Two years ago, Samsung's Series 9 introduced a sea of change. It was one of the thinnest and lightest, and also the most beautiful laptops ever made, not to mention the fact that it was powerful.
This was the first ultrabook, which was both beautiful and good, proving that Apple did not use some kind of magic formula. However, there were problems, including with an incredibly high price tag. In short, Samsung has proven something, and the industry has taken note of this.
Two years later, everything changed, but not Samsung. Ultrabooks are now powerful, thin and in most cases affordable machines that have flooded the market. While other manufacturers are trying to do something new, Samsung has returned with a new name, a new product and a new vision of how cool a regular computer can be.
Ativ Book 9 Plus (in fact - a simple Series 9 update with a silly name) is thin, light and powerful.
It has an amazing HD screen, you can find programs on it that you can’t find on computers of other manufacturers, you just can’t find it. Book 9, also, promises not only to fight with the MacBook Air, but also to surpass it in some areas. And at a price of $ 1,399.99 it is justifiably expensive.
Samsung has already proven that it can reach technological heights that others cannot afford. So, she captured the smartphone market. Now, next in line are laptops.
Most manufacturers take the rivalry with the MacBook Air too seriously, as if there is only one way to make a good and thin laptop. Samsung proves that this is not so.
The Ativ Book 9 Plus differs from Air in almost all aspects: it is black and smooth, it has rounded corners and a thin profile that gives the laptop an even thinner look. It's not as minimalistic as Air, but it's beautiful in its own way.
At 0.54 inches thick, the Ativ Book 9 Plus is tall, with almost two USB ports. The aluminum case weighs only 3.06 pounds and at the same time is very sturdy and well assembled. No matter how I throw and manage with this laptop, all that appears is small, easily removable blots on the lid. Previously, Series 9 was fragile and precious, but now, Ativ is ready for action.
Samsung and luxury combine perfectly. And this is best seen on the Book 9 Plus screen: 13.3 inches, at a resolution of 3200 x 1800. This display is simply incredible. I'm sure he would have impressed you with his rich colors, fast response time and almost ideal viewing angles. However, by default, it is set to 1920 x 1080, because when you twist the resolution to the maximum, almost all Windows elements become so small that in order to work, you will have to squint at a distance of three inches from the monitor. There is even a warning pops up: "The screen resolution is too high, double-click to confirm."
Having all these pixels, even the “low” resolution of 1080p looks nowhere better. The image is sharp and detailed, just like on a MacBook Pro with a Retina display. It’s probably stupid to use this screen to the full, but don’t look, it’s amazing.
The only negative is the incredibly sensitive automatic brightness sensor, which responds to any, even the smallest ray of light, very strong jumps in the brightness values of the screen.
Samsung made bad trackpads and keyboards, but it learns from its mistakes, the company has already had two years of experience working on this chassis, and this is noticeable. The keys of the Book 9 Plus are a little tough and small, but this is a huge step forward compared to previous models.
As for use, there are no problems with the location of the keys in sight, and the blue backlight is uniform and beautiful. It is much more pleasing to the eye than the sharp white backlight of Apple . I still don't like the multi-colored function keys, but the ability to lock the Fn key is already a plus, because in this way the F3 key is now responsible for the brightness of the display.
Although there is a minus, with the Fn key locked, the up key now turns into PgUp, which is fraught with consequences.
This ultrabook also has one of the best trackpads I've ever seen on Windows , although it’s a low quality bar.
From the point of view of equipment, everything is as it should: the surface is smooth and pleasant and the clicks are responsive. However, software can be subtle, especially when using gestures. It feels like Book 9 Plus is just waiting for the moment to switch to another application, even when I just watched a movie and decided to move the cursor a little to the right. There are no horrors here, only small troubles like this, however, Apple succeeded in this business much more, although in its league, Book 9 Plus is good.
