on July 5, 2012
I read the reviews from the previous model and compared it with some other laptops and based on the reviews and problems thereof I decided to buy this one.
1. Laptop Visually looks nice overall
2. Webcam works well
3. Laptop doesn't heat up too much
4. I haven't heard or am bothered by the fan
5. Ram is good. Videos, and multiple programs play well.
6. Laptop works well.
1. Touchpad is not in the center of the laptop. I suppose this is a new thing and common in modern ultrabooks but still unappealing; After working with a Giant Touchpad from an Apple MacBook Pro this is somewhat of a letdown. HOwever, it does work fine and the location is chosen off center because the location of the home row keys to aid in using the thumbs to browse with mouse. Overall Aesthetically center would be nice but practically with the layout of the keyboard and length of the laptop it would not be practical. So neutral there.
1. Laptop is filled with 3rd party Bloatware. This isn't too bad, though I spent a couple hours removing much of it.
2. Most Samsung programs are junk. A program to transfer files between Samsung PCs? Bah, not necessary. I kept a few of them, Samsung Easy Settings and Fast Boot are worth keeping.
3. NVidea Control Panel is Installed, but this laptop uses Intel Graphics 4000. No Graphics Card = Software has nothing to do = Waste of space.
4. Laptop sleeps often. I have to click several times to get it to wake up. Somewhat annoying but passable.
5. Can't open Laptop with one hand. The laptop is good in that it stays well-closed. Just opening it takes too hands due to the lightweight laptop itself. Not too bad, just somewhat unideal; I suppose it comes with the ultrabook territory.
Anyway, overall the pluses far outweigh the mediocre parts and I advise this laptop. It works, is quiet, doesn't overheat, and can handle the standard programs and applications you would want to use with it.
on June 26, 2012
I have had the laptop for four days now and my overall impression is that I like it very much. I did have an initial problem with the wireless adapter. It would drop connection randomly, sometimes after working for hours, other times after only a few minutes. My only option was to reboot to reestablish the connection. I got on the Intel web site and looked for support on the Intel adapter. it is an Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235. The Intel web site has an app that will analyze your computer and it found an updated driver. Once I installed the new driver I have not had any problems with the wireless adapter.
Computer performance is very good. It boots up quickly and restart from sleep is very fast. The touch pad works very smoothly, however the buttons are small and if your thumb hangs over onto the touch pad (mine does sometime), the touch pad doesn't work. The keys on the keyboard are sized and spaced correctly. However, they are very shallow which takes a little getting used to.
The computer is compact and very lightweight at just under 4 pounds. Even though the screen is smaller than my old laptop (16 inch Toshiba), it is very readable. I haven't ran the battery down fully, but I estimate the battery charge to last around five hours in performance mode. Power saver mode would obviously improve on that.
At this point I would not hesitate to recommend this computer.
on August 28, 2012
UPDATED: after several days of working well, the connection drops are back. I don't understand how this can happen: it should either work or not, I would have thought. I will probably return it if I can't solve it another way.
UPDATED AGAIN: I returned it, got a replacement. I couldn't be more happy. Works just great. No problems. Terrific package and great performing computer. I did try out a similar featured Toshiba (R935) but the build quality and keyboard were really much worse, so the Samsung is a keeper (for now).
I selected this laptop because it was basically an ultrabook with an optical drive. Moreover it has a VGA port, two USB 3.0 ports and 1 USB 2.0 port, HDMI, huge hard drive (but not 7200 rpm). So incredibly versatile all in one package, and with the SSD as well, it boots up and resumes super fast. Almost like a Macbook :)
The negative reviews about the wireless problem gave me pause, but I bought the laptop anyway, and sure enough it dropped wireless connections like crazy. OK, I thought, I'll go on Samsung's website, then Intel's and get the latest driver for the Intel Centrino Advanced N6235 wireless adaptor. The version installed in my laptop when it arrived was 15.0 and on the Samsung web site was a version 188.8.131.52. On the Intel website, I could find 15.1.1, in the obvious place, and by searching on Google, I was able to find 15.2. This was in the right place on the Intel website, but under Windows 7, not Windows 7 (64 bit). The link for the Windows 7 drivers for this adaptor contains both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions. You can also install the Intel/PROSET program that can analyze your wireless behavior and provide diagnostics. But it did not help me yet.
None worked or solved the problem.
