Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite review: It's like a laptop for your Galaxy phone - PCWorld

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus - PC Magazine

Review Date October 17, 2013

  • Pros

    High-resolution display boasts 3,200-by-1,800 resolution and 10-finger touch. Slim lightweight design. Premium materials. Fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor and 128GB solid-state drive keep things speedy. Long battery life. Dual-band Wi-Fi. Hinge stands up to touch but still opens wide.

  • Cons Limited storage capacity. Marquee software options have limited appeal. Dongles for VGA and HDMI not included.

  • Bottom Line

    The Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus goes toe to toe with the best premium ultrabooks, then tops it off with a jaw-dropping high-resolution display.

By Brian Westover

With few exceptions, the current crop of premium ultrabooks are all about the three Ps: Portability, Performance, and Pixels. The Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus delivers on all three. The design is carried over from Samsung's proto-ultrabook, the Samsung Series 9, which helped define the new thin and light category, and it's bolstered with one of Intel's high-performance, highly efficient fourth-generation Core i5 processors and a speedy solid-state drive (SSD). And when it comes to pixels, the Book 9 Plus wins hands down, thanks to an impressive QHD+ 3200 by 1800 display that tops everything else in the category, making it our new Editors' Choice for premium ultrabooks.

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The obvious place to start discussing the Book 9 Plus is the display, since it so easily grabs your attention the moment you power on the laptop. The 13.3-inch display boasts a whopping 3200 by 1800 Quad HD+ touch screen. The high-resolution display isn't just better than HD, it's better than just about anything. The most immediate comparison to come to mind is the Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (Retina Display), with its Retina display, but there have also been a couple of premium laptops sold in recent months with higher than 1080p displays, like the Toshiba Kirabook, which ramped the display up to 2,560-by-1,440 resolution. Unlike Apple's Retina display, the ATIV Book 9 Plus also has 10-point touch, an essential feature for Windows 8.

While the display is comparable to the MacBook Pro with Retina, the more apt comparison for this svelte ultraportable is the Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (Mid 2013). Both share a similar sliver-thin design, a minimalist aesthetic, and an aluminum all-metal chassis; though Samsung largely eschews the bare metal look with a dark coat of paint and only a glint of metal along the edges of the chassis. The slim ultraportable measures 0.54 by 12.58 by 8.78 inches (HWD), which is about the same size as the Apple MacBook Air 13-inch, but just a bit heavier, weighing 3.06 pounds.

The ATIV Book 9 Plus has a full-size chiclet keyboard, complete with backlight. Joining the keyboard is a fairly large touchpad, measuring 4 inches wide and 2.7 inches high. The buttons are incorporated into the touch surface, and the touchpad also supports Windows 8 gestures.

To provide a firm backing for the touch screen, the laptop hinge opens smoothly to just past 90-degrees, and then requires more force to open further, similar to the dual-friction hinge used on the Editors' Choice Acer Aspire S7-392-6411. The result is a touch screen that holds firm against all of your poking and prodding while still opening and closing without issue. The one oddity of the ATIV Book 9 Lite is the decision to use a 180-degree hinge. This lets you open up the ultraportable to an extremely flat 180 degrees, but though you can, I can't for the life of me think of any circumstances in which you would actually want to.


The narrow edges of the Book 9 Plus don't leave a lot of room for ports, but there's still a pretty good selection. On either side of the laptop is a full-size USB 3.0 for use with external drives and peripherals like mice and keyboards. On the right is a combination headphone and microphone jack, and a tiny connector that converts to full-size VGA with an accessory dongle ($39.99, not included). On the left, a microHDMI port lets you connect to a second monitor or HDTV, and a minuscule LAN port offers Gigabit Ethernet when using a different adapter dongle (also $39.99, but which is included with the laptop). Also on the left is an SD card slot, which is concealed by a spring loaded cover. However, unlike most port covers used on laptops, this one doesn't pull out, but instead swings in, revealing the card slot when in use and automatically protecting it as soon as the card is removed.

There are also a number of wireless options, with dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi providing 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz Internet connectivity that does better in crowded areas than 2.4GHz alone, and Bluetooth 4.0 + HS for use with smartphones and wireless peripherals. Finally, when you want to skip the dongles and cables, WiDi 4.1 lets you stream HD content wirelessly to WiDi-equipped TV or WiDi adapter.

The ATIV Book 9 Plus is equipped with a 128GB SSD, which helps keep the performance speedy and the boot times short, but doesn't provide a lot of local storage. If you tend to save images and video, you'll definitely want to pick up an external hard drive, preferably something that takes advantage of the USB 3.0 connections on the laptop.

Preinstalled on the hard drive are several programs and applications to accompany Windows 8, but two unique offerings from Samsung stand out. The first is Samsung SideSync, which lets you automatically sync files between the Book 9 Plus and several current Samsung Android smartphones, like the Editors' Choice Samsung Galaxy S4 (Verizon Wireless). When docked, files sync automatically and can be easily transferred back and forth from phone to PC, but the real magic comes in with goodies like the Virtual Phone, which puts your phone's screen on your laptop and lets you access the phone's functions (like text messaging) without leaving the desktop, and also lets you use your mouse and keyboard with the phone. Samsung also includes HomeSync Lite, which lets you use the PC as the central hub of a personal cloud, syncing files between multiple devices. While it skips the fees associated with paid cloud storage, it also is limited by the fact that it's tied to the laptop's local storage, which is still fairly small.

Other apps preinstalled on the ATIV Book 9 Plus include Skype, Netflix, iHeart Radio, Plants vs. Zombies, BitCasa, a 30-day trial of Norton Internet Security, and a free copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements 11. Samsung covers the Book 9 Plus with a one-year warranty.


Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus The Book 9 Plus is outfitted with 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U processor, the same fourth-generation processor seen in the Acer Aspire S7-392-6411 and the Sony VAIO Pro 13. As a result, the Book 9 Plus has strong performance in tests like PCMark 7 (4,907 points) and Cinebench (2.50 points), where it fell right in line with the similarly equipped Acer Aspire S7 and the Sony VAIO Pro 13. In multimedia tests, the Book 9 Plus finished Handbrake in 1 minute 23 seconds, and cranked through Photoshop in 5:51, edging ahead of the Acer Aspire S7 in Photoshop (6:01) and topping the Apple MacBook Air 13-inch, (3:15 Handbrake, 7:07 Photoshop).

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus

The Book 9 Plus makes the most of Intel's integrated graphics solution (Intel HD Graphics 4400), squeezing out 3DMark 11 scores of 1,655 points (Entry) and 271 points (Extreme), just behind the Acer Aspire S7 and just ahead of the Sony VAIO Pro 13. While the performance in gaming tests doesn't indicate any sort of gaming aptitude--the Book 9 Plus couldn't manage playable results at any settings--they do present an improvement over third-generation Intel integrated graphics.

With a 55Wh battery sealed in the chassis, the Book 9 Plus lasted 8 hours 15 minutes in our battery rundown test. This puts it right alongside the Acer Aspire S7, which lasted only 7 minutes longer (8:22), and well ahead of the Sony VAIO Pro 13 (6:23), but none of these hold a candle to the Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (Mid-2013), which nearly doubled the competition with 15:33 of battery life. Regardless, the Book 9 Plus still holds its own against other super-slim Windows ultraportables.


In terms of performance and battery life, the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus is in line with other premium ultrabooks, both in performance scores and pricing. What the Book 9 Plus offers that others do not, however, is a higher-than-HD screen that rivals Apple's Retina Display. About the only thing I can knock the Book 9 Plus for is the use of ports that require dongles, but that's not so uncommon on thinner ultrabooks. For the price, it matches the portability and performance of the Editors' Choice Acer Aspire S7 and offers the sort of resolution you'll prize when working with photos or enjoying movies. Add it all up, and the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus is the new Editors' Choice for premium ultrabooks.

Other Samsung Laptops & Notebooks

Brian Westover
By Brian Westover Analyst, Hardware

Brian Westover is an Analyst for the Hardware Team, reviewing laptops, desktops, and storage devices. As a child, Brian was frequently asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?" His answer alternated between...

