Top positive review
21 people found this helpful
Great Ultrabook, Macbook Air replacement
on February 28, 2013
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.
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.
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.