Samsung 900X3A review
Samsung's black beauty of an ultra-portable laptop is one of the first with an ultra low voltage Sandy Bridge processor, but is it good enough to take on the Apple MacBook Air? Read our full review of this slender new computer to find out.
We're big fans of thin and light ultraportable laptops here at ITPRO. Unless your laptop is never going to leave your desk or office, we don't see the point in a laptop that's so big and heavy it's uncomfortable to carry around.
Previously known as the ZX310, Samsung's sleek and stylish new 900X3A is remarkably thin - it's just 19mm at its thickest point so it's not much thicker than the cord of the battery charger. It's lightweight too at around 1.33kg, making it easy to carry around all day.
The black brushed metal construction looks and feels very classy. It feels robust too, although it flexed under pressure more than we'd like, especially when compared to the remarkably rigid build of the latest MacBook Air.
The 900X3A comes equipped with a 1.4GHz Core i5 2537M processor. This may sound slow, but paired with 4GB of RAM it managed a reasonably quick overall score of 31 in our cross-platform applications benchmarks. This was no doubt helped by the processor's Turbo Boost ability which can temporarily up its clock speed to 2.3GHz when applications demand it. It's certainly faster than the ageing ultra low voltage Core 2 Duo processors that Apple still uses in the MacBook Air.
Unfortunately its battery lasted just five hours and 50 minutes which is shorter than the 13 hour 13in MacBook Air as well as many other ultraportable laptops and netbooks. We were hoping for more given both the energy efficient ultra low voltage processor and the long battery life of previous Samsung laptops.
Its slender build means that the ports are hidden behind flip-down doors on either side of the laptop, just like the very first MacBook Air released back in early 2008. This makes plugging in cables more fiddly than we would like and that the tightly-spaced ports make it too easy for a chunky cable or peripheral to foul an adjacent port.
On the left hand side there's a USB3 port, a micro HDMI connector and proprietary socket for an Ethernet adapter which is included in the box. On the right hand side there's a USB2 port, a combo headphone/microphone jack and a microSD slot useful for transferring files to and from an Android smartphone, but of little use for copying photos off digital cameras which rarely use microSD cards.
Digital document processes in 2020: A spotlight on Western Europe
The shift from best practice to business necessityDownload now
Four security considerations for cloud migration
The good, the bad, and the ugly of cloud computingDownload now
VR leads the way in manufacturing
How VR is digitally transforming our worldDownload now
Deeper than digital
Top-performing modern enterprises show why more perfect software is fundamental to successDownload now