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Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus review

A Retina-beating display, new Haswell processor and cutting-edge design. Is this the ultimate Ultrabook?

Our Verdict

If you're looking for a lush screen and stunning performance, then look no further. Just check your wallet at the door.

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 3200 x 1800
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Incredible touchscreen
  • Thin
  • Light
  • Great battery life
  • Powerful

Against

  • Relatively expensive
  • Resolution tricky in desktop mode
  • Bloatware

Samsung was one of the very first PC manufacturers to jump on the Ultrabook bandwagon. It's done a fine job of representing Intel's baby ever since, with some stunning offerings, including the Series 5 Ultra Touch and, more recently, the top of the range Series 9 NP900X3D.

Samsung certainly knows its stuff when it comes to Ultrabooks, but the goal posts are always moving. So what new trick can it pull out of its sleeve for late 2013?

High res screen
It's high-res for sure, but is it too much?

Well, it's new Ultrabook: the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus, might keep the company ahead of the game for a while, at least if its on-paper abilities are anything to go by.

It's a wonderful-looking unit. It's thin and carefully crafted, with just a slither of the all-aluminium chassis peaking through the dark outer casing. But its plain black exterior might lend some clues as to its intent: this is an Ultrabook focused as much on the business user as regular Joe on the high street.

Samsung Ativ 9 Plus

Its main competitors in the working arena are undoubtedly the Macbook Air, Dell's Latitude 6430 and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch.

But unlike those Windows Ultrabooks, the Ativ features the new fourth-generation Haswell processor from the Intel stable, as does the 2013 Macbook Air, which makes it the closest competitor in terms of performance, even though the Air is a consumer device first and foremost.

Samsung Ativ 9 Plus

With Haswell architecture comes various improvements in mobility (outlined here), with an ability to better manage the power it uses than previous generations of Intel chips.

The key gains are proposed longer battery life, lower heat output and better graphics performance. From a business user's point of view, battery life is the biggest concern, but portability is also important.

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus review

It's looking good - Samsung promises 11 hours of usage and the Ativ is also incredibly thin, being just 13.6mm at its thickest point. You'll really be impressed when you lift the lid, and there's no flex either - it really is a solid unit.

At 1.39kg, it's not the world's lightest Ultrabook (that accolade goes to the Sony Vaio Pro 13, at just over 1kg). But it's comparable to the current Macbook Air, which comes in at 1.35kg, and it feels plenty light enough to carry in one hand.

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus review

Tech Specs

Product TypeUltrabook
Green CompliantYes
TouchscreenYes
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 4400
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time12 Hour
Solid State Drive Capacity128 GB
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyATIV Book 9 Plus
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Keyboard BacklightYes
Processor Modeli5-4200U
Operating SystemWindows 8
Brand NameSamsung
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size33.8 cm (13.3")
Screen Resolution3200 x 1800
Standard Memory4 GB
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
64-bit ProcessingYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Total Number of USB Ports2
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Width313.8 mm
Screen ModeQHD+
ManufacturerSamsung
Product ModelNP940X3G
Product NameATIV Book 9 Plus NP940X3G Ultrabook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineATIV Book 9 Plus
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNP940X3G-K01UK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

Mobile Computing Made Easy

How mobile do you need to be?

From among of the world's lightest, to the most powerful, Samsung mobile computers take productivity with you wherever you go.

Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • ATIV Book 9 Plus NP940X3G Ultrabook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter