June 26, 2013
- Attractive, sturdy exterior
- Good keyboard design
- Android smart phone integration
- Solid performance
- Narrow viewing angles
- Dim display brightness
The Samsung ATIV Book 5 is the latest Windows 8 powered touch screen laptop. It's extremely portable and offers extra long battery life, a comfortable keyboard and good performance.
The design of the Samsung ATIV Book 5 is one of its selling points. The black chassis is made of aluminum and it looks elegant, yet robust. The lid, however, does show fingerprints rather easily. The keyboard deck is made of glossy black plastic, which does look good against the aluminum finish.
It measures 13.3 x 9.2 x 0.8-inches (wdh) and weighs 4.4-pounds, so it's definitely portable both in size and weight.
When you open up the Book 5, you notice the large island-style keyboard with flat black keys. The keys were well-spaced and had little to no flexing in our testing. It is backlit, but we found it to be rather dim. The touch pad was larger than we had expected for a small notebook and offered good responsiveness. The bottom corners also work as the left and right mouse buttons and both had a good 'click' to them.
The 14-inch display on the Samsung ATIV Book 5 has a 1366 x 768-pixel resolution, but it's rather dim. In fact, it is most likely one of the dimmest laptops that we've seen in a long time. In addition to that, the viewing angles were very limited. But the 10-point capacitive touch screen worked well and allowed us to perform all the Windows 8 touch gestures.
For ports, the Book 5 offers two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, HDMI-out, mini-VGA out, Gigabit Ethernet, a combination headphone/microphone jack and a 3-in-1 memory card reader.
One of Samsung's major selling points for the ATIV Book 5 is the SideSync feature which lets you connect and interact with your Samsung Android smart phone. You can use your laptop's touch pad to navigate your Android device as well as the keyboard to compose e-mails on your smart phone. You can also backup your Android smart phone to your laptop too.
Our review ATIV Book 5 included a 3rd-generation Intel Core i5-3337U (1.8GHz) CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive, a 24GB solid-state drive and integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics. In a PCMark 7 benchmark, this laptop earned a score of just over 3,000, which is right on par with the Windows 8 Ultraportable average.
In real-world use, we did find the performance to be solid. It started up in about a dozen seconds thanks to the solid-state hard drive, which is faster than most other similar laptops. Graphics performance is only good enough for watching HD videos. The integrated Intel graphics won't cut it for 3D gaming.
Battery life lasted almost 8 hours, which is almost 2 hours longer than the ultraportable category average.