Customer Review

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning piece of kit, let down by Windows 8, 30 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Samsung 900X3C 13.3-inch Laptop (Black) - (Intel Core i7 3517UM 1.9GHz Processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Integrated Graphics, Windows 8) (Personal Computers)
Pros: Beautifully designed, awesome display, blindingly fast, ultra light
Cons: Costly, limited RAM, Windows 8

Having shopped around for a new Ultrabook to replace my ageing MacBook Air, I finally decided on the Samsung Series 9. Being a bit of a computer spod, I bit the bullet and went for the 900X3C with the i7 processor - the i5 version is £200 cheaper and probably a good choice if you're less concerned about cutting edge performance.

The machine is simply breathtaking to look at. Physically, the S9 is beautifully crafted - far more attractive than the Toshiba, HP and Sony Ultrabooks that I was looking at. I'd go so far as to say it's prettier than my Macbook Air. The keyboard is nice, but not quite as well made as the Air's. After using it for a few days, however, I find it more than adequate. The screen is absolutely stunning - crystal clear and the matte finish just makes for an unbeatable panel. Far better than the Air and a million miles away from the poor Dell XPS panel. It's also very light indeed at 1.2kg - just a shade over that of the 2010 Macbook Air's 1.1kg.

Spec wise, it's adequate - the i7 is blindingly quick and 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD will be enough for most. It is a shame there is no option to add additional RAM and a bigger SSD, though. My original goal was to run vitalization software on the machine and 4GB just doesn't hack it. 8GB or 16GB options would make the machine a much more attractive option to IT professionals. A 256GB SSD option would also have been nice. Note that the Intel 4000 HD onboard the i7 will also gobble up a chunk of RAM and Windows states a usable amount of 3.63GB. The i7 is blisteringly fast, as is the SSD. Typical boot times from cold were about 7 seconds for me - it's even quicker to wake from sleep. Windows Experience Index scores are great, with only the Desktop Graphics (not gaming graphics) bringing the score down to 4.8.

With regards to software, let me just say that Windows 8 is absolutely horrific. I hate it with a passion. I'd rather run Windows 3.1 than this abomination. It simply cripples a wonderful machine. Unfortunately, almost all new PCs are shipping with Windows 8 and it's increasingly hard to find top spec kit with Windows 7 or Linux.

That said, I quickly disabled the protected boot options in the BIOS (hit F2 on boot) and used the Microsoft USB tool to create a bootable Windows 7 Professional USB stick. Note that you'll need to boot from the USB 2.0 port on the right of the machine and you'd also be advised to download the driver software in advance - though once you install the Wireless adapter drivers, you can go online and get what you need. The Samsung support page for the 900X3C is very well structured and has everything that you need. Once you install the Samsung Quick Settings application, you'll have access to all the nice features that Sammy have provided without any of the bloat or horrific functionality in Windows 8.

With Windows 7 on there, the machine is simply a dream. Super fast, beautiful to look at, does what I need it to do and more. It's pretty costly, but not compared to the lower spec Macbook Air - though the equivalent Air comes with an i5 and 256GB SSD it's a difficult comparison. Native Windows and a 'Del' key make the Sammy a winner in my book!

One final note is that Amazon suggested a leather case to go with the machine, which I duly purchased. On opening the box, I found that Samsung actually supply a branded, leather carry pouch as part of the package so no need to spend any more of your hard earned cash.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Mar 2013 02:13:39 GMT
Last edited by the author on 5 Mar 2013 02:15:18 GMT
Peter Austin says:
Thanks for the review -- very useful. I bought the 8GB RAM 256GB SSD version in Hong Kong (for some weird reason it is not on sale in the UK) -- it came with a free wireless mouse and memory stick, and the price including MS Office was less than the UK price for the lower spec machine alone. Very happy with it after 2 months -- my only quibble is the need to carry around dongles for ethernet and VGA out.

Posted on 28 Dec 2013 17:30:30 GMT
Mark Pack says:
Really helpful review - thank you! Has probably tipped my decision finally as to which refurbished ultrabook to go for.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2014 18:21:29 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 Apr 2014 18:21:58 BDT
G. Wieczorek says:
A request to Peter Austin: Could you please tell me how did you buy it in Hong Kong? I'm looking for NP900X3C-A0A, but it seems that it's not available in Europe/States...
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