As regular blog readers will know, I replaced a buy ridden LG Ultrabook with the Samsung Serious 9. As you can see from the photo it's sleek and thin. You can read the technical specs from any number of sites but what I want to talk about is what it's like to write on.
For years, I've felt that manufacturers neglect writers when they design laptops. So first, the Samsung gets really high marks for being comfortable to type on... for hours. The the keyboard is spacious and very responsive. It's also back lit for those who like that kind of thing. But the best feature about the keyboard is that it sits slightly lower than the palm rest. You'll find that your hands rest in a way that prevents most unintentional bumping of the track pad.
Samsung took it a step futher. The track pad itself is slightly recessed, too. Combined it's nearly impossible to bump the pad by accident. But if you do bump it, the track pad isn't slippery. I've hated all the track pads on every laptop I've owned over the years. I hated how they'd highlight text while I was typing but I especially loathed the LG because it would highlight, delete the entire passage, open several programs and on a few occasions close out the word processor. But even though I'd take a sticky track pad over a slippery one, the Samsung has balance. Gone or the frantic searches in my bag for the portable mouse. With my fingers on the keys, I flick my thumb and scroll around my manuscripts with now fear of anthing being deleted.
The final feature that every writer will love is the anti-glare screen. It's not just a fancy word for matte finish. Writing is pretty seditary, but it's not an issue with this laptop. I tuck my Samsung 9 in my backpack along with a few snacks, and hit the trail instead of the local coffee shop. The screen looks great inside our out, just adjust the brightness levels to suit. This is the first notebook that has trully let me be a writer on the go.
The Samsung 9 is also supper light at 1.16 kilos and I was told it has about 6 hours battery life. But just using it to type, I find I get between 7 and 8 hours. And whether you're writing or downloading music and movies, or all of the above with 4 gigs of RAM and 128 gigs of SSD there's pleanty of power under the hood.
This computer won't come cheap. Stateside I think it sells for 1499.99 but you can make up some fo the price by going to the park instead of the coffee shop. Plus there's no compisees with this machine, making it well worth every penny.
We met for the first time on a weekend in early December 2011. LG Ultrabook was showcased on a laptop pedestal under glimmering lights that accentuated it's stamped titanium chassis. I moved closer. It spoke me in low, husky whisper.
"i5 core, 4 gigs of ram, DDR2, 13.3 inches, ultra-portable."
The geek in me swooned. The writer in me moaned. The accountant in me clutched tightly at my purse strings.
The LG Ultrabook continued. "You can afford it. Treat yourself. You've been a good little writer, tap-tapping on that tiny Idea Pad keyboard. You deserve me."
I went home but LG Ultrabook's voice was in my head. It whispered sweet nothings. "9 second start up time. That's 0nly 9 seconds between start-up and your idea on my screen. It's 13.3 inches. I have a spacious key board."
I began stalking LG Ultrabook where ever it was sold.
"I want you, " I whispered stroking it's stamped titanium one afternoon in Home Plus.
"You're drooling all over the keyboard." A salesman grabbed me by the arm. " Please stop fondling that computer. You're making the other customers uncomfortable."
"I'll buy you." I called over my shoulder as I was escorted of the store. "As soon as your on sale!"
This is a rather funny explanation how I broke my cardinal rule for purchasing electronics. (Always buy the cheapest thing that offers your must have features. Compromise on the rest. Upgrade guilt free in two or three years. ) And it also explains why I was so sad yesterday. Despite a 1000 good reasons to insist on a refund or replacement computer, I was, still am reticent about saying goodbye. I even made a mind map to clarify my thoughts. In the end it came down to stability. It was too prone to shock. It was like a pocket CD player that skipped songs at the slightest jolt. Goodbye LG Ultrabook. I'm sorry that it ended this way.
How many times did I drop you? How many times did I filling my purse, with you not so neatly tucked inside, onto my bed or couch, or table, only for my purse to thunk to the floor? How many times did I carelessly run you into corners and bus seats. How may Koreans have crashed into me and thus you. In repayment, I decided to replace you. In January I abandoned you for a faster, bigger, and consequently more expensive computer.
At 1.5 million won ( Approximately 1500 US dollars) the LG Ultrabook wooed me with it's sleek design and 9 second start up time. It's not even available in the United States yet. I was cool, the writer with the newest, greatest technology. How vain I was.
It was buggy out of the box, tons of glitches and sometimes it's "smart" programs would restart the computer without warning. I'd be typing along and suddenly I had black screen having been offered no choice to delay this update. But I was infatuated. I stuck you in a box and put that box in the closet.
There you sat with your charger and extra battery. New out of the box you got four hours per, though now you only get about three and a half. LG claims to offer a six hour battery life it's closer to four. As I toted my LG Ultrabook around, I found myself wishing I had an extra battery to shove in my bag like I used to do with you. At the same time, I toyed with ways of getting rid of you. I thought about taking you apart to see what you looked like on the inside. I thought about selling you. I thought about giving you to some to some sticky fingered children to abuse until you finally conked out.
But I wasn't ready to part with you even though I had replaced you. So, when my LG Ultrabook needed to go for repairs, you were still there. The plastic over your hing is busted from so much mistreatment for which you gave to me years of reliable service. I have done nothing but coddle the LG Ultrabook and in repayment, today it erased all my data from its hard drive. All my data is GONE.Well, I backed it up not so long ago, so not everything was lost. But any loss, is too much. In the three or four years that I abused you, never once did you loose my data. Never once did I have to wipe your hard drive and reinstall everything. (Though if I had, you'd probably be a lot faster =)
You are old and you are slow, but you are reliable in a way my LG Ultrabook will never be. I love you.
M.R. Jordan is a writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. Lives in South Korea with her two cats, Bear and Geumbi.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Gold in English)... then (above) and now (below).