At this year’s CES, Samsung announced an update to its popular ATIV Book 9 line of ultrathin laptops. The new model, dubbed the Samsung ATIV Book 9 2014, takes the place of the older Samsung Series 9 while stealing a little of the branding from the 13-inch ATIV Book 9 Plus.We’re not sure if there’s going to be a 2014 edition of the 13-inch model, though we hold out hope. While the new 15.6-inch Book 9 2014 is really nice, it’s still substantially heavier (4 pounds vs 3.5) than the last version, and a little thicker (0.63 inches vs 0.58). It also gets rid of the ultra high resolution panel, trading it instead for a more traditional 1080p version.
The new screen is brighter, however, clocking in at 300 nits, and this time around, it includes a capacitive touchscreen.
Other new features include a snazzy Wolfson DAC for “lossless audio” reproduction (it’s high quality to be sure, but lossless generally refers to audio compression – we’re not sure what Samsung is going for here aside from marketing woo); Samsung includes a special SPlayer music app that can take advantage of the new hardware.
Thanks to the addition of Intel Haswell CPUs, the same battery that got you 10 hours previously will get you 14 hours this year.
The build quality, unsurprisingly, is stellar. We’ve been big fans of Samsung’s premium laptops for the last couple of years, and this one looks to be no exception. The magnesium has been replaced with aluminum, and the new soft-touch keys are a pleasure to type on. Speaking of the keyboard, you don’t get all that much travel – this laptop is pretty darn thin, after all – but conversely, neither do you get any flexing.
We aren’t sure just how much the Book 9 2014 is going to cost, but there will be two configurations: one features a Core i5/128GB SSD, while the other goes for a Core i7/256GB drive.
The Samsung ATIV Book 9 2014 is due in the U.S. sometime in the first half of 2014.