Image: Hugh Threlfall
July 07 2011
Funny, isn’t it? For years, Apple was the quirky computer alternative, the leftfield choice for those determined to be different or fashionable, or who placed aesthetics above function or value. But opening this much-heralded new Samsung 13in ultra-slim solid-state notebook, its Series 9, I was struck for the first time by something new; that with Apple becoming ever-more popular, yet losing none of its technological pre-eminence, Windows computers are now a slightly eccentric alternative.
Samsung, for me, is one of the world’s top three manufacturers, alongside Apple and Sony. So the Series 9 should be as special as its peerless TVs and Galaxy tablets. And it is a very nice laptop – if you have some compelling reason to need Windows. I would say “prefer” Windows, but again, to favour the Microsoft OS has become a rather perverse position.
The Series 9 is an almost 20 per cent more expensive, 25 per cent heavier version of the equivalent MacBook Air. For that you get a notebook that, to me, feels 10 per cent thicker, 20 per cent cheaper and 40 per cent less desirable. Why? Because its sharp-edged Duralumin case is a magnet for fingermarks, so it soon looks as smeary as a Windows user’s spectacles.
Having said this, it’s approximately 20 times nicer than the average PC laptop, has a nice screen and a good keyboard, if identical to the MacBook’s. So it’s your choice, really.