Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook Review
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The Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook inherits its predecessor, the 530U3C. Externally the two ultrabooks same like peas in a pod, technically Samsung spices up the compact subnotebook with Windows 8 and a touch screen.
With Ultrabooks are a relatively new category of device that makes itself through Intel’s rigorous criteria with the extreme focus on customer mobility in very popular and was able to secure a place in the portfolio of many manufacturers. Here Samsung can now draw on some experience. The Series 5 represents the portfolio entry into the highly competitive ultra mobile segment dar.
A brilliant touch screen of 13.3 inches, a power-efficient Intel ultra-low voltage (ULV) i5 processor includes integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 graphics card and a brisk 128-GB flash memory to convince buyers in the upper level class. Whether the touch screen in conjunction with a specifically optimized operating system Windows 8 represents a real added value compared to its predecessor, and how does the new hardware shows our test. As the ultrabook is only technically different from Samsung Series 5 530U3B and 530U3C, we place the test focus on the technical innovations.
Details on Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook
The housing of the test device Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook corresponds almost completely to the two previous 530U3B and 530U3C from Series 5 What was said in the review of 530U3B, still has stock: Top made from aluminum and the bottom of fiberglass are deficient in stability and rigidity. The biggest weak point then as now, the hinges of the display lid dar. This teeters on shocks to very hard, what’s in a medium heavy offense normally and disturbing reflections provoked. But is also a touch screen installed in the test apparatus, control precision and image contents suffer greatly. Due to the continuous typing to display the same is shaking constantly, especially when entering text or play that is permanently uncomfortable holding the screen with one hand inevitable. By the modified display includes glass cover, the total weight has increased in comparison to the predecessor by about 160 g to 1.6 kg.
There is an access panel that can be prying after loosening a screw on the bottom cross the Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook. Below you will have access to solid state drive, the fan and the cooling system on which the processor is installed. Also, you can replace the 4 GB RAM module here. Additional 4 GB of RAM are soldered under the SODIMM RAM slot, so the ultrabook can be equipped with a maximum of 12 GB of memory. The built-in 52-Wh battery is not accessible without removing the entire housing.
Alternatively, you can configure the SSD for Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook with a conventional hard drive and a small SSD cache. The possible maintenance exceeds that of most other Ultrabooks, and represents a major plus point dar.
Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook Equipment
Usually Ultrabooks not necessarily shine with a variety of interfaces. Also, the Samsung Series 5 NP540U3C ultrabook is no exception and takes the full extent of the 530U3C. Despite all the essentials stinginess on board USB 3.0 – check. SD card reader – check. HDMI and Micro HDMI outputs are also onboard. Since the ports are each very close to each other to block the side port thicker plug. To a Gigabit LAN interface you also thought this is a foldable in order to meet the minimal depth of chassis.
The webcam of the Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook is placed in the upper display frame and triggers with 1.3 megapixels. For video chats like Skype in decent quality is sufficient. In low light conditions, however, strong image noise is noticeable. The corresponding microphone is suboptimal admitted to the left of the keyboard into the finish. This typographical noise when video calling and chat will be transferred with disruptive.
Speaker & Communication
The two stereo speakers on the Samsung Series 5 NP540U3C ultrabook are installed at the bottom of the ultrabook and radiate downwards to feed the audio to the listener through reflections. If you use the notebook on your lap, the transducer will be covered and the sound suffers greatly.
The small speakers are designed for quiet background music or video telephony. However, at slightly higher volumes quickly they tend to oversteer. Overall, the sound is very low in height and emphasizes midrange and bass. Therefore one should prefer external solutions for playing games, movies or music. The 3.5 mm jack allows an ordinary maximum volume and also drives high-impedance headphones to satisfactory.
The Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook is communicated by current standards. In addition to a fold-out RJ-45 network jack in conjunction with a Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit Ethernet controller also supports Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n. This is an Intel Centrino Advanced-N is used 6235. From device to device by means of the Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook sparks of Short Protocol Bluetooth 4.0. UMTS has not mastered the tester also optional no SIM card support for the Samsung Ultrabook Series 5 will be offered.
Input Devices of Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook
Even with the input devices, Samsung has not changed anything. The chiclet keyboard has liked with the Series 5 530U3C ultrabook: a good pressure point for medium-long key travel. The typing noise is pleasantly quiet. Even with vigorous attack on the key bed is hard and guarantees a clear and precise feedback inputs. At a separate numeric keypad, Samsung has omitted due to the compact chassis size, a lack in the keypad integrated numeric keypad.
Nevertheless, the distances between the individual keys are generous. The arrow keys are executed only half as large as the rest of the keypad in height. Various special keys such as adjust the volume or brightness of the screen can be activated by a combination with the Fn key. The blue lettering, it highlights from the rest of the keys, but it is difficult to see in low ambient light. Unfortunately, the buttons are still not backlit. Overall, the keyboard allows after a short familiarization period, a secure, productive typing.
With the dimensions of 103 x 55 mm rather large failing touchpad takes along with the dedicated mouse replacement keys a lot of space and allows convenient navigation, precise typing, and multi-touch control.
