Most helpful critical review
14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
disappointed, it's a cheapie in a beautiful metal case
on December 2, 2012
I just received this laptop, and everything looked great (OK, a little heavier than I was expecting) until I turned it on.
Booted a Fedora live image and immediately noticed how terrible the screen was -- by which I mean contrast and viewing angles, and only "meh" resolution. You have to bend the screen back and forth until the vertical viewing angle is *perfect*, and if it's off by 3 degrees everything washes out horribly. Even with your eyes aligned perfectly, you notice fade/washout toward the edges. Put a solid 20% gray background up and it looks like a gradient.
Contrast-wise it is way too bright and washed out by default. Of course you can lower the brightness but the contrast is still poor. There's no way you could do even amateur photo or art work on this. No amount of tweaking is going to help. I'm not going to even get into things like color accuracy because the lack of contrast and viewing angles are just that bad.
Anyway, maybe I am spoiled, but the 1080p screen on the 2-year-old Dell Latitude I'm typing this on is so, so much better. My 7-year-old Powerbook has a much better screen.
*Never* would have bought this if I'd seen it in person first, will probably return. Was expecting a lot better from Samsung, possibly I read too many reviews for the 13", which supposedly has a much better screen.
I mean seriously, Samsung? This is supposed to be your *best* laptop. How can you be so outclassed on the one component you actually design and manufacture by companies like Asus?
Others have mentioned the trackpad, it seems fine to me. The keyboard is definitely low-travel and bad for touch-typing. 1600x900 is really pretty blocky for a 15" ... I was deciding between this, MacBook Air, maybe Asus Zenbook Prime, IdeaPad Yoga or Thinkpad X1 Carbon (would have won but only 4GB max RAM Lenovo, WTF?) and definitely made the wrong choice.
Now that I have it, there's no real reason for the added weight/bulk of this vs. a 13" ultrabook when the screen would be subpar even for that class. MacBook Air 13" has it beat on every single criteria: quality, screen, keyboard, trackpad, price, CPU performance, SSD performance, usability. The Zenbook Prime has kind of plasticy hinky build quality, but it's much better in ways that count, it has an awesome screen, and reasonable enough keyboard and everything else.
I would have to think the 13" Series 9, since it supposedly has a better screen, and is also 900p, would be a better choice, too.
I was hoping for a MacBook Pro Retina lite-type machine -- 15" and thin, obviously without the quad-core i7 and retina display -- but this is really more like $600 ultrabook parts in a pro metal case.
I really wanted a Linux laptop and not a Mac but, whoops. I don't usually return things but this was going to be something I use hours each day, don't think I can handle it.
Build quality: 4/5
Anyway, even if you don't think you care that much about the screen, all I'm saying is you owe it to yourself to check this laptop out in person before ordering it.