Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite NP915S3G-K01US 13.3-Inch Laptop Review

The Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite NP915S3G-K01US 13.3-Inch Laptop, is, as its name suggests, small, lightweight and easily portable, yet has managed to retain many of the features that you would expect to find in bulkier, more expensive models.

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite NP915S3G-K01US 13.3-Inch Laptop

Driven by Samsung-optimized, AMD quad-core processor running at up to 1.4GHz, and fitted with 2MB of L2 cache, this machine should be easily able to cope with routine computing tasks. Checking email, updating social status, surfing the web and using standard productivity applications should all be well within its capabilities.

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The processor is supported by 4GB of DDR3 memory, which should be enough to allow the installed copy of Windows 8 to perform reasonably well, particularly within the limits of the kinds of tasks that this computer is likely to have to deal with on a regular basis. Of course, the more memory a system has, the better, and, although the installed 4GB of RAM should be sufficient, it would have been nice to see more in this machine. Unfortunately, there is no option to increase the amount of installed memory – 4GB is the maximum that the machine supports. Again, this isn’t a fatal limitation, especially in view of the machine’s expected workload, but it would have been nice to have the option.

For permanent storage of documents, images, music, movies and, of course, software applications, the machine is equipped with a 128GB Solid State Drive (SSD). SSDs are much, much faster than conventional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) and are less susceptible to damage from the inevitable knocks and bumps that afflict every portable computer. They are, however, considerably more expensive, particularly for large capacity drives. The 128GB drive installed in this machine is, therefore, a sensible compromise between lightning-fast operation, reasonable storage capacity and cost; it should provide more than enough storage for most purposes and be fast enough to allow the machine to start up or launch applications in a fraction of the time taken by machines equipped with conventional HDDs. And, of course, if more storage space should be required, it is an easy matter to connect an external hard disk to one of the machine’s USB ports.

It’s worth noting that the machine does not include an optical CD / DVD drive. Again, this is a reasonable compromise for a machine of its size, weight and likely usage patterns, and shouldn’t come as any great surprise or pose any significant problems. However, if you think you might need an optical drive, you will need to purchase an external USB drive.

Pros :

  • AMD Quad-Core 1.4 GHz Processor
  • 28 GB Solid-State Drive
  • 4 GB DDR3 Memory
  • 13.3″ LED HD, 1366 x 768, 16:9, 10 Point Capacitive Touch Screen
  • Windows 8
  • Up to 5.5-hour battery life

Cons :

  • Underpowered for serious gaming
  • No Optical Drive

The machine’s 13.3-inch, LED backlit, 1366×768 pixel, HD, 10-point capacitive touchscreen is driven by an integrated AMD graphics card. It should be more than adequate to cope with everyday applications, but may struggle with more demanding tasks, such as modern games. That’s not entirely surprising, as this machine isn’t – and doesn’t purport to be – a gaming laptop; it’s an easily portable device intended to get routine tasks done well on the move, for which it is perfectly well suited. The touchscreen, in particular, should make it easy to work with the new, touch-focused features built into Windows 8.

Of course, there will be times when you need to use a larger display than the 13.3-inches built in to this laptop. For those occasions, the machine offers a Micro HDMI port, enabling you to connect the laptop to an HDTV or modern monitor. If you need to connect to an older monitor or projector with a VGA port, a dongle (sold separately) is available for this purpose.

Other input / output ports include one standard USB 2.0 port and one high speed USB 3.0 port. The standard USB 2.0 port is best used for connecting relatively undemanding devices, such as printers, to the laptop, while the USB 3.0 port is suitable for use with peripherals that need to transfer lots of data at high speed, such as an external disk drive. This port also support Sleep-and-Charge technology, which enables the machine to charge USB-powered devices, such as cell phones and MP3 players, even when then computer is sleeping or off.

Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported, making it easy to connect wireless devices, such as mice and headsets, to the laptop. Staying with wireless connectivity, the machine offers 802.11 b/g/n WiFi for wireless networking, while a Gigabit Ethernet port allows for connections to wired networks when required. A three-in-one multi-card slot (SD/SDHC/SDXC) and a headphone / mic combo jack round off the usual array of sockets and ports.

As you would expect from a moden laptop, the machine features a built-in 720p HD webcam, making it video-chat capable right out of the box. The supplied copy of Windows 8 includes Skype, so you don’t even need to install any extra software – just sign in to your Skype account, or sign up for a new one if you don’t already have an account – and you’ll be chatting with your friends and colleagues in minutes.

The machine’s Mineral Ash Black aluminum case measures 12.76″ x 8.82″ x 0.69″ (L x W x H) and weighs just 3.48lbs, making it small and lightweight enough to take anywhere. And, with a battery life of up to 5.5 hours, you can be sure you won’t need to stay within reach of a power outlet to get anything done.

Overall, the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite NP915S3G-K01US 13.3-Inch Laptop should be an excellent choice for anyone looking for a small, easily portable laptop for routine tasks. Its touchscreen makes Windows 8 easy to use, and sets it apart from other machines in its class. It definitely isn’t going to cope well with demanding software such as games, but for day to day tasks on the move, it could be just the machine you’ve been looking for.

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