The Samsung Series 9 13″ 900X3A-A01CA Review – Power of The SSD and A Problem

The 128GB solid state drive within the Series 9 is Samsung through and through.  It contains their S3C29MAX01 processor along with 4 modules of Samsung K9PFGD8U7M RAM, each being an incredible 32GB in size. Last but not least their is the Samsung K4T2G3140E cache.

blankQuite frankly, we never expected this little SSD to hold the power that it does.  After all, its only about the height of a 25 cent piece and 1/3 the size of a business card.  Admittedly, I tested this over and over again just to confirm the results that you see here:

blankThose, ladies and gentleman, are the top scores to have ever been published for a SSD of this size.  Would you believe Samsung is about to introduce a 256GB version?  Isn’t this what we have all been waiting for; performance and capacity in a small form factor?  Couldn’t motherboard manufacturers simply solder this to the motherboard right off?


HIRE ME!  Trust me when I say that making this mSATA SSD, and the future 256GB release, available to the public will reap huge rewards.  Its performance, thus far, is untouched by the any other in the industry.  Heck, I will even work on commission alone.


This next part of the report is very hard to write.  In fact, just thinking of compiling this has put a knot in my throat and I had to get a drink.  As perfect as this system seems, there seems to be one flaw that is becoming more evident in all corners of the internet.  I have sent requests for assistance off to Samsung contacts and should they respond, I will immediately append the article.  For now though, we just have to say it like it is.

When I first started using the system, I immediately noticed a weak wireless signal in my home.  As I have 3 separate laptops, I elected to run comparisons with each side by side.  In fact, not 20 feet away from my Wifi-N router, the Series 9 struggled to hold the signal.   Tests were immediately necessary and this was what I initially observed.  Notice the spikes in the graph:

blankAs much as I didn’t mind the 6Mbps speed, I couldn’t download anything because it kept dropping the downloads.  It was like my new Sammy was on a roller coaster.  As much as I hated to do it, it had to be returned.  Residing in Canada, this meant some serious hunting to find another Series 9 and then returning it to a store that was very reluctant to make the exchange.

Actually, the exchange was refused and I reminded them of their 30 day return policy to which I explained that I was returning this one and buying that one.  So off we went with our second series 9.  This is what we found with this one:

blankThe picture on the left is my Acer Timeline and the picture on the right is my treasured and new Samsung Series 9.  The router is 5 feet away from both laptops and I hate to admit that I was very concerned.


I discovered the reasoning, quite by accident if you would believe it.  I was determined to fix the problem and had the back cover placed but not screwed on while I held the laptop at different heights in the office.  The cover moved and I noticed that the WiFi signal increased dramatically.  That led to further examination and a realization that the WiFi signal may be disturbed by the metal casing.

For my next test, I simply balanced the laptop on its side and conducted speed tests while removing and replacing the cover.  When the cover was on, the result was under 1Mbps which increased to sometimes above 15Mbps as I slowly removed the bottom plate.  The exact opposite was true as I replaced it.

To clarify, this is my personal observations which match quite of few others on the internet at present.  There are also several who have stated that they haven’t experienced WiFi difficulties so my observations lie within the confines of my testing and I cannot comment on any others.


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



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    Thank you for your excellent article on internet signal problems with the Samsung Series 9 laptop. I too am experiencing identical problems with the internet signal and disconnections. If you receive any break-throughs please let me know!! Very many thanks, best wishes, Kevin (England)

    SITE RESPONSE: Thank you Kevin and we are in first hand contact with Samsungs product development team regarding the wi-fi issue. When the resolve is implemented, we will be the first to post and most likely review.

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    Great article. I so want to buy a Samsung 900X3A, but cannot afford for the WiFi to be remotely dodgy. I hope the Samsung guys find a solution. And maybe they’ll bring out the 256 GB SSD soon.

