100 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2012
I want and still do love this laptop from a design perspective. The quality control is troubling though.
Problems with the first laptop:
1) Screen had extreme back-light bleed through on the edges, especially the top right corner. Before asking for an exchange I went to a local store to see how the screen looked and it didn't exhibit the back-light bleed problem.
2) Laptop got very hot so I opened it up to see what was happening. The right fan vent was completely blocked by a plastic tab when the fan was installed so even though it was running, it wasn't bringing cold air into the machine.
3) While opening the laptop to inspect fan, I noticed that the battery was missing all of it's screws to hold it securely in place. It wasn't even assembled correctly.
Problem with second laptop:
1) Screen bleed problem was resolved, but not there it had a very obvious dead/stuck pixel on the screen. I expect the screen to not have bad pixels when paying for a $1300 laptop.
Problems with third laptop:
1) Screen is perfect, no back-light bleed or bad pixels.
2) Track pad is horrible, very loose and makes clicking noises when just swiping finger across it, not even pressing it for the left/right "click".
3) Right fan has a much more audible clicking noise than the previous 900x3c's I returned.
4) Question mark key on keyboard has paint missing/scratched so backlight shines through in a slit on the edge of it.
5) After a few days, computer would no longer boot, called Samsung and it turns out to be a hardware, not ssd problem so they recommended another replacement.
That was the last replacement Amazon would allow me to get, now I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I would really love this laptop if the quality control issues were resolved. I feel like I could assemble the good qualities of 3 laptops myself to get 1 good one that's up to par.
------ Update ------
I received my new 900x3c and it has none of the issues the previous three had. Maybe I was extremely unlucky with the previous ones or there was a bad batch? Now that I have one that is working to specs here's my review.
The laptop is extremely thin and looks very sharp. I've used it in a few public settings and get a lot of compliments and small talk about it from random people that want to hold and feel it. I believe the design is better than the macbook air and very solid with no creeks as I hold it or move the screen.
The screen has great viewing angles from above and from the sides, has very rich color, and can be turned up very bright. I have no dead pixels and the screen backlight is very uniform and the resolution is great.
Keyboard and Trackpad:
The keys are slightly on the stiff side, with expected limited travel, but not a deal breaker and still great to type on. The backlight is a nice shade of blue/green and the brightness can be adjusted.
The trackpad is nice and large, supports multi-touch and is very nice - no complaints.
The hard drive is on the small side, but upgradeable. I wish Samsung had included a 256 gig one instead of the 128 gig one. I have already upgraded the drive to the MyDigitalSSD 256GB SMART SATA III (6G) SandForce mSATA Solid State Drive which is extremely fast and I highly recommend it. It took about 10 minutes for me to removed the old SSD and install the new one.
This is the only area that regret about the laptop. 4GB of RAM is ok, but not ideal, especially in a few years. I think I'll be able to get by and I haven't run short on memory yet, but really think Samsung should have included 8GB. The RAM is also not upgradeable in the 900x3c and is soldered to the motherboard.
I seem to be getting between 5 and 6 hours of battery life on a full charge with light web usage. I would prefer a little more, but this seems acceptable. The battery is user upgradeable and is held in place by 4 screws visible once the bottom of the laptop is removed. This will come in handy in a couple years as the battery life starts to fade.
Wireless Signal Strength:
No issues with the wireless signal strength. It seems to perform well and has as much if not more signal strength than any other laptop I've used.
The only time the bottom of the laptop got pretty warm was when playing Diablo III. The laptop has two fans and they are very quiet. Even at full speed, it's much quieter than a macbook air or pro. The fans don't come on at all during normal/light usage such as web surfing/emailing/word document editing and the laptop regulates temperature very well.
The laptop is very quick for an ultra book. It can do a cold boot in about 10 seconds and wakes up from sleep in about 1 to 2 seconds. Graphic performance is very good too, for an ultrabook. No issues playing HD videos. I even loaded Diablo III and it runs very smooth with all high settings and a resolution of 1600 x 900. That's the only game I've tried so far.
Windows Experience Index:
Memory (RAM): 5.9
Gaming graphics: 6.4
Primary Hard Disk: 7.4 for the original one... 7.9 when I upgraded to the MyDigitalSSD
Let me know if you have any questions and I'd be happy to answer.
