Samsung NP900X3C is pretty sweet!

On black friday (we don’t really have that tradition in Portugal but stores are copying it from other countries) I saw this very sweet Samsung NP900X3C (A01PTbut it cost a hairline under 1000€. The ones I was really looking after were the 11.5” ones with Intel Core i7 but they cost around 1600€ over here. Much sweeter, but they’d really set me back a bit too much.

So… I happen to go back to the store a couple of weeks afterwards and it’s now at 777€. Woot! (well, it was the laptop on display, as it was the last one).

Since I wanted it to have 8 GB of RAM rather than the 4 GB it comes with, I asked whether they’d upgrade the RAM. «No problem!» they replied. Oopsie, problem… the RAM is non expandable after all, wielded to the board (the hidden costs of being ultra light and thin) was also a surprise for them, so as I was going to go give up on it they got me a further discount: 699€. Done deal!

So of course I never even booted Windows (the story of the license refund: part I, part II, part III, and part IV should start really soon now) and quickly got Fedora 20 in it. Virtually everything works, with the exception of a couple of minor issues: the keyboard brightness, silent mode and wireless toggle don’t work, but the rest… on man…

  • Boots to graphical login prompt in 6 seconds, not counting the UEFI bios, but it’s also just a couple of seconds more.
  • Intel Core i5 is fast enough, I don’t have the slightest feeling of slowness, it seems faaaaast! Even with the scaling governor in place
  • It’s so light it almost doesn’t feel it’s there
  • The full resolution is there, not Full HD like the ones I was really looking after but 1600×900 is very good. Intel HD4000 is also quite fast, but I already knew that since I upgraded my home media center in the summer of 2012, which came with it.
  • The keys are evenly spaced, it’s quite balanced for my hands and I’m quickly adapting to the layout without any issues other than the arrow keys which are a tad small, but also rarely used.
  • The touchpad is wonderful, before configuration I was hating it (oh… no tap click) but it was just a config away. Two fingers to scroll, three finger tap for middle button paste, and it turns off while typing. Yes! I wonder if there are more gestures…
  • Audio sounds fine, but I use a bluetooth headset anyways (oh yeah, bluetooth works fine as well, already bound the mouse too)
  • Wifi is working fine, and it’s only a bore that ethernet is done via a dongle. It looks like micro-USB, but it’s probably not as the interface is already there before anything is plugged
  • The SD card reader also works fine

Jos Poortvliet’s blog about this laptop is also a good source of what should be happening, and it seems that the buttons that aren’t working should work after some help, but samsung-laptop module isn’t being loadable, so I expect that’s a Fedora beta issue, maybe on the next kernel upgrade it works better 🙂

The only design issue I found, so far, is that the left USB is too close to the power cord, so when it’s plugged it’s hard to put anything in without a short extension cable, but hardly a serious issue when it’s so cool.

I’m only sorry I was in the eminence of having my WeTab just stop working at a bad timing, because even though I got a very good deal, some other important expenses have had to be delayed to 2014…