Samsung Series 9 NP900X3A Notebook Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: August 31, 2011
Product Name: Series 9
Part Number: NP900X3A-A02CA
Warranty: 1 Year
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Keyboard and Touchpad

*Take note that our sample is the bilingual version of the Series 9 (for sale in Canada and some EU countries) so the left-hand Shift key is slightly shorter in order to make space for additional French keys.

Samsung’s notebooks have never been known for their typist-friendly keyboards but the Series 9 is a refreshing departure from mediocrity. Its chiclet style keys (which have an adjustable backlight) are well spaced for touch typing and all of the necessary function buttons are located in logical places. After a few hours of using it, we actually set a personal word per minute record, partially due to the high level of tactile feedback every key possesses.

If you are a typing purist there are some items that may cause some concerns. The CAPS and Enter buttons along with the space bar do tend to feel a bit crowded and the keyboard’s underside exhibits some flex. The glossy key backer was also quite annoying and faintly distracting when used outdoors but none of these had a negative impact upon typing speed or accuracy.

While finding faults with the keyboard wasn’t easy, the same just can’t be said about Series 9’s gargantuan trackpad. Granted, it does give the user plenty of real estate but this has to be one of the worst touchpads we have had the displeasure of using. But first, let’s hit upon some positive points.

By using the Synaptics ClickPad 1.5 technology, a decent number of multi touch functions have been included and for the most part, two finger scrolling, pinch-to zoom and other gesture-oriented features work as advertised to varying degrees of efficacy. The touchpad’s slightly rubberized finish helps make all of these movements relatively problem free.

Unfortunately the bad far outweighs the good here. The pad’s integrated click buttons lack feedback and as a result were extremely frustrating to use correctly. To add insult to injury, no amount of software tweaking could help a case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde sensitivity which had the cursor either moving at a snail’s pace or high tailing it across the screen at light speed. This issue was further compounded by the touchpad’s slightly offset position which caused our left hand the constantly brush its surface.

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