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Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook Review

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I was spoiled by the Macbook Air so when I looked for a Windows-based replacement, I looked for something similar in terms of design.  Thankfully, a thin and light Windows laptop is now easy to find with the wide availability of ultrabooks. The problem with ultrabooks, though, is that they are quite expensive. I scoured the mall for the cheaper ones and I decided to get the Samsung Series 5 ultrabook.

What I like about the Samsung Series 5 ultrabook is the size.  For my computing needs, eleven inches is too small and 14 inches is too big.  The 13,3-inch display of the Series 5 is just right.  I also like the sleek design and the fact that almost all ports I need in a laptop are here.

The Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook has a brushed metallic finish to it.  You see it all over the laptop and even on the screen bezel.  The finish is quite good and the details are notably good as well.  As much as I want to stay away from the Macbook Air, it’s just inevitable to compare the Series 5 to Apple’s equally thin laptop.  Samsung has gone a long way in the laptop scene.  The Series 5 is surprisingly good in terms of design you will think it is something Apple created.

The display of the Samsung Series 5 is good enough.  Colors are good and the details are sufficient.  After all, it is a 1366×768 resolution display.  If you hate seeing glares in your screen, you’d appreciate the matte quality of the Series 5’s display.  However, not everything about the Series 5’s display is good.  Viewing the display at angles is quite bad, especially when you look at the display from the top or from the bottom.   The brightness level is also not that great so you will have a bit of a problem using this outdoors.

Audio performance is not stellar but it’s not bad either.  If you need good audio performance, you may have to rely on your external speakers.

The keyboard and track pad are among the best features of the Samsung Series 5 ultrabook. The keys are well-spaced, well-built and are quite a delight to use.  They have very nice tactile feedback yet they are soft.  Touch typing will therefore not be a problem on the Series 5.   The trackpad is also nice on this laptop. It’s sensitive enough and the surface is not too smooth and not too coarse.  Multi-touch gestures work well, although admittedly, not as good as my experience with the Macbook Air’s trackpad. The buttons on the trackpad are also sized right and the feedback is good.  What I don’t like about the buttons is they tend to gather dirt easily. Sadly, this appears to be the case too with the Series 5’s metallic finish.

The Samsung Series 5 offers a lot of connectivity options.  To the left of the laptop are the Gigabit Ethernet connector, a USB port that charges even when the laptop is turned off, an HDMI out slot, and  microphone and 3.5mm jack.

On the right are two more USB ports and a 4-in-1 card reader.  There’s no DVD drive but this is expected since the Series 5 is thin and a DVD drive will only make it thicker.  Be ready to buy an external DVD drive, therefore, if you really need to load CDs and DVDs.   The Series 5 of course has Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth.

The Samsung Series 5 ultrabook is powered by a 1.6GHz Core i5 processor paired with 4GB of RAM.  It runs Windows 7 Basic which is really insufficient for most users.  Storage is 500GB of HDD which is really quite generous. SSD storage is faster than HDD but Samsung compensates this problem with a 16GB Express Cache which improves boot speed and makes loading the most used apps faster.   The overall performance of the Series 5 is sufficient for most computing needs. This is not a gaming rig obviously so it’s not good with the graphics-intensive stuff.  Battery life is about 6 hours on the average and a bit longer if you’re a light user.

Compared to the other ultrabooks in the market, the Samsung Series 5 is cheap.  It can be purchased now from P24,000 to P27,000.   This is one of the advantages of the Series 5 over other ultrabook offerings.  For the price, the Series 5 is worth it, especially if you are an average user with equally average needs.

Likes

  • Sleek design
  • Light
  • Good keyboard and trackpad
  • Generous connectivity features
  • Cheap

Dislikes

  • Poor screen viewing angles
  • Metallic finish gathers dirt easily

Rating: 8.3/10

Vivo X21

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