Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Samsung Series 9 900X1B Subnotebook Review

Samsung wants to continue the success of the series more 900X3A 900X1B 9. The South Korean company fuses performance and battery life in an ultra-slim case and elegant, probably duralumin. Read this review if Samsung has launched its first market ultrabook 900X1B and if the Apple MacBook Air 11 must redouble its efforts.

A thin case made of a material called duralumin little known, high-performance computing good for a car and last but not least, a high quality screen is the basis for a successful subnotebook. Samsung surprised us all with the new 9 Series for the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The series includes the recently reviewed Samsung Series 9 900X3A subnotebook with a 13.3-inch screen, among others. Amazement was followed by disappointment that the lower 900X1B was to be sold exclusively in the U.S. market today. About six months after CES 2011 to launch the smallest member of the series took place in Germany.

As for looks, Samsung continues, we tested the image of his older brother 900X1B Series 9-A02. This also applies to the clearing and the features offered. Mat, 11.6 inches with a resolution of 1366x768 pixels acts as the screen.

They are rarely used Intel Core i3-2357M ULV processor with a clock frequency of 1.3 GHz and Hyper Threading support functions inside. 4 GB RAM, Intel GMA 3000 HD graphics and a capacity of 64 GB of SSD are part of the setup functions. The extent of the interface was reduced to the essential, but it is still state of the art with the mini-USB 3.0 and HDMI.

In addition to 3D, and the trend of smart phones, tablets, was sure of ultra-book category of the Intel started. Among the various devices with 11.6 and 13.3-inch screens. The UX21 and UX31 examples would be Asus, Acer Aspire S3, the Lenovo U300 and Toshiba Portege Z830.

Samsung 900X1B play right here in the league, and is available immediately. Other vendors can not serve this. Samsung has done its ultra-book. We 900X1B-A02, goes against 999 (RRP) and is aimed at exactly the price range for this new category of devices. 

Specifications Samsung 900X1B-A02 :
  • Processor : Intel Core i3 2357M 1.3 GHz
  • Mainboard : Intel HM65
  • Memory : 4096 MB, DDR3, 1333 MHz, onboard
  • Graphics adapter : Intel HD Graphics 3000,
  • Display : 11.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, Samsung SEC3052, diagonal: 13.3 inches, WXGA, SuperBright Plus, 340 Nit, glossy: no
  • Harddisk : Samsung MZMPA064HMDR, 64GB SSD, mSATA, built-in
  • Soundcard : Intel Cougar Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
  • Connections : 1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphone out / microphone in, Card Reader: micro-SD, proprietary port (RJ45 adapter)
  • Networking : Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Broadcom 802.11n (abgn), 3.0 +HS Bluetooth
  • Optical drive : no
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 15.9 - 16.5 x 298 x 197.5
  • Weight : 1.072 kg Power Supply: 0.196 kg
  • Battery : 42 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 4 cells, 5680 mAh, 7.4 volt, built-in
  • Price : 999 Euro
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
  • Additional features : Webcam: 1.3 Megapixel, subnotebook, 40 watt adapter with power cable, adapter to RJ45, cleaning cloth, recovery and software DVD, documentation, Adobe Reader 9, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, Windows Live Essentials, Cyberlink YouCam, Norton Internet Security (trial version), Norton Online Backup, Skype, WildTangent Games, Word Capture, Samsung software, 24 Months Warranty, colors: black, Duraluminium case, 2x 1.5 watt stereo loudspeakers, built-in microphone with noise cancelling technology, SRS 3D sound effects, backlit keyboard, ambient light sensor
There is no doubt that the Samsung 9 Series with the polarizing design. Around the black case looks elegant and timeless. Silver casing with rounded edges and provide a nice accent. The choice of material, this subnotebook is also a mixture of Duraluminum, which is found to be greater torsional stiffness compared to pure aluminum.

Consistent design makes an impression. This is particularly due to the same material is used, with the exception of the screen frame. The criticism is, however, apply to: Matt brushed surfaces are very sensitive to fingerprints and not easy to clean polished frame, or read the keyboard.

Samsung has naturally hidden interfaces, through which a simple plastic cover does not fit the shaky image. If stability is impressive at this low height and weight. The rest of the interpretation on the keyboard and the wrist slightly, while clearly under strong selective pressure.

