Samsung’s stunning Series 9 laptop is light and thin like Apple’s (AAPL) MacBook Air, but does it have what it takes to take on Cupertino? Walt Mossberg says that for Windows fans, it just might.
“This will be the first Windows computer that roughly matches [the MacBook Air] in terms of build, construction, weight, size, solid state storage… so in that sense it is a contender for people who love Windows,” said Wall Street Journal Personal Technology Columnist Walt Mossberg in his weekly All Things Digital Segment on FOX Business
He said the Series 9 has a faster chip set, faster USB port, and a backlit keyboard all in a size and weight similar to the MacBook Air.
However, Mossberg pointed out that as with the iPad in the tablet space, Apple surprisingly comes out as the lower-cost option for ultra-portable notebooks, as the base MacBook Air with a 13-inch screen and 128GB of solid-state storage is $1299, compared with the base Series 9 with comparable specs at $1649. Typically Apple’s products have had a higher price point than most competitors.
Despite the faster features that set it apart from the Air, Mossberg said $350 is still a big difference and he didn’t feel a noticeable speed difference from the Mac.
He also found the battery life on the Series 9 to be lacking compared with the Air. Both Apple and Samsung rate seven hours of battery life on the laptops. Mossberg’s rigorous tests found the Mac came in just 45 minutes shorter than the advertised life. He believes under more normal usage, it would surpass that. But the Samsung Series 9 came in at just under four hours, almost a two-hour difference from the Air.
Samsung’s screen is brighter, however, so it uses more power, so to extend the battery users would need to forego the benefits of that brighter screen and turn it down, he said.
“This is a good computer,” Mossberg concluded, “and if you’re a Windows user who’s been lusting over that kind of size and shape and speed on the Mac this might be a good choice for you, but you’re gonna pay more and you’re gonna have to live with lower battery life.”