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126 of 148 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No real ultrabook - But good built quality with some unique features
I bought this laptop for my wife at best buy.
She wanted a thin and light laptop preferably with a dvd drive (although personally I think a dvd drive is not really essential anymore these days)
I looked at a lot of "ultrabooks", including the acer s3, the asus zenbook, and so on.

This Samsung sticks out for 3 reasons:

1. it has a dvd...
Published on January 31, 2012 by C. Smits

versus
113 of 124 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It worked for a while until Samsung techs kept breaking it
After I'd operated with a decent late 2009-vintage gaming laptop for home primary use and a netbook for my commute, and having built a gaming desktop, I found myself wanting to make some changes in how I operate my computers. I'm a systems engineer/administrator and really, really persnickity about my technology needs, and I'd already sampled the Asus Zenbook and Acer...
Published on February 23, 2012 by Mohn Jadden


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113 of 124 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It worked for a while until Samsung techs kept breaking it, February 23, 2012
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After I'd operated with a decent late 2009-vintage gaming laptop for home primary use and a netbook for my commute, and having built a gaming desktop, I found myself wanting to make some changes in how I operate my computers. I'm a systems engineer/administrator and really, really persnickity about my technology needs, and I'd already sampled the Asus Zenbook and Acer Aspire S3 - completely unusable if you're a decent typist. The HP Folio 13 seems to garner high reviews, but I have serious distrust of their support and build quality, reviews aside.

In any case, I ordered the Samsung Series 5. This is a good ultrabook if you don't need it to store all the data you'll ever have - the SSD is an amazing performer, but it's small after Samsung's recovery partition is set up. If you're an advanced user, you can delete it and probably have the wherewithal to do a barebones Win 7 install from the ground up. But if you're like me and want one travel notebook and don't mind not being able to play hardcore 3D games on it, you could do a lot worse in an ultrabook. 802.11n wireless networking performance over a Verizon FiOS router/modem is quite nice and USB 3.0 improved the performance of my main flash drive.

The keyboard is perfect, and Samsung chose to go with a nicely sized Elan multitouch touchpad instead of the clickpad that other ultrabooks and laptops are using to ape Mac products. I like this layout - I never have to worry about resting one thumb on a button and having it impact touchpad use. Two easily-clickable buttons, a well-customizable multitouch touchpad, and a very good keyboard without the quirky sensitivity of the Zenbook means this is probably one of the best typing ultrabooks on the market today. The only drawback: it's not backlit. I'm a good typist so normal use isn't an issue, but it's been a minor fumble to adjust the brightness in the dark.

Appearance: 4 out of 5
Samsung has done a decent job of making a nice, sexy looking laptop. I dock it because the outer materials feel like plastic. I can't tell if it's metal with a plastic veneer, but it is definitely not the smooth black metallic surface of the way more expensive Series 9. However, it's not the chintzy plastic of the Toshiba Z830 or Z835. The surfaces blend well into each other and the front part of the laptop has a curve that lips upward from the bottom part. It had a lot of wow factor when I showed it to my co-workers. Moreover, Samsung proves that it knows people will be using this ultrabook in environments where lights are lit up - no glossy screen here! I could clearly see the display with the sun shining behind me on the train. The 1366x768 resolution display is perfectly fine for 720p HD video, and the integrated graphics would probably have issues with real 1080p content anyway.

Portability: 5 out of 5
Okay, this should be the singular standard by which a current 13.3" ultrabook is measured. My Asus T101MT convertible netbook was 2.8lbs to the Series 5's 3.24lbs. The Asus was smaller, leading it to feel denser when it was in my light-load single-strap ergo backpack with my rooted Touchpad, papers, and small load of tech tools. I don't feel the weight difference since the Series 5's weight is well distributed for its size. I can carry it in one hand for a decent amount of time while walking around.