The display cover can not keep the image. It can be easily twisted and waves develop on the screen. Therefore, interfering with the LED lighting when pressure is applied to the outside. You should try to the screen with the utmost care, because cracks are heard when twisting. This therefore could lead to a crack.

See the total weight of the lightest subnotebook Samsung is true only £ 1.07. For comparison, a Lenovo ThinkPad X121e is considerably heavier than 1.55 (31%), Apple MacBook Air 11 Mid-2011 is a heavy one and is not yet available on the Asus UX21 Ultra-Book is also in this region, and 1.1 pounds.

The case is at the bottom is sealed. However, it can be opened after removing eight screws that are cleverly hidden under the rubber feet and many hooks. The interior is dominated by a Big 4-cell battery. RAM is directly soldered to the motherboard and can not be replaced. The built-in SSD memory is inserted into a connector MSAT.

Samsung also is behind the ports of two covers on the left and right sides of the box on this device. Unlike 900X3A, are two small "sliding doors". The most important interfaces are installed in the form of a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 port, microphone and a HDMI connector for micro SD card reader. Samsung has opted for an audio port and a proprietary combo connector that connects via RJ45 adapter for space reasons.

Usually, a satisfactory picture, despite a docking port on the basis of an HDMI device and is not relevant to the delivery. There is no reason to complain about the distribution of the interface. However, always lift the device to access a port because the port position and the relatively low down. Although a bit annoying, apparently there is no alternative to this design.

There is only one thing to hope the information through an integrated module for 3G UMTS wireless internet. Otherwise, everything is the latest standard, 802.11n WLAN, Bluetooth 3.0 + HS, and even Gigabit LAN. However, with the adapter is not connected to the cable network.

The 900X1B comes in a carton complex of high quality. In addition to laptops and reference material, the corresponding RJ45 adapter, a DVD and recovery software and an adapter 40 watt with power cord are included in delivery. The latter is less compact than the power cord adapter included with the Samsung Series 9 900X3A with cumbersome connector system. A rather silly gadget of supply is likely that the handbag included for sub-notebooks packing.

The installed software bundle is consistent with the usual standard. In addition to Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, PDF Reader and maybe Skype is a lot of bloatware installed, and we recommend that you remove all of the following programs. Norton again proves to be particularly peeving as he repeatedly jumps on the screen in its own window with a message.

Samsung warranty period for 24 months the device. Warranty Plus is available for 79 euros to 139 euros (RRP), and contains 36 or 48 months of on-site warranty for pick-up (the date of purchase). Updates must be registered within 90 days from date of purchase.

Samsung has announced the use of high-quality screens for the range again to display in your way during the CeBIT 2011. The company presented this screen 900X3A very bright in the recently revised, as we never had before in our offices. The Samsung Series 9 9001XA has a 11.6-inch matte screen is to continue this trend in premiums.

The screen SEC3052 model is average with a native resolution of 1366x768 pixels in 16:9 format. Windows 7 is not compatible with any level of resolution. However, an external monitor can be connected via the HDMI port micro. The appropriate adapter is unfortunately not within the scope of supplies and must be purchased separately (€ 29 Samsung).

Display shines a maximum brightness of 357 cd/m2, as measured by the instrument, Gossen Mayo Monitor and a good average. Also latest version of Apple MacBook Air 11 is to admit defeat at this point. Small LEDs light up the screen for a 87%, when the brightness is reduced to the left and right according to our feet. However, this difference can not be seen with the naked eye.

Other measures confirm the use of high quality TN. The contrast (420:1) and the value black (0.8 cd/m2) are not as good as the brightness, but still impressive. The black color reproduction is saturated and the contrast must also comply with viewers.

The professional user will also discuss the range of reproducible colors. Verdict: The device is not suitable for professional use, since the range sRGB is not reached. The 900X3A However, do not do much better in comparison.

The combination of a matte display surface, good brightness and contrast ratio is seen in an appropriate outdoor use. Despite the reduction in battery mode brightness (279 cd/m2), the content remains legible even in direct light incidence. Reflections of the environment, as seen in the Apple MacBook Air 11 in mid-2011 with a glare-type screen, not a problem.

