Samsung Series 5 NP530U4B-A01US Ultrabook Review

The vast majority of Ultrabooks on the market in 2012 aim for one thing and one thing only – portability. They trim weight any way they can and the result is a sleek, streamlined package that goes anywhere, but at a cost. These pared down computers have no optical drive and skimp on storage to get the job done.

Samsung’s Series 5 Ultrabook is different in a number of ways, combining the best aspects of an Ultrabook with a full scale laptop. Does it work, though? That is the most important question.

The Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook at a Glance

Released in early 2012, the Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook is something of a marvel when you consider its specs. It sports the same Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB system memory and Intel HD 3000 graphics chip, but at the same time, it manages to squeeze in a full optical drive and a 500GB HDD without adding a whole lot of extra weight. In fact, this Ultrabook weighs in at just under 4 pounds – still very sleek compared to the 6 and 7 pound behemoths that have long dominated the market.

At about 0.82 inches thick at its thickest point, it is also very thin and can offer a full 14 inch screen, larger than most other Ultrabook offerings. That’s where the Samsung Series 5 stands out. At the same time, you’ll get the very same fast booting technology that defines the Ultrabook trend. From cold to active, your computer will boot in less than 20 seconds and from sleep it boots in less than 2 seconds. Of course, boot speed will depend greatly on which model of HDD you get as the traditional spinning hard drive can slow things down in the lower end models.

With the extra space, the Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook also manages to provide a number of additional ports including both VGA and HDMI, a LAN port and two USB 3.0 ports as well as a USB 2.0 port and card reader. In essence, this is a full scale laptop in an Ultrabook frame. On top of all this, the matte screen looks incredible in partial sunlight, making it possible to actually get work done outside.

The Drawbacks of the Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook

The problem of course is that calling the Samsung Series 5 an Ultrabook isn’t quite accurate. Yes, an Ultrabook is defined by that quick start technology and getting the weight under 4 pounds, but most Ultrabooks are even lighter and even smaller. There is a very real market for this computer, but if you come in looking for a 2.5 pound computer, this isn’t it.

The Bottom Line

There isn’t much negative to say about the Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook. If this computer had been released a year earlier it would have been easily the best machine on the market for someone in need of a lightweight portable PC. Today, there are smaller options that run faster, but if you are concerned about giving up the amenities of a full laptop – namely the hard drive space of an HDD and the convenience of an optical drive and multiple outputs, then this is the perfect compromise.

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