Functionality: 4 out of 5
This is a beastly performer of a laptop, I won't lie. I timed it over three cold boots and it went from no power whatsoever to a usable Windows desktop - services and startup applications launched and running - on an average of 17.375 seconds. This is phenomenal for any machine; I've only gotten close to that on my homebuilt PC when it was fresh, and that boots off a Kingston SSD. I'm told - no direct means to confirm yet - that the SSD itself is Samsung components, as is its controller. It loses points, though, for battery life: with wireless on and connected, a hi10p h.264 MKV video playing, 9 Google Chrome tabs open (one of which is Google Docs and the other is a Java IRC session) with the screen at medium brightness, it projects battery life at 100% charge to be 4 hours, 15 minutes. While that's better than my netbook, which had a lower-voltage processor, I was hoping that throttling down to "Silent mode" would increase battery life. Also, it has noticeable heat on the bottom left hand part of the laptop. It's not as bad as it could be, but I wish there was more of a spaced-out means of letting the heat venilate. It felt OK on my leg, though, but sitting on a memory-foam sleeve caused it to heat up noticeably.

Software/bloatware: 3 out of 5
There's a lot of crap on this laptop. If you're Joe Consumer, it's safe for you to uninstall Norton Antivirus and use the free, effective Microsoft Security Essentials. If you're an IT professional, you're going to tear your hair out over how much Samsung-proprietary crap is required to get basic usage out of the laptop. The brightness, volume, and wireless network switches are all function keys that won't just do their job with a driver - no, you have to keep a Samsung utility installed. Really frustrating. It's not as bad as HP, though, and probably better than Dell's future ultrabook offering. If you know what you're doing you can extend the life of this ultrabook greatly by removing the junk.

Overall, I can't instantly recommend this ultrabook. I really would have liked to have tried an HP Folio 13 after cleaning off the bloatware, or better yet the Dell XPS 13 coming down the pipe soon. For $1100, though - about $200 more than the Folio - I think I can rest easy with this ultrabook. I may get the Folio and return whichever falls within the Amazon return period, but this is one hell of a machine that has really launched a missile at the Macbook Air in terms of design, usability, portability, and sexiness.

Also, just an FYI - when I stopped playing the video and just typed this review, my battery life jumped to 5 hours 21 minutes with 86% remaining. That's with wireless on and display at medium. This is really on or close to Samsung's approximate 6 hour life span and, to me, way impressive. This is a real keeper of a machine!

Edit: (2/29/12) Added a note about the keyboard not being backlit.

Edit: (6/18/12) The speakers have been giving me constant problems. The right speaker simply stops working and restores itself after indeterminate and different amounts of time - five minutes, three or so days, etc. It's covered under the warranty but I don't have a portable enough laptop to use for work. I'm really not happy with this issue and would urge future Series 5 Ultra buyers to beware.

Edit (8/28/12) I make this edit after traumatic experiences with Samsung support. Based on the failures I've encountered I've lost a lot of trust in Samsung as a company and am extremely, EXTREMELY wary about buying any other products.

After the speaker issue above persisted, the trackpad simply failed to recognize any input on August 4th. I work in IT so I was able to do all the basics - uninstall/reinstall drivers, test external mice, play around with sensitivity, etc. When I called 1-800-SAMSUNG the rep on the phone at least didn't make me jump through hoops. He set up a repair at a depot, and while it was about 20 miles away, their hours didn't jive with my work schedule. I sent the laptop in for service on August 6th.

On August 16, it came back, but no better for the wear. The sound and trackpad are fine, but whoever put it back together did so with a small divot pushing UP FROM THE INSIDE OF THE PALMREST. As in there was about a 1-cm raised pimple-like protrusion coming upwards. Moreover, the wireless network card was degraded to uselessness - I only got two bars when I was three feet from my router with clear line of sight (my wife was two rooms away and had four). I performed the usual troubleshooting, called Samsung back, and got a new ticket to send it back in, and I send it in on 8/17. On 8/20, the Samsung repair tracker shows that the laptop was received and service was again in progress.

Another week passes or so passes. Yesterday (8/28) it comes back. I open it up and push the power button - nothing. Okay, maybe it's just fully discharged. I plug it in to AC power and instead of the usual orange charging light, I get a green light. Uh-oh.

Powering it on, it boots normally, but the battery indicator shows "no battery connected" and if I disconnect AC power... off it goes. Since it's an ultrabook, the battery is sealed inside the unit and it isn't the kind of laptop that you can take apart without a service manual - which, of course, isn't anywhere to be found online.

