Samsung's ATIV Book 9 Plus is the next generation of the slick Series 9 Notebook, and it's now more luxurious than ever. It gets a fourth generation Intel Core CPU, a touchscreen, improvements to its traditional input devices and, most importantly, a major bump in screen resolution.
The 'ATIV' name brings the device into line with the naming convention that's used by the other Windows 8-based computers in Samsung's range, but despite the name change, there isn't a dramatic change to its looks. Indeed, the new generation ATIV Book 9 Plus looks as familiar as ever with its slim chassis and slight, elegant curves, except that it's now equipped with a touchscreen, and it has some slight modifications around the sides, such as a slimmer cable lock facility.
The most notable features of the new unit are the inclusion of Intel's fourth generation Core CPU, which brings with it improvements in speed and battery life, and a very high resolution screen, which opens up more possibilities for multitasking and photo editing. It has a native resolution of 3200x1800 pixels (called qHD+), which equates to a pixels per inch (PPI) density of 275 on its 13.3in screen. It's the same screen that's used on the ATIV Q hybrid tablet, and Samsung said that it has a colour gamut of 72 per cent.
It also said that it has used a technique called optically clear resin (OCR) bonding, which it claims offers a more precise feel when touching the screen. This is important considering the very high resolution of the screen, which could be difficult to use when tapping on small icons, for example.
A change has been made to the hinges so that the screen can now be tilted all the way back, allowing it to be used while flat on a desk. Some Lenovo and Acer laptop hinges also allow for this, and it can make it easier to use the notebook with many touch applications, such as games. The hinge actually has a step in the middle so that it holds firm when it's tilted back for normal operation, and it requires a push to go back all the way flat. Samsung said it designed it like this so that it doesn't rock back and forth while being touched when it's in an upright position.
While the overall thickness of the unit is very thin at 13.6mm, Samsung claims the ATIV Book 9 has a backlit keyboard with better travel than before, which should make it more comfortable to type on for long periods of time. In addition, the touchpad is said to have been improved, with Samsung specifically citing an upgrade to the palm rejection feature.
The weight of the unit is 1.39kg, which is a little heavier than the 1.2kg of the Series 9 that we reviewed back in July last year, perhaps owing to the touchscreen and the new hinge design. All up though, it looks like the ATIV Book 9 Plus will be a pleasing model for executives and anyone else who wants a luxury laptop.
We'll bring you a full review of the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus as soon as it becomes available.
The author of this article travelled to the Samsung Premiere event in London as a guest of Samsung.