I was nearly on the point of returning it, when a friendly technician suggested that I first uninstall the driver already there, and then install the latest version. In other words, installing a new driver does not first uninstall the old, dysfunctional driver, and bits of that get left behind and mess with the new driver. So I uninstalled the old driver first (go to Device Manager and look at the properties of the wireless adaptor for the button that does the uninstall), installed 15.2, and that did the trick. Now the wireless is stable and works well. (BUT THE PROBLEM RETURNED AND WAS ULTIMATELY SOLVED BY GETTING A REPLACEMENT: I THINK IT WAS A HARDWARE ERROR ON THE INTEL WIFI CHIP, AS THERE HAVE BEEN OTHER COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE CHIP FROM USERS WITH OTHER MAKES OF COMPUTER).
Overall, this laptop is just great. I'm glad that I was able to solve the problem, and find it a perfect lightweight all-in-one laptop.
on December 28, 2012
This is an initial review after only a few days of use, but I figured I should review now while a lot of the troubleshooting issues are fresh in my mind. Many of the negative reviews on here are justified, because the computer as shipped did not have full functionality. I ordered a used- like new model from Amazon warehouse deals (Windows 7 version), so this review may not be applicable to all new models shipped. However, if you have similar issues with your new model, the fixes suggested in this review should work.
First, the good:
-fairly fast for most common uses like internet browsing, watching streaming movies, microsoft Office Applications, etc.
-quiet key board (but not back-lit as many have pointed out)
-Large track pad (I consider this a plus, but if you tend to type with your wrists resting below the keyboard rather than hovering above it, then you may have issues with you wrists moving the mouse or clicking it - which several other reviewers have complained about)
-The screen resolution and size make it somewhat inappropriate for graphic design applications. It is a matte screen rather than a glossy screen. While that may sound great, one of the consequences is that the screen must be positioned exactly perpendicular to the viewer or else the colors will fade or darken when the screen is viewed at an angle.
-I don't think any gamers would gravitate to this PC given the specs and the screen size, but just to quell any possible suspicion - no, it's not ideal for gamers.
The Bad, or the Trouble shooting fixes:
-The touchpad worked when it arrived, however it did not have multi-touch enabled (two finger scrolling, zoom in/out), nor was there a way in the control setting to enable multi-touch. This took a while to fix, but my pain is your gain. If you google Samsung series 5 trackpad driver, and go to the link from the Samsung official website, then you can download and install a new driver. Then go to Control Panel> Hardware and Sound > Mouse Properties > TouchPad > Options and modify settings for multitouch as desired. Actually, try to go there first if you have that issue, and if you can't get there then update the driver.
-Not all of the function keys worked. This was another software issue, and so fairly easy to fix. If you go to the start menu and go to the Samsung folder, you may find a program called SW Update. If you don't find that program, you can download it from the Samsung Website. That program has a lot of the necessary updates (as well as some bloatware that you may want to avoid). Updating "Easy Settings" software made all the Function keys fully functional. Also, it's not a bad idea to update anything else that looks essential, like "System BIOS", Windows Patches, and other drivers.
-Wonky WiFi - I just experienced this once. The WiFi was turned off after starting up the PC, and turning it on wasn't working. Samsung has this "Quick boot" and "Fast Start" software installed, which is supposed to make start up faster. I turned that off, thinking that these processes may be cutting too many corners, and the WiFi worked again upon restart. Using typical Windows "Sleep" mode for quick shut down and start up is fast enough for me anyway. I can't say for certain that "Fast Start" is the problem, but the WiFi has been fine since turning it off.
I'm pretty happy with this purchase now that everything seems to be running smoothly. I'll update if anything changes. I will say that if I had paid the full new price of ~$900 for this laptop, I would probably not be as happy dealing with these issues and may have given it a lower rating, but for $500 on a refurbished unit, I expected it to some extent.
on June 9, 2012
I have been looking at Ultrabooks for the past six months. Each week, a new entry is offered from one of the many vendors. After reading all the reviews and trying out some of the products, I ordered the Samsung Series 5 and am thrilled with my choice. I was sending emails within 5 minutes of getting it out of the box. The software loaded in no time without the need for written instructions. At the end of the first week, I can't think of a negative to mention--it is exactly what I was looking for and under $1,000. Next week it goes on its first business trip and I can learn about "true battery life". Wish me luck.