I called 1-800-SAMSUNG, gave them my ticket numbers, and requested that they advance-exchange the laptop: send me a new one, I send back the continually defective one. I'm given a transaction number and am sent to Executive Customer Relations. There, I'm told that their policy forbids any action on a defective laptop unless it's evaluated by a Samsung tech... the same techs who made things less useful each time I've sent it in.

They can make no offers of a rental in the meantime, no offer to see what can be done. I ask to speak to a manager, and after a few minutes, none are found and they ask my info for a call back the next day.

At noon the next day, rounding out a month without a laptop, I call back and am told again no supervisor is available. "They may be talking to other people or unable to assist," I'm told. "They're very busy." Not as busy as I've had to be, catching up on work due to lost time since my laptop is, well, not portable or usable anymore after each repair visit. It's out of the timeframe for me to file a chargeback on my credit card and Amazon doesn't have any options to put pressure on Samsung.

I sent my story to Consumerist in hopes that it might get some kind of response. Failing that, my only real option is to start mass-mailing Samsung execs and Cc the media in hopes of prodding them into action. This laptop performed great until it had the gall to require basic repair. Don't even waste the $800 they now charge - not worth the hassle.
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126 of 148 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No real ultrabook - But good built quality with some unique features, January 31, 2012
By 
C. Smits (Washington DC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I bought this laptop for my wife at best buy.
She wanted a thin and light laptop preferably with a dvd drive (although personally I think a dvd drive is not really essential anymore these days)
I looked at a lot of "ultrabooks", including the acer s3, the asus zenbook, and so on.

This Samsung sticks out for 3 reasons:

1. it has a dvd drive
2. its 14 inches instead of 11 or 13,3 inches like most "ultrabooks
3. and most importantly it has a matte screen (more about that later)

While Samsung likes to call this an ultrabook (when you start up the first time, you even get a pop-up with the word Ultrabook and the Intel logo), this laptop does not qualify the Intel standards of an ultrabook. While its light, its heavier then the other ultrabooks (the dvd drive and the 14 inch screen are to blame).
Something what I found very nice is the adapter that comes with the laptop. While they are normally very bulky and heavy, the power adapter is very small (about 1/4 of my Sony Vaio adapter) and light. An extra benefit for when you are carrying this laptop with you.

This laptop comes equipped with a 500gb hard drive and a 16gb ssd from Sandisk for the booting and waking up. This makes that the laptop boots rather fast (20 to 30 seconds) but all other tasks go on normal speed (because of the normal hard drive). The fact that it doesn't have a full pledge ssd drive has it advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side you have more storage (500 gb), on the min side, its less fast.

The biggest plus and the main reason to choose this "ultrabook" is the fact that it has a matte screen. Samsung seems to be the only laptop manufacturer for the moment that understands the need for this kind of laptop to have a non reflective screen. The whole idea of making laptops more portable is so you can bring them everywhere and use whenever and wherever you want. Now you can also do this in daylight. The viewing angles are also very good.

I did have a problem with the Wifi on this model. This is however not Samsung's fault but with the intel wireless card. I had to change a setting in my verizon router (disable the qos) for it to make a stable connection with my network (took me a while to figure this out), but luckily there is google and other people with similar problems :-)

overall this is a very good laptop. the build quality is very nice. Its heavier then other ultrabooks. If you want a lighter more portable one, I suggest you look at the 13,3 inch version of this model (you do loose the dvd drive)

One last thing. On the forum here on Amazon there was some confusion about the graphics. Some press releases by Samsung mention that this model comes equipped with a separate graphics card (also mentioned in the Amazon description), this is however not the case. It has the intel shared graphics. Its more then enough for the daily stuff, but you will not be playing the latest games with this machine (the bottleneck for the Windows rating was the graphics, by the way)
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56 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heat, April 1, 2012
I bought the Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook 14Inch a few weeks after its release. I was extremely excited to use it as soon as I got it. This ultrabook is promising and gives a lot of the things it mentions, but one thing I do not like about this notebook is the heating system. The vent is in the bottom of the laptop, and another one is located in between the speaker, allowing the heat to release above. I was worried that it may overheat, so I bought a cooling pad. My predictions were true. This laptop ONLY overheats when you charge it while in use. I recommend you turn off your laptop when you decide to charge it, because it gets extremely hot. But after you've finished charging, you can take off the plug, and use it normally. The heat stays neutral and you cant feel the hotness anymore.

