We thought that Samsung was sending us just another Windows based laptop- you know the story, each new model is a bit lighter, faster and with a better screen. But we were proven wrong.
When you initially open the packaging, you realise something is different. This isn’t just another run of the mill laptop; it has thrust Samsung into a new realm of stunning industrial design, a position that Apple alone used to occupy.
We were surprised that while it was just 16mm thick and made of aluminium, it felt solid and didn’t flex at all when being moved about. This is because it’s just not any aluminium, but what Samsung is calling Duralumin (essentially an alloy of aluminium with copper). But in addition to its strength, its black brushed finish is visually stunning as well.
Its keyboard is backlit, its function keys cleverly arranged and its screen incredibly bright. We especially loved the wireless on/off button above the keyboard, which means that you can’t knock it off while it’s sitting on your lap. Another favourite was the screen, which lived up to its billing as SuperBrightPlus - in-fact, we turned it down a little as it was so incredibly clear and bright.
The 900x doesn’t have a traditional hard drive with moving platters (somewhat like a magnetic version of an old fashioned LP), but a new breed of storage called Solid State Drives. This SSD storage is more akin to the memory card in your digital camera, so it uses less energy and is lightning fast. This combined with its new Intel Core i5 “Sandybridge” processor means just 12 seconds to boot up and just 2 seconds from hibernation mode.
We loved the battery life of the unit, which regularly offered over 6 hours of use from a full charge and didn’t seem to get anywhere near as hot as many laptops when being used on a lap.
When creating a device like this – incredibly power efficient, fast, light and thin - something has to be sacrificed. In this instance, it doesn’t include an optical drive, so your CDs and DVDs are out. It includes just a single USB 2 port, so you may need a hub. If you plan to plug it in by Ethernet you need to use the included adapter (Samsung thinks you should be wireless, clearly) and the model we tested only included a 100GB drive (probably because SSD storage is still relatively pricey). But these sacrifices seem well worth it when you look at the gains.
PROS: Stunning industrial design, Speedy (thanks to its solid state drive and new processor). Backlit keyboard, bright screen, excellent battery life.
CONS: The finish does get marked with finger prints.