The Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite NP905S3G-K02US 13.3-inch laptop doesn’t offer blistering performance nor extensive feature set, but it has certain advantages over some similar laptops in other areas, mostly design-wise.
As same as all notebooks from the Series 9 ATIV lineup, the NP905S3G-K02US is extremely sleek. It’s only 0.67″ thick. Unlike its higher-end ATIV Book 9 Plus sibling with aluminum chassis, Intel processor options, and high screen resolutions of 1920×1080 or 3200×1800 pixels, the Lite version sports casing made of plastics, a somewhat sluggish AMD Quad-Core processor, and mediocre pixel count of 1366×768. Thankfully, the NP905S3G-K02US is much cheaper, costing about $800, whereas the Plus variant is priced at above $1,300.
However, even at $800 the ATIV Book 9 Lite NP905S3G-K02US can’t compete on the market performance-wise. The included CPU is advertised as AMD Quad-Core with Radeon HD 8250 graphics, but without the exact part name. Judging from the clock speed of up to 1.4GHz and 8250 graphics, the conclusion is that it’s the AMD A6-1450. Its speed (1626 PassMark CPU points) is in line with the Intel Pentium 2117U low-end part (1633 points), found in the 300-dollar laptops such as the Asus X502CA. For comparison’s sake, both perform well below the widely adopted Intel Core i5-4200U (3357), used in the $600+ laptops, and are suitable for the basic web and office tasks.
A positive thing on the NP905S3G-K02US’ side is the included 128GB solid state drive. It isn’t as large as mid-tier 500GB hard disks, but SSD-based storage delivers much better data writing and reading speeds, greatly improving responsiveness of the operating system and programs. RAM amount is standard 4GB.
Although it’s a consumer notebook, this model steps in the business market a bit. Like the majority of business-class notebooks, it comes with matte display coating optimized rather for better visibility in bright environments than for richier colors when playing movies. In addition, the preinstalled OS version is Windows 8 Pro, with enterprise features included.
Unfortunately, keyboard backlight is missing, although it’s a kind of “must have” on the 800-dollar notebooks.
Inside the light 3.2 pound chassis in dark blue color also are packed a 2-cell 30Wh battery good for up to 8.5 hours of battery life (Samsung tested it using MobileMark 2012), stereo 1.5Wx2 speakers, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Remaining on-body bits are a 720p web camera, two USB ports (1xUSB 2.0 + 1xUSB 3.0), micro HDMI, mini VGA, a small port for wired networking, a 3-in-1 media card reader, and a combo headphone-mic jack. Ethernet LAN port is provided via a bundled dongle which connects to the aforementioned networking port, while micro HDMI to full-size HDMI and mini VGA to full VGA adapter cables are sold separately.
Overall, the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite NP905S3G-K02US doesn’t offer enough computing muscle nor advanced features such as full HD display resolution or keyboard backligt to justify the relatively high price. For the same money, you can get the sleek Asus Zenbook UX302LA-BHI5T08 with the beefier i5-4200U chip, touchscreen capability, full HD resolution, IPS screen technology for wider viewing angles, keyboard backlight, and premium materials such as aluminum and Gorilla Glass. Because of that, we simply can’t recommend the Samsung, despite having solid state drive and Windows 8 Pro.