Samsung Series 9 13.3″ Ultrabook (NP900X3D) Review

Samsung NP900X3D

Samsung NP900X3D

This week I got myself a Christmas gift: A shiny Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook (or Notebook, what they call it). My device came with a Sandisk SSD U100 128GB, 4GB Memory, HM75 Chipset and the Intel Core i5 3317U Processor. The device looks very nice and feels solid. I like the non reflecting screen very much, the resolution of 1600×900 feels right for the screen size (13.3″) with default DPI settings. Finger prints don’t remain on the outside of the device, but you can make them out on the keyboard. The lid shuts very well, but its a bit hard to get a grip on it to open again. The track pad is big, scrolling using multitouch gestures is very nice to use. Sometimes the track pad fires a click when I just try to move the cursor… Nevertheless, really solid hardware!

Windows 8 and some additional Software was preinstalled. After clicking through the Installer my PC was ready for the first real boot test: Boot time is really incredible, something more than 4 seconds after pressing the power button and the lock screen is visible. Well, it takes another two second to access the desktop, but still, very fast! Since I never worked with Windows 8 so far, I was happy that Samsung provided a nice Quick Start leaflets, so I know now how to access and name the new Windows 8 menues 😉

But Samsung also has an addiction to preinstall plenty of useless software. There is a software (called E-Pop) which seems to be used to display the Notebook, which only shows a corner with some icons telling me that I have “World’s Thinnest”, “SuperBright Plus Screen” and “Fast Booting” feature… There are some poorly integrated Windows 8 games like Birzzle or Shark Dash (which was even only a trail version). The tip of the ice berg is Cyberlink PowerDVD. Yes, DVD, for a ultrabook… Well you might connect a DVD drive, but for most users, just useless. Also the software should be able to play trailers from web, instead it just pulls some random Youtube video (which sometimes is the trailer of the actual movie) and plays it with interruptions or/and missing sound. And it loads some services on startup as well. Then from the same vendor, Power2Go (CD Burner Software) and a gadget for it called Desktop Burning Gadget. I would prefer an installer which only installs Windows 8 at first and provides then a Tool to select any other Software which the user wants to install. It’s just annoying removing software for half an hour and just to realize there are still some tools around I don’t like. To avoid that, I usually just format the whole disk and start with a bare Windows installation, which in contrast is cumbersome since you have to find all the drivers and tools you really need…

There is also some useful and decent software preinstalled: Cyberlink’s Virtual Drive seems to do its job pretty well, also this software makes totally sense on a optical-drive-less device. Then Samsungs hardware configuration Software called “Settings” which merges many general (like enabling/disabling of WiFi and Bluetooth) and some unique (such as USB charging while in shutdown state) hardware configuration options.

Samsung Settings Software

Samsung Settings Software

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