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Samsung 5-Series NP540U3C-A01 13.3-inch Ultrabook Notebook Review

Samsung 5-Series NP540U3C-A01 13.3-inch Ultrabook Notebook Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Samsung's 5-Series NP540U3C-A01 Ultrabook is the first touch screen laptop to cross PCSTATS test bench with Windows 8 installed. Our first impressions of this new touch screen interface are positive...
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Notebooks Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Samsung May 08 2013   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Notebooks > Samsung NP540U3C-A01

360° View of the Samsung NP540U3C-A01 Continued

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.

As you 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 a Sharpie

In the 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.

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Contents of Article: Samsung NP540U3C-A01
 Pg 1.  Samsung 5-Series NP540U3C-A01 13.3-inch Ultrabook Notebook Review
 Pg 2.  360° View of the Samsung NP540U3C-A01
 Pg 3.  — 360° View of the Samsung NP540U3C-A01 Continued
 Pg 4.  LCD Viewing Angles and a Shoddy Webcam
 Pg 5.  Challenges with the Touch Screen Windows 8 Interface
 Pg 6.  Looking Under the Hood
 Pg 7.  Notebook Benchmarks: MobileMark, Sysmark 2012, PCmark Vantage
 Pg 8.  Notebook Gaming Benchmarks: 3DMark06, 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark 11
 Pg 9.  Notebook Benchmarks: Sandra 2013 CPU / Memory / SSD
 Pg 10.  Notebook SSD Benchmarks: PCmark Vantage HDD Suite, AS SSD
 Pg 11.  Conclusions: Samsung's NP540U3C-A01 Core i5 Ultrabook

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