The stability of the end viewing angle overall impression of the screen. Stable Render horizontal curves to close permanently and no deviations. The vertical plane is not as generous, but the differences remain within the limits for a cheap TN screen. Overall, an impressive display is entitled to first place in this category.

The heart of the Samsung Series 9 900X1B subnotebook has an Intel Core i3-2357M Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) dual core processor with a clock speed of 1.3 GHz 2x. Unlike Intel Core i5-2537, which is installed in the 900X3A, the smaller version of our model does not have the automatic overclocking function, also known as Turbo Boost 2.0.

The low energy loss (TDP) of 17 watts, a 3 MB L3 cache and support for Hyper-Threading technology (2 cores, 4 threads) are maintained. The HM65 Intel creates the basis for this architecture (Cougar Point 2.0, B3 stepping).

Similarly, the joint-Sandy Bridge processors, DDR3 memory controller and Intel GMA 3000 HD graphics are installed. Memory controller can handle up to 16 basically GBS. However, RAM is soldered to the motherboard, and so firmly, 4096 MB configuration is also the largest.

The instrument is solid state memory size of the paper and MSAT Samsung (MZMPA064HMDR, 64 GB). You can change when you remove it from the bottom plate. We will discuss this topic during the review.

Maxon CPU benchmarks begin our journey. Intel Core i3-2357M scored 4661 points in Cinebench R10 (64 bit) and multi-threaded rendering and ranked in the bottom third of our database. AMD new A4 3300M APU or more Intel Core i3 380UM processor is at a similar level. The 900X3A with an Intel Core i5-2537 m processor has only slightly ahead of 5127 points (10%).

Cinebench R11.5 confirms the dual core ULV processor is a small relatively poor performance (1.2 points). Intel Core i5-2537 m can get an advance of 22% (1.4 points) in this benchmark. The low power processor is not noticed in the use of routine, with Solid State Drive (SSD) and the system generally works smoothly, without long boot times.

The Intel GMA 3000 HD graphics are not convincing in the game of synthetic benchmarks. With a score of 1392 points in 3DMark 06, the 900X1B is in the bottom third of our database and is surrounded by laptops with an integrated GMA Arrandale HD.

Most 900X3A achieved a score of 2788 points in a different resolution (1280x768 pixels) and has an advantage of 50%. However, the difference in resolution should be considered. In general, this is a pretty mediocre performance and 3D graphics unit before one for multimedia use.

The Solid State Drive Fast pay into the system of benchmarks from Futuremark, which assesses the total package given. Configuration reached 5787 points in the PCMark Vantage slightly older, and is therefore in line with various multimedia notebooks without SSD.

For example. HP EliteBook 2560p or Samsung RF711-S02DE with a quad core processor and other 900X3A scores improved by 50% with a total score of 8657 points. Placement 900X1B well in the midfield from the top is confirmed in the last 7 PCMark (2355 points).

Solid-state drive form factor mSATA is the choice when space is a problem. Samsung to rely on their production model that offers the gross capacity of 64 GBS. SSD is a good overall impression, which has a maximum transfer rate 247 Mb / s (read) to 172 MB / sec write.

Ticket price is impressive. Samsung Card can not remain at the forefront III SATA SSD, though. In theory, you can replace the card. In practice, not a lot of options, and costs are relatively high. We recommend a fast memory card Micro SD memory expansion option.

Game Verdict
The combination of a low-power processor and integrated graphics unit is overloaded in its gaming performance. Rates are at their limits, even in the graphs of the slopes unpretentious and minimal settings. The refresh rate (fps) is constant in the red, the field unplayable in recent games. Overall, it is a unit for office applications and multimedia. Casual players will not be satisfied with the Samsung 9 Series 900X1B.


System Noise
Thank you to the SSD and lack of an optical drive, case fan to be even the only source of noise in 900X1B. We measured a maximum of 32.9 dB (A) in desktop mode (inactive). The fan is mostly inactive, and the unit is silent in most cases. This corresponds to a speed of 27.4 dB (A) in our gauge (background noise in very quiet environments). The fan is active during loading and unloading an average of 39 dB (A). Fortunately, the fan does not whine and be seen as a uniform noise. A bonus point is rapid decrease in fan speed after loading.

