The Samsung Series 9 13″ 900X3A-A01CA Review – The Kingston Angle and The Final Verdict

Concurrent to all of this happening, I had mentioned to a good friend David Leong, Marketing Director at Kingston Technology,  that I had purchased the Series 9 and he wondered if he could impose upon me for a bit of a favor.  He went on to question whether their new HyperX PNP DDR3-1866 RAM would work in the Series 9 and what kind of a performance increase we might see.  I had to shake my head for a minute and think.  Are you crazy David?  Of course I would throw in 8GB of the fastest notebook RAM available and send it immediately!

Installation was no more than shutting the system down, switching off the single Samsung chip for the two Kingston chips and rebooting.  I have yet to have a chance to run any other tests due to my wifi frustrations but WEI jumped from 4.6 to 7.3 in memory Performance.  The specific model of the HyperX RAM used can be  found here.

THE JURY IS OUT

Getting back to where we started which was a bit of a comparison between the MacAir and the Samsung, we find that the Samsung Series 9 is selling for about $300 more than the Mac Air.  The question then becomes one of whether the upgrades are worth the money.

With respect to performance, I believe that the i5-2537 is a huge jump right off along with 4GB RAM and I understand that the MacAir may have better resolution but the brightness (400nit) and viewing angles of the Samsung Series 9 are undeniable.  It then comes down to  a simple question of whether I might pay the extra for the other benefits to include matte screen, backlit keyboard, longer battery life, more appealing and more durable exterior, and, well, it has a smaller footprint (.06″) now doesn’t it?

I truly expected to be taking this along and proudly using it amongst the sea of Macs in the press rooms of Computex in Taipei in a few weeks.  I am itching to get a detailed review out on the 128GB ssd and the newer soon to be released 256GB version.  This laptop truly is exactly what I have been in search of for years and, well, its not hard to fall head over heals for the design.

The question for me is whether I will be able to hook in to the wireless when giving lectures, when compiling articles at CES, Computex and the many hours I spend in airports playing on the laptop.  The wifi is an undeniable issue and unless Samsung can find a solution, well, this will go back for a refund.  I may get weak and try my third. Who knows?  It truly is a love affair with the wifi being the heartbreak.

I have contacted Samsung and am waiting for return and promise to update this article with any news of the positive.  It would be a wonderful thing showing up in Taipei with the Samsung Series 9 by my side.  For now though, back she will go… lets try #3 if I can find one.

Pg1 – Introduction and System Characteristics

Pg2 – System Interior and Performance

Pg3 – The 128GB SSD and A Bit of An Issue

Pg4 – In Jumps Kingston and The Verdict

FOLLOW DISCUSSION IN OUR FORUMS!

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aaster mond
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aaster mond

Are there different models of this same computer or releases of this model that are causing frustration that we should avoid? Is 128 gb enough memory? Great article by the way but will you make a page 5 about a mouth later if you have heard about a new model coming out? What are your video card graphic thoughts? Does Aero work? I am suffering ‘nmldr error’ from nvidia which is tragic…. good day mate SITE RESPONSE: The article will be updated and a follow up will be posted when new information is received from Samsung. There are several models… Read more »

DrNorm
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I am about to purchase this same unit…but also “concerned” about WiFi issue which is now pretty well accepted as a problem around the forums. I do have one EASY solution, however, which I am using to rationalize my decision. I plan to buy a USB N-WiFi adapter (only US$25-35) to have for emergency b/u in case native signal strength is bad. Perhaps I’ll need to use it all the time? Certainly, when I’m using it on an airplane I have no need for WiFi so I will reap all the benefits of this machine w/o the “problem”. Then, if… Read more »

MarkP
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MarkP

The WIFI issue is a real pity. I would LOVE to buy this laptop, but cannot justify spending so much and then having to use a 3rd party WiFi dongle to get a decent connection.

Come on Samsung! Fix it please, or at least comment!

Bill Lee
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Bill Lee

Great review, I can confirm the same wi-fi problem with my 900X3A-A01 I bought from Amazon UK it has the Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 adapter but is behaving exactly as you describe. An external USB Linksys adaptor confirmed this for me. I hope for a simple fix from Samsung because I loving the unit in all other respects.

Steve
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Steve

Anything from Samsung yet? I just bought this laptop in Canada and I have no problem with the wifi. It runs consistently 8-10mb/sec peaking at 15 sometimes. This was from walking around my house. I’m going to my local Starbucks tonight to test the wifi on an open wifi connection. I’ll let you know how it goes.

SITERESPONSE: Nothing from Samsung yet!

Kevin
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Kevin

Hi Steve, so does the wifi works on an open connection?

Thank you for your reply