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Engadget Giveaway: win a Samsung ATIV Tab 3 courtesy of BearExtender! - Engadget

Engadget Giveaway win a Samsung ATIV Tab 3 courtesy of BearExtender

Freedom is a wonderful thing and the folks at BearExtender want Microsoft users to enjoy more of it. Its new 1,200mW USB WiFi booster for PCs finally caught up with the Mac version, which extends WiFi range up to four times more than usual. One lucky reader will get to savor this new found freedom with a Samsung ATIV Tab 3. This 10-inch slate runs Windows 8 and comes with an S Pen, a keyboard cover and a BearExtender PC, so you can be productive from even the most remote corner of the coffee shop. Finally, that WiFi signal your neighbor was kind enough to share with you will come in loud and clear. So head on down to the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Rules:

  • Entries are handled through the Rafflecopter widget above. Comments are no longer accepted as valid methods of entry. You may enter without any obligation to social media accounts, though we may offer them as opportunities for extra entries. Your email address is required so we can get in touch with you if you win, but it will not be given to third parties.

  • Contest is open to all residents of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), 18 or older!Sorry, we don't make this rule (we hate excluding anyone), so direct your anger at our lawyers and contest laws if you have to be mad.

  • Winners will be chosen randomly. One (1) winner will receive one (1) Samsung ATIV Tab 3 (model XE300TZC-K01US) and one (1) BearExtender PC High Power USB WiFi Booster.

  • If you are chosen, you will be notified by email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen. Make sure that the account you use to enter the contest includes your real name and a contact email or Facebook login. We do not track any of this information for marketing or third-party purposes.

  • This unit is purely for promotional giveaway. BearExtender, Samsung and Engadget / AOL are not held liable to honor warranties, exchanges or customer service.

  • The full list of rules, in all its legalese glory, can be found here.

  • Entries can be submitted until October 30th at 11:59PM ET. Good luck!

Engadget Giveaway: win a Samsung ATIV Tab 3 courtesy of BearExtender! - Engadget

Engadget Giveaway win a Samsung ATIV Tab 3 courtesy of BearExtender

Freedom is a wonderful thing and the folks at BearExtender want Microsoft users to enjoy more of it. Its new 1,200mW USB WiFi booster for PCs finally caught up with the Mac version, which extends WiFi range up to four times more than usual. One lucky reader will get to savor this new found freedom with a Samsung ATIV Tab 3. This 10-inch slate runs Windows 8 and comes with an S Pen, a keyboard cover and a BearExtender PC, so you can be productive from even the most remote corner of the coffee shop. Finally, that WiFi signal your neighbor was kind enough to share with you will come in loud and clear. So head on down to the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Rules:

  • Entries are handled through the Rafflecopter widget above. Comments are no longer accepted as valid methods of entry. You may enter without any obligation to social media accounts, though we may offer them as opportunities for extra entries. Your email address is required so we can get in touch with you if you win, but it will not be given to third parties.

  • Contest is open to all residents of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), 18 or older!Sorry, we don't make this rule (we hate excluding anyone), so direct your anger at our lawyers and contest laws if you have to be mad.

  • Winners will be chosen randomly. One (1) winner will receive one (1) Samsung ATIV Tab 3 (model XE300TZC-K01US) and one (1) BearExtender PC High Power USB WiFi Booster.

  • If you are chosen, you will be notified by email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen. Make sure that the account you use to enter the contest includes your real name and a contact email or Facebook login. We do not track any of this information for marketing or third-party purposes.

  • This unit is purely for promotional giveaway. BearExtender, Samsung and Engadget / AOL are not held liable to honor warranties, exchanges or customer service.

  • The full list of rules, in all its legalese glory, can be found here.

  • Entries can be submitted until October 30th at 11:59PM ET. Good luck!

Polaroid launches iM1836 Android Smart Camera with Interchangeable Lens - Gigjets

Gigjets | October 29, 2013

Polaroid launches iM1836 Android Smart Camera with Interchangeable Lens

Swapnil Kale

Polaroid has officially started selling its latest camera which is the iM1836. This is an Android Smart Camera which was first unveiled at the beginning of this year. The device can be purchased from Amazon and Walmart.

The Polaroid iM1836 is equipped with an 18 megapixel sensor and it comes pre-loaded with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It comes with a 10-30mm optical zoom lens. This is an interchangeable lens and one can use other lenses on this camera.

The device has a 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen display which makes it much easier accessing different functions of the camera. It also includes some nifty features like Face Auto Exposure, HD video recording and Panoramic Picture.

Polaroid-iM18362-BackThis Android Smart Camera is also equipped with Bluetooth connectivity allowing you to share and upload images to connected tablets or smartphones. It has a HDMI Type B output which enables the user to connect the camera to external display including HDTVs.

The new Polaroid iM1836 Android Smart Camera can be now purchased from Amazon as well as Walmart and it is priced around $299.

Source: Geeky Gadgets

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Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite: 13.3-inch slimline notebook with a secret - Register

5 ways to reduce advertising network latency

Review It seems an odd paradox that the more a company tries to hide something, the more publicity it attracts. Apple certainly uses this notion to good effect, knowing that it can't keep those secrets indefinitely, but also knowing that when it eventually lifts its kimono, what's new in the garden customarily causes a commotion among the brand faithful.

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite

Hidden shallows: Samsung's Ativ Book 9 Lite

Apple is not alone in this scripted sensationalism, but when it comes to what's inside a product, hiding some of the basics any mildly curious buyer might be interested in knowing usually suggests that what is being hidden certainly doesn't have a wow factor about it.

So here I am with Samsung's slim, attractive and could-be-cheaper Ativ Book 9 Lite. At a glance, it could easily be mistaken for an Ultrabook, but at £500, this 13.3-inch touchscreen Windows 8 notebook is hiding something that its Lite moniker hints at.

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite

Delightfully laid back

OK, so at 1.44kg, it could be lighter, but that's not it. It measures up as quite respectable really – Samsung has been busy with the tape measure to ensure the Ativ Book 9 Lite is fractionally smaller than a MacBook Air at 324 x 224 x 16.9mm – yes, it's 0.1mm thinner than the 13-inch Air (324 x 224 x 17mm).

There's nothing particularly unusual about the 4GB of DDR3 1066MHz RAM (albeit slightly slow) or the 128GB SSD. Perhaps it is a bit "Lite" on RAM, but Apple wouldn't give you any more in a standard configuration.

Moving on, there's an AMD Radeon HD 8250 GPU in there and quad-core processor that apparently goes up to 1.4GHz. Well that's informative. Even the "x4 Quad Core" sticker on the palm rest doesn't want to flag up the fact that there's no Intel Inside.

The AMD GPU does rather give the game away though. So there's an AMD chipset in here, what's so bad about that? The company makes some decent low-power, low-cost chippery that keeps the Lite end of the market very well fed.

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite

Windows 8's basic system info doesn't reveal much

Maybe the issue isn't so much to do with what AMD is making, but more to do with what Samsung is doing with it. If you nose around the Ativ Lite with anything from System Settings, to CPU-Z to PCMark 8, you'll find no specific reference to the chip inside.

There are clues though, and the biggest one is the graphics chip, as currently the HD 8250 appears on only one AMD APU (accelerated processing unit). It's part of its Elite Mobility APU platform – formerly codenamed Temash – and unless there's something very tricky going on, it's the A6-1450 APU. The four cores run at 1GHz, peaking at 1.4GHz in Turbo mode.

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite

The Device Manager could say more too, even the Properties info is non-descript

Click for a larger image

According to AMD, this chip is "designed for touch small form-factor notebooks, tablets, and hybrids 13 inches and below". So is Samsung testing AMD's latest to extremes regarding suitability? Interestingly Acer has the A6-1450 installed on its 11.6-inch Aspire V5-122P model and it's not shy about it either.

Samsung's coyness aside, the Ativ Book 9 Lite didn't strike me as crippled, even if it is treading a fine line between tablet tech and notebook needs. How that Acer performs with its HDD remains to be seen, but being SSD-equipped, the Samsung consistently managed booting to login in 8 seconds and to the desktop in 12 seconds. For general use it, didn't complain much either, just occasional pauses to load apps but nothing especially troublesome.

