quality. No glare tho! I ended up turning down all power savings in order to get the best video performance out of it.

i5 lacks some power when it comes to video (I like my video frame doubled - like 120hz tv's). It can play back 1920x800 video at 47fps with some minor stuttering - helps to be plugged in and CPU performance cranked to max.

RAM is soldered in, so don't consider a home upgrade on the 13". Also the SSD is a miniSSD in the 13" so you can't just pop in a 2.5" SSD. The formatted 128MB HD arrives with only about 90GB of space left. (Yikes).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent ultra book, February 3, 2013
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This review is from: Samsung Series 9 NP900X3C-A05US 13.3-Inch Premium Ultrabook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
i loved the ultrabook....so light. But unfortunately i bought the one with Windows 8....that was a big mistake,.......did I say a BIG mistake ? i just found Windows 8 uncomfortable.....so much unnecessary messing about to find the same Start as Windows 7.....but with the side bar complication.
i returned the Ultrabook and am ordereing one with Windows 7 instead.....I have no criticism of the Ultrabook Series 9 itself , it suits my needs exactly. But Windows 8 is for Apps. and more suited to touch screen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!!!!, March 22, 2013
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This review is from: Samsung Series 9 NP900X3C-A05US 13.3-Inch Premium Ultrabook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
Great product, light, beautiful, and a Very powerfull machine! It's a Very good deal, due the price and quality. I recomend.
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