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Samsung Series 5 14in (530U4B) review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £850
inc VAT

Is a slightly bigger screen and a DVD drive worth £100? We don’t think so, but the 14in Series 5 is still a great mid-range Ultrabook


14 in 1,366×768 display, 1.8kg, 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-2467M, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

If you’re sold on the idea of an Ultrabook but don’t want to give up your optical drive, Samsung’s 14in Series 5 might be the laptop for you. It’s only 20mm thick and weighs just 1.8kg, but it still manages to squeeze a DVD re-writer in to a stylish silver chassis and it won’t weigh you down when you’re mobile. It’s essentially a slightly larger Samsung Series 5 13in.

Samsung Series 5 14in

We don’t think the extra screen space makes a huge difference in everyday use because both the 13in and 14in models have the same 1,366×768 resolution. However, the 530U4B has a very bright 300nit screen, so you should have no trouble using it, even in bright sunlight. The screen also has a matt finish, which helps reduce light reflections even further. We had no trouble finding a workable viewing angle, but colours still looked a little washed out unless we sat directly face-on to the screen.

Samsung Series 5 14in

Like its smaller brother, the 14in Series 5 does away with an SSD in favour of a larger mechanical hard disk and a small amount of flash memory. Samsung calls this Express Cache, although it’s based on Intel’s Turbo Cache technology. We noticed that it improved start-up times by almost 30 seconds, but its performance still fell behind that of a dedicated SSD. Thankfully, it didn’t impact battery life significantly, with the 530U4B lasting almost six hours in our light-use test.

Its main components, such as its dual-core Intel Core i5-2467m processor running at 1.6GHz and 4GB of RAM, are similar too. The CPU can use Turbo Boost to reach 2.3GHz for extra performance in certain situations, such as our multimedia benchmarks, helping it to score 34 overall. That score isn’t remarkable, but the 530U4B should speed through common tasks such as web browsing and word processing.

Samsung Series 5 14in

Unfortunately, its larger chassis still doesn’t have room for a dedicated graphics card, so the processor’s integrated GPU is assigned rendering duties for 3D games. It can’t manage a playable frame rate in modern titles, as its average frame rate of 13.4 in our Dirt 3 test shows, but you’ll still be able to watch high definition video on the 530U4B’s screen or an external display.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor Intel Core i5-2467M
Processor clock speed 1.6GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 1
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 8GB
Size 20x333x230mm
Weight 1.8kg
Sound Realtek HD Audio
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 14 in
Native resolution 1,366×768
Graphics Processor Intel HD 3000 Graphics
Graphics/video ports VGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory 384MB


Total storage capacity 500GB
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n
PC Card slots none
Supported memory cards SDXC, MMC
Other ports minijack headset port, 1x USB 3.0


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included Microsoft Office 2010 Starter Edition
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year international
Price £850