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite

No clues in the BIOS either – click for a larger image

The only significant weirdness I experienced was with rendering a PDF that left multiple trails when scrolling. But this could easily have been bad PDF authoring or just the file size, as it didn't occur on any other PDFs I viewed. A couple of things worthy of note are that this AMD setup does run the 64-bit version of Windows 8, unlike the current crop of Atom tablets I've tested of late, which stay rooted in 32-bit mode – apparently it's a driver issue for Intel's babies that Microsoft hasn't fully addressed yet.

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Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite Is Your Galaxy Phone's Best Friend - Mashable

There are two kinds of people: those who plug their phones into their computers, and the other 79.5% of smartphone owners (read: Android users). Apple — and heck, even Microsoft — originally built their smartphones to connect and sync with computers via iTunes and Zune (now Windows Phone). Although updates eventually untethered them, they still carry the legacy of PC syncing.

And then there’s Google, the dominant mobile OS provider that does everything through the cloud. They know that most people never plug their phones into anything except to charge them, so all syncing and storing should be automatic and wireless.

Samsung — which isn’t even a software company, but the largest smartphone manufacturer — is increasingly differentiating itself in both hardware and software, and not just with Android anymore. The latest ATIV Book 9 line of laptops includes some very interesting software that makes connecting to an Android smartphone particularly fun and useful, and in ways that none of the software giants are attempting. And the best part is: no cables required.

Hit and Miss Tech

The ATIV Book 9 Lite is the lower-end model of two terribly named new laptops. The Lite features a 1.4GHz quad-core Samsung-made processor built on AMD’s latest low-power architecture. Samsung is one of the only companies capable of building its own CPU, and this chip is more flexible than the stock AMD design, fluctuating its power consumption based on user needs. That means that your computer will speed up for harder tasks more effectively than a standard AMD-powered laptop, but at the cost of draining the battery faster.

With the stop-and-go processor, you could be typing along and suddenly letters won’t appear because the chip ramped down and everything will have seemed to stall. We’ve all experienced this behavior, and to some extent all computers do it. The Lite just does it a lot. And it does affect battery life; the Book 9 lasts about six hours on a single charge, which can drop down to four and a half under heavier use (heavy web browsing, streaming HD video) or seven hours with lighter use.

The non-customizable 13.3-inch laptop (courtesy of Samsung) comes with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 128GB solid state drive (100GB usable), and a 1,366 x 768-pixel resolution display. For the price of $830, that is far from a bargain, especially considering the last laptop we reviewed, the HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11. Even upgrading the HP to have similar specs would cost $200 less than the ATIV, so what gives?

Hit and Miss Hardware

I loved the TouchSmart 11’s keyboard, but Samsung’s is better. Thanks to the larger body (13-inch vs. 11-inch) and slightly finer tuning, the keyboard is an absolute joy to use. In fact, the whole frame of the Book 9 Lite is consistently pleasant. By no means is this a gorgeous laptop, but aside from a pretty basic plastic frame, the wavy thin design is sleek. It all points to a very sharp attention to detail, such as how the power connector is small and fits perfectly without taking up too much space.

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite keyboard

The ATIV Book 9 Lite has two USB connectors (one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0), a headphone jack, an HDMI mini output, a special Ethernet port (with an included dongle to fit the larger ethernet cable), a 3-in-1 card media card slot, and a VGA mini-out (no dongle included). It’s surprisingly generous of Samsung to include the Ethernet dongle in this all-wireless age, and the hideaway media card slot is fantastically designed — it’s non-intrusive and next to impossible to break.

While all of this is great, two obvious cuts sting far worse than any simple physical tweaks could hope to repair. The first is the glossy display, which has poor vertical viewing angles and is average to good. The touchscreen functions work just fine, and brightness levels are good enough to use outdoors with marginal brightness, but for the price there’s an expectation of better quality: better colors, better vibrancy and better viewing angles.

Second is the trackpad, which feels atrocious to use. The corners edges don’t read finger swipes, the sensitivity is too high, and it just doesn’t work well. The good news is that this (and more) can be fixed via the “Elan Smart-Pad” settings (search mouse, select settings, then mouse properties, then select Touchpad, and finally options). The level of customization is almost as good as what you can get on a Mac; in fact, the only reason there aren’t more options is because Windows 8 just doesn’t support as many gestures. After setting it to your liking, the trackpad will not only be usable, but almost as pleasant as the great keyboard.

You Phone's Best Friend

The real secret sauce (and perhaps the $200 price premium) of the ATIV Book 9 Lite is it’s SideSync software, an application that enables Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners (Galaxy S II and up and Galaxy Note II and up) to connect their phones and laptops “seamlessly.” Let’s be clear, there’s nothing seamless about it. The ATIV ships with the software but has to download another three or four pieces to be fully functional, and the phones all require three apps too. The installation process on both the phone and laptop sides is slow, frustrating, and all too easy to mess up. And if you are one of the unlucky souls who owns an unlocked Galaxy phone without Samsung’s app store built in, then you can’t get any of the cool functions offered.

Samsung SideSync

SideSync is a two-pronged app on both the laptop and smartphone (I used a Galaxy Note II) that lets users command the phone via computer, specifically with the mouse and keyboard. That may not sound like much, but we’re using our smartphones more and more, even in front of a computer. If you’ve got the laptop and smartphone side by side, there’s no need to take your hands off the keyboard to respond to an SMS or switch out of your laptop application to check who used your favorite hashtag on Twitter. It makes the two devices work together, and it does a damn good job of it.

Of course, how useful this feature is will depend on how you use the phone. I typically sit with my laptop front and center, smartphone docked on the right. Notifications come into the phone all the time, so I switch between the two regularly. With SideSync, and thanks to Android’s usability, you can do just about anything on the phone via your computer's mouse and keyboard (notable exceptions include selecting physical buttons and swipe gestures). It’s not only remarkably useful, but hard to stop using. Just like switching from two monitors to one makes you feel handicapped, losing a direct connection from your laptop to smartphone feels… hollow, like there’s now something missing.

The other half of SideSync is to show the smartphone screen right on the laptop, live. It’s probably kitschy and useless to most people, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t totally impressive to show a smartphone right from your laptop, on the slightly bigger screen. Macs can do this with a paid app (Reflector) and an iPhone, but that still requires you do everything from the phone. Show the phone in landscape or portrait, show any app, and control the whole thing with your mouse and keyboard with a mock phone straight from your screen. For smartphone developers it’s a godsend, for everyone else it’s just really cool.

Samsung’s other piece of software that only works on the company’s own smartphones and laptops is HomeSync, a partial syncing competitor to iTunes or Microsoft’s Windows Phone. Available as both a native app and via the web, it syncs all of your media between the phone and laptop and can do so wirelessly.

Unlike iTunes and Zune, HomeSync requires that you manually push items you want to sync to the device. I was able to “send” Jay Z’s Magna Carta from my Note II to the Book 9 Lite easily over the air, but not effortlessly. There’s also a clear lack of finesse and style to Samsung’s app, which looks and feels similar to second-tier Windows apps.

The only real problem is that there's no app syncing, which almost makes HomeSync useless. Media can be saved instantly on Android through a number of services such as Google Plus, Google Drive, and Dropbox. HomeSync is more work and does less.

It’s the Software, Stupid

Without any of Samsung’s extras, the ATIV Book 9 Lite is a mostly well-designed laptop that’s definitely overpriced. It has a great frame, an excellent keyboard, a decent trackpad after some fine tuning, and the battery life is decent. But for another $170 you could get a MacBook Air 11-inch that lasts three hours longer and is at least twice as powerful and better in just about every way.

Or you could go the other way and spend $330 less for an equally powerful HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11, and put around $130 into a good Solid State Drive for good measure. So if you don’t own a Samsung smartphone, you would be stupid to buy this machine.

If you are the proud owner of a Galaxy phone (and I recommend at least a Galaxy S III — without an HD display the screen sharing will be next to useless), then don’t run away too quickly. SideSync alone isn’t worth the premium, but how you use it might be. My day consists of switching between a laptop, tablet, and smartphone regularly. I even have the amazing Logitech Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard K811, whose three Bluetooth antennas let me instantly switch between three different devices. But a keyboard only goes so far; SideSync enables you to make your smartphone an extension of the laptop directly. There isn’t anything quite like it, and it is powerful.