54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
1. Amazingly thin.
2. First rate build quality. Solid as a rock. No flexes anywhere.
4. Beautiful matte screen with very high brightness.
1. Touchpad ruins it. I have the latest elan driver and have tried all the trick in the world but this touchpad can't even handle single finger cursor movement correctly. It will either a) stop responding for fractions of a second b) jump all over the place c) activate the left click even when you are just moving the cursor with one finger d) make you want to puke all over the place knowing a $1000 laptop performs like this and how everything else is perfect. You literally cannot use the touchpad for anything meaningful unless you have a bottle of aspirin nearby.
2. Gets very warm at the palm area during charging phase.
As much as I love everything else about this laptop the defective touchpad is making me want to return this item and I hereby highly discourage anyone from buying this computer until they either fix it or issue a recall. This is like buying a 300hp car with a defective steering wheel and it's unacceptable.
UPDATED 9/13/2012. After several days of testing the touchpad issue has been isolated in more detail. If you divide the touchpad into regions horizontally from left to right: 0 to 49% equals good area, 50 to 70% equals bad area, 71 to 100% equals good area. What I mean is that the area from the middle to slightly right of it has absolutely terrible touch responses resulting in false clicks and astray pointers.
UPDATED 10/9/2012. Rating has been lowered to 1 star from 2 after my Samsung RMA experience. First of all Samsung repairs are outsourced to Intelisol in Teaxas. Getting the RMA/repair ticket was painless enough once you get the proper link to it and Samsung does have a pretty decent online tracking service for this. However, after getting the machine back, I was beyond angry. The repair was supposed to fix the defective touchpad which many others have experienced. Well, they did fix the touchpad but they also broke quite a bit of stuff. 1) The repair person forced open the case, looks like they had zero training, and broken one of the latch that secures the battery to the chassis. The battery now no longer is securely bound to the case and if you shake the laptop you can hear it. 2) They used the WRONG/larger screw upon refitting the back cover and as result, stripping one of the back cover screw holes so now a proper screw won't fit that case hole. 3) When they put the case back, they mis-routed the WIFI antenna wires and instead of using the guide fittings specifically for the WIFI antenna, they just put it under the battery. Well, you might ask how I discovered all the repair snafus. I open the machine because part of some shrinkwrap was screwed into the backcase! All in all, Samsung's repair service is 100% garbage. The machine is now back to their outsourced Intelisol repair facility for a second time and let's how this turns out.
UPDATED 11/3/2012. Machine finally back from Intelisol for the second time and everything is properly fixed this time. Just to make sure, I opened the back to verify everything. The mSSD is secured with a mounting plate with two screws but there is only one screw there. Emailed Intelisol and their "official" explanation is that some mSSD configurations for this model only uses one screw out of two. So who do you believe? The engineers designed a mounting plate with two screws for nothing I guess. Look at the timing between my first RMA request on 9/13 and this final report and you can judge for yourself how badly Samsung needs to clean up the RMA process. Lastly, they told us not to open the back cover since it voids the warranty. If we didn't open up the machine after the first RMA, we would never have confirmed their shoddy repair service.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2012
I feel like most people are extremely critical about any laptop on the market other than Apple. Had a Macbook Pro the last two years but wanted to return to PCs so it'd be easier to work on the road/home. Definitely also considered the air before buying this but honestly thought the air couldn't compare to this (though I admit I'm always gonna be a PC fan so not sure if it's a fair fight).
Not sure about the quality control issues the other guys here are talking about - sounds awful...but I received my samsung laptop and have been playing around with it for like a week now with no issues. Trackpad is really responsive, keyboard is better/easier to type on than other ultrabooks I've tried like Asus's zenbook and overall haven't had any issues with startup or processing (easy to use and fast). In terms of design- please go in store and see it yourself. Much improved from the previous series 9 (glad I waited) - no wifi issues and design is sleaker/more expensive looking material. And so thin/light!
40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2012
With the new ivy bridge and intel HD4000 graphics, this is the best ultrabook on the market. Period.
However, there's one thing buyers should know- this NP900X3C is using Sandisk SSD. Not Samsung SSD like NP900X3B.
You won't feel the difference very much in everyday use but the benchmark numbers show the Samsung SSD is far superior than Sandisk.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2012
Bought the Samsung Series 9 13.3" from the Microsoft Store a couple days ago and felt compelled to write a positive review for it.
- The *matte* screen in high resolution rocks, and is long overdue in a laptop of this type (side by side this is significantly brighter and crisper than my 2012 Air).
- Trackpad - Samsung includes support for two finger swipe to go back, forward, and gravity scroll, three finger swipe to explorer view, four finger to view all windows, etc. Recommended that you disable tap to select, however, this is 2nd best trackpad in the business.
- Cool "Silent Mode" feature, which disables fans for silent use
- With Ivy Bridge and SSD, it is fast enough to develop and virtualize on (tested with 2GB RAM VM with Server 2008 + SharePoint 2010 + SQL + Visual Studio 2010).
- For the size, the footprint of the laptop is the most compact I have seen, and feels great on a lap or desk.
- The frame is strong, scary thin, and light.
- Windows 7, Office 2010, and iTunes flies on this thing - as expected.
- Wake from sleep in 1-2 seconds, resume from hibernate in 10 seconds, from cold boot in 20 seconds
Less obvious cons:
- Non-upgradeable RAM - even if not upgradeable, an 8GB would been an obvious choice here
- Non-Samsung SSD - although the laptop is fast, if you're going to be doing development work on it, you'll eventually want more.
- Cooling fans are a little louder than I'd hoped for - not wind turbine loud, but they do hum at an audible level for heavier tasks
As a take-away, this is a top tier UltraBook with substance, style and speed. As an owner of several competing ultra-portables, this one wins my vote for first place.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2012
I needed a new laptop to replace my old-as-dirt clunkler of a Macbook. My main criteria were: high-res screen, under 4lbs (but preferably closer to 3), contained new Ivy Bridge chip, and able to play most of my favorite games. At the moment, there are not a ton of options that fit that criteria, but I wasn't willing to wait around until X-Mas to see the full spate of new machines that came out with Ivy Bridge/Windows 8. I also considered the new Asus Ultrabook with Ivy Bridge but ultimately ruled it out because of some of the negative reviews regarding the screen and the fact that it had a proprietary SSD that would be impossible to upgrade. I also considered the new Sony with switchable graphics and ultimately decided it was highly functional but lackluster. I chose the Samsung, ultimately, because it just got me excited. It had both form and function.
First thing to note is that it has the most gorgeous screen imaginable. Samsung does screens better than anybody. It's MATTE, which was very important to me. I hate those uber shiny screens that show every finger print and cause huge amounts of glare. Plus the colors are supple and the text/images are crisp. It was the screen that ultimately sold me on this thing.
Another plus, it's incredibly light. Almost light as an iPad. Yet it doesn't feel fragile. Only 2.6 lbs and 9 hours of battery life!
In terms of performance, I have yet to test it fully, but I was very pleased to see that it played my graphics-heavy MMO (STWOR)quite smoothly at lower settings. It's not a gaming laptop, of course, but I was happy that I would have the option to play my favorite games on it. It also played Civ 5 no problem. The bottom does get a little hot when you push the performance, but I put it on a lap pad with a fan, and that cooled it off no problem, even while the game was running.
The only major downside we discovered so far is that it comes with a 20 GB back-up partition installed. I am sure this was put there with good intentions, but it's really a bummer to lose 20 GB of storage out of the box when you only have 128 GB to begin with. We removed the partition (with a quite a bit of finagling) and we plan to do backups on an external drive.
A last comment...I wanted to give props to Samsung for packaging the computer in such a classy fashion. It comes in an absolutely stunning box (almost like a sturdy board game box) that's covered in a black canvas material and has the branding empossed in a metallic print. It really reinforces that you are buying a high-end, special piece of equippment. Even though I don't need the box, I will definitely keep it!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2012
We bought two of these between the wife and I. They are exceptional laptops, light, and user friendly. The keyboard has a little to be desired however the biggest flaw is a huge one. Within the first week the power cords tip that plugs into the laptop literally just fell off my wife's power cable. For a few weeks, we just shared mine. However, a few days ago I noticed the tip of mine was wiggling back and forth too. Yesterday it fell off completely.
