Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook Review – Livestream Videos Now Available

Posted on 11 March 2012 by

I spent 2hrs testing the Samsung Series 5 (530u3B) in front of an audience this evening – the best way to review!

Series 5 playlist

We didn’t find any showstoppers but we did find an empty memory slot. You can see an upgrade to 8GB in the fourth video in the playlist below but in the other three videos I give you a deep dive into the Series 5.

A summary and full review of the Samsung Series 5 is coming soon but if you have questions in the meantime, I’ll be monitoring the comments below for your questions.

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  • SomeGuy

    Does anyone know if Samsung is coming out with any new 11.6″ ultrabooks/notebooks? I’m hoping for a similar size to the NP300 at 10.9″ x 7.9″ x 1″ instead of the larger but slightly thinner Asus UX21 at 11.7″ x 7.7″ x 0.7″.

    • rik

      Once these manufacturers are done with competing with thinness, I’m hoping they focus on the other dimensions and battery life. Footprint and battery life are important features of mobile computing too. I don’t mind sacrificing thickness for a bigger battery.

  • Damien

    Saw ur review ytd, it’s great stuff! Bought samsung ultrabook today and it’s really light and fun to use, even for work.

  • Robert

    i´m excited about steves statement that fanless laptops will be the next step aww would that be good some time ago also i heard about some scientist developing a battery a different kind which would make laptops go 20 hours or so on one charge, i cant wait for this technology to reach the market.

  • Adam

    Hmm… Comparing these guys to the Refurbished NP350 with a ULV Core i5 CPU (yes, they have ULV CPUs available now) makes for an interesting spec and perf comparison.

    Display: Series 5: 13.3″ 1366×768; NP350: 12.5″ 1366×768
    Thickness: Series 5: 15.9mm; NP350: 20.3mm
    Weight: Series 5: 1.39 kg; NP350: 1.35 kg
    Storage: Series 5: 16GB SSD & 500GB HDD; NP350 500GB HDD
    CPU: Series 5: Core i5 2476M ULV; NP350 Core i5 2467M ULV
    Battery Capacity: Series 5: 45Wh; NP350: 47Wh
    Battery Life: Series 5: 80% of capacity after 1500 charges; NP350: 80% of capacity after 1000 charges
    Sleep/startup speed: Series5: 2 seconds sleep; 20 seconds boot; 3 seconds to sleep; 50 seconds to boot
    Ports Series 5: Full HDMI, VGA via dongle, multi-format memory card (full-size) 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, bluetooth 3.0, GB Lan
    Ports NP350: Full HDMI, VGA, multi-format memory card (full-size) 2 USB 2.0 ports, Bluetooth 3.0, GB Lan, NO USB 3
    Wireless: Intel 802.11n with WIDI in both

    Pricing: Series 5: NP530U3B-A01US $879 (Amazon)
    UB350: NP350U2A $559 (Refurb @ Newegg)

    Summary: For the $320 USD price difference, the new 5 Series gets you a USB 3 port (although you lose the VGA port), a 4.3mm thinner device, you gain 4 grams of weight (but get a better quality chassis material), a 16GB SSD which yields with a 1 second faster standby resume time, and 30 second faster boot time, and that’s it…

    I don’t see where the $320 USD difference is justified. A 16GB SSD probably costs the MFGR $50 at best, 4.3mm thinner is nice as are the nicer materials but is it worth $270?

    For $150 I could put a REAL 128GB SSD into the NP350 and keep the extra $170.

    If I can convince my wife, I think this is exactly what I’ll do tonight. The NP350 will just have to make it until Haswell is out and comes down in price.


    • Chippy

      Some more things to think about in the comparison.

      Series 5 has a much better Wifi. 5Ghz support, 2 antenna. (better reception, speed)
      Series 5 has a better matte screen (brighter, better contrast)
      S5 has easy access to empty memory slot for upgrade to 8GB.
      Much better build quality on the Series 5

      Also, it would be fairer to compare new to new, like to like. The NP350U2A is the Core i3 version at 1.4Ghz (at at least!)

      • Adam

        I compared the Core i5 2476m Series 5 to the Core i5 2476m NP350.

        I agree that refurbished vs. new isn’t fair, though.
        The hybrid SSD solution, if implemented well DOES certainly help the value equation, though; no matter how cheap of an aftermarket SSD I can find I won’t get it for the same prices as a 16GB SSD + HDD solution that’s purchased wholesale by the MFGR.

        Right now a lot of the price differential can be stacked up to last generation vs. this generation; the NP350 value equation is just interesting because it’s THIS generation’s hardware.

        Waiting for significant price drops for THIS generation of Ultrabooks after the Ivybridge and Windows 8 releases might provide even more mobility “bang for the buck”, though, I admit. (I’m torn…)


    • Michael

      Actually if you compare with a full blown i3 NP350 is better. The i3 gives far far better perfomance than the i5 ULV and also you can get a brand new NP350 for about $500 instead of a refurbished unit. Everything else remains the same.

  • Adam

    As far as I can tell the Ultrabook “revolution” has only HURT battery life and the availability of BUDGET thin and light laptop options.

    The primary reason these MFGRs have jumped on the bandwagon is that they salivate at the possibility of reaping near-Apple-like profits from the coolness of thin and light; I really hope SOMEONE out there comes to the conclusion that they need the prices to be lower to steal back MARKETSHARE from Apple’s thin and light options. Then we’ll see a return of value thin and light options and maybe the REAL 8 hour battery life will return. I can only hope because Ultrabooks have been the biggest disappointment I’ve ever seen as a high mobility VALUE enthusiast.

    Besides the NP350, a possible Sandybridge “firesale” when the Ivybridge models launch is the only possible upside upside I can see in the midterm for thin and light value.


  • sojusnik


    Thanks for this nice video review!

    It seems, that you’ve only tested the built-in HDD, but what about a benchmark of the integrated 16 GB SSD? Are any results available?


    • Chippy

      As it’s not accessible to Windows, it’s a bit difficult to test.
      I will take a look to see if I can ‘uncover’ it.

  • sojusnik

    Hi Chippy,

    I’m planning to replace the implemented HDD with a SSD. At the moment, I have 2 models to choose from:

    * Samsung SSD 830 Series Notebook Upgrade Kit 128GB, 2.5″, SATA 6Gb/s (MZ-7PC128N)

    * Intel SSD 520 Series 120GB, 2.5″, SATA 6Gb/s (SSDSC2CW120A310)

    Which one is the better choice?

    I tend towards the Intel SSD 520, but is it compatible with this Ultrabook, f.i. SATA III compatibility?

    Thanks in advance!

  • sojusnik

    It seems, that the Intel SSD 520 is a little bit too big for this Ultrabook, since you’ve mentioned in your video review, that a 7mm SDD is the way to go.

    Do you have any alternatives to the Samsung SSD 830?

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  • Will Plaice

    anyone know what the max ram you can add is ?

    • Chippy

      4GB extra is tested (for 8GB total) I think that’s the theoretical limit too.

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