The Samsung Series 9, now rechristened as the ATIV Book 9, is Samsung's top of the line series of Ultrabooks. These machines are incredibly light and thin, with finely honed aluminum casings and great attention to detail. The higher end models have full HD to an even higher 3200 x 1800 resolution displays and backlit keyboards. So Samsung changed things up with the ATIV Book 9 Lite, an affordable (relative to Samsung ATIV and Series 9 prices) Ultrabook.
Since the company has lower end models like the (formerly "Series") ATIV Book 3, ATIV Book 5 and ATIV Book 7, we were surprised. But Samsung told us that they believe some frugal buyers want the ATIV Book 9 experience, particularly the good looks and light design, and so the ATIV Book 9 Lite was born. From a branding and marketing perspective, I suspect that Samsung has muddied the ATIV Book 9 line. From a consumer perspective, for $799 you get a very attractive, slim Ultrabook with an SSD drive and stylish lines. But is that enough to make it an ATIV Book 9?
The 9 Lite makes some concessions to drop the price tag relative to the $1,399 ATIV Book 9 Plus. In fact, unlike the ATIV Book 7 and ATIV Book 5, it has a gloss plastic lid rather than metal, and the bottom cover is also plastic. The Intel Core CPUs have been replaced by a 1GHz quad core AMD A6 APU (AMD's name for their CPU + integrated GPU) and the display resolution is lower at 1366 x 768. The laptop has 4 gigs of RAM (not upgradable), a Samsung SSD, single rather than dual band WiFi 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0.
Is the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite packed with enough style to tempt you to spend $800? Watch our video review to find out.