I called Samsung, went through a 20 minute conversation, and received return mailing labels only to learn that they wanted us to mail back both of our laptops and not just the power cables. We absolutely cannot do this as we have a lot of private and confidential documents on the laptops and we cannot remove them bc we cannot get them powered on. Then he told me we could just buy the power cables from them and after being put on hold a few minutes he came back to tell me that they are out of stock.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2012
i am updating my review and taking a star off after using it for nearly 4 month.
it nearly a perfect laptop for me except for the touchpad that acts erratically.
i am not sure if this touchpad has been improved since i bought it 4 month ago,
but the software updates have not improved the performance of the touchpad.
i am generally a big fan samsung, having bought their smartphones, lcd monitors, ssd drives, and music player, but i am very disappointed that they used such a crappy touchpad on this high-end laptop.
what follows is my original review:
i am very impressed with this computer.
i bought mine directly from amazon.
after getting this computer, i just unistalled some of the bloatware and installed my favorite programs.
it runs fast and the screen is crystal sharp.
the size and portability is outstanding.
it feels sturdy and well built.
it runs virtually silently and hardly heats up when doing light duty computing.
the keyboard feels good and i appreciate the backlit option.
the sound from the speakers are surprisingly good.
despite the cheaper sandisk ssd drive, my computer felt very snappy.
i was able to boot up, shut down, install programs fairly fast.
my WEI score indicates the HD is 7.4
so some of my worries over the ssd has been mollified.
some other minor quibble are:
i wish they had a full size ethernet jack
i wish they would have used displayport over vga.
the power plug jack end of the ac adapter is too narrow and fragile looking.
battery life is very good.
i have definitely gotten at least 8 hours doing light computing.
mostly surfing and working with an outline program called keynote.
now, i can leave my ac adapter at home when i go to the coffee shops.
however samsung or elan please get your act together and improve
your touchpad driver soon.
i have been waiting for a computer like this for years,
combining extreme portability, great screen, snappy performance, and
a long battery life.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2012
I've had this notebook for a few days now and I'm very impressed by it however there are some specific information about this notebook that buyers should be aware of.
The screen is absolutely gorgeous on it because it has a 400-nit PLS screen that has very good, if not the best, viewing angles. This screen is only available on this 13.3" model as the 15" series uses a much more inferior screen so beware! This is one of the reasons why I bought the 13.3" instead of the 15".
As others have mentioned, the 13.3" 128GB ssd is a Sandisk U100. Based on the benchmarks in the reviews online, the U100 ranks pretty poorly against its competitors. From my experience with this notebook so far, I have not noticed that much of a slowdown when opening programs or booting Windows. In fact, it boots Windows faster than my desktop PC with an SSD. Fortunately, if the U100 doesn't work out for you, the ssd is replaceable.
The keyboard and trackpad has a nice feel to it - no complaints in this area.
Ram is fixed at 4GB and cannot be replaced or expanded.
Battery life seems to hover anywhere from 4 hours (heavy downloading, windows updating) to about 6 hours on just web surfing. Samsung has a "battery extender" option in their Easy Settings software that will extend the life of the battery by limiting the charge level to 80%.
The laptop runs very cool and noiseless when doing light work or surfing the web, but does get warm and slightly noisy during heavy usage.
My only only gripe with the laptop has to do with quality control.
My laptop had some sort of super glue in one corner of the screen. It took a while to remove as I had to be careful to not scratch the screen. Whatever the reason for it being there (quality control, a return that was repackaged by Samsung, etc), there's no excuse for having that there for the price they're asking.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2012
In the past three years I've had a Macbook Pro, Sony Vaio (S and E series), and Samsung Series 9. I kept buying and returning laptops because they were seriously glitchy and not worth the price. The Macbook has too many limitations to be worth the little bells and whistles, and the Vaios were just simply, the worst laptops I've ever had. I can't believe Sony is putting them on the market AND charging an arm and a leg. I thought I was doomed until I tried out the Samsung Series 9--but I was pleasantly surprised and am now a full convert. For someone who works a lot from home and the office and is always on the go, this laptop is supreme. I always am multi-tasking on my laptop, and I really have no complaints about this product. The only thing that I would improve is the trackpad, but it seems that all PCs need improvement in this area. Macs have better trackpads. But even with Macs, I still prefer using the external mouse for getting my work done efficiently.
I highly recommend this laptop.