Notebooks Guide

Samsung Series 5 Ultra (NP530U3BI) review

Samsung Series 5 (13-inch) - An Ultra-priced Ultrabook

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Overall rating 8/10
Good value
Matte Screen
Build quality
Pleasant keyboard to use
Sharp edges near palm rest
Slightly heavier than other Ultrabooks

Battery Performance and Portability Index

Battery life and Portability Index

The name "Ultrabook" certainly comes from the combination "ultraportable" (a term or descriptor) and "notebook" (a noun, of course). The combination of these two words just serves to describe this new class of notebooks which are far more capable than their predecessors - be in terms of battery life, physical properties or processing capabiltities. Certainly past ultraportables and notebooks managed only a certain set of those aspects, but Ultrabooks have proven us so far to live up to their namesake.

Having established the platform performance of the Samsung Series 5 Ultra, we now check out its battery life and portability aspects that make up the other facets of an Ultrabook. Being late in the game, this is going to be a tough for Samsung.

Test Notebooks Compared
Specifications/Notebook Samsung Series 5 Ultra (13-inch) Acer Aspire S3 HP Folio 13 Lenovo Ideapad U300s
Processor Intel Core i5-2467M
Intel Core i7-2637M
Intel Core i5-2467M
Intel Core i7-2677M
Chipset  Intel HM65  Intel UM67 Express Intel HM65  Intel HM65
Memory  4GB DDR3 4GB DDR3 4GB DDR3  4GB DDR3
Storage 500GB HDD w/16GB Express Cache 320GB Hybrid Drive 128GB SSD 256GB SSD
Video  Intel HD Graphics 3000 Intel HD Graphics 3000 Intel HD Graphics 3000 Intel HD Graphics 3000
Battery 45WHr 36Whr 59Whr 54Whr
Dimensions 315 x 218 x 14.7 - 17.5mm 323 x 219 x 17.5mm 318 x 220 x 18mm 324 x 216 x 14.9mm
Weight 1.47kg 1.35kg 1.49kg 1.32kg


Battery Life

Battery life, in our opinion, is one of the key elements that define an Ultrabook. Unfortunately, the battery life on the Samsung Series 5 Ultra isn't as good as the machines from the competitors. However if you noticed, its battery life is extremely similar to that of the Acer Aspire S3. Though both sport a hybrid drive, that isn't the reason. In fact according to the notebook's specs and its battery charge capacity, it should have actually fared better than the 3 hours and 48 minutes we got out of it while playing a video continuously. Naturally, it would last a lot longer if you aren't doing something as intensive, for example like word processing.


Power Consumption

Given the stats we've obtained, applying a little math quickly gave us the power consumption stats and the real reason why the Samsung Series 5 Ultra didn't last as long as we hoped it would. For some reason, its power draw stats are higher than the HP Folio 13 and worst of all, the Acer Aspire S3. Looks like Samsung hasn't quite mastered power management finesse of the competitors.


Portability Index

Our portability index basically tells you if it's how worthy is the notebook to be lugged around while being powered on its own. The elements used to derive the final ratio include the machine's mass, dimensions and battery life. From our calculations, it looks like the Samsung Series 5 Ultra is as about as portable as the Acer Aspire S3 and is about one of the lower ranking Ultrabooks. Not as portable as the almost similarly weighing 1.49kg HP Folio 13, this is mostly due to the difference in battery capacity (hence battery life). However as far as notebooks go, the Samsung Series 5 Ultra is still reasonably light enough for you to carry it anywhere you go. Just don't expect to run intensive tasks on it and yet have it last the whole day.