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Samsung Series 5 review (ultra 13 touch)

Updated on August 8, 2013

At a time when hybrids and convertibles are invading the market, Samsung still has devices in the ultrabook´s segment that are worth considering.

All big technologic companies that have a computer division seem to be united in the thought that has been repeated several times over the past few months: the PC will not die and it´s here to stay.

The numbers of various consultants point in the opposite direction. Less and less computers are being sold, because consumers prefer to spend money on smartphones and tablets. Portability seems to be the most significant reason, so as the price difference between the various types of equipment - all due to the utility that each one really gives to the different devices.

The ultrabook concept appeared as an attempt to minimize losses and to try to attract new attention for laptops. Currently the ultrabook idea can also quickly fall by the wayside since the appearance of Windows 8 is pushing the creativity of companies in formats such as hybrids, convertibles and All-in-One that are also tablets.

The concept of ultrabook still makes sense? Completely. They are portable, they are not very heavy and they present good autonomy and consistent performance.

Samsung Series 5 ultra 13 touch

The Samsung Series 5 Ultra has everything to become an icon of worship in a room where there are other computers, but it lacks some specifications that would make it the king of computerization in that same room.

Starting with the graphics performance. The Intel HD 4000 graphics card goes well with basic tasks such as multimedia playback, but when faced with most demanding challenges it falters.

I have experienced two games in Samsung Series 5 Ultra: Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 and The Elders Scroll: Skyrim. In the case of PES 2013 it gave out a warning that the ultrabook had not the required specifications, although it worked well at lower resolutions, and in the case of Skyrim, the game itself had set the game to run in "low resolution", and even so it didn´t worked well, featuring chocking that made it impossible to play.

If this happens with games, more demanding softwares like Autocad, 3D modeling programs and even video editing, are unlikely to have a good performance in this Samsung Ultrabook.

Its "weakest link" seems to be its graphics card, as the 1.7 Ghz Intel i5 Dual-Core and the 8GB of RAM should allow more and better in this portable device.

The performance of the NP540U3C - model of this ultrabook - is however far from being immaculate, especially at the start of the applications that were always time consuming given its specifications. Booting Windows the device is fast, very fast, as well when resuming session when it´s hibernating.

The secret is in the 24GB SSD SanDisk unity, which allows faster access to certain features of the computer. It also features a hard drive of 465GB.

But CPU, GPU and RAM only are not enough to make a PC. The tested Samsung Ultrabook has a 13.3 inches touch screen with a resolution of 1.366x768 pixels. Despite not being a Full HD, the level of screen resolution is good and the brightness levels are also welcomed.

The touch screen is very responsive, and detects the movements, but especially in web browsing can become confusing. Blame not the hardware but the software - Windows 8 only runs well on hybrid and convertible PCs.

The battery endured five and half hours on video playback with constant high brightness levels. Without being at high demanding tasks, it manages to squeeze a few more minutes that lasts for nearly a day's work.

Still in the multimedia panorama, the sound system reproduces good treble, well played and high, the bass also follows, although it can be noted a lack of intensity due to the lack of a subwoofer.

Samsung series 5 Ultra 13 touch: Strengths

And behold, one comes to the point where the Samsung series 5 ultrabook is good, really good.

Starting with the cooling system. The Samsung series 5 ultra 13 touch never showed signs of overheating in the nearly three weeks of analysis and it were rare the times that the fans fired consistently.

The keyboard is perfect. Well spaced keys, with optimal sensitivity, never had shortcomings, with a proper and not excessive sound. It gives pleasure to write on a computer like this one. To be more perfect only if it included backlighting, a concept that although not standard comes in handy in situations where lighting is dim.


This ultrabook is a victory of design. Built in brushed aluminum and coupled with simplistic and smooth lines - also common in other ultraportables - it´s a pleasure to have a computer like this.

It would be possible to speak in a low-cost ultrabook? It would, despite not making much sense. The concept of ultrabook may not only be associated with the thickness of the equipment and its brushed metal finishes. The ultrabook, which presents itself as the "cream of the portable", necessarily has to offer above average performance, a situation that one could not find in this Samsung Series 5.

Within the average, at least. I rather have seen some more firepower at graphic level, the area where the NP540U3C disappoints most. Paying out more than 600 dollars and not being able to play PES 2013 makes no sense.

But for those who give precedence to form over content, then go ahead because the Samsung Series 5 Ultra 13 touch has many points that will leave very satisfied their customers - and their friends envious.


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