How the Samsung Series 9 made me fall in love with laptops - gHacks Tech News

How the Samsung Series 9 made me fall in love with laptops

Last week I reviewed the Samsung Series 9 laptop and you can read Part 1 and Part 2 of my reviews here. Today the review unit goes back but I thought it appropriate to write a follow-up to the review as this laptop has actually had quite a profound effect on me.

Let's start correctly, I hate laptops! In fact I have always hated laptops and there are several reasons why. Firstly I've always found the typing position on them to be horrible, because no matter how large they make the wrist rest, it's always not big enough and there's too large a drop at the front of the case so that typing on them becomes uncomfortable for anything other than short messages. Then there's the proximity of the keyboard to the screen, it's just too short which can result in eyestrain and the screen itself is far too low which results in neck and back ache.

samsung series 9

I've been using laptops on and off for a decade now and have always preferred a desktop machine. In a couple of teaching jobs prior to becoming a tech author I was given a laptop and, while I was forced to use them at work I was mercifully teaching most of the time, and on the occasions when I brought them home they just sat there, completely unused until I could take them back to work and get rid of them again.

Needless to say I have my reasons for disliking laptops. Tablets are much better, I have an ExoPC Slate and despite it being a little heavier than the iPad, I like being able to slouch around with it, having the screen a good distance from my eyes and not having to sit upright in an uncomfortable position, hunched forward, to use the thing.

Then the Samsung Series 9 appeared and everything seemed to change for me. All of a sudden I found myself reaching for this machine instead of my tablet. I even stopped thinking "I must go over and turn my desktop on" and used this instead.

So how did this new ultraportable make me fall in love with laptops? To be honest it's all down to the design and the attention to detail. The wrist rest isn't quite at desk level, but it's close enough that you would never notice it's raised upwards. In fact it's raised no further than a standard modern PC keyboard. Then there's the weight. At just 1.32Kg here is a laptop that is genuinely portable. It's not something you have to hump around in a heavy bag, all the time bemoaning its presence there. It is actually a proper joy to carry around because you barely ever notice that it's there. Indeed it's so light that I occasionally had to check my bag to see I hadn't left it behind somewhere.

samsung laptop

It's not just in the ergonomics and weight either that this laptop shines.  The screen is glorious to behold and the keyboard is one of the finest I've ever used.  In fact it's so good it puts my £100 Logitech desktop keyboard to shame.  It's just a very pleasant experience sitting in front of and using this machine.

You'll never get over the keyboard proximity to the screen problem, but all of a sudden I found myself not actually minding this at all.  We'll have more laptops like this coming soon too. Sony have a new Z Series coming out and there's a new Macbook Air due. Intel have also now announced they're planning to release 'ultrabooks' that will be only 0.8 inches thick, about the same as the Series 9 and with a similar specification too. The preponderance of these machines will mean prices will drop and, before you're able to say "I'm not carrying that thing home again" they'll be available for less than $1000. In fact Intel anticipates selling ultrabooks for as little as $600 in the coming years.

For now, while it's pricey, the Samsung Series 9 is an absolute winner. It's made me fall in love with laptops for the first time and proven to me they can really be a joy to use. If you're of the same mind as I am and have the spare cash to buy one, then it's a solid 9/10 for the Series 9 from me.

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Comments

  1. Paul(us) said on June 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm
    Reply

    And then your rock the table and your Tuborg beer is all over your 1000 dollar (still a lot of money even if this laptop offers a lot) laptop.

  2. Dan said on June 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm
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    I’ll wait for the price to go below 500$ which is probably two years off. In the mean time I’ll be using my HP dm1z. It’s not a looker and the AMD APU chip is no powerhouse but it gets the job done.

  3. jesus said on June 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm
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    This post sounds like infomercial. Not a single negative point or critique. I’m sure there must be something left to improve.

    1. Mike Halsey (MVP) said on June 10, 2011 at 2:48 pm
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      @jesus There are things to improve, I’ve detailed these in my review. They include a sloppy initial software configuration and the complete absence of a SIM card slot. Overall though this article is, if you’ll excuse the pun, the “genuine article” about my reaction to the Series 9

    2. Mimi said on October 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm
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      Amazingly and unexpectedly, I also find myself “sounding like an infomercial” when I talk about this laptop. As part-time IT R&D engineer and part-time writer, my demands of a machine are high both in ergonomics and in performance — which has so far meant I have never been partial to notebooks. But now that I have this laptop within reach, I do not turn on my desktop except when I specifically need its high-end graphics for my work.

      Possible improvements for me would be the 3D graphics performance (but none of the light-weight competitors fair much better in this department), a possibility to fold out completely and lie flat (but again, this is certainly not a common feature), and obviously a smaller price tag.

      Those are my only concerns. And to my profound surprise, I am more than willing to overlook them. Which tells me that a non-Apple company has finally managed to combine grace and functionality, instilling some feeling of love and reference in the user. This thing simply ate up my cynicism. It feels like I am driving a robust, high-end, but particularly beautiful car: it gets the job done admirably, but I thoroughly enjoy that it turns heads as well.

  4. Jim said on June 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm
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    Funny how we get used to things. I remember when laptops routinely cost over $5K and weighed a ton. Battery life was 2 hours max on a really good day. Screens were low resolution and using them was generally torture. Now we have beauties like this and complain about them costing $1.6K, which BTW is about double the average laptop these days. I am SO looking forward to competition driving the prices down. I really want a laptop in this category. They seem to be in my sweet spot for usability, portability, battery life, and size. I’ve got a netbook now, but the screen is too small and it is underpowered. I’ve got a regular 15.6″ laptop at work, but it’s too big. These babies seem to be ideal. Thanks for the review!

  5. Robert Palmar said on June 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm
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    As one who always hated laptops too
    this series on the Samsung has my attention.
    Your impressions have a particular resonance for me.

    I’ll see how the market shakes out after the ultrabooks arrive
    and a little movement on price and I’ll take the plunge.
    This Samsung is already looking irresistible.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 10, 2011 at 7:33 pm
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      I really like it as well, but the price and a few smaller things like the battery that cannot be replaced are keeping me from purchasing a Samsung Series 9 laptop right away. The Ultrabooks look really nice as well and their pricing will be better, a lot. I have my eyes on them but want to wait for the first reviews before I make my decision.

      1. Mike Halsey (MVP) said on June 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm
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        Then I’ll make sure that first review is published here on gHacks :)

      2. Robert Palmar said on June 10, 2011 at 11:32 pm
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        Non-replaceable battery may be the biggest deterrent.

  6. SamCat said on June 11, 2011 at 8:18 am
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    That and the sub-par wi-fi on this laptop.

  7. Ashley lee said on June 15, 2011 at 11:07 am
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    I perefer bigger laptops too! Samsung Series 9 is usually compared to the Macbook Air and Pro. But I think It doesn’t make sense cause they use different OS. I already have a Macbook Pro but I really want to use Samsung Series 9. I want to feel a difference.
    I’m a main communicator of AT&D KOREA project. Our blog has samsung series 9’s review “Galaxy S2 becomes the Series 9′s wing— Galaxy S2 Bluetooth and Tethering”(http://www.advancedtechnologykorea.com/?p=5588) and “Sens Series 9 VS the MacBook Pro–The Heated Battle Between Samsung and Apple’s Premium Laptops”(http://www.advancedtechnologykorea.com/?p=3054)

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