In general, this is all about equipping Book 9 Plus. It does not reach the level of a MacBook Air, or Acer Aspire S7, there are some problems with the touchpad and fingerprints are very easily left on the case, and the device itself just doesn’t look as good as an Apple laptop with its solid body. However, it is pretty close.
Book 9 Plus: slim, pleasing and more than beautiful.
First things first - PC
Samsung completes Ativ Book 9 Plus with a standard set of applications, starting with Netflix and iHeartRadio , and ending with S Player + and S PhotoStudio .
For the most part, they are useless, but at the same time - harmless. Also, there is a ton of reminders from Norton and Intel , which remind you that until you buy the full version of their antiviruses, your computer will spawn in worms and die. For Windows, this is a common thing, Samsung is no better and no worse than other manufacturers.
It is interesting that Samsung chose a couple of fairly niche functions, and elevated them to such authority that they are not only installed, but their names even appear on the computer case.
One of these apps is SideSync , which lets you sync your laptop with a Samsung Android phone and share your screen, data, and apps. This is a convenient feature, because you can send messages directly from your computer, but it is unlikely that a large number of people will use it.
The same goes for HomeSync , which allows you to turn your Book 9 Plus into a kind of media server through which your devices can receive and send files. Again: cool, but hardly worth putting the name of this program on the front panel of the case.
In short, everything is fine with the software, but that is not a plus. The feeling from the laptop itself is as if Samsung spared no money on any, smallest detail, but the programs, stickers and excessive brand reminder - all this spoils a good, thoughtful design.
The base $ 1,399.99 model of the Ativ Book 9 Plus comes with Windows 8.1 and the latest Intel Haswell processor (Core i5 1.6GHz), 4GB of RAM, 128GB of hard disk space and an integrated graphics card from Intel. Most of the characteristics can be improved (although it will cost a pretty penny), however, even in the basic version it is quite powerful. The launch takes only a couple of seconds, and the return from sleep is instant.
The transition between applications takes place without any delay, the laptop easily opens more than sixty tabs in the browser, and HD video plays flawlessly. The case itself is almost not heated, thanks to coolers, who, at every opportunity, immediately pump out all the hot air outside (I note that this process is quiet).
Games are another matter. At low to medium levels of graphics, everything is fine (except for the graphics itself), however, when I launched Batman: Arkham Origins at a maximum resolution of 3200 x 1800, I literally observed alternating comic book pages, terrible brakes did not give a single chance to play.
But still, this is one of the most suitable for entertainment (in addition to games) laptop that I have ever used. The screen is incredible and the speakers are frighteningly good. The sound is loud, clear and rich, most laptops play music as if the band had forgotten half of their instruments, but Book 9 Plus allows them to play in full. I even wanted to increase the capacity of the hard drive, because this laptop is ideal for HD movies.
What I still want is a larger battery.
In the test, Book 9 Plus lasted 5 hours, 36 minutes, and in normal use, it reaches only five hours. This was a normal result two years ago, but today, expect more from the best in the ultrabook class. And while the MacBook Air lasts 13 hours on a single charge, the Book 9 Plus runs less than half that time, and that's a problem for Samsung.
I can hardly believe that Ativ Book 9 Plus, developed by Samsung. While all PC makers are chasing a new form factor, Samsung remains on the sidelines, which I did not expect from this type of company.
Acer , Toshiba and others also make great ultrabooks, although they are experimenting with crazy designs. While the MacBook Air is still the gold standard in terms of survivability and design, and it is as much as $ 300 cheaper than Book 9 Plus. Even the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina screen is $ 100 cheaper.
Samsung is not trying to be weird, different from the others, or futuristic.
She simply made the best laptop she could and excelled in almost every aspect.
A good laptop should not rotate the screen, become a tablet or disconnect into two halves. He needs a good trackpad, a comfortable keyboard, a beautiful screen and high performance. Ativ Book 9 Plus fulfills almost all of these conditions, and I can recommend this computer to almost all lovers of good laptops who have money.
Attention! This is a translation of The Verge review.