Prizefight: Samsung 9 Series vs. Apple MacBook Air
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Prizefight: Samsung 9 Series vs. Apple MacBook Air5:06 /
It's a battle between the top 13-inch ultraportables on the market. Apple and Samsung bring designs like no other, but who delivers the goods under the hood? Find out!
What's up Price Fight Fans? I'm Brian Tong and this is a blockbuster battle between 2 of the thinnest 13-inch laptops. It's a price fight throw down showdown between Samsung's 9 Series and Apple's Macbook Air. Our judges for this fight are senior editor Dan "I think I can" Ackerman, senior associate editor Scott "The Bottom Line" Stein, and Brian "Can't Go Wrong" Tong. Now, we'll take all 3 judges blind scores and average them out to the nearest 10th each round, the final price fight score will be an average of all rounds using the same decimal system. This is going to be classic, so who's spin it, so win it. Round one is design. Samsung 9 Series looks like a piece of modern art with its gorgeous wrap sheath metal design. It's plastic vessels is a fingerprint magnet, but it's thinnest point is 0.02 inches thinner than the Air's thickest point for those of you that carry, come on, we know who you are. Now, there's still nothing on this planet that could match the superior design of Apple's Unibody Macbook Air. It's blade design. It's super thin, lightweight and sturdy. This is just another iconic stud in Apple stable. Both laptops are mazy and should be praised for raising the bar and ultra thin design, but Apple is still at far above the rest. It gets the perfect 5 and the 9 Series gets a 4.3. Next round is features. Samsung's 9 series just brings it when it comes to features with a Core Core i5 processor, double the RAM at 4G and a back lit keyboard. Yes. It maxis out with 128 G solid state drive and there's flip out port for an Ethernet dongle, HDMI out, 2 USBs, audio out, and a microSD card slot. Now the Macbook Air improved from its predecessor with 2 USB ports and an SD card slot. There's also a mini display port for video out and audio out on the other side, but its Ethernet dongle takes up a USB port when used. A differentiator is its Multi-touch trackpad with gestures, but you'll have no backlit keyboard. The biggest option is the ability to double the storage to 250 G, but that's more of an option and not a feature. The 9 Series takes this round with a 4 and the Macbook Air gets a 3. So, after averaging 2 rounds, Samsung leads by 2/10 of a point with plenty of fight left. Round 3 is performance. These 2 laptops are surprisingly evenly matched. You might think Samsung is 1.4 GHz Core i5 would destroy the Air, but it's low voltage processor has similar performance with the Air's 1.8 Core 2 Duo. Now, here some of our benchmark test where Apple did score faster in 2 of the 3 tests, but neither of these thinnest were able to separate themselves in graphic performance. Apple's wake up from sleep almost an instant on, but this one is too close to call and we're calling this round even at 4.3. Next round is battery life. With ultra portables, the amount of juice you have to go the distance is key. Samsung was able to squeeze out 5 hours and 22 minutes of life from our battery drain test, while Apple Macbook Air was just under 5 at 4 hours and 58 minutes. The 9 Series is almost 30 minutes better and that's top of the class for this laptop category. It takes this round with a 4.3 and Apple gets a 4. So, after averaging 4 rounds, Samsung still holds on to its to its 2 tenths of a point lead, but anything can happen here. The final round decides it all is valued. These are ultra portables, not netbooks, but a premium classic laptops using solid state drives with a premium price match. Samsung 9 series will cost you, get ready for this one, $1,600.49, which makes Apple's pricing look like a bargain. It will scare consumers initially, but there's more to it. Now, I purchased a coverage plan for all my laptops and the Samsung price includes 3 years of warranty. Now, Apples Macbook Air at $1200.99 isn't the cheapest for a 13-inch, but again that's not why you're paying attention to this, you can double the hard drive to 256 G, and you will still be cheaper than the 9 series at 50.99, but the Air only comes with a 1 year warranty and it's $249 to get Apple cares 3 year coverage. That put these 2 in the same ballpark, but 1600.49 still scares people. Apple takes this final round with a 4 Samsung gets a 3. So, let's average out all 5 rounds and in a price fight that was neck to neck without any room budge, Apple takes the final round pushing it just over the top 4.0 to 3.9 and is your price fight winner. This is price fight where you really can't go wrong, but in the end the Macbook Air prevails. I'm Brian Tong, thanks for watching. I will catch you guys next time on another Price Fight.