The Samsung Ativ Book 9 has one of the sleekest and most solid designs of all the best ultrabooks we reviewed. The Ativ doesn't feel flimsy, and it has a soft finish so it won't be scratched when it's in your bag. The 3200 x 1800 LED touchscreen panel is one of the highest resolution displays among the best 13-inch touchscreen ultrabooks, but you may notice that text, especially on websites, is too small if you don't zoom in. We wish there were a chance to upgrade beyond 4GB of memory, especially since 8GB is almost the industry standard at this point. With 4GB, you can still run multiple programs without any drop in performance, but it is an unnecessary limitation. The hard drive is a 128GB SSD, which is upgradeable to a 256GB SSD. If you can get past the limited amount of RAM and you don't plan to use this computer to play 3D games, you will love almost everything about this ultrabook.
The Ativ Book 9 is one of the few ultrabooks that implements Intel's new Haswell processors. The i5 quad-core processor has speeds that range between 1.6GHz and 2.6GHz with Turbo Boost technology. The drawback to this ultrathin laptop is the HD Graphics 4400 GPU, which isn't what we would expect to see for such an expensive computer. The GPU functions just fine, but it is limited in its ability to tackle 1080p video editing or to play newer video games.
This ultrabook's display is its best feature. With a 3200 x 1800 resolution, it is the highest resolution touchscreen ultrabook of all the products we reviewed. LED SuperBright Plus technology gives the computer clear color and sharp contrast with wide viewing angles. The touchscreen supports multi-touch gestures, so you can swipe between programs and even rotate the screen. One issue we noticed with such a high resolution 13.3-inch screen is that text on websites and in applications is a bit too small to read, so we found ourselves zooming in when we needed to read anything.
This ultrabook is just half an inch thick. The chassis is more firm than even our top-rated ultrabooks, which also means there is no flexibility to the design. There are two USB 3.0 ports, a micro HDMI port and a VGA port, but you'll need dongles for the last two. An additional multi-gesture touch pad supports the already responsive touchscreen. The Ativ has up to eight hours of battery life with normal use.
We love the experience we get with Samsung's support. Twitter is the best way to contact support because there is always someone monitoring the account. You can also head to the website to find BIOS and driver downloads, as well as a community forum.
There are a few setbacks to owning a Samsung Ativ Book 9, such as limited memory and a weak graphics card. Although the laptop is very expensive, the beautiful display is the sharpest on the market, and the Ativ Book 9 implements the touchscreen technology that we love to see on ultrabooks incredibly well. With its 4th generation Intel processor, you may want to see what this ultrabook can do.
This Ativ Book 9 features the newest Intel technology and has touchscreen capabilities.
There is no option to expand the memory beyond 4GB. What you're really paying for is the slim design and high quality display.
A flashy design and 4th generation processor give the Ativ Book 9 an edge over some competitors, but the lack of upgradeable options brings it back down to earth.