Now if Google made it, then we’d likely see a lot more functionality, like sharing Chrome windows from the laptop to smartphone and other Google-based services working together at the swipe of finger. Sadly that’s not the case, but considering the limitations, Samsung has pulled off something really incredible: marrying the phone and PC. Even Apple has a disconnect between the two relative to this, something plenty of app makers like DeskConnect are trying to fix.

Whether you care for it or not depends on how you operate. I stopped using the Note II as a connected device for a day, and I felt like I’d lost a finger to type with. It isn’t necessary, and it’s definitely crude, but there’s an empty feeling when it’s gone. Developers should consider the far more powerful ATIV Book 9 Plus instead, which comes at a heftier $1,400 starting price and far better components.

The Lowdown

What’s Good

  • Great build, excellent keyboard

  • SideSync software combined with a Samsung Galaxy phone is incredible

What’s Bad

  • Extremely overpriced, unless you have a compatible phone

  • More powerful ATIV Book 9 Plus has more value

  • So-so screen quality

Bottom Line: If you have a Galaxy phone, you'll love how Samsung's ATIV Book 9 Lite seamlessly communicates with it, but at the end of the day its specs don't justify the high price.

Images: Mashable, James Pikover

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) launched in India for 49990 INR - Gigjets

Samsung has launched one of its latest tablet in the Indian market, this is the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) which was first showcased at IFA 2013 in the previous month, where the company also unveiled its Galaxy Gear smartwatch and the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone.

Similar to the Galaxy Note 3 (and as it is a device form the Galaxy Note series) this tablet will come with the new S Pen stylus. The tablet will be available in black and white colors and it is priced at 49,990 INR for its 32GB variant. At the moment there is no information regarding its 16GB and 64GB variants.

In terms of the specifications, the Galaxy Note 10.1 sports a 10.1-inch Super Clear LCD display with a WQXGA resolution which is 2560×1600 pixels. While the company had initially announced two variants, the Indian get the one which is powered by a 1.9GHz Exynos 5 Octa processor which also includes 3GB of RAM. It supports 3G as well as Wi-Fi connectivity and has a microSD card slot which supports expandable storage up to 64GB.

The tablet will come pre-loaded with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean which will be skinned with the TouchWiz UI and also include Samsung’s Knox mobile security suite, which is a enterprise and consumer security service from Samsung. Apart form this the device will also include an 8 megapixel rear camera with a BSI sensor and LED flash, a 2 megapixel front facing camera for video calling and an 8,220 mAh battery.

Samsung ATIV S Neo Coming To ATT On November 8th - IntoMobile

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus review - Engadget

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus review

When Samsung first released the Series 9 in 2011, it quickly became one of our favorite laptops of the year. Then, once Intel threw its marketing weight behind Ultrabooks, it became our favorite Ultra. But the Series 9 was born in the Windows 7 era, and it became harder and harder to recommend as touchscreens became the standard. Now, though, we have the ATIV Book 9 Plus, the first truly flagship-level Ultrabook Samsung has released since Windows 8 came out.

As you'd expect, it trades in the Series 9's matte, anti-glare display for a touchscreen. What's more, though, Samsung also cranked up the resolution, retiring that old 1,600 x 900 panel in favor of a 3,200 x 1,800 one. And, of course, it steps up to a newer Haswell processor, which promises not just faster performance, but also longer battery life (not that endurance was a problem on the original). So is it still our favorite Ultrabook? Pretty much.

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus review

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Look and feel

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus review

We've met Samsung's laptop design team. It's led by some lovely, humble people, but we suspect that deep down, they know the same thing we know: that last year's Series 9 Ultrabook was a near-perfect product. So, content to let perfect dogs lie, the company more or less kept the same blueprint when it sat down to design this year's ATIV Book 9 Plus. This time around, it measures 0.54 inch thick, making it only a hair thicker than last year's model, which measured 0.5 inch (and which didn't have a touchscreen, we might add).

It also has generally the same shape, with a profile that tapers drastically toward the front, but widens near the hinge to make room for the various ports (two USB 3.0, micro-HDMI, mini-VGA, a headphone jack and a hidden SD slot). In the box, you'll find an Ethernet adapter as well. The machine is also comfortable to hold, and we're not even referring to the weight (more on that in a moment). Though the edges here look sharp, they're actually quite blunt, so it won't hurt to press your palms into them when you're carrying this thing with two hands.

The overall build quality is the same too. Like its predecessor, the ATIV Book 9 Plus is made of smooth aluminum, except the color, billed as "Mineral Ash Black," has a slightly bluish tint in some light, whereas last year's was a plain black affair. Between that and the subtle flourishes (a thin metal band around the trackpad, just one button on the keyboard deck), the entire machine has an understated, but still expensive feel to it. The only problem is -- and we complained about this last year -- is that despite having a matte finish, the aluminum picks up fingerprints quickly. Make sure to have a cloth in your desk drawer so that you can give the machine a rubdown every once in a while.

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus review

All told, almost everything that feels different about the ATIV Book 9 Plus has to do with the addition of that touchscreen. There's the glossy screen, of course, which used to have a matte, anti-glare finish. And of course, there's the weight. Without a touchscreen, the old Series 9 weighed 2.55 pounds -- an astonishing spec, even for an Ultrabook. Thanks largely to the touchscreen, though, this new model comes in at 3.06 pounds. Now, before we get carried away, even that's pretty respectable for a touchscreen, 13-inch Ultrabook. But it does feel a lot heavier than we remember the Series 9 feeling. And besides, there are plenty of touchscreen ultraportables that manage to be even lighter than this.

There's one other change, and this one we can't blame on the touchscreen. In addition to adding its new SideSync software to Windows 8, Samsung slapped some conspicuous "SideSync" and "HomeSync Lite" branding on the device itself, over on the right side of the palm rest. What's annoying is that it's painted onto the aluminum, so it's there, staring back at you whether you like it or not. We would have much preferred a sticker we could peel off.

Keyboard and trackpad

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus review

Just like the rest of the design, the keyboard is basically the same as on the last-gen Series 9. Once again, the buttons are well-spaced, with a pretty aquamarine backlight glowing from underneath. Be warned, though: they're also flat and shallow, with minimal travel. Don't get us wrong; they're still reasonably easy to type on, but we did suffer more dropped letters than on some other Ultrabooks we've tested recently. Type too quickly and you might have to go bak back and re-type a letter that didn't register the first time around.

One of the first things we noticed when we initially unboxed the ATIV Book 9 Plus is that the trackpad is much more reliable than the one we tested on the Series 9. The cursor actually went where it was supposed to, and multi-touch gestures like two-finger scrolls and pinch-to-zoom were also easy to pull off. After a little more time with the machine, we did notice that the pad has a bit more friction than we'd like. To the machine's credit, the cursor never went rogue and ended up on some random, unintended part of the page; we did suffer a bit of drag, though. There were also a few times when the trackpad mistook two-finger scrolls for a swipe in from the left, which caused us to inadvertently switch from one app to another. That was definitely more annoying than the slightly stubborn cursor.

Display and sound

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus review

Even if you decided to downgrade the resolution to 1080p, you'd be left with a fantastic screen.

Adding a touchscreen to the Series 9 was clearly something of a compromise for Samsung: not only did it add noticeably to the weight, but it also meant Sammy had to move from a matte, anti-glare screen to a glossy one. Still, if you're under the impression Samsung swapped in a pedestrian display, we'll correct you now. With this generation, the company made 3,200 x 1,800 resolution standard -- a dramatic improvement over last year's model, which topped out at 1,600 x 900. We won't waste your time describing how it's noticeably sharper than the original, but we will add that it looks even sharper than a typical 1080p screen; yes, your eyes can probably tell the difference.

That increased acuity works great for certain desktop apps, like Word, and it also brings out the best in the colorful Windows Start Screen. That said, we'll make the same caveat we make any other time we review a laptop with a super-high-res screen: not all content has been optimized to look good on displays this sharp. With YouTube, for instance, videos look strange at full-screen, with the scrubber and buttons at the bottom all scaled way down. The effect is so terrible, it's funny.

