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Customer Review

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dream laptop but seriously let down, 30 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Samsung Series 9 NP900X4C 15-inch Laptop (Black) - (Intel Core i5 3317UM 1.7GHz, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit) (Personal Computers)
I've been longing for a laptop that's quiet without whistling fans and disk drives, that runs cool, boots quickly, reliably switches on and off with the lid, good battery life, and light enough to load into a bag with one hand, so the Samsung 9 was irresistible for me. OK, it's aluminium and feels like a wet fish on a cold morning, and it has a wide screen, good for movies but not to work on A4 portrait documents between ribbons top and bottom. Also, the SSD only has "128Gb", quite small these days. I will put up with these minor negative points in the interests of peaceful working. At last, a manufacturer has noticed what I want.

I switch it on and find that the disk has been partitioned automatically to make room for the "Samsung recovery solution", about 25 Gb, though when you visit the software it advises 50 Gb are needed. Somewhere the (mostly good) manual says you cannot adjust the partition later (though you cannot read the manual until you've switched the machine on). Elsewhere it implies that you can adjust it, though presumably this means losing your downloaded software with a complete reformat. I tried and failed to remove the partition before I'd loaded too much on. Result? You get just 45 Gb of space for your own use on the SSD according to Windows Explorer at first boot up. Aside from the recovery solution, Windows 7 and Samsung's own software take up the other 80 or so Gb. Surprising isn't it? And not what you are led to believe when you buy a £1000 laptop advertised as "128 Gb". Among the Samsung software, I've found a use for the "Easy settings" software which is good, but the rest I'll probably never look at. Windows 7, of course, is its usual bloated self. I hate the confusing filing system and that no one at Microsoft thinks it worthwhile to hire a logical editor for their cryptic messages.

Next, I connect the laptop to our wired local area network which requires a special dongle because Samsung have fitted a special micro LAN port. Both ends of the dongle are wobbly, leading to an unreliable internet connection, i.e. don't touch it once it's working. I email Samsung at the address in the Warranty leaflet asking for a replacement. I'm not hopeful it'll be better but there does not seem to be another make on the market. I also asked why the HDMI connector I purchased for an LG Flatron TV monitor failed to connect it with the laptop. Neither Windows nor the Intel graphics chip can find the extra screen. So is the micro HDMI socket on the machine just bluff or do I need some simple advice? I get an automatic email reply telling me to try the recovery solution. If you need lessons in how to really annoy your customers, see if you can get a job on the help desk with Samsung.

I do love the actual laptop and will keep it. If the designers had not done such a good job, it would be 1 star, not 2. It's a pity they've been let down by others. In summary, you'll like this laptop if you avoid wired LANs, HDMI connections unless you know what you are doing, bulky software or data of your own unless you plan to carry external storage, and don't bother asking Samsung for any after-sales service. Oh, and the hi-fi sound through a pair of bluetooth (wireless) headphones is excellent.

Update after 3 months use: The LAN connection was fixed with a better LAN cable. I got the 2nd screen working after buying the VGA (?) adaptor (£30 or so). It's great to use in 'dual view' mode because you double your screen size and can overcome the letterbox effect of the low height of the laptop screen when working on A4 documents. I gave up getting the HDMI screen connector to work. Presumably, it's one of those advertised extras that you learn from the manual may not be present on your machine. You also must buy a disc reader to load any software (+£25 or so). The trackpad works for me though with the occasional quirk. The keypad is definitely annoying me. The keys are so shiny that your fingers slip off them unless well positioned. They also have very little spring force behind them so you can only use the laptop by hovering your fingers over the keys. You dare not rest any weight on them at all or they respond. An RSI problem in the making in my opinion. The keyboard backlighting is useless because it's so faint. The best things about this machine are its total quietness, quick boot, and its portability.
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