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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.
18 helpful votes
19 helpful votes
77 comments|Report abuse
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.

The Good:

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.

The Neutral:

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.

The Mediocre:

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.
39 helpful votes
40 helpful votes
55 comments|Report abuse
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.
3 helpful votes
4 helpful votes
33 comments|Report abuse
on September 25, 2012
I've hemmed and hawed for a while about buying an ultrabook, but as I've been flying frequently I've just gotten tired of "lugging" my every-day laptop thru the airports. I chose this unit because of the optical drive and the size of the hard drive. I knew I was sacrificing some screen quality from the Asus Zenbook Prime, but this unit does have a bigger hard drive and a price tag over $400 less. I had read all the reviews, and was looking at it with an it with an open mind. I've had it, at this juncture, about 3 weeks and flown once with it so far. To sum it up, I think I made a good choice. While I find that this configuration isn't quite as fast as the laptop I've been using, it's more than adequate. The screen is OK, it does have a rather limited "prime" viewing area compared to what I've been using, but nothing I had trouble dealing with. It was nice to be able to use the ethernet port without carrying an extra dongle, the power supply is small and light, and I think the hybrid drive is a good compromise. The boot-up is faster than my traditional drive, and the extra size of the hard drive is worth, to me in any case, the difference between this and a SSD. I'm a little dissapointed in the time I get on battery. The speakers are actually better than I expected, although not very loud. I find the Samsung controls very intuitive and straight-forward, and their "Easy Settings" panel is very nice and easy to use. I also like the 14" screen. I've had no problems with heat or the fan, and the wireless connection has worked flawlessly. I do wish the "caps lock" had an indicator light instead of the screen prompt. I tend to use an external wireless mouse, but found no need to turn off the touch-pad, so I guess the ergonomics are good, and I have no qualms about the feel of the keyboard. The lighter weight was a pleasure going through the airports.
I think I can sum things up by saying that this isn't a flawless, "must-have" choice, and may well be a niche item. But it filled the right niche for me. It seems to be a good, solid machine at an attractive price point. This is my first Samsung computer, but I have used both their smartphones and LED TV's (also have a Samsung refrigerator and microwave). Overall, I think it's a good solid package at a good solid price.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
0Comment|Report abuse
on May 26, 2014
I bought this computer and when I got it nothing worked. I returned it and they sent me another one which was worse. The cursor would skip around so you could not type anything fast as you would have to keep moving the cursor around to be back where you were typing before. I finally sent it in to Samsung and they replaced the motherboard and the keyboard and then they still had to do something else to the computer to get the cursor problem to stop. It took their high level tech support to make the computer usable. I then loaded everything into the computer. There are still a few problems like the computer file opens by itself and I have to close it and other things pop up and open by themselves and I have to close them but besides those few annoyances I now like this computer. It is too bad that Amazon sells defective computers in the first place as people should not have to go through what I went through which took several months to get a computer that they just bought to work.
1 helpful vote
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on January 15, 2013
I purchased this notebook from Amazon Warehouse Deals.

BSOD's occur when repairing wireless connection and when leaving the ultrabook idle. Wireless drops occur independently of the wireless network router (tried a few different ones).

I tried uninstalling "problematic" Windows updates, enabling max power settings for wireless, and updating to the newest wireless driver (from the Intel website via their detection tool). Nothing worked. Probably a hardware defect (that many others appear to have). There should have been a product recall for this. I had to return this to Amazon. It's too bad Amazon gets screwed with quality deficient laptops when this is clearly either Intel's fault (for producing a faulty component) or Samsung's fault (for not verifying the component reliability and not making the product recall of the faulty batch).

But I guess it's partially Amazon's fault for not having a business process in place where these things are noted. I bet they haven't even read my reason for returning it and the next customer (like myself) will waste time, as I did (and the previous people who ordered this very same ultrabook). At least Amazon's customer service is great.

It's no surprise that they sell it for half the retail price (or half the retail price of any decent ultrabook, for that matter).

This ultrabook would have been near-perfect if it weren't for the defective wireless adapter. The only other criticisms are the low quality display and the HDD (in lieu of SSD). An SSD on an old computer is faster than a new computer with a HDD (for most practical end-user applications).
1 helpful vote
33 comments|Report abuse
on November 26, 2012
I bought this product in October right before the release of Windows 8. Performance was fast and boot times where about 15 seconds, however bloatware seemed unnecessary, except for on board ssd management software. After backing up the drive, I removed the windows 7 and installed windows 8. Performance was ok, however when trying to boot, would have to wait 15 seconds turn it on, then back off then on again to get the bios to boot through. Sounded like the hard drive was "cracking" for the lack of a better description.

Bought a new Samsung 840 pro series 128GB SSD and also added a 4GB memory module to give it 8GB of RAM. Currently this thing is now a work horse, BIOS issue has been resolved boot times in about 6 seconds.

Drive that comes with the laptop is HITACHI Sata 3.0GB/s 5400RPM not 7200RPM as advertised. not surprised why it was cracking.

If your looking for something small for work or school, this will laptop will work as provided. Modifications where made for testing purposes (plus the geek side) and are beneficial, but are not needed unless you like to upgrade and customize performance.
1 helpful vote
0Comment|Report abuse
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 Mediocre:
-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.
9 helpful votes
10 helpful votes
22 comments|Report abuse
on December 14, 2012
Worst decision was buying it. Second was believing Samsung would stand behind its product and not returning to Amazon in time. In less than two months I have spent more than a dozen hours to no avail. Requests for warranty service are ignored. Support people pretend they have never heard of problems and endlessly assure updating firmware will cure all. Wireless connection usually fails in less than 10 minutes. Other devices tested next to it show excellent signal and wire fine. Samsung first blamed my router but same result with six different routers. If you cannot trust it you cannot carry it. Most expensive trash per ounce. So distressed may stop doing business with Amazon. Asked for their help couple days late and they have ignored me just like Samsung. Horrible choice and depressing experience all around. Makes Apple look like only choice worth making.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
0Comment|Report abuse
on December 17, 2012
I bought this Ultrabook about 5 months ago. It has worked well. This is a power packed machine, combined with 'good looks' and light weight. I am a software professional and work with a laptop for my living and can identify a good laptop/Ultrabook. I use my Ultrabook for browsing, news, sports, shopping. I also run Microsoft SQL server 2008 on this Ultrabook . I develop applications with this Ultrabook. It handles every task easily. It does not get hot even when it is running for 4 to 5 hours non stop. The fan sound is quiet. The battery lasts 5 hours easily and charges very quickly. Overall, this is a very good Ultrabook and I recommend it. I am giving it 4 stars because Samsung is still new in this field of Ultrabook/laptops plus the price is slightly high. I will rate it 5 stars if this product keeps performing the same way for a long time. Five months ago, there were no touchscreen ultrabooks - but now if you are planning to buy, then and compare this product with touchscreen ultrabooks before you make a final decision.
1 helpful vote
0Comment|Report abuse