Even if you decided to downgrade to 1080p, though, you'd be left with a fantastic screen. Though it's naturally more reflective than the matte panel that shipped on last year's model, there really are very few light artifacts here. At half-brightness, I could barely see my reflection in the screen while I typed; at full brightness, I couldn't see it at all. Speaking of the sort, the 350-nit brightness rating helps contribute to some great viewing angles from the side -- with the brightness turned all the way up, you should have no problem crowding around the laptop and watching a movie from slightly off to the side. What's nice is that the vertical viewing angles are great even at lower brightness settings. So, even if you're working on an airplane and want to conserve battery life by dimming the backlight, you'll still enjoy good contrast with the lid dipped forward.

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus review

We honestly weren't expecting much in terms of sound: most Ultrabooks deliver tolerable quality at best and besides, Samsung hasn't exactly been making a big deal of the ATIV Book 9 Plus' audio chops. That may have been a mistake, though: the sound here is not just surprisingly loud, but surprisingly rich too. Most of the time, we had the volume set well below the median mark -- maybe at level 30 or 40 out of 100. What's more, the volume stays loud even when you place the laptop on a soft surface like a couch or a bed; the speakers' placement on the bottom side doesn't muffle sound as we feared it would. Really, the only reason we avoided the top setting is that it makes for an uncomfortably loud system when it's just you chilling by yourself in the home office. If you do crank the volume all the way up, though, you'll only have to suffer a minimal amount of distortion.

At lower volumes, it's even better -- dare I say, the best sound I've heard yet on an Ultrabook. Over an afternoon of listening to Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Simon and Garfunkel, Dusty Springfield, The Temptations and others, I often felt as if I were rediscovering my favorite songs; piano notes and drum beats pushed through the dual two-watt speakers more forcefully than I'm used to on other machines. In fact -- and no, I'm not trying to troll here -- I didn't want to go back to my MacBook Air for music-listening after trying out the speakers here.

Performance and battery life

PCMark73DMark063DMark11ATTO (top disk speeds)
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus (1.6GHz Core i5-4200U, Intel HD 4400)4,9735,611

E1,675 / P867 / X277

547 MB/s (reads); 508 MB/s (writes)
Acer Aspire S7-392 (1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD 4400)5,1085,158

E1,724 / P952 / X298

975 MB/s (reads); 1.1GB/s (writes)
Sony VAIO Pro 13 (1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD 4400)4,5024,413

E1,177 / P636 / X203

1.04 GB/s (reads); 479 MB/s (writes)
Sony VAIO Duo 13 (1.6GHz Core i5-4200U, Intel HD 4400)4,4406,047

E1,853 / P975 / X297

546 MB/s (reads); 139 MB/s (writes)
Sony VAIO Pro 11 (1.8GHz Core i7-4500U, Intel HD 4400)4,634N/A

E1,067 / P600 / X183

558 MB/s (reads); 255 MB/s (writes)
Dell XPS 12 (1.7GHz Core i5-3317U, Intel HD 4000)4,6734,520N/A516 MB/s (reads); 263 MB/s (writes)

The ATIV Book 9 Plus is available in just one configuration, and it rocks generally the same components as other Ultrabooks we've tested recently: a dual-core, Haswell-series Intel Core i5-4200U processor clocked at 1.6GHz, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. Accordingly, then, its benchmark scores land in the same ballpark as other machines with the same processor, including the Sony VAIO Pro 13, and the new Acer Aspire S7-392.

The one area where the ATIV Book 9 Plus falls short is in I/O speeds. All told, the Toshiba-made SSD (you read that right) notched average reads of 547 MB/s, with writes hovering around 508 MB/s. To be clear, we're not saying those speeds are slow. It's just that we've recently tested a string of machines that managed to hit or exceed speeds of 1GB per second, even on the write test, which is always harder. (Note: the Acer Aspire S7 has a RAID 0 setup, which has tradeoffs of its own, so we'll concede that's not a totally fair comparison.) At any rate, as we said, these speeds would have once been very impressive, but we can no longer say the Series 9 is a leader in this area. Which is surprising, since Samsung makes some of the fastest SSDs on the market. Maybe the company should have stuck to its own components here?

That said, the machine feels plenty fast in real-world use. Not only did I write my review on this laptop, but I wasted plenty of time on it too, keeping open tabs for Gmail, YouTube, Pandora and lots and lots of web searches. Switching from one app to another was easy, as was toggling between all those open tabs in Internet Explorer. At first, we thought the machine was in danger of overheating, as the bottom side and upper keyboard area got warm just six minutes into a YouTube video. The good news is that though it gets warm quickly, it doesn't get any hotter after that. Even after hours of use, complete with non-stop media streaming, the bottom stayed fairly lukewarm -- definitely cool enough to comfortably rest on my lap.

It's a similar story with fan noise. The ATIV Book 9 Plus pipes up quickly -- heck, it sometimes makes noise when it's sitting idle. But that noise never rises above a quiet sigh. In fact, we didn't even notice it until we paused Pandora and started to work without any background noise.

Battery life

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus 8:44
MacBook Air (13-inch, 2013)12:51
Sony VAIO Duo 139:40
Sony VAIO Pro 138:24
Acer Aspire S7-3927:33
Acer Iconia W7007:13
Sony VAIO Pro 116:41
Dell XPS 146:18
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 135:32
Dell XPS 12 (2012)5:30
ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A Touch5:15
Toshiba Kirabook5:12
Toshiba Satellite U925t5:10
Lenovo ThinkPad Helix5:07 (tablet only) / 7:24 (with dock)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon5:07
Samsung ATIV Book 75:02
ASUS Transformer Book5:01 (tablet only)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch5:00
MSI Slidebook S204:34
Acer Aspire P34:33
Acer Aspire S7-3914:18
Microsoft Surface Pro3:46

Normally, when a company rates a laptop for a certain amount of battery life, we just assume we'll get a bit less runtime, especially since our tests involve taxing conditions (WiFi on, brightness at 65 percent, video looping off the local disk). In this case, though, Samsung seems to have given a conservative estimate: though it promises up to 7.5 hours of use, we actually managed eight hours and 44 minutes in our video rundown. As you'll see in the table above, that's a respectable showing for a Haswell machine. In fact, the Sony VAIO Pro 13 was only 20 minutes off in the same test.

Software and warranty

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus review

For all the apps it loads onto its new Galaxy phones, Samsung actually went easy with the bloatware on the ATIV Book 9 Plus. Here, we've got Bitcasa cloud storage, iHeartRadio, Netflix, a trial of Norton Internet Security and Adobe Photoshop Elements 11. As for Samsung apps, it's just S Player+, SPhotoStudio and Music Hub, all of which are basically exactly what they sound like.

HomeSync Lite lets you download and upload content between your PC and mobile devices. In total, you can add up to five user accounts, with six devices per user. The catch, though, is that you'll need the Samsung Link app installed on your phone and, uh, it's only available on Samsung handsets. So if you're using a Moto X, you can keep on trucking to the next section. Also -- and maybe this goes without saying -- you need to refrain from deleting HomeSync from your computer, even if it looks like bloatware; without the app installed on your PC, you can't use the service on your mobile devices either. SideSync, meanwhile, is for transferring files between your PC and Samsung phone, which you can do using either a cable or over a wireless connection.

The ATIV Book 9 Plus comes with a one-year warranty.

Configuration options and the competition

To reiterate: the ATIV Book 9 Plus is sold in just one configuration in the US: a $1,400 model with a 1.6GHz Core i5-4200U processor, 4GB of RAM, integrated Intel HD 4400 graphics, a 3,200 x 1,800 screen and a 128GB SSD.

As you've probably gathered by now, we're rather fond of the ATIV Book 9 Plus, and would highly recommend it to anyone shopping around for a premium Ultrabook. That said, it's not the only excellent option out there. Below, you'll find a rundown of the competition. There's a lot to cover, so to keep things simple, we'll go in alphabetical order:

  • We've already mentioned the Acer Aspire S7 several times in this review. As the successor to the original S7, which came out last year, this new model steps up to Haswell processors and a larger battery capacity, leading to a serious improvement in runtime. Even then, it doesn't last quite as long as the ATIV Book 9 Plus in our tests, but its endurance (7.5 hours) is still more than acceptable. At 2.87 pounds, it's one of the lightest touchscreen, 13-inch Ultrabooks we know of, and it rivals the ATIV Book 9 Plus in thinness too. Its screen is lower-res, at 1080p, but in terms of overall quality (viewing angles, colors, et cetera) it's one of the best we've seen.

  • Longtime Windows users won't give Apple's MacBook Air a second look, but it's worth calling out for folks who are OS-agnostic. With this year's refresh, Apple mainly just swapped in Haswell processors and PCIe SSDs, with no changes to the exterior. That's not a bad thing, per se -- we still dig the unibody aluminum chassis and comfortable keyboard -- but the resolution is still stuck at 1,440 x 900 on the 13-inch version. The only thing excusing the mediocre screen is the battery life, which topped out at nearly 13 hours in our video rundown, with the next-best performer trailing hours behind.

  • It's not out yet, but ASUS' Zenbook UX301 is worth adding to your shortlist. With a 2,560 x 1,440 screen, it's one of a few Ultrabooks to push the envelope beyond 1080p -- and that list gets even shorter if you include only machines that are based on Haswell. In addition to the stunning IPS screen, the UX301 has a durable (and also beautiful) Gorilla Glass 3 lid. Thanks in part to that glass armor, the machine will weigh almost as much as the ATIV Book 9 Plus (3.04 pounds, to be exact). In exchange for the "heft," though, you at least get some promising performance: a Core i7 CPU, paired with optional discrete NVIDIA graphics.

  • We already liked the Dell XPS 12 for its sturdy build quality, attractive design and comfortable keyboard, and now it's even better: Dell recently refreshed it with Haswell CPUs, a bigger battery and an NFC sensor. The screen resolution is still the same, at 1,920 x 1,080, but then again, so is the price: at $1,200 with a 128GB SSD, it's a tad cheaper than other systems carrying similar specs.

  • Here's another one you might want to wait on. The Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro is the successor to the original Yoga 13, and in addition to being both thinner and lighter, it brings a much-sharper 3,200 x 1,800, 350-nit screen -- yep, just like on the ATIV Book 9 Plus. And at 3.06 pounds, it weighs the same as Samsung's offering too. And, as with the ASUS UX301, though, it's likely to be more configurable. Most importantly, however, the starting price is $1,100, which is considerably less expensive than what the Samsungs and Acers of the marketplace are selling.

  • Though we only did a full review of the 11-inch Sony VAIO Pro 11, we did spend some time benchmarking the 13-inch version, the Sony VAIO Pro 13 (see its results in the benchmark table in the performance section further up the page). With Haswell processors and PCIe SSDs, it manages to offer long battery life and transfer speeds in excess of 1GB per second. And, in the grand tradition of Sony's earlier Z-series laptops, it has a carbon fiber build that allows it to be remarkably lightweight -- just 2.34 pounds in this case. That's easily the lightest 13-inch touchscreen laptop on the market (maybe even the lightest 13-inch Ultrabook, period).

  • We're mainly including the Toshiba Kirabook on this list so that you know to stay away. With a 2,560 x 1,440 screen, the Kirabook was one of the first Ultrabooks to ship with something better than a 1080p screen. Still, Toshiba made the mistake of releasing it before Haswell came out, and to this day, it's stuck with last-gen Ivy Bridge processors. That's a real shame, given the lofty $1,600 starting price, and you're going to miss out on battery life because of it too. Oh, and adding insult to injury, that starting price doesn't even include a touchscreen. As if!


Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus review

Samsung already had the best Ultrabook on the market, and it's managed to stay on top in 2013, even as its competitors have improved battery life and performance on their own models. Like its predecessor, the ATIV Book 9 Plus is impressively thin, with an understated design and sturdy build quality. And thanks to a sharp 3,200 x 1,800, low-glare screen and a current Haswell processor, it rises to the top in terms of both display quality and performance. Even the battery life, which isn't technically best in class, is still very good. It's a solid enough package that we can forgive its few flaws (the painted-on branding and the comparatively slow disk speeds). So, while there are some other excellent, similarly priced options out there, the ATIV Book 9 Plus is a fantastic option in its own right.

Microsoft Corp Reportedly Convinces HTC to Add Windows Phone as Second ... - Morning News USA

Microsoft Corp Reportedly Convinces HTCAccording to reports, Microsoft Corp has asked HTC Corp to add Windows Phone as second operating system option on the latter’s smartphones, specifically those operating on Google Inc’s Android OS. Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s OS chief, would reportedly fly to Taiwan sometime this month to convince HTC’s executives to agree to the proposal.

The giant software firm seems determined to entice the smartphone maker to integrate Windows Phone into some of its products. Microsoft is reportedly sweetening the offer by volunteering to waive the licensing fees that it normally charges handset manufacturers to use its OS into their devices. According to sources, HTC is yet to agree to that proposal.

HTC and Windows Phone

It could be recalled that HTC has already released a number of devices that run on Microsoft’s Windows Phone. Among those were HTC 8X, HTC 8S, and HTC 8XT. But according to insiders, HTC realized that it may not be able to sustain using Windows Phone because it would be costly to do so. Besides, those Windows Phone-based HTC devices also generated limited returns.

Because of cost constraints, HTC is reportedly not planning to develop another device running on Windows Phone. The company is believed to be focused today on its flagship smartphone, HTC One that is running on free Google Android OS.

If HTC would agree to Microsoft’s proposal, both companies would still figure out how to make a hybrid OS with Android and Windows Phone work. However, it would not be a fresh approach as it has already been common in the tablet-laptop hybrid market.

For instance, at the recent IFA trade show held in Berlin, Germany, Taiwanese PC maker Asus launched its Transformer Book Trio. The laptop-tablet runs on both Windows 8 as well as Android 4.2. Before that, Samsung Electronics unveiled its Samsung Ativ Q that also operates on both PC and mobile OS.

Microsoft is obviously aiming to ride on Android’s popularity so it could bolster its Windows Phone platform. The company has been struggling to make gains in a tight mobile OS market, which is currently dominated by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Windows Phone is believed to be obtaining strength in Europe but it is yet to show any potential to even be a worthy competitor to the two more popular mobile OS.

25+ Reasons Why The Apple iPhone 5S Is Better Than The Samsung Galaxy S4 - PhoneBuff

Last week, we looked a whole lot of reasons why the Samsung Galaxy S4 could be considered better than Apple’s iPhone 5S. And just like we promised, this week we’ll be going over 25+ reasons why the opposite can be true. Now, just to clear things up, we’re in no way saying one phone is better than the other for everybody. That’s impossible and will never happen. Instead, we’re merely looking at the individual advantages of each device relative to one another. With that out of the way, let’s dive right into the list!

  1. Better build quality

  2. Display has better outdoor visibility

  3. Easier one handed use

  4. Getting all of Apple’s and some of Google’s ecosystem = best of both worlds

  5. Faster updates straight from Apple

  6. Dedicated vibrate switch

  7. Fingerprint scanner

  8. 120 FPS slow-motion at 720p

  9. Faster and longer lasting burst shot mode

  10. Dual LED flash

  11. Reversible charging port

  12. Battery fully charges faster

  13. AirDrop is more convenient and faster

  14. Privacy settings

  15. Guided access (for kids)

  16. Restrict certain apps and content (for kids)

  17. Better resale value

  18. No carrier bloatware pre-installed

  19. Selected text can be read aloud

  20. Access Siri even when the screen was off

  21. Quick access to camera even when passcode enabled

  22. Tap to the top of any list in any app

  23. Automatic video compression when e-mailing videos

  24. Better app selection with exclusives and sometimes better versions of non-exclusive apps

  25. Faster and smoother performance overall

  26. Displays the battery level of Bluetooth accessories in notification bar

  27. iMessage works seamlessly with SMS

  28. Slightly wider angled cameras

  29. Browser fully caches web pages so you can go back and forth without reloading

  30. More internal storage space available on equal models

  31. M7 co-processor uses less battery with peripherals

  32. Built-in emoji keyboard (without having to switch whole keyboard)

  33. Apple store customer service

  34. Multiple notification styles (banners and badges)

  35. Safari aggregates links from social media

  36. Phonetic names for contacts

There you have, that is our ever-evolving list of reasons why the iPhone 5S could be considered better than the Galaxy S4. If you have any “reasons” that aren’t in the list above, feel free to leave a comment down below and we’ll add it (and give you credit)!

About David Rahimi

David Rahimi is the editor-in-chief at Ever since he got his first smartphone, he has been obsessed with mobile technology and all that it has to offer. Other interests include business, investing, and neuroscience.

Lenovo's laptop portfolio is now home to the Android powered A10 - TechShout!

The widespread of Android continues into the laptop segment as another manufacturer, Lenovo, has designed a notebook to run solely on Google’s mobile platform. Called the A10, this system falls in the convertible category and it is being touted as an affordable and ultra-portable companion.

The A10 laptop falls in the same segment as the Ativ Q from Samsung, the SlateBook x2 from HP and the Transformer Book T100 by Asus, albeit it isn’t as powerful as its competition. Lenovo highlights that the device is powered by a RK3188 chipset that has a quad core Cortex A9 running at 1.6GHz and Mali-400 MP graphics. The notebook features a dual mode convertible design which is made possible by a rotating screen.

Lenovo A10

Under the lid, the company has fitted a 10.1-inch 1366 x 768p screen with 10-point touch input. The display can be turned by up to 300 degrees and a stable hinge has been placed to keep it steady in stand mode. There’s an integrated 0.3MP webcam as well. In laptop mode, you’ll be presented with a full-size AccuType keyboard and a multi-touch trackpad.

The notebook operates on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and comes with access to Google Play services. The device also houses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules as well as 2 USB 2.0 ports, a microUSB slot, a microSD card bay and optional microHDMI output. The A10 weighs under 1kg and it’s 17.3mm at its thickest. You can expect up to 9 hours of video playback on a single charge.

Lenovo hasn’t provided any price or availability details as yet for the A10 laptop and it notes that the information will vary by location.

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite review -

Windows 8 is beginning to embed itself into the public knowledge and we're getting more and more used to the concept of touchscreen laptops. And that's the exact where the affordable, sub-£500 Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite fits in.

It's name might sound like a bit of a mouthful, and the unwarranted all-caps "ATIV" brand was apparently conceived by taking the Latin word for life - vita - and spelling it backwards. Um, that makes no sense at all. Does that represent death for the latest Samsung laptop, or does the new series bring fresh lift to the Korean manufacturer's line?

New life

The ATIV Book 9 Lite does away with the old Series 3, 5, 7 and 9 models with a fresh lease of life. It's all new. This 13.3-inch laptop might not be made up of the supreme build quality that you'd find in pricier laptops, but we're still fairly fond of the way the Book 9 Lite looks.

The outer shell is a glossy midnight blue finish, with some visual texture that you'll only catch a glimpse of if it catches the light in the right way. Lift the lid and you're presented with a smooth, matte surface containing a full island-style keyboard and trackpad to the front.

Above is the 13.3-inch inch screen which continues the glossy route. Indoors and in the progressively darker UK nights we've not found this to be a problem, but in brighter light - including overhead spots, as we've found - it proves to be a little too reflective. The panel is an LED display, not an IPS panel, so the viewing angles won't always give the most contrastic view to the eye, but we've found the usable angle of view to be very wide. Resolution is a little on the low side at 1366 x 768 pixels, however, which is a bit of a letdown - but not to the point of being bothersome for browsing and all those usual tasks. At greater-than-720p it's still ample enough for watching movies with top and bottom letterbox blackout.

The plasticky finish leaves us feeling a little cold on the one hand, but on the other it's part of the reason that this slim package is lightweight. It's just over 1.5kgs, which is fairly standard in this category. Something a bit pricier like the Lenovo Yoga 13 weighs in at around the same.

READ: Lenovo Yoga 13 review

But as we've nodded to, the Samsung is a slender slab of AMD-powered machine. Closed up and it's just over 1.7cms tall - more short, really - the design carves a near optical illusion taper by the way it pinches in away from the thickest point to look extra thin when viewed from the side.

Lined up across the two sides are a variety of ports: USB 3.0, USB 2.0, micro HDMI, mini VGA, 3.5mm headphone jack, mini Ethernet, and an SD card reader tucked away under a plastic flap. All bases covered then, although for practicality's sake you will need adaptors to use some of the mini ports with success.

Track, touch and type

As with many Windows 8 machines the ATIV Book 9 Lite adopts a touchscreen principle. You can swipe in, drag icons around and do all those touch-enabled things that you may - or may not - want to do. We're still on the fence about touchscreen laptops, but get that some users will want to dirty-up their screens with their fingertips.

But you don't have to touch the screen, that's part of the pleasure of using a laptop. And the island keyboard found in the 9 Lite feels really good in use. It's springy and resistive to just the right point and there's enough separation between keys for it to not prove a mash-up of keys when typing. We've been using it as our go-to machine during the testing period and found our typing was unhinged, despite dropping down from a 15.4-inch to the smaller scale Samsung.

The trackpad, too, has just the right amount of finger-grabbing tactile feel to its finish for a fluid experience. It's easy to fling the cursor around screen, use it for two-finger gestures to scroll up, down or across documents, and the unmarked left and right click positions come naturally in use.

All in all, and considering the price point, we have very few qualms about the ATIV Book 9 Lite in use. It might be a bit plasticky, but that's to be expected, and it doesn't detrimentally impact the device experience.

Performance and power

Under the hood of the Book 9 Lite is a quad-core AMD processor, paired up with AMD Radeon graphics and 4GB of RAM. It might not be Intel, and the "up to 1.4Ghz" might lack the more serious thump that you might hope for, but then this is the "Lite" version of the ATIV model. It's in line with what we expected. We've been browsing, typing, watching movies and doing all that normal day-to-day computer stuff and seen little to no issues with the performance.

The 128GB SSD drive on board makes light work of load times - wake from sleep is near instantaneous. Once switched on we also found that so-called "bloatware" is kept to a minimum. Norton Internet Security is loaded up by default we didn't find it to continually prompt us to do anything - a rare but good thing. Other than that we had one Samsung own-brand prompt which we promptly ticked the "don't show me this again" box and that was that.

However, if you want to step things up a gear for serious photo editing then this isn't the laptop for you. It can chug through things, but not at smooth frame rates or at pace. At under £500 we're not surprised, go up the pricing food chain and you'll be able to access more power.

One of the benefits of this AMD chip set is its apparent low impact on battery life. We've been getting 6-hours from the device no problems, but then we've not been stretching its processing capacity in our day-to-day work lives. Dim the screen, go extra light and we reckon the Lite will last out considerably longer still - up to an alleged 9-hours. But still, in this class the battery performance we've been seeing is more than acceptable. Some upcoming Intel Baytrail machines might see that bettered by some margin, but for the time being we're content with the life per charge from this ATIV.


The first ATIV model that we've seen for review breathes fresh life into the Samsung laptop range. The Book 9 Lite is a good looking, albeit fairly plasticky, 13.3-inch offering that's affordable and just as on the money when it comes to all those day-to-day tasks.

The SSD makes it fast to load and wake from sleep, and even if the AMD processor isn't cut out for gaming or hardened editing, we're not surprised - that's not what this machine is all about.

A comfortable typing, tracking and touchscreen experience wrapped up in a portable package. Even if the ATIV Book 9 Lite doesn't quite take our breath away in terms of excitement, for the money it's one of the more favourable laptops out there today. Well worth a look.

Samsung ATIV S Hack Delivers 3 Column Live Tiles - Ubergizmo

Samsung ATIV S Hack Delivers 3 Column Live TilesDon’t you just love hacks? And by that, I mean it to be of the good kind, not the hacks that make life miserable for everyone in the case of identity theft. Well, here we are with word that some folks over at the XDA-Dev forum have had a fun time messing around with the Windows Phone operating system on the Samsung ATIV S, where they managed to introduce the 3 column live tile home screen that happens to chug along pretty nicely on a display that has 720p resolution.

In order to enable a 3 column live tile home screen on your Samsung ATIV S, all you need to do is to go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINES\Software \ Microsoft \ Shell \ OEM \ Start and change ScreenSize to 1, ensuring that the home screen on your Samsung ATIV S would end up looking like the Nokia Lumia 1520 which is on the verge of a release. For additional detail that would be able to shed more light as well as insight into this particular hack, it would bode you well to head on over to the XDA Developers forum.

Oh yeah, I am also quite sure that you might also want to check out the custom ROM for the Samsung ATIV S while you are at it.


Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus Updated With Core i7, 8GB RAM - Ubergizmo

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus Updated With Core i7, 8GB RAMNow that Windows 8.1 is rolling out, PC OEMs are updating their line of laptops, and Samsung is coming up with an updated ATIV Book 9 Plus laptop which now comes with Intel’s 4th Gen Core i7 processor, and of course, Windows 8.1. Samsung will continue to supply the version powered by a Core i5 CPU so the i7 updates aims the most demanding users who may want the extra horse power for video editing. Serious gaming seems a bit out of the question since the 9+ does not have a discrete GPU, but uses Intel’s integrated 4000HD graphics processor instead.

The theoretical battery life number remains unchanged to 7.5 hours (55.5Wh battery), but we will take a closer look into this when we test that laptop for ourselves.

If you are not familiar with the ATIV Book 9 Plus, it was initially launched in London in June 2013 and is designed to be a powerful ultralight 13.3” at 3.06lbs. The light weight is impressive since the touch-screen is supposed to add some weight to the system. The best part of the laptop is its QHD+ touch display (3200×1800) that is rated with a 350nit brightness.

This version has also gets a maximum of 8GB of memory, which is a big deal for anyone working with big files. Photoshop is probably a popular example of memory-hungry app that everybody knows, but there are certainly others. In theory “unused” system memory is actually used to cache a lot of files, so RAM never goes completely unused a system. In terms of storage, the official specs show a 256GB SSD, and that seems to be the only option at this time.

Samsung is going to take pre-orders right away on and says that users will find this product on the shelves in “early November”. The core i7 version starts at $1799.99 while the current i5 one remains at $1399.99 with 128GB of SSD and 4GB of RAM. For more affordable version, the ATIV Book 9 Lite or the Ativ Book 7 may be of interest.


Samsung stops hiding Ativ Book Plus 9 Ultrabook with Intel Core i7 from us - TechShout!

Been waiting for the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus to be available with the Intel Core i7 processor? The company has released the Ultrabook at a price of $1,800 with the aforesaid fourth generation Haswell processor as well as 64-bit Windows 8.1 out of the box.

So for the asking price, you get a 13.3-inch 3200 x 1800p capacitive touchscreen display crowned by a 720p HD webcam. On the inside, there’s the Core i7 4500U we’ve already mentioned, Intel Graphics 4400 graphics, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.

The Intel chipset can clock in at speeds of up to 3GHz on Turbo Boost and helps the battery keep going for up to 7.5 hours of usage. Samsung’s SideSync technology means you can wirelessly connect a Galaxy device to the Book 9 Plus in order to transfer files and such. Another handy addition is HomeSync Lite which lets you turn the Ultrabook into a sort of cloud storage facility.

Say, you click a picture through a gadget synced to the software, it gets uploaded to the PC’s storage space and can be viewed from any other connected device. The left side of the laptop carries the LAN, microHDMI, USB 3.0 and DC-in ports apart from a 3-in-1 card slot. The right side hosts ports for USB 3.0, headphones/mic and VGA (dongle), besides a security lot.

Samsung Ativ Book Plus 9

If your budget doesn’t stretch very much, there’s also a $1,400 version of the laptop which was released before this. It features 64-bit Windows 8, an Intel Core i5 4200U processor, a 13.3-inch 3200 x 1800p touch display, 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD memory. Or, you could go for the $730 Ativ Book 9 Lite. The Plus edition with its Core i7 chip is expected to begin shipping in early November.

Samsung Unveils Juiced-Up Ativ Book 9 Plus Ultrabook - PC Magazine

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus

Samsung isn't sitting still on the laptop front. Though the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus was just named PCMag's Editors' Choice for ultrabooks, today Samsung is announcing a new version of the laptop that features a better processor, larger storage, and comes with Microsoft Windows 8.1. The improvements do, however, come with an increase in price.

The new Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus builds on the already impressive foundation of the Book 9 Plus, which features a slim and light design and a high-resolution 3,200-by-1,800 touch screen. With features like dual-band Wi-Fi and a specialized hinge that stands up to touch without impeding normal laptop use, the premium ultrabook garnered a 4.5 star rating and easily snagged the Editors' Choice award.

The new configuration will feature an Intel Core i7-4500U processor, a step up from the Core i5-4200U found in the current model thanks to a higher clock speed and larger cache size. Both are fourth-generation dual-core processors, with Intel's improved graphics performance. The faster processor will allow speedier performance overall, but the differences will be slight. There will be a difference in price, however; where the Core i5-equipped model sells for $1,399.99, the new Core i7-equipped Book 9 Plus will sell for $1,799.99.

The new model also upgrades the storage, from the 128GB solid-state drive found in the current iteration to 256GB. The larger drive offers twice the storage space while still offering the performance enhancements of a solid-state drive.

Last, but not least, the new Book 9 Plus comes with Windows 8.1, which enhances the touch-friendly Windows 8 with more familiar Windows features, like an on-screen start button, optional boot-to-desktop, improved options for windowing multiple apps, and a more seamless transition between desktop and start screen.

While the Core i5-equipped Book 9 Plus is available in stores now, the new Core i7 configuration of the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus will be available in early November for $1,799.99.

For more, check out PCMag's full review of Windows 8.1.

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Samsung Unveils ATIV Book 9 Plus with Windows 8.1 - Broadway World



Samsung Unveils ATIV Book 9 Plus with Windows 8.1

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. today announced a new configuration of the ATIV Book 9 Plus, the company's flagship ultra-premium laptop. The new model adds Windows 8.1 and an Intel Core i7 processor to the striking design, QHD+ touchscreen and fast performance that the ATIV Book 9 Plus is known for. The laptop is available for pre-sale now exclusively from for an MSRP of $1799.99 and will hit shelves in early November in time for the Holidays.

ATIV Book 9 Plus Features:

Powerful Performance

The new Book 9 Plus configuration adds the power of Windows 8.1 and an Intel Core i7 processor to the already lightning-fast laptop. The Book 9 Plus wakes up in less than one second and boots from cold in less than six seconds, giving consumers instant access to everything they need. Up to 7.5 hours of battery life (MM12) ensure that users can enjoy the Book 9 Plus on cross-country flights or during a busy business day without needing to find a power source.

Premium Screen Quality

The ATIV Book 9 Plus features an incredibly precise 13.3-inch QHD+ (3200 x 1800) scratch-resistant touch-screen display. The screen is 2.8X sharper than full HD and with 350nit SuperBright technology; users will never miss a detail. The panel also tilts back up to 180-degrees and has viewing angles up to 170°, so users can change or share their perspective with just a touch. Additionally, the display locks at approximately 110-degrees to ensure a comfortable touch experience without wobbling.

Striking Design

The ATIV Book 9 Plus delivers on the iconic design legacy of the award-winning Book 9 with a full aluminum body, slim profile and sleek lines. The Book 9 Plus weighs just over 3 pounds and measures just over a half-inch, despite its powerful internal components. The premium and refined aerodynamic frame is sand-blasted to achieve an elegant matte finish, which is accentuated by a sophisticated Mineral Ash Black color.

Ultimate Mobile Convenience

Samsung SideSync is available on the ATIV Book 9 Plus, enabling users to seamlessly switch from working on their PC to their GALAXY smartphone by simply linking the two devices via a USB cable or even over WiFi. When connected through USB or wirelessly, users can effortlessly work across devices, including responding to a text on a mobile phone from the PC keyboard; viewing maps, photos and multimedia from their phone on their PC screen; making edits to files on their phone via their ATIV PC; and even dragging and dropping files from one unit to another. The result is a more unified experience, fewer interruptions to work and everyday life, and the ability to utilize the best features of both devices.


The laptop is now available for pre-sale exclusively from for an MSRP of $1799.99 and will hit shelves in early November. The previous ATIV Book 9 Plus model, which features Windows 8 and an Intel Core i5 processor, will remain available for $1,399.99, offering consumers a choice of features and price points. For more information, please visit