So, this is the only thing I absolutely HATE about this laptop, is the cooling vent, because it's located in the bottom & becomes hot when you use your laptop as the same time you charge it.

--Edit
After owning this laptop for approximately 6months, I believe the heating had gotten worse, to the point where it had melted a portion of my video card chip set. A few minutes of using this laptop, the pictures & colors becomes disoriented and I always had to restart it to get its original colors back. There are also times when it fully turns white for a couple of minutes which has got to be the most frustrating thing ever, since I'd have to wait for the screen to load back. These started to happen two weeks ago. It has a one year warranty so I'm getting it checked up, but hopefully it doesn't happen to any of you. I shall provide pictures of it below.

[...]
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic portable laptop, April 5, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Series 5 NP530U3B-A01US 13.3-Inch Ultrabook (Silver) (Personal Computers)
I did a lot of kicking around for a lot of the so-called ultrabooks. I know...some wouldn't consider this an ultrabook, but nevermind that. What I wanted was a lightweight laptop with a good battery life. I chose the Samsung Series 5 Ultra because it offered all of that, and still gave me a decent sized hard drive (I got the version with the 500Gig). Peformance wise, the SSD cache drive really makes a major impact over a traditional hard drive. You won't notice it initially...but after using it for a few days, the system seems to cache out the files I use the most and it really makes an impact on load times for your favorite apps (email, twitter, web browser, Lightroom, etc). Of course at a later date, i can always upgrade the hard drive (confirmed by Samsung) when the SSD drives are more economical and a bit larger. But that's neither here nor there.

I really like the keyboard. Coming from a more traditional laptop keyboard, the island design and the short travel of the keys took some getting used to. But it has a better more tactile feel than I'm used to, and it's really accurate. I type really fast and have no experienced any problems with the keyboard. My only complaint about the keyboard is that I wish I had dedicated page up, page down, home and end buttons (you have to do a key-combination with the 'Fn' button). albeit, there's not a lot of real-estate for such keys...but even so. I also wish the wifi button was mapped to just turn the wifi off/on...instead it pulls up the configuration manager, so that's an extra step.

The track pad is a really good quality track pad. It suppors multi-touch, and so things like zooming and scrolling are very easy (two finger slide down to scroll, pinch to zoom, etc). It's also very large with makes for easy use. However, it does take some getting used to. The upper edge is very close to the keys, and so I find myself lazily resting one of my fingers on the upper-right corner of the pad, which means when I'm trying to move with my other finger, I'm actually pinch-zooming, which is kinda annoying. But that's habitual and nothing necessarily wrong with the laptop. Besides, I shouldn't be resting my hands on the laptop in that way anyhow (bad posture). EDIT: One minor annoyance...if you start typing, or if you are holding a keyboard button, the trackpad locks up. I believe this is by design to prevent palm clicks or redirects, but there doesn't seem to be an option to change this behavior. Fro my needs, it's fine. But when it comes to gaming, this would limit the playability factor.

Let's talk battery life. By default, many of the battery saving settings are not enabled. So the first few days I thought the battery was mediocre...3-4 hours at best, and I was somewhat disappointed (and besides, I admit I never read the manual at the time). Then I discovered all of the battery saving features such as the power profiles (learn these, tweak these and use them) and some of the other tweaks. Now I'm getting 6 hours of battery life consistently. A bonus feature that I appreciate is that you can enable an option that preserves the longevity of the battery. It prevents the charger from charging the battery past 80%. Sure, you lose some battery time o the short term, but such a charging technique has been proven to increase the overall life of the battery. So I enable it, and I recommend that you should too. Side note about the charger - it's small, very small. More than half the size of my old laptops "brick". Bonus.

Overall, it's a great laptop and I would recommend it to anyone. It has a few shortcomings for those of you who need a bit more performance, but this laptop (nor any of the ultrabooks) is designed for super high-performance. But I do really push this guy beyond limits. I use Photoshop and Photoshop lightroom regularly, I do play my fair share of games. And I love it.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not very flexible, March 24, 2012
Update (2012-04-09): I would strongly recommend reconsidering this laptop if you're a traveler. I recently took my Series 5 Ultrabook on a road trip, and while it was inside of a very heavy duty travel backpack, the unit's lid got dented and the LCD screen cracked. I've never had this problem before with other laptops (eg. Lenovo and Dell laptops with plastic lids). Although stylish, I don't know that the metal cover is a very good idea for a laptop.