on September 29, 2012
I purchased this product in late June of this year. I hardly used it until late July when I first started having problems. Finally in early September it crashed. I first brought it to a local technician who after looking at it for 15 minutes said it looks like the hard drive went bad and suggested I send it back to Samsung. After spending an hour on the phone with a Samsung technician from India, he finally said I should send it to their repair service in Texas, and they sent me a lable to do that. I received it back about two weeks later and as soon as I started to put in a program it crashed again. I called Samsung again and they told me the hard drive was repalaced. Once again, after doing what they told me I received another lable to send it back. I asked them for a new computer and they said I had to send it back a second time before they would send me a replacement. They received it 5 days ago and I called them today to find out the status. They told me the mother board was bad and they were back ordered. They do nor know how long it will take to get a replacement. I once again asked for a replacement and after being shuffled from one to another was told they would send my request for review which would take 3 to 5 days. I asked for a supervisor and there was none available. They said one will call me in 24 to 48 hours. This is one of the worst experiences I have ever had trying to get something repaired. Never again.
on September 29, 2012
My opinion -
In order to save hundreds of dollars i purchased this laptop instead of an apple product.
I have wasted hours of time trying to get this thing to work correctly.
First it was internet settings - it took a couple hours to identify a known problem with the wireless connectivity.
Today it's a problem with windows. The laptop will not reboot. I used the revovery program, and now Windows IS rebooting however it doesnt work at all when you get in.
Now Im on the samsung website, and it will not allow me to complete my service ticket - there is a glitch on the website, which only allows me to get about 50% of the way completed. Another hour of my life wasted. So who to blame - MSFt or samsung? Today, it is both!
Next time, I think I will finally join the crowd... and pay up for the product that I know has a service center nearby in every metro area. Who wants to spend Saturday morning trying to revover vital documents prior to shipping off their laptop to the unknown?
This product is sleek, lightweight... very nice appearance and feel. But my experience with operating it (I only have a couple hundred pics of my kids... some music, and the only other use remote login to my corporation) has been dissapointing in very short time. My demands on this system are so basic, and require so little in the way of performance... yet it's down again.
on July 10, 2012
I decided on the Samsung Series 5 after about 3 months of research and watching prices rise and fall on Amazon. Since I travel internationally and needed a new computer for my job, I wanted something light but fast and functional. I started looking at true Ultrabooks but decided I could sacrifice a little thinness and a solid state drive for more storage, a CDROM drive, and VGA connection. As a teacher, I use the VGA connection and CDROM frequently, so I wasn't interested in carrying a dongle around with me everywhere. In summary, this Samsung has everything I was looking for.
I've had this computer for about three weeks and I've had no problems with it. I owned a four year old Dell previously so the new i5 processor was surprisingly fast for me. Boot-up takes almost no time at all and the computer is able to multitask with ease. It runs the new Diablo III without any problems. The fan is quiet and rarely comes on. I can get about 4 hours of battery with constant internet use. The construction feels solid and I like the brushed metal body and matte screen. I haven't had any problems with the touch pad and the keyboard is different from my old Dell so it's taking some time to get used to the much shallower keys. It's also very light compared to my old Dell and I can easily carry it around with me without becoming uncomfortable.
I recommend this Samsung for anyone looking for something fast, functional, and light without wanting to sacrifice storage or a CDROM drive.
on July 28, 2012
This is a very slim and fast computer. Keyboard is convenient to type, nice matte screen, good trackpad, feels rigid and solid. The only complaint I've got was the wireless adapter. It wasn't working properly from the very first day, connection was randomly dropping, nothing seemed to help, reinstalling drivers, OS, nothing, so I had to return it. But I have to admit Amazon did a good job with refunding the money including the shipping costs, quick and without any questions.
One more little disappointment - Samsung's logo under the screen was crooked...it doesn't affect the ability to work, it's just you're looking at it every day...and it creates this feeling of imperfection...if I kept the computer, I would surely put some kind of a sticker to cover the logo:)
on July 24, 2012
Overall, I'm very happy with this laptop in the six weeks I've had it. I took it with me to Europe the day after getting it. It's light weight and easy to carry yet it doesn't compromise on ports and dvd drive.
Other good stuff:
- matte screen means you don't have to worry about backlighting
- includes dvd/rw drive, so you don't have to sacrifice that to have a lightweight laptop
- boots fast, wakes up fast
- includes ethernet port - its a nifty collapsing port that keeps laptop thin
- includes vga connection
- The power supply is small.
- good battery life so far
- really like the feel of the keypad. nice chicklets
not so good
- the case has a little flex to it. It doesn't really bother me but I'm not sure how sturdy it will remain
- the trackpad driver gave me problems and the trackpad stopped working. I updated the driver from the samsung site and no more problems since.
someone else mentioned that the edge of the case is a little sharp. That's true but it doesn't really bother me since my palms don't seem to rest there.