[CES 2014] Samsung is refreshing its ultrathin 15.6” ATIV Book 9 laptop (formerly called Series 9) with an update that will take the battery life to new levels: Samsung claims that the 15.6” ATIV Book 9 can stay up for 14 hours straight while running the standard Mobile Mark 7 battery benchmark. That’s a 40% increase of battery life over the previous model, which is quite impressive.
Upon looking at the specifications, I have spotted a 62Wh (watt-hours) battery capacity, which is nice, but it can’t explain the autonomy increase by itself. The presence of a Core i5/i7 ULV (ultra-low-voltage) is the second factor that explains it. ULV processors from Intel use much less power than their non-ULV counterparts. Now, there is a trade-off in terms of maximum performance, but unless you intend to compress video (Intel’s quickSync should help anyway) or play games, it should be very acceptable. Hopefully, I will have a chance to run benchmarks soon.
This is a very interesting addition to Samsung’s line up which already has other models that use the full-speed (and full-voltage) Intel processors. In the past, I did some video compression tests and I found that Intel’s hardware MP4 quickSync hardware that is integrated in all modern Intel CPUs did an excellent job and could easily rival the GPU options available on similarly sized laptops.
In terms of multimedia usage, this 15” laptop should be able to play HD video without any issues. We’re therefore left with serious Gaming, which is not an option here (the Intel HD4000 is simply not fast enough), and possibly some general computation apps that would require a more muscular CPU. Note that this laptop can receive up to 1TB of SSD storage across two SSD drives, and at the moment, I’m not sure if Samsung is using Raid0 or not.
I will also take a closer look to the touch display (1920×1080) when I have a chance. In previous generations, I wished that it was better, and the new one doesn’t look as nice (color and image quality) as the ATIV Book 9+ that I have just reviewed, but I will wait until I see it before casting a final judgment.
From the outside, it looks very much like a bigger version of the ATIV Book 9+, and by now you should be fairly familiar with this look. At 4.07Lbs, the weight is competitive with other thin & light 15” computers.