ATIV Book 9 Plus

August 18, 2013

So right around the time the Chromebook pixel came out, I started thirsting for a new laptop. It seemed to get so much right: gorgeous hidpi screen, sleek form factor, solid build materials, and a really good touchpad. It had some problems, too, though. For one, it was designed to heavily leverage “the cloud”, so it came with a small, non-upgradeable hard drive. It didn’t come with any USB 3.0 ports, either, so using an external drive wasn’t a super desirable option either. The keyboard boldly drops some keys that are actually kind of important in Fedora. But the real killer for me, was that in order to run Fedora on it, you had to hit a key at boot, every single boot. These are all understandable tradeoffs given the intended point of the laptop, but I wasn’t planning to use it the way it was intended to be used (as a ChromeOS cloud based machine).

So I hung tight. Then one day the Toshiba KIRABook was announced; another attractive looking, HiDpi machine (though it has an ugly shiny ring around the touchpad). I very nearly pulled the trigger on that one in May, but it suffered from being based on the soon to be superceded 3rd generation intel chipset. The Haswell line of intel chips, was set to be released in early June, along with (I assumed) a long line of Haswell based laptops. After discussing things with my wife, we both decided it would make sense to wait a bit.

Over the next few weeks a few hidpi contenders were announced: The Fujitsu Lifebook UH90, the ASUS Zenbook Infinity, and the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus all got presented at expos or announced in press releases. I waited for one of them to become available for retail. And waited. And waited. June went by, July went by, and August creeped in. Today, according to a Samsung Press Release a while back, the ATIV Book 9 plus is supposed to available for pre-order on the samsung website. Indeed the [Add To Cart] button is now there on the product page! Clicking it fails to actually add it the cart though. Oh well, probably a glitch they’ll fix tomorrow when the work week starts up again.

It’s also available on Amazon for pre-order now for a couple hundred dollars cheaper (or really the same price if you add in the SquareTrade extended warranty). It unfortunately only comes with 4GB or ram and 128GB M.2 SSD. I took the plunge anyway. I’ve gotten too impatient and can’t wait anymore! Low ram aside, it’s actually a pretty sweet looking machine. It should be arriving in the next 2 to 3 weeks, unless I get buyers’ remorse and cancel my order.

ATIV Book 9 Plus

7 Responses to “ATIV Book 9 Plus”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Your link to the ASUS Zenbook Infinity has no URL.

  2. Janne Says:

    4GB is just too little for me today. I got 16GB with my recent Lenovo, and I’m very, very happy I did. You can keep things like /tmp in a ramdisk, which makes a huge difference in overall responsiveness. Adding RAM seems to do far more for overall speed than bumping CPU versions.

  3. H Says:

    I have a Lenovo X1 Carbon and am loving it short of lacking a hidpi screen. I’ve been waiting patiently for Lenovo to come out with a 3rd generation X1 with just that feature. But thus far no so much as a hint… I’m still holding out though as I really don’t want to have to buy anything other than a ThinkPad.

  4. Matt Says:

    Have you seen anything on how easy it is to upgrade the RAM? I read somewhere that the existing Ativ Book 9 (not plus) is not intended to be user upgradeable, but you can take the entire bottom panel off and add a DIMM. I did notice the Amazon page says the 4GB is a single DIMM, hopefully that means it’s fairly easy to add a second.

    • halfline Says:

      I haven’t. I’m assuming it will be soldered in with no possibility of upgrade, but i’m willing to be pleasantly surprised! I know, according the anandtech, the drive is M.2 (and so user upgradable), but haven’t heard much about the ram, other than it’s single channel and not dual channel.


  5. […] a few weeks ago I wrote a post about how I preordered the ATIV Book 9 Plus. After that post, I eagerly waited weeks for the […]

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