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Samsung ATIV Book 9 Ultrabook updated with Broadwell CPUs

Tom Morgan
4 Jan 2015
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2,560x1,600 resolution gives Samsung's flagship laptop the display edge over MacBook Air too - but will it come to the UK?

Samsung's pre-CES announcements were primarily focused on TVs, but that hasn't stopped one PC-related reveal from breaking ground before the show officially begins tomorrow. The Ativ book 9 Ultrabook will be getting an upgrade for 2015, with Intel's latest Broadwell Core M processors increasing battery life over the outgoing models.

Although Intel has yet to reveal official Broadwell details, the Ativ Book 9 will use an ultra-low Core M model which should be perfectly suited to basic web browsing, office and multimedia work, yet last over ten hours on a single charge. It will also be completely fanless, as the processor produces so little heat under load that there's simply no need for one.

The 12.2in laptop has a 2,560x1,600 resolution display that can boost brightness as high as 700nit with Outdoor mode activated. To put that in perspective, most laptops have a maximum brightness of around 250-300nit - you certainly shouldn't struggle to work on the 2015 Ativ Book 9 outdoors, even if the higher brightness will impact battery life.

Samsung has also added a Wolfson lossless DAC with native FLAC file support, which should give it the edge over the competition in terms of audio. The keyboard has been updated with a "scalloped" design that should be more comfortable to type on, but otherwise the design hasn't changed a great deal from previous models. That's a good thing, in our opinion, as the all aluminium Ativ Book 9 was one of the closest competitors to Apple's MacBook Air in terms of looks and build quality.

The 2015 Ativ Book 9 will run Windows 8.1, enhanced with a selection of Samsung-specific security features including the ability to lock down the webcam and microphone, in case you're worried about people using it to spy on you, and a shortcut key to hide individual programs when working in public.

The 2015 Ativ Book 9 is expected to go on sale in the next few months, with a base price of $1,199 for 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. A more expensive model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage will set you back $1,399 in the US.

The only question remains whether UK shoppers will actually be able to buy one. Samsung has officially retreated out of Europe with laptop sales, and although it's still possible to pick up existing models here in the UK there's no indication as to whether we'll be left out in the cold. With Samsung's CES press conference less than a day away, we'll hopefully have an answer soon.

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