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CNET First Look
Samsung Ativ Book 9: $1399 ultra hi-res ultrabookThe Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus Plus keeps the same sleek, attractive design as its predecessor but mixes in a glaringly high-resolution, touch-enabled display.
Hi. I'm Scott Stein and you know, it was not so long ago that I really loved this Ultrabook and it was called the Samsung Series 9. And now, years later, Samsung has gone up and changed the name. They're calling it the Book 9 and there's two of them. There's the Book 9 Lite and the Book 9 Plus. It's part of the ATIV Series, which is really oriented towards Windows computers. The point being that the Series 9 is still out there, it's just changed names and gone into a witness protection program of sorts, this is the Book 9 Plus and it is the rebirth of the Series 9 and it's pretty awesome but you're gonna pay a little bit extra for what it offers. Let me tell you about it. It's a 13-inch Ultrabook. There are a lot of these out there. Why are there so many? Do you really need this many? Well, this is a pretty nice basic Ultrabook under the surface. Four gigs of RAM, 128-gig SSD, core i5 processor or the 4th gen, the new one that has better battery life, so that's nice. What you're getting here that's pretty, pretty slick is a touchscreen first of all, or the crazy resolution, 3200 by 1800. So, it's one of the highest resolution displays out there. What do you need that for? I mean, you know, you could actually put your desktop in a some sort of crazy, tiny, microtext mode. But everything just looks really crisp, really readable, you don't have to have the text be that small but it's got fantastic viewing angles. Anyway, we always like the Series 9 screen and it's gotten better. But you are gonna be paying $1399 for this laptop. That's about $300 more than you're gonna pay for an equivalent MacBook Air with the same type of specs under the hood. So, what you're paying, that upgrade price for here really mounts to that screen. Now, it's a pretty nice screen, really nice high resolution and if I were shopping for a Windows Ultrabook at this point, this would probably be the one that I would gravitate to because I like touch for Windows 8 and I like the fact that it's a bright crisp screen and I love the design. This is really one of the smallest book print, thinnest designs, metal, feels rock solid, the track pad is good, it's a really good solid overall package. It makes me happy. And I wasn't a big fan of the Samsung Book 9 Lite because of its more plastic design and the fact that the processing was not quite as fast. But then again, that amounts to about half the price of the Book 9 Plus. That language may make you think about going for that $749 laptop. But in my mind, I'm already paying about $1,000 so it's a matter of whether you're gonna pay a couple hundred dollars less or a couple of hundred dollars more than that thousand dollar baseline. Nevertheless, this is the Samsung Book 9 Plus and it's the one that I'm more positive about. I'm Scott Stein and that's a quick look at the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus.