Lite and less - New Straits Times

The Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite notebook is affordable but with some compromises, writes Nicholas King

SAMSUNG has a known formula when it comes to business — make affordable variants of its high-end products. We’ve seen it in the Galaxy S and Note smartphone series and its portable computers.

The 13.3-inch Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite is the affordable version of the Book 9 Plus, and priced at RM1,999 (non-touch screen) or RM2,399 (touch screen). But unlike its higher-end ultrabook cousin, the Book 9 Lite is rather peculiar because it isn’t an ultrabook, doesn’t have the peripherals to make it a notebook but has above average notebook performance.

Besides branding, similarities between the Lite and Plus versions are that the two sport slim profiles and run on Windows 8 OS.

The Lite also comes with Samsung sync apps: HomeSync Lite allows you to download content between your PC and Samsung Galaxy mobile devices, while SideSync lets you hook up your PC and mobile devices using either WiFi or a USB cable, and then use your mouse and keyboard to take advantage of both displays — a trend standard for most of the company’s new electronic devices.


The Lite is however, deceptive.

In terms of design, despite being the non-premium model of the two, its gloss plastic finish gives it a sharp and sleek look even without the ATIV Book 9 Plus’ aluminium touch. The rather plastic feel doesn’t affect its charm but with the gloss, finger marks on the cover lid abound.

The Lite is also thicker, 16.9 millimetres to 13.6mm, and heavier, 1.44kg to 1.39kg, than the Plus. While the 3mm difference still makes it look like a semi-ultrabook it doesn’t feel light.

And the Lite only lists x4 Quad Core on the console as part of the notebook’s processor, in which research revealed that it is only an AMD Quad-Core Processor Optimised for Samsung with speed of up to 1.4GHz.

I wonder if Samsung is trying to cover up the Lite’s actual performance and battery life, which clocked in at a dismal four to five hours. Not something to look forward to with recent lineup of portable computers giving greater output and battery longevity.

It also affects consumer choice of whether it is worth the purchase since the only other thing that determines purchase is usually the type and version of the processor used.

Adding to the Lite’s mediocrity is its 1,366 x 768 resolution screen — again, with an unspecified AMD Radeon Graphics card — and muffled speakers located below the palm rests. It isn’t anywhere bad or terrible, just mediocre. For the price you’re paying though it may be justified depending on your preference.

A plus point however, is the quick eight seconds boot-up and two-seconds wake-up, and the Lite has a 128GB solid-state-drive, which is today’s rage.

How much it helps the actual performance however depends entirely on your personal experience as well. In fact, you may start to question if 128GB is enough.

A mirage or a smoke screen is the best way to describe the Lite. Its seeming affordability comes with compromises.

There are other notebooks which offer more for less than the Lite’s starting price, giving it a less than stellar reputation.


Here are three reasons why you would consider going for the ATIV Book 9 Lite: For its low price (if a slightly above average notebook is sufficient for your daily use), its semi-ultrabook design (at a price not many notebooks can offer), and your love for Samsung products and sync options.

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite

Pros: Ultrabook-like design at a budget price, Samsung sync options, decent performance.

Cons: Only four to five hours battery life, heavier than it looks, borderline average performance.

Price: RM1,999 non-touch screen/RM2,399 for touch screen

Enquiries: Samsung Product Support

Tel: 1800-88-9999

Our verdict: HHHH

Physical design: HHHHH

Documentation: HHHHH

User-friendliness: HHHHH

Features: HHHH

Performance: HHHHH

Value for money: HHHH

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite


Post a Comment