---------------------------------------------------------

So from a form factor perspective, this is a really sleek laptop. Although it's kinda big for an ultrabook, it does have a sleek styling to it that distinguishes it from other 14" laptops.

One thing you should be careful of is the new "Express Cache" built-in 16GB SSD. The fact that this drive is built into the hardware will make it very difficult to install your own copy of Windows onto the system. When I initially received my unit, I went ahead and wiped the device completely (just like any other desktop or laptop), and proceeded to install my personal copy of Windows 7 Ultimate Edition. After attempting to install it, I got a "missing operating system" error, and the thing wouldn't boot at all! After spending several hours trying to figure out how to make it usable again, I finally discovered a "restore disc" (ugh) included in the packaging. After booting up on this, it ran through Windows 7 Home Premium setup just fine. I called Samsung Support and asked them for directions on how to install Windows on this unique, dual-fixed-disk configuration, and they RUDELY said that they would provide ZERO support for "custom operating system installations." Absolutely ridiculous if you ask me. I work in IT engineer, and have deployed thousands of operating systems in my lifetime, and this is unacceptable for any laptop whether for consumer or for business. As of this moment, I am settling for using Windows 7 Home Premium, but there HAS to be a way to get Windows 7 Ultimate on here.

That aside, the laptop seems to perform reasonably well, even with the 500GB hard drive, although like any spindle, it'll definitely chug from time to time. I think that the Express Cache SSD does help, it's just a very annoying configuration problem to deal with when setting up Windows 7 for the first time.

Display: Brightness is impeccable on this device. It also has a matte finish, which is VERY welcome in my book! One downside to the display is quite simply the resolution. It's unacceptable to have a 1366x768 resolution in 2012; every single manufacturer should be using 1600x900 at the **absolute minimum**, and be offering at LEAST a 1920x1080 option, if not even higher. It bothers me greatly that we have made almost zero progress in display resolutions over the past 12 years, and few other people seem to care (or they simply don't understand the ramifications).

Keyboard: The keyboard feels very nice to type on. Unfortunately, it is not backlit, and is very hard to see in the dark when I'm using the laptop in bed, for example.

Weight: This laptop really isn't that heavy, although I suppose that *relative* to other Ultrabooks, it is a bit heavier / bulkier as mentioned in my first paragraph.

Overall: I'd give this a 7 out of 10. From a usability perspective, it's pretty solid, but it's lacking in a few areas such as the keyboard backlight, Express Cache issues, and no swappable optical disk (for a second HD).

Keep working on it Samsung ... and when I ask your tech support guys to simply *put in a request* for documentation on how to install an OS using the dual-disk configuration, don't be rude to me!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thermal issues, April 8, 2012
By 
R. P. (Phoenix, AZ) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Series 5 NP530U3B-A01US 13.3-Inch Ultrabook (Silver) (Personal Computers)
The bottom of the laptop gets extremely hot (avg. CPU temp of 60C) and the fan makes a rumbling sound. I have only had it for 2 months and these problems are now occurring. I did upgrade to a SSD and the experience was painless. Be aware SSDs come in different thicknesses. This computer requires the slimmer SSD (7.5mm I believe). I am using the Samsung 128GB SSD for sale on Amazon.

I just started to do my research about how to replace the fan on this laptop, but I decided to drop in here to write a review about it. Beware this laptop gets very, very hot and has a bad fan. Otherwise, it was exactly what I was looking for - small, light, attractive, and powerful.

EDIT 4/25/12: I had to send it back to Samsung... the fan sounded like it was dying, and the temps were getting way too high (saw 75 degrees at one point). They replaced the mainboard, processor, and fan and mailed it back to me yesterday. The warranty process was fairly painless except being without my computer for 1 week.

