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Laptops Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Samsung NP900X3A-B01 review

£1099 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Samsung

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The Samsung Series 9 notebook was an early attempt to emulate the Apple MacBook Air, and now the Samsung Samsung NP900X3A-B01 has had a small processor boost.

Samsung's NP900X3A has been around longer than Intel's ultrabook campaign, though it would fit comfortably into the category anyway – Samsung was an early imitator of Apple’s designs.

In fact it was the original pretender to the MacBook Air throne as the thinnest and lightest laptop around. Since we first reviewed it, it has received an update with a faster processor.

However, it isn't that much faster - on paper, the Intel Core i5-2467M is a newer model than the Intel Core i5-2530UM sported by the NP900X3A we saw in May 2011, though the updated model achieved 101 points in WorldBench 6 - only seven ahead of the older model. 

While on the surface this isn't too shabby, the 11in MacBook Air and Asus Zenbook UX21E use the same processor to much greater effect, the latter outscoring the Samsung by 15 points. 

The reduced performance isn't limited to processor - the battery life is also not up to snuff compared to its competitors. We ran the Samsung NP900X3A-B01 for 303 minutes - a shade over five hours - yet other models with a 50Wh lithium battery ran at least an hour longer.

Even the Asus Zenbook UX21E, with a 35Wh battery, lasted longer. If that weren't enough, there's another issue - the Samsung NP900X3A-B01 runs hot and gets noticably warm on the underneath when it's been running for just a few minutes. Its fan seems to run more frequently too. 

But it isn't all bad news. The backlit keyboard is a cracker, easy to use no matter the lighting conditions and with nice, large, well-spaced keys. 

The screen, while far from showing the best colour depth or sharpest definition, doesn't have a glossy finish so is more comfortable to read. It's also arguably a good-looking design - Samsung has chosen a black finish in contrast to the lighter tones of the MacBook Air. But some may balk at the plasticky gloss black construction.

Samsung NP900X3A-B01 Expert Verdict »

Samsung Series 9 900X3A-B01UK Scores 8.3 out of 10 based on 3 reviews
1.6GHz Intel Core i5-2467M
13.3in matt LED-backlit
1366 x 768
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
4GB DDR3-1333MHz 128GB SSD
Integrated Intel HD 3000
microHDMI
stereo speakers
headphone jack
mic input
1 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 2.0
802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 3.0
gigabit ethernet
micro SD card reader
webcam
50Wh lithium polymer non-removable
329 x 226 x 17-19mm
1.33kg
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 7 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

It's such a shame that the Samsung can't squeeze a bit more speed from its processor or more life out of its battery, as it is a rather nice laptop. The backlit keyboard and non-reflective screen make it very easy to use in all kinds of environments. We especially like the ports at the side which can be hidden away when not in use.

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