900X1B copies of his older brother and always kept fresh in standby mode. A difference in the off state is not noticeable. It looks different in our stress test with Prime95 and Furmark. Temperatures at the top quickly nasty fall in the range red.  The difference is significant, with a maximum of 53.1 ° C in the area of ​​air outlet and an average of 36 ° C at the top. The keys and the wrist is still important ergonomic pleasantly cool in this extreme situation, however.

Given these external temperatures, you have to take a look. Main CPU temperature for up to 70 ° C at the beginning of our stress test tools such as Prime95 (CPU) and Furmark (GPU). After several hours of rising temperatures, but remained within the limits with a maximum temperature of 85 ° C. We note that these fees can not be seen as an (approximate rate hwinfo), raw. CPU thermal limitation is not produced in accordance with these observations.

With an output power of 1.5 watts each, the two stereo speakers are not unusual, but the noise is an acceptable print. The light spots and high diffusion, even places deep basses are to some extent. An obvious disadvantage is their location on the bottom of the unit.

The sound changes and intense depending on the surface. The maximum volume is more than adequate and does not affect the reading. However, stakeholders can not replace good external speakers or headphones can be connected via 3.5 mm jack or HDMI combo.

Battery Life
The clear differences in the waste heat is also reflected in the rate of consumption. The subnotebook is between 5.3 and 9.3 watts in standby mode and consumes far less than some netbooks. One reason for this is energy saving Intel Core i5-2357M-ULV CPU, which is specified for a loss of power (TDP) of only 17 watts, with the GPU. 9 The largest series 900X3A consumes nearly twice the sample with a maximum of 16.6 watts in office.

Energy consumption naturally increases in load, but is still acceptable, with only 29.9 watts. The AC input power at maximum power of 40 watts is not even close to being exhausted. 900X3A The difference is much smaller with 4 watts in this test. A look at the simple test shows that the stress test the CPU, Prime95, 23 watts, claims for itself. Off-state consumption, respectively, before, nothing unusual at 0.1 and 0.2 watts.

Less than 900X1B hood, 4-cell lithium polymer battery with a capacity of 42 Wh credits most of the space available. The advantage of lithium-polymer battery is usually a better battery life and options for adaptation, because the battery is made of sheets of very thin electrodes. Unlike the common-ion battery, the downside is a longer battery life (165 minutes).

Back to battery life: Classic BatteryEater test system loads with a maximum brightness of display, the keyboard lights on and activated WLAN. The battery capacity is fully utilized in 2 hours and 29 minutes in this scenario. Contrary to what is nine hours and 13 minutes is only possible when reading a text document (reading test). The screen brightness is reduced, and the light of the keyboard and WLAN adapter has been disabled for this test.

The systematic use and therefore a practical measure is called "surfing via WLAN." The brightness of the screen is at a comfortable level and the WLAN module is enabled for this test. With a battery life of 5 hours and 56 minutes, the subnotebook is basically good impression since it is only a 4-cell battery. The placement of the internal energy is a disadvantage. The change should only be done by a dealer.

Samsung Series 9 900X1B the starting line in the form of a thin, elegant subnotebook with an awesome job, Matt, and, above all, an impressive 11.6-inch HD and good battery life. Together with the i3-2357M Intel Core ULV processor and a fast 64 GB solid state disk (SSD), the combination adds that leaves a lot faster than the parameters of the portable system. This presentation does not apply to performance 3D integrated GMA 3000 HD graphics unit.

The subnotebooks earn bonus points with more input devices, low weight and overall dimensions. The device configuration is done by the state of the art, is that the interfaces are limited to the essentials and a 3G module can not find a place inside.

The time required to recharge the battery case temperature under load is more negative points. If you are looking for a sleek subnotebooks with a performance of proper application and offside Windows from Apple MacBook Air 11 in mid-2011, you will be just to Samsung.

Although the company does not explicitly market a series of nine "ultra-book", the devices fulfill the requirement of a few points in the Intel catalog. Samsung Advantage: Both great 900X1B 900X3A We looked at this and are now available. Our test equipment is sold for 999 euros (RRP), including value added tax.

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