EDIT 4/27/12: Got it back. Still seeing >70C CPU temps, although the noisy fan issue has been solved. I guess I'm going to have to invest in a CPU cooling pad.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best hybrid Ultrabook, if you need the storage, April 19, 2012
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To me, the typical Ultrabook configuration is all about "form before function." I was honestly tempted to get the HP Folio in all it's thin/lightweight glory. But I kept coming back to..."Gee, I'm gonna have to buy an external drive no matter what, because after you install all the applications you want, you're left with about 70 gb." Now who are we trying to kid? With that kind of space, what the beloved Ultrabook becomes is nothing more than a tablet with a keyboard attached.

Think about it. 70gb is about how much space you would have gotten in 1999. If you want to be in lockstep with Ultrabook cult, you're going backwards, not forward.

If you want to do serious work or play...you need a big hard drive. And I found myself asking, why would I want to lug around an external drive, when I could get single biggest benefit of Ultrabook by getting the Samsung Series 5? The benefit? Fast boot!

So let me know tell you that, I've had this laptop for 24 hours and I think it's great. It's lighter, thinner and boots faster than probably any laptop that has a cd-rom and 500 gb hard drive. Plus, it is super fast. Why would anyone sacrifice this just to have look good at Starbucks? No...if you want a real Windows 7 laptop that, along with the main advantages of an Ultrabook...go with this. Don't buy into the idea that you will be happier and more productive with a standard Ultrabook configuration. It's eye candy and nothing more.

This...Samsung, I am happy and productive with.

UPDATE: 4/24/2012

I am happy and productive. Today is Day 5. After syncing my most important folders using Dropbox and Microsoft Mesh, along with installing essential programs, I've already used about 150 GB. Without the 500 GB hard drive, this would have been nothing more than a causal computer for lightweight use. Keep in mind that for an Ultrabook, you're spending considerably more than what is typically these days for a laptop. Yes you can do cloud drive thing and external hard drive thing -- and I considered all those options. Ultimately, that extra hassle defeats the purpose of an Ultrabook. And you're spending more for less functionality. As much as Samsung has been slammed by reviewers for going down the path of including a decent sized hard drive + optical drive...I commend them for thinking it through and giving people what the need on a practical level.

Don't get me wrong. I love the idea of having the standard ultrabook config as a secondary computer...but I'd probably treat it the same way that I would a tablet. It's for light on-the-go use, i.e. emails, docs, etc.

UPDATE 4/27/2012

I've now had it over a week and I continue to be very pleased with this buying decision. Now let me give you my impressions in-depth:

WHAT I LIKE:

FAST BOOT: I have three relatively new laptops. The Samsung is now #4. When using laptops, I'd always keep them turned out and set the power settings so that they never turn of when plugged in. That's because I don't like waiting for boot-up. Plus, restarting from stand-by also takes an intolerably long time. Now for the first time with this Samsung -- I sit down in front of it and start working on it almost immediately from a boot from standby -- and within 15 to 20 seconds on a cold boot. Now...it gives that same kind of user experience that people experience on other instant-on devices such as smart phones and tablets.

BIG STORAGE: As I've said previously, if you're looking for a computer that you're planning to do serious work on, my opinion is that you can't depend on an SSD with only 128 GB, unless you're willing to hassle with a external drive or cloud. Fine -- if you're just sending emails or doing using Word. But...you can do that on a table or smart phone. So one week downstream with this laptop, I haven't needed to think twice about what I install or what data I transfer over. And I still have plenty of room left.

GREAT KEYBOARD: Others have praised the keyboard. They are right. It's precisely calibrated and engineered and it feels as comfortable and natural as my favorite dedicated keyboard, the Microsoft Curve.

COOL VENTILATION: Some reviews have complained about overheating issues. I have not detected any hint of that. If anything, the top surface of the where my palms rest while typing remains pretty cool and I have not detected any hotspots on any areas of the unit.

MISCELLANEOUS: Great sound. Nice metal mental slab. Wonderful bright display. Matte finish, minimizing reflection. Excellent ports, including VGA fr multiple monitors and Ethernet.

WHAT I'M IFFY ABOUT:

FUNCTION KEYS: Like many laptops, there are function keys at the top where allow you to adjust brightness, volume level, etc. I just wish there was a way to default to touchpad to off. As it stands, every time I reboot, I have to remember to turn it off.

CD-ROM DRIVE: I'm kind of indifferent as to whether it's there. Right now I think it just ads weight and thickness. At the same time, I know that it's handy to have around if I every have to go into Windows 7 recovery mode.

