The concept of a lightweight notebook with a large display should appeal to many users who value portability but struggle with a small screen, perhaps due to aging eyes. I hadn’t consciously noticed that I was sitting closer to the 13.3″ display on the NP900X3B, but I was. Now I’ve got accustomed to the bigger screen I don’t want to revert to the 13.3″ size even if the quality is better.
Samsung are gradually working their way towards design perfection. The overall build quality is impressive considering the slender form. This is not a notebook that needs a thick padded sleeve (although I recommend a thin one to protect it from dirt and scratches). The main design failings are the ports being tightly packed together (wide flash drives are a problem) and the absence of a very high resolution video port (micro HDMI has a maximum of 1080p). The absence of the premium quality PLS display is easily rectified if Samsung decide to make one but I should emphasise that the display is noticeably better than that on the T420s. The problems I have encountered with Wi-Fi and fan noise reflect a lack of thorough testing and most users are not encountering these issues.
So, will this notebook take over from the Lenovo T420s? So far the omens are looking positive: Better display; slim profile and less weight (particularly when the PSU is included); longer battery time and a feeling of durability. Adequate storage is the current bottleneck. I’ve already done one upgrade and can’t wait for 512GB mSATA SSDs to arrive. And the final good news is that although the NP900X4C is wider than the T420s, its slender profile means that it will slip into the same bags.
- Exceptionally thin and light for a 15-inch notebook
- Excellent battery operation time
- Robust and stylish construction
- Exceptionally large trackpad
- Non-premium display in a premium notebook
- Needs special dongles for the network and display devices
- Weak Wi-Fi performance and fairly noisy fan when under load (for me, not everyone)