Samsung Series 9 Ultra Portable Notebook

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Battery Life

Unfortunately the NP900X3A lagged in this series of tests, but it had an inherent disadvantage. With its slim form factor, Samsung could only pack in a 6-cell 58 Wh battery, compared to the 63 Wh unit of the Lenovo and monstrous 84 Wh batteries in the Asus UL series laptops.

Test Results: Battery Life
Activity
Web Browsing
XVID Playback
H.264 Playback
Asus UL30A
(84 Wh)
9:44
6:52
5:52
Asus UL80Vt
(84 Wh)
9:11
7:19
5:24
ThinkPad Edge 13 (63 Wh)
6:22
5:50
4:35
Samsung NP900X3A
(58 Wh)
5:40
5:13
4:43

As we established earlier , AC power consumption was similar to the Edge 13, so it is unsurprising that the NP900X3A gave out 12% earlier in the web browsing and XVID tests. Playing H.264 video, the NP900X3A outlasted the ThinkPad by 3%, though, due to Sandy Bridge GPU's improved H.264 hardware acceleration.

Performance

Test Results: Benchmarks
Model
ThinkPad
Edge 13
Asus
UL30A
Asus
UL80Vt
Samsung NP900X3A
CPU
Core 2 Duo 1.3 GHz
Core 2 Duo 1.33 GHz
Core 2 Duo 1.73 GHz*
Core i5 1.4 GHz
Boot-up
1:25
0:57
1:13
0:26
NOD32
11:30
11:05
8:46
6:29
WinRAR
5:35
5:27
3:35
3:14
iTunes
8:04
8:02
6:13
5:58
TMPGEnc
10:47
10:22
8:10
6:43
PCMark05
3196
3452
3656
8002
*UL80Vt processor overclocked.

Intel's older CULV Core 2 Duos may claim superior energy efficiency, but when it comes to performance they do not hold up against a Sandy Bridge Core i5. Despite being clocked at 1.4 GHz, the NP900X3A's i5-2537M beat the Asus UL80Vt's overclocked Core 2 Duo SU7300 (1.73 GHz) in all of our benchmarks. While the TurboBoost feature helped in single-threaded operation, Samsung's ultra portable still scored a decisive victory in our multithreaded TMPGEnc video encoding test. The 256GB SSD was key to its impressive boot time of just 26 seconds.

Test Results: 3D Benchmarks
Model
Samsung NP900X3A
i5-661 / H55 Desktop
i3-2100 / H67 Desktop
Lost Planet 2 (1360x768, low)
12 fps
13 fps
17 fps
H.A.W.X. 2 (1366x768, low)
16 fps
24 fps
26 fps

Intel did well to shake off the stigma of slow integrated graphics with the HD 3000 chip in their Sandy Bridge desktop processors. HD 3000, found in their overclocking friendly "K" model CPUs, competed with entry level discrete video cards like the Radeon HD 5450. Unfortunately the mobile version isn't nearly as formidable due to a lower core clock speed (a paltry 350 MHz according to Intel). As a result the NP900X3A's gaming performance is poor, even eclipsed by the desktop version of Intel's HD 2000 graphics (HD 3000's slower sibling) and the previous generation Intel GMA HD graphics found on the Lynnfield based Core i5-661.

Running at the laptop's native resolution with all details on low, it managed an average of only 12 fps in the Lost Planet 2 standalone benchmark, and 16 fps in H.A.W.X. 2. Gameplay isn't slow enough to be described as a slideshow, but it's woefully inadequate for a serious gamer. Discrete or discrete-class graphics (as AMD refers to the graphics chips found on their new quad core mobile APUs) are still required for smooth gaming experience.



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