SHARP EDGE RIGHT ABOUT MY WRIST AREA: This is going to sound picky, but I realize that Samsung designed this unit to appear as thin as possible. In the process the edge right below the touchpad is rather on the shape side. If you rest palms and your wrists, you'll get an unpleasant dig into your wrists. Very, very minor picky point.

BATTERY CHARGE: I'm estimating that I'm getting about 5 to 6 hours per charge. But I'm definitely not optimizing because I want me screen to be on the brightest setting. This is the one area in which Samsung should have done better on. Because the battery is inaccessible, I can't cold/hard swap in fully charged battery. Therefore, I wish they'd given us a 6 cell battery (like what the HP Folio got) instead of a 4 cell.

Overall, this is the best laptop I've every purchased. And after a week's use...I'm continue to be as happy as I can possibly be with it.

UPDATE 5/21/2012

Still going strong. This form factor is just so conducive for working around the house...on the sofa, dining room table, or in bed. It's really made me more productive, especially over the weekend, when I don't want to sit behind a desk.

BTW...

I've looked at many reviews of different Ultrabooks that are now being released. If you've heard about the new AMD chipped ones coming out from HP, they have the conventional 500gb hard drives available in addition to the SSD drives for fast boot. To me, that really affirms that, there's many peole out there who don't want to hassel with an external drive.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, May 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung Series 5 NP530U3B-A01US 13.3-Inch Ultrabook (Silver) (Personal Computers)
I'm still very happy with this notebook. The finish is very good, the design clean and it's fast. I installed Ubuntu on the SSD-drive and this way benefit from a quite fast system with a big storage (home-partition on platter-drive) for a very fair price.
The two small things to mention are the keyboard that leaves slight marks on the screen if carried closed (make sure there's always a cloth or foil when closed) and the thin pin of the power plug appear to be in danger of bending or even breaking (not yet happened).
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heat and CHEAP construction!, April 9, 2012
This review is from: Samsung Series 5 NP530U3B-A01US 13.3-Inch Ultrabook (Silver) (Personal Computers)
As others have said, this gets incredibly hot at times. Watching a movie or doing any video editing gets this thing nuclear hot. The battery life is also horrible if pressing its capabilities. With screen dimmed and only browsing single pages/checking email etc I get about 2.5 hours max and while watching a movie I'm lucky to be able to even finish the movie before it shuts down. I talked to Samsung about this and they said those times "are within our standards and it is not a warranty issue". Nice. I asked them what the minimums are for it to be considered a problem and they said they will only replace a battery if the MAXIMUM battery time is 60mins or less! In other words, they would set it up in their repair lab, screen as dim as possible, doing nothing...as long as it lasts an hour or more...tough.
I am REALLY disappointed with Samsung. This is not an expensive laptop but it's definitely not cheap either. I expected more from them.

I also have had issues with the hinges and when it closes, there is a small space on one side where the top lip of the screen meets the body...I'd say about 1/16"...the other side is flush with the body. Again, I talked to Samsung about this and was told it's within tolerances.

I WILL NOT buy Samsung computers again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst purchase (of anything) ever, September 29, 2012
By 
Evan Wearne (Silver Spring, MD United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I purchased this computer in May. Since then it has spent as much time with UPS and Samsung as it has with me. After I sent it in the last time, Samsung sent me a different, refurbished laptop without even asking me. If you are foolish enough to purchase a Samsung computer (I have two of their TV's), you deserve the misery you will receive. My laptop would not quit crashing when connected to an ipod or to a Samsung TV via HDMI cable.

So not only is the product a lemon, the customer service is the worst thing I have ever experienced. They sent me a shipping label, which took 1 week to reach a Samsung facility. Once it reached the facility, it would take them a week to check it in to their service department. Once they worked on it (for two or three days), it would take another week for it to be shipped back. The second time I sent it in, they told me it would be expedited. In the end, they took even longer to check it in then for the first time I shipped it to them.

Otherwise, it is still not a good product. I finally remembered to write a review because even with my refurbished unit, it is slow and will sometimes fail to open webpages or new windows. Do yourself a favor and never purchase anything from Samsung besides TVs.
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