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A year ago, if someone had told me that a 15-inch notebook would be lighter and thinner than most 13-inch ultra-portables, I would have called them crazy. Yet, Samsung has done just that with its new Series 9 15-inch. This system weighs less than 4 pounds and is just a hair over half an inch thick. But thinness isn't everything: Inside that svelte chassis is a super bright display, Core i5 processor, 128GB SSD, and 8GB of RAM. This is really a system to check out.
It's as if Samsung put the 13-inch Series 9 on a medieval torture rack, and gave it a good stretch. The 15-inch Series 9 looks essentially the same as its smaller brother, albeit with a larger footprint. The entire chassis is a bluish-gray aluminum uni-body that looks as sleek as any Ultrabook I’ve seen seen, and resists fingerprints well. I also like the shiny edges, which adds just the right amount of pizzaz, and widens gracefully toward the hinges to accommodate the ports.
In what's become standard for most Ultrabooks, the Series 9 has a 1.6-GHz Intel Core i5-2467M processor and 128GB SSD, only here it's beefed up by 8 GB of RAM. If I should compare this system to anyother ultra book out there, I would say this machine here is really fast and eficient. Thanks to the blazing 128GB SSD, the Series 9 15-inch, I duplicated a 4.97GB folder of multimedia in a mere 33 seconds, for a rate of 154.2MBps.
As a company that makes TVs for a living,I am glad that Samsung included such a bright, high-resolution panel in the Series 9. Its 15-inch matte display has a high resolution of 1600 x 900, and a brightness of 399 lux, which is almost 100 lux above average, and blows other panels out of the water.
They also minimized some of the ports on the Series 9 in order to accommodate a healthy selection. The left side has a powered USB 2.0 port, as well as a microHDMI and a micro Ethernet port. Samsung thoughtfully includes an adapter for the latter; I only wish it also included an adapter for the mini VGA port on the right side. At least you get two full-size USB 3.0 ports. Also on the right, a hinged door covers the SD card, but still maintains the graceful lines of the system.
You can't remove the battery in the Series 9 15-inch, but that shouldn't be a problem. The notebook lasted 6 hours and 59 minutes which is still about 15 minutes longer than the ultra-portable category average out there.