Looking more like an ultra thin Atom-based netbook rather than an Intel Core-based notebook the Samsung Series 9 900X1B combines quality throughout and presents it in a very stylish and portable package that’s capable of some smooth, desktop-like computing experiences. Not everything is perfect but now that prices have dropped since launch, this 1KG wonder will fit the bill for those looking for a very small and light, capable notebook. It’s not strictly an Ultrabook but is build around the same principles.
The 11.6” Samsung 900X1B, the 1KG sibling to the 13” 900X3A that we tested a while back, arrived today and I’ve had a solid afternoon of testing, and enjoying, this pre-Ultrabook. I won’t call it an Ultrabook alternative because just like the Apple MacBook Air it pre-dates the Ultrabook launch but uses the same design principles…and it’s just as good. With an 11.6” screen it obviously goes up against the Asus UX21 and Apple MacBook Air. Here are some first impressions, relatively detailed, that might help you raise or lower the 900X1B on your list.
Announcement: I’ll be sitting down in the studio to do some detailed review work on the Samsung 900X1B on Saturday 3rd Dec. You can tune in, ask questions and steer the testing on Saturday 3rd Dec at 2100 MEZ/CET (Your timezone details here.) I’ll be live for about 2 hours so please, drop in and join-in on Ultrabooknews.com/live . Follow @ultrabooknews on Twitter for reminders.
We love Ultrabooks but we also love the competition from other parts of the notebook industry. Lower prices, faster processors, bigger batteries, discreet graphics and other features give the consumer a choice and challenge the designers of future Ultrabooks. There are some devices that are closer (MacBook Air, Series 9) than others (DM1, SH771) but we can’t ignore them.
I often refer to the Sandy Bridge platform as an HDR Computing platform that can span multiple mobile usage scenarios but how about adding that platform to a product that covers every angle in terms of hardware too? The Gigabyte T1132N might just be that device.
It’s estimated the the MacBook Air now accounts for 28% of all MacBook sales in the US market. Looking at the MBA as a sealed-unit, thin-and-light in a range of traditional notebook solutions, it’s interesting to draw comparisons to the Ultrabook in its larger notebook market.
It’s taken the MBA 3 years to reach this penetration, the same could happen in the Windows notebook category and in a shorter timeframe because I believe much of the reason for the accelerated penetration seen by the MBA is because the platform, as used in all Ultrabooks, now meets or exceeds most customer expectations. In previous generations it didn’t.
I’m not going to do any Ultrabook vs MacBook Air technical comparisons here (feel free in the comments section below) but I have taken the chance to drill down into some sales numbers that show some more dominance by the MBA in this thin-and-light market.
I’ve pulled out two sets of figures from reports and estimates and although there is room for a lot of error here, there are indicators that the MBA is selling at a rate of 300000 units per month.
Apart from the Apple MacBook Air which is built like an Ultrabook but sold like an Apple product, there are other interesting options that hover just outside the weight and features list of a true Ultrabook. You’ve got options with Core i3 or AMD E450 at way below the Ultrabook price level, options without SSD and even high-end options. If you can handle just 500 gm / 1lb more weight and are flexible on specs you can save hundreds. In this report I list your options for Sept-Oct 2011.
Before you take a look at the Ultrabook alternatives, have a look at these two reference articles to find out exactly what an Ultrabook is.
I have a feeling that I’ll be writing quite a few of these types of articles. The HP Dm1 is a superb laptop but it isn’t an Ultrabook.
For a starting price of $399 you get a lot for your money. Great graphics performance, good battery life and 1080p video hardware. The problem is that the CPU is relatively weak; actually as powerful as a dual-core netbook so when it comess to pushing the Dm1 like a desktop, it disappoints. Unpacking large zip files, batch processing images can be a slow process. Editing and rendering 720p videos even slower. Value for money is what it is.