Samsung Series 5 Ultrabooks Get Early Review

Posted on 22 February 2012 by

We spent a lot of time with the Series 5 Ultrabooks at CES, did a good series of tests and, given the competitive price, we’re quite impressed. [List of previous Series 5 articles here.]

The 13.3” Series  5 is already shipping in Germany so expect full reviews from that part of the world within days but there’s already a nice detailed review up at 3DNews, a Russian website, who also appear to be happy with the Ultrabook. They’ve got some ‘naked’ pictures too!

The test results are for a Core i3 version of the Series 5 (Samsung 530U3B, Samsung 530U4B) which we weren’t aware of until now.  Processing performance isn’t in the same league as the Core i5 and Core i7 Ultrabooks but there’s important information about the screen, battery life and build quality in the report.

The screen is average in terms of brightness, contrast and gamma which matches our own opinion. The efficiency appears to be good. For web browsing the tester measured 5-5.5hrs which aligns with our tests and most Ultrabooks that average about 8-10W in this scenario. In terms of build quality there are some questions raised about the plastics used although given the price, I don’t think you can expect much more. The plastic finish may also have advantages for Wi-Fi reception, suggests the report. There are no showstoppers being reported.

At 1.4KG the Series 5 13.3” isn’t the lightest Ultrabook and for the weight, the HP Folio has a significantly bigger battery but in most areas the Series 5 is going to be a lot cheaper than the HP Folio.  Acer will have to drop the price of the S3 if they want to remain competitive in the low-cost Ultrabook sector. If you’re looking for a lightweight 14”er with DVD drive at a good price, the Series 5 14” is about your only choice.

One feature that might clinch the deal for some is the access port at the rear. Memory and HDD upgrade (7mm height only) should be no problem.



A translation of the review is available here.

  • Robert

    Thank you Chippy, for diligently getting us these nuggest of information, will you be able to talk to Samsung Germany as to when the new updated Samsung Series 9 will be in the shops here?

    • Chippy

      Yes. UK availability is just days away. I will be chasing up Samsung Germany for their local information too.

      • Robert

        Hello Steve, any feedback from the UK about how the samsung 9 is being received? I´d wish Samsung Germany would let us know they it´s available here!:-)

  • Robert

    Thanks alot :)I am glad it comes to the UK soon, hopefully Germany does not have to wait too much longer!

    • Chippy

      Latest on Germany that I have is ‘early Q2’ so it could be some time behind the UK. This information was from Jan so I’m trying to get an update now.

  • Julio

    Chippy, I would like to know your opinion about the fan position (just in the bottom, and centered). I think it could be a problem. Thanks.

    • Chippy

      You mean a problem when using on lap, pillow, etc?

      • Julio

        Yes, Chippy. That’s what I mean.

        • Chippy

          I’m going to have to check. There’s often fan input through the keyboard. I can’t remember what I wrote after testing at CES last month! Will have a chance for full testing soon as I’m on the list for a review sample.

  • Tim

    Hi Chippy,

    This might interest you – release date and pricing for series 9:

    • Chippy

      Yup. I saw that earlier today and have already drafted an article. Just waiting for some feedback from Samsung Germany so I can add something useful. Thanks for the tip. Keep them coming.

  • Juhwan

    I am very confused what this product is… is it a mistake? 15.6″ & AMD CPU? weird…

    • Chippy

      I looks like a mistake. the model number is for an Intel based device and the CPU listed is a 45W TDP part. NP530U4B-A01US is a Core i5 model.

  • Robert

    Hello friends :-)

    does anybody know how big a usb or sd card either
    the current or the new samsung series 9 can work with?
    I mean can it tak 64 GB usb and sd ? How about the new 128 GB sd´s i have seen ?
    This way one could easily double ones 125 gb ssd storage :)I could keep my personal and entertainent files on the sd and carry it in the device and keep the ssd for the basics.

  • Dirce

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