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Samsung Series 9 (15in) review

Tom Morgan
23 Jul 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,200
inc VAT

The first true 15in ultra-portable is expensive, but it’s in a field of its own

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Specifications

15 in 1,600x900 display, 1.7kg, 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5-3317U, 8.00GB RAM, 128GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Samsung has twice refined its flagship Samsung Series 9 since it first launched early last year, but one thing has stayed constant throughout – the 13in display. That finally changes with this latest model, which bumps screen size up to 15in while maintaining the same incredibly thin proportions that made the original so desirable.

Samsung Series 9 (15in)

At just 15mm thick and weighing just 1.7kg, the Series 9 is one of the thinnest and lightest 15in laptops ever. Built from a combination of tough yet lightweight metals, it has a droplet-shaped wedge design that leaves enough room for two USB3 ports, a Mini VGA port and a multi-format card reader on one side of the laptop, and one USB port, Micro HDMI, a 3.5mm headset jack and a proprietary Ethernet port on the other, while still keeping the main body as thin as possible. It’s virtually identical to the smaller 13in version, save for the larger screen.

Samsung Series 9 (15in)

The laptop's display has a 400nit, 1,600x900 panel that’s not only incredibly bright, but a welcome step up in resolution compared to the screens on budget 15in laptops. A matte finish helps keep light reflections to a minimum, and the screen's colour accuracy is superb, although viewing angles are still distinctly average. Thankfully, there’s a huge range of tilt, so we never struggled to find a screen angle that suited us.

Samsung Series 9 (15in)

A pair of down-firing speakers in the underside of the chassis produce surprisingly capable audio, as long as you sit the laptop on a solid surface. Samsung’s SoundAlive equaliser settings let you choose from a range of different bass- and treble-boosting effects, but our test tracks still sounded clean and crisp at the default setting. There’s even a hint of bass, although it’s no replacement for a pair of headphones or dedicated speakers.