Display of Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook
The display is the biggest innovation in the Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook. Unlike its predecessors 530U3B and 530U3C tester comes in a shiny touch panel type Samsung SEC0200 used. The 13.3-inch TN LED display 16:9 is common, as with touchscreens protected by a glass panel that runs up to the edge. The resolution is not quite up to date with 1,366 x 768, 1,600 x 900 pixels would have been allowed to be. If you want home or work use the Ultrabook with external monitors, can this dock via HDMI and micro-HDMI outputs. The resolution here is limited to 1920 x 1080 pixels.
The ordinary luminance of 265.7 cd / m² is facing a very parlous contrast of 155:1 and a weak black level of 1.87 cd / m². The fluctuating illumination (up to 49 cd / m²) is visible only in very dark image content and interferes less in everyday use. Compared to the competition, the brightness of the Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook is quite good and exceeds.
The color gamut of the predecessor 530U3C professional claims can not withstand and achieved neither Adobe RGB or sRGB. This is still the case with Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook, because of the weak resolution and the ULV CPU, the device for this target group is not relevant. Nevertheless, the display image content is subjectively quite appealing again. Only dark scenes details muddying visible and be swallowed.
Reflective surfaces such as the test device are consistent with ultrabooks, a few exceptions, such as the Samsung Series 5 530U3C predecessor, the Fujitsu LifeBook U772 or have the Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A a matte screen. The glossy WXGA display the test device reflects ambient light very strong and can easily be read in field operations only in shady places, even if the luminance does not decrease in battery mode.
For the TN panels typically weak viewing angles are also available here. Especially vertically distort image content just a few degrees change in inclination. Horizontal only occurs above about + / -30 degrees, a loss of brightness in. Since the display lid can be opened only to a maximum of 130 °, more people may have difficulties in finding the optimum viewing position.
The touch screen responds precisely to tap and gesture control. Here, however, make the weak hinges unpleasantly noticeable, because even the slightest tap against the touch screen, the display lid wobbles and bobs about three seconds after. So that inputs are sometimes difficult. In addition, the rockers provoked distracting reflections. So you have to hold the lid with one hand, you want to use the touch screen accurately.
Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook Performance
The Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook works as a power-efficient Intel Core i5-3317U ULV processor with 1.7 GHz and a Turbo Boost mode of up to 2.6 GHz.
The CPU is supported by an 8 GB DDR3 RAM, split board on a 4-GB and 4-GB bar RAM. Maximum of 12 GB of RAM can therefore be realized.
The economical dual-core processor the base clock of 1.7 GHz under full load is not maintained constant. Under simulated full utilization of the CPU and GPU with the programs in Prime95 and FurMark stress test, the CPU throttles occasionally to 800 MHz. Most but clock speeds from 1.7 to 2.6 GHz can be achieved even after one hour stress test.
In everyday operation of this unrealistic scenario falls but not the weight. This also shows the Cinebench R11.5, where a CPU throttling does not occur. The performance level falls well as expected and is comparable with other units of the same equipment. Considering the results of its predecessor Samsung 530U3C with the same combination of CPU and GPU in addition, the tester cuts off some much better. There are there only 2% in Cinebench R11.5, the performance falls in the Cinebench R10 with up to 25% dramatically better.
In the system benchmarks, the Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook cuts very well and placed himself just behind the Sony Vaio SVT 1312V1ES in the upper third of our database. In PCMark 7 Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook scored with 4,125 points which is about 20% more than its predecessor. The enormous performance advantage here is mainly due to the fast SSD. As the PCMark Vantage does not work on Windows 8, the values are missing here. In everyday use, the performance of the Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook for most application scenarios are enough.
In the test configuration, the Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook works with a SanDisk U100 solid state drive with 128 GB of storage. In everyday use, the advantage of the SSD shows a blazingly fast start-up from standby and during cold starts. Programs also benefit from flash memory and start in a few seconds. In addition, the memory operates silently.
Benchmark ASSSD the U100 SSD achieved up to 447 MB / s in sequential read test. Significantly lower the value already in the writing test: 272 MB / s Vulnerability of U100 SSD from Sandisk is writing and reading small blocks of data. With 9.6 or 9.7 MB / s (read / write) the hard memory remains significantly behind many other mSATA solutions or traditional 2.5-inch SSDs.
The SSD is connected in the test device via mSATA, but sits in a cage at the place where its predecessor was still the HDD. It is therefore possible to build a connected via SATA SSD 2.5-inch form factor.
As in Samsung NP530U3C also comes in Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook an Intel HD Graphics 4000 models. The synthetic benchmarks completed the graphics card with constant core clock and memory clock speeds of 350 MHz, respectively 1050.
The results are compared to the Samsung NP530U3C is about 8-10% higher. With 628 points in 3DMark 11 and 4,989 points in 3DMark 06, the tester Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook outstrips even the Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A scarce. Pulling the power plug or a full capacity of over an hour not crop performance. Other, similarly equipped devices cut off but sometimes a bit better. We suspect the single channel RAM be a bottleneck.
The built-in Intel HD Graphics 4000 is no proven gaming graphics card for occasional games but it is powerful enough, even if you have to scale down the graphics settings in some games like Dirt Showdown or Anno 2070. Smoother demanding games such as FIFA 13 can be played fluently and with maximum details, while most bandwidth-hungry games like Battlefield 3 even at the lowest settings barely create useful results.
Noise and Temperature of Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook
Due to the noiseless SSD and a low frequency rotating fan is the noise level of the Samsung NP540U3C ultrabook retains