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    Yes, excellent review. It was on the strength of your review that I purchased the laptop yesterday, with the thought that I had 14 days to return it if I encountered the serious wifi issues you had. So far I have not, but I do have one major concern with the SSD: Windows 7 only says it it 99GB in size! I know there is a long standing debate about the “ever decreasing size of the Gigabyte”, in stated drive size vs actual usable space, but this seems crazy and is a deal breaker for me.

    I don’t want to take back the laptop as it is every bit as awesome as you say, but can anyone shed any light on why this might be the case?

    Cheers, Vince

    SITE RESPONSE; The size is attributable to their OS and the hidden recovery partition. If you elect to do a fresh install of Win7, it will look much better.

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    I read that some people had wifi issues and setting your router to say G mode only and not dual b & g solved the problem for them, worth a try.

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    Thanks for that write-up and pictures. I, as someone who has done a lot of WiFi testing with three 13.3″ Samsung Series 9 laptops, agree that the Duralumin case is most likely causing the WiFi problem

    Also, as you now know, the 256GB SSD that Samsung supplies in the Series 9 is not the little SSD like the 128GB one.

    @ John,
    No, setting the router to G mode only (or B mode or N mode etc.) does not make any difference. I have testing extensively with 2.4GHz, 5GHz, B, G, N modes, different routers, switched internal WiFi adapters, changed antenna locations, etc. etc. My WiFi tests are fully repeatable. This weak WiFi is a problem that Samsung still needs to fix.

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    well, i just went to control panel } hardware and sound } devices and printers } device manager } network adapters } broadcom 802.11n network adapter } right click “properties”

    1. go to “driver” and update it
    2. after go to “advanced options”
    3. and only change these settings:
    bandwith capability = 20/40 mhz
    bluetooth collaboration = disable
    ibss protection mode = disable

    for me, its been working great, the wireless signal now is stable, not drops of signal bars, and also the connection speed has improved…..

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      If it works thats great! The unfortunate reality in our experience is that all have a great signal when seated in their normal wifi area but then see different when the system is used at different venues or in different parts of the home.

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    Hi! Did you delete my comments on the solution I’ve found for the wifi issues? I’ve posted them yesterday. I’ve since written an article on my technical blog that wraps up the issue with some screenshots that show the PING results before and after changing the power savings settings for the wifi adaptor. I’ve taken the liberty of referencing your artivle on my own text because if it was not for the wifi problems you’ve reported I wouldn’t have thought of testing the PING performance… Here is a link to my article:

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      Hello Felipe,

      I did not delete any comments and have looked this over carefully. While it may assist the problem in some cases, we find that the problem exists given consideration that much of our testing is with the system plugged in and with the OS reinstalled which would change the power settings. Tx ahead.

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      Hello Felipe,

      I did not delete any comments and have looked this over carefully. While it may assist the problem in some cases, we find that the problem exists given consideration that much of our testing is with the system plugged in and with the OS reinstalled which would change the power settings. Tx ahead.

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    Wouldn’t a carbon fibre cover fix this problem, still maintain the light weight and durability ? I seriously interested in buying a couple of these laptops for myself and also as a gift but this causes me great concern. Would appreciate your thoughts on this idea.

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      Nice idea but I am going to bet cost is prohibitive for such! Personally, I would love to get my hands on a carbon fibre laptop[…just the look alone would be amazing as I have a similar bike helmet!

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    Hi Guys,

    Felipe’s advice definitely helped me. But to be very honest, the best solution I found was to buy an extra nano usb wi-fi adapter n150 from Netgear which costs 12 euros.

    Ok, one of my usb ports is always occupied now, but at least I have a fast and reliable connection in this ultra fast laptop.

    It was not the most beautiful solution, but it was quite cheap and very effective.

    Hope this helps.

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    the samsung series 900x3a-BO3ca (canada) is one of the older models and is therfore likely to have these wifi problems? i ask because i can get this laptop for $600.
    thanks in advance

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