Samsung hasn’t exactly been known for their laptops. But considering their success in the electronics division it was only a matter of time before they got their feet wet in the laptop department. They have been around for a while, but it looks like their design philosophy from the smartphone/TV division has finally spilled over on to their notebooks as well.
We tested out the 13.3″ Samsung Series 5 ULTRA (there is also a 14″ version) and it was pretty loaded for an Ultrabook. Our version came with a 1.6GHz Intel i5 processor, 1TB storage (the most we have seen in an ultrabook) with 16GB ExpressCache (for those ultra fast boot times), 1GB AMD Radeon graphics card, 1.3MP webcam, optical disc drive and 6GB RAM (upgradable to 8GB) in a package that weighs under 4lbs. You also get 3 USB ports, 1 VGA port, 1 HDMI port and a 4 in 1 multi card slot for your memory cards. Not bad if you ask us. From a looks perspective, as with all the Samsung products in the market, the Series 5 ULTRA is sleek and well packaged. The sophisticatedly simple and refined exterior is a cool metallic aluminum, while the underside is made with fiber glass that’s light but resistant to wear and damage.
We felt the display resolution could have been better. Despite having a dedicated 1GB AM Radeon graphics card, the maximum resolution is pegged at 1366 x 768 pixels. We watched a couple of HD movies on the laptop and were impressed with the darkness of the black colors and how vivid the other colors looked on screen. The same held true for a couple of games we tested out on the Series 5. Using the Mac style trackpad is also easy and we didn’t notice any trailing issues that we have noticed with other brands of Ultrabooks. Multi-tasking doesn’t choke the machine too much considering the amount of RAM that is included, but we did notice significant slowdown in the performance while trying to do some rendering in Photoshop and other activities at the same time. Not surprising considering how much RAM gets used up when trying to render. The chiclet styled keyboard is very easy to use and is water proof as well (which we love – we’ve ruined more than one keyboard before by spilling drinks on them… by mistake of course)!
One of the best features of the Samsung Series 5 ULTRA is its price. You get all the goodies mentioned above for Rs. 53,900 (~$1,078) in India. That’s great considering the other Ultrabooks we have tested cost about Rs. 18,000 (~$360) more! It is definitely the lowest priced Ultrabook around these parts. For what you get for the price, we think the Samsung Series 5 ULTRA is a steal!