In keeping with Samsung's current minimalist design
ethos, the 5-Series notebook is refreshingly free of extraneous buttons and
distracting status lights. The slate-gray space around the keyboard and touch pad is covered
with a thin sheet of anodized aluminum which should wear well in the
long run. Aluminum tends to hold up better than traditional plastic surfaces against wrist wear, unless you wear
a lot of sharp jewellery. Around the glossy 13.3" LCD screen is a simple, black bezel.
The LED screen measures 13.3" across
and boasts a brightness of 300 nits.
can see in the above photo, the edges
of the Samsung NP540U3C-A01 notebook come to a sharp point around the keyboard and screen,
giving the illusion of a much thinner notebook than really exists, without making the device feel unnecessarily flimsy.
Samsung's NP540U3C-A01 Ultrabook is slightly thicker than
right-hand corner we find only a power button and nothing else. This kind of simplicity, I like.
At the lower left corner below the keyboard is a quartet of status LEDs which
indicate power/charge/HDD access and WiFi states. Aside from some stickers end users will typically remove
once they power up their notebook for the first time, the surface is refreshingly uncluttered.
Unlike it's more expensive 9-Series brethren,
the NP540U3C-A01 doesn't automatically change the screen brightness based on ambient lighting conditions and
there's no backlight behind the keys. As with most other sub-compact notebooks, system controls are nested
in along by the twelve Function "F" keys.
A Tile Keyboard Done Right
The scrabble-tile keyboard on the Samsung NP540U3C-A01 is full width and wonderful
to type on.
In the past
PCSTATS has been disappointed with Samsung's keyboards - they either suffered from too
widely spaced keys, glossy coated keys that were slippery to type on all day long
or aluminum keys that felt exactly like the other surfaces of the notebook making it impossible to
accurately touch type.
In this instance, Samsung engineers kept
things simple on the NP540U3C-A01 and that's
why everything about this keyboard works so well. The 81 unpainted, unvarnished, unadulterated keys have an excellent haptic feel to them, a comfortable
key-pitch of 19mm and a nice key stroke of about 2mm. Take it from
someone who spends all day typing, this is a great keyboard to type on with
a comfortable return stroke.
The keyboard itself measures 11" across; the same
basic footprint as a standard desktop keyboard. The keyboard layout of function keys is logical
and there is a nice separated group of arrow keys tucked below the right shift
key where you expect them when touch typing.
The touch pad measures 4" x 2-1/8" and supports multifinger gestural inputs and large
left/right click buttons.