CNET First Look
Samsung's budget touchscreen ultrabook switches to AMDThe Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite has a lot of plastic and a different processor, but is it a better laptop deal?
Hi. I'm Scott Stein and we are already in the middle of holiday shopping season, it seems. So what are you gonna buy when it comes to the gold old fashion laptop? Laptops are around, of course, there are Windows ones, there are Mac ones. In the Windows world, what do you have that's not a tablet transformable thing in [unk]. What do you have that something that is an everyday type of computer that's not gonna cost a lot? But we've seen touch Windows ultrabooks floating around for a while, that $800 price pretty good that a lot of those models have been discontinued. Samsung had the Series 9, which was a great sleek MacBook Air alike in the Windows world that got renamed the Book 9 and then got split into 2 different products, the Book 9 plus and the Book 9 Lite, which is what we're looking at here, a more affordable spin on the Samsung Book 9/Series 9 a long time ago. But you're giving up quite a bit I think to get down to this price. It's $800, maybe $749, depending on where you shop for it and it's got a touchscreen, which of course a lot of Windows 8 laptops have now and it's got a sleek-ish design but it's plastic and it has a difference processor than a lot of ultrabook instead of an Intel Core i5 or i7. This is an AMD Quad-core processor and it's not specified particularly which one it is. It's a custom AMD processor that Samsung has inside this laptop, plus your 4 gigs of RAM, 128 SSD. But a pretty plasticky feel, no backlit keyboard and, you know, the ports are a little bit trunk and down, micro HDMI, which a lot of people may not be a fan of. Let's get down to the processing here. The quad-core AMD processor is fine but it's not as fast as others in our benchmark test so you're giving up there and the battery life is about 5 hours, which is not that great now. You can get battery life of up to 8-hour plus range to a lot of laptops are throwing out there with 4th gen Intel processors based on what we have seen. So, is it worth it? Man, I would it get it if it was on-sale, something like $600. But $749 seems too expensive if you were a Samsung design fan or you're using the Samsung app eco-system, Samsung does have side-sync on here, which allows you to connect and use a Samsung phones, certain ones in the Galaxy line and show the phone on here as the second screen. But I would hold out try to find an Intel-powered one or something that's maybe pay up a little bit more than $900 or $1,000 if you really want something better or you could see what's discontinued out there. Honestly, we've seen $800 ultrabooks that matched this performance and once that are even more affordable. So, look around out there on Amazon and see what else you could find the Book 9 Lite, noble effort, little too expensive and not a fan of the processing power. I'm Scott Stein and that's the quick look at the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite, also available in Lite.