Review: Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus

Samsung’s ATIV Book laptops don’t go up to 10. They start at the ATIV Book 2 and they go up to the ATIV Book 9. But if you want one louder, you do have an option: The ATIV Book 9 Plus.

Bargain-seekers can stop reading right now. At $1,400, the ATIV Book 9 Plus is a solid double the price of more mainstream laptops. This is despite the fact that it ships with decidedly low-end specs, including 4GB of RAM, integrated graphics, and a 1.6GHz Core i5 CPU. The 13.3-inch laptop does feature an SSD, but at 128GB, it’s hardly cavernous. Ports include just two USB 3.0, a micro HDMI, and a mini VGA (VGA!) adapter. No memory card slot included.

But there is one feature that earns this ATIV its Plus, and that’s the touchscreen. With a jaw-dropping 3200 x 1800 pixels of resolution (again, crammed into a svelte 13.3-inch screen), it’s got the highest resolution I’ve ever seen on a laptop. Even the similar-sized MacBook Pro with Retina Display tops out at 2560 x 1600. You might not notice the resolution at first, since the laptop ships with its resolution dialed way back to 1920 x 1080 out of the box. Max it out and you’ll discover why the change was made: The icons and fonts are so small, they’re wholly illegible at a normal viewing distance.

What will you do with all this resolution? You won’t be gaming, and the amount of “1800p” video content available to watch is functionally zero. Windows apps don’t readily benefit from the resolution, either. Graphic designers might fall in love with the screen, I believe… if they weren’t already in bed with a Mac.

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