Samsung Series 5 Ultra 13.3-inch review: Samsung Series 5 Ultra 13.3-inch

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Typical Price: $1,499.00
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Matte screen. Good connectivity. Good touch pad and keyboard. Easy accessibility to upgrade.

The Bad Heat management could be better. Battery life is outdone by the competition. Backlit keyboard is sorely missed.

The Bottom Line It might not have the backlit keyboard or the ultra-long battery life of some of its competitors, but the Samsung Series 5 Ultra is a pleasing laptop all the same.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.0 Overall

The Samsung Series 5 Ultra is a rather nice laptop.

OK, so it has a boring resolution of 1366x768, but it does have a matte screen, and the colours are vibrant — so long as you're within optimal viewing angles. It should be noted that vertical viewing angles in particular could stand to be better, but it's no worse than the rest of the laptops out there.

It also has a reasonable keyboard, beautiful touch pad that allows double finger tapping to represent a right click, a 128GB SSD and enough ports to keep the majority of Windows users happy. Ethernet, USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, an SD card reader, HDMI out and VGA out through an adapter are there, as well as a headset jack. For the size, it's very well apportioned.

The interior is dark, gun-metal grey, at first appearing quite stark, but it grows on you. The speakers are amazing for a device of this size — one of the few instances where we've been impressed by the audio on a laptop.

A single Phillips-head screw removal and a bit of prying will get you into the hard drive and memory bay, should you choose to tweak it. A single DDR3 slot is available, should you wish to expand, while the existing RAM is on-board. Samsung has clearly put a fair amount of energy into making a decent laptop.

As a bonus, you can turn the laptop directly into an access point as you would a mobile device. 802.11n is offered on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrums, and Bluetooth is included, as well.

Application performance

Choose a benchmark: Handbrake | iTunes | Photoshop | Multimedia

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