As you know, in the tech industry, things move and change at the speed of thought. It’s been two months since we were alone with Samsung’s near-Ultrabook darling, the Series 9 Notebook. That evaluation revealed the glory of the product’s performance and craftsmanship. We dug deep and unearthed very few flaws. They were not only enough to mention, but enough to make some wait for the promised revision to the Samsung Series 9.
The wait is over! The 2nd generation Series 9 has launched as the Samsung Series 9 NP900X3B . We don’t have a model in the GR labs, just yet. So let’s toss what we know about the original in a bowel next to the known specifications of the revision, and see which stays crunchier in milk. Make note: Each product is titled Samsung Series 9–only. You will need to know the model number if you want to walk away with the correct version.
Right out the gate, each unleashes a barrage of compelling eye candy–like two peacocks vying for our adoration. Except, instead of vibrant colorful plumage, the dueling Series 9s attempt to wow us with sleek slim form factors and swimsuit model thinness. Each benefits from being encased in duralumin, making both lightweight and durable. Other common external features include the 13.3-inch LED HD display, backlit keyboard and small collection of connectivity options. All of this glamour helps with the allure of each. Yet the aesthetic commonalities end there.
As we mentioned before, the original Series 9 is a looker. However, the revised edition is the younger slimmer sibling. It beats the original in just about every key aesthetic we could want. The original was thin (0.63 inches). The revision is thinner (0.5 inches). The original was also anorexic–weighing in at 7lbs. The Series 9 revision must subsist on its good-looks alone. Refusing to be outdone, it weighs in at 6.7lbs.
Winner: 2nd Gen Samsung Series 9 (NP900X3B) has all that it’s older sibling sports in a slimmer and lighter form factor.
The innards of each compact combatant are virtually identical. They both run very peppy and swift 1.6 Intel i5 Processors. Each has 4GB DDR3 system memory (expandable to 8GB), a 128 GB SSD, stereo speakers, 1.3 megapixel web camera, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi adapter and high speed Bluetooth functionality. The tale of the tape shows both are ready to work hard and party harder. So there’s no clear winner here. It’s worth mentioning; Samsung does offer a 15-inch display model, with all the above listed trimmings and 8GB of memory.
All the other usual suspects are in attendance and shared by both models. For instance, the revised version is also held down by the cumbersome HDMI-out and LAN adapters, with the former being sold separately. Each sports 2 USB ports, headphone jack, mic port and microSD slot.
Winner: Tie. Each benefits nicely from an impressive spec sheet.
The 13-in HD LED display on each of these lap-loving gladiators produce vivid and vibrant images. In truth, the only functional difference is also a scale-tipping advantage. You guessed it; it’s the display resolution! Samsung has heard the cry of mobile users from all over the nation. The somnolent-inducing resolution of 1366 x 768 simply will not cut it. So the revised model now thumbs its nose at the older, blurrier sibling with a more acceptable 1600 x 900 resolution and 400nits of color on its LED display.
Winner: 2nd Gen. Samsung Series 9 (NP900X3B) takes the win with its laudably improved display resolution.
Cost of Entry
Here’s where things get interesting. Surprisingly the original has gone up in price, since our coverage. It now sits on Amazon for $1149.99. But here’s the kicker: 2nd generation Samsung Series 9 is only $225 more, ringing in at $1374.99 on Amazon! If you waited to see what the 2nd generation would be about, then the proverbial should hold very true for you, “Good things come to those who wait.” And the revised Samsugn Serie 9 is more than a good thing.
Winner: Tie. This one didn’t come easy. The original is cheaper, but only by a couple C-notes. I feel a thinner and lighter design coupled with a much more pleasing resolution is worth the extra cheese.
Let’s be clear; the Samsung Series 9 is fantastic product. The model we had in the lab was an absolute breath of fresh air to work on. Things could only get better with the revision. It’s a must have, unflinchingly nabbing potential suitors who may have otherwise gone with a MacBook Air or similar Ultrabook.
Shawn loves gadgets, literature, history and games. For 10yrs+ he's straddled both the comic book & video game industries, as a writer, editor, marketing officer & producer. Shawn got his start in tech & games as an editor & Hardware Director for GameRevolution.com. More notable accomplishments include Executive Producer on mobile games Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved & The Shroud.