Slimming down in style
The battle is on to see who can produce the thinnest Ultrabook. Samsung finds a way round the conundrum by calling its super-skinny 900X3C a notebook
It may surpass all the requirements set by Intel for ultrabook computers, but Samsung is referring to its latest baby, the 900X3C-A001, simply as a notebook.
It's the latest in the Series 9 notebook computers and it's not only super powerful but at 12.9mm thick, it's also the thinnest on the market.
It boots up very fast in about 8.4 seconds and exits the sleep mode in only 1.4 seconds.
And with measurements of 313.8 x 218.5 x 12.9mm and a weight of just 1.16 kg, the Series 9 notebook is highly portable.
When it's folded, the Series 9 notebook has a very aerodynamic look, being curved at the jointed part where the CPU body is connected to the screen while the outer edges are thinner.
To attain the ultrathin profile without compromising performance or functionality, Samsung spent a considerable amount of time researching the series 9 notebooks. All in all, according to Samsung, 9,000 hours have been spent on design sketches and mock-ups and another 24,000 hours for R&D.
To ensure minimum thickness, Samsung says key components such as the LCD panel, keyboard, motherboard, cables, fans and battery have been customised with precision to fit into the Series 9's extra flat single shell body.
As part of this design, its LAN port is separated from the main body and comes in a separate LAN adapter, which is provided with the package. This is a clever design as most of us rarely use the LAN port on a notebook, opting usually for a wireless LAN connection.
It has one USB3 port on the left side along with a micro HDMI port and a port for the LAN adapter. The right side sports a USB2 port, a headphone/microphone jack and a port for a VGA adapter, which you need to buy separately.
Despite its very thin body, the new Series 9 notebook has a SD card port hidden under the right-side edge of the CPU.
Samsung also implemented its MaxScreen technology to minimise the bezel size of the Series 9 notebooks while maximising the screen up to an inch more. This allows the 900X3C-A001 to be about 28 per cent smaller than its previous model.
The keyboard is comfortably to type on. The screen and backlit keyboard automatically adjust to the light conditions using an auto-sensor.
The 900X3C-A001 runs on Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit edition.
The test found that the Series 9 notebook has good performance both for multimedia and business applications.
The pre-installed Microsoft Office Starter 2010 ran fast during the test and I was pleased that the notebook came preinstalled with Cyberlink Youcam application, which allowed me to have fun with the HD 1.3 megapixel webcam.
The notebook has stereo speakers with 3 watts power output, which sounds good with the HD and SoundAlive technologies.
Also preinstalled is the Samsung Easy Support Centre application, which provides system maintenance to ensure excellent performance.
Its Software Launcher is also handy, providing easy access to useful tools, such as Easy File Share and Samsung Recovery Solution.
The 900X3C-A001 scored impressive points when benchmarked with Windows 7's internal benchmark tool.
On the scale of 1.0 to 7.9, it got 7.4 points for the performance of disk data transfer rate because it uses SSD drive instead of a conventional hard drive. And the SSD is also credited for the superfast boot-up time and time for exiting the sleep mode.
The notebook got 6.9 points for the processor's performance of calculations per second.
Surprisingly, although it uses Intel HD Graphics 4000 processor, which is also system memory or RAM for graphics memory, the notebook scored an impressive 6.4 point for both 3D business and graphics performance and for desktop performance for Windows Aero or transitional effect of the OS.
The notebook got 5.9 score for the performance of memory operations per second.
Clad in a mineral ash black aluminium body and designed with fingerprint resistant surface, this sleek little notebook is yours for Bt42,900.
_ Operating System: Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
_ Processor: Intel Core i5 3317U (1.7 GHz, 3MB L3 Cache)
_ Memory: 4GB DDR3 System Memory at 1,600MHz (4GB x 1, DDP Type)
_ Main Chipset: Intel HM75
_ Display: 13.3-inch SuperBright 400nit HD+ LED Display (1600 x 900), Anti-Reflective
_ Graphic: Intel HD Graphics 4000, shared with System Memory
_ Storage: 128GB Solid-state Drive
_ Connectivity: 10 / 100 / 1,000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (Dongle Bundle), Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235, 2 x 2 802.11abg/n (up to 300Mbps), Widi Support
_ Webcam: 1.3 megapixel HD
_ I/O Port: Micro HDMI, Headphone-out / Mic Combo, Internal Mic available, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, 4-in-1 (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC)
_ Preinstalled applications: Samsung Support Centre, Microsoft Office Starter 2010, WildTangent Game Console, Windows Live, Easy File share, Cyberlink Youcam, Easy Migration, Easy Settings, Software Launcher, Easy Support Centre, Fast Browsing
_ Battery: 4-cell battery
_ Dimension: 313.8 x 218.5 x 12.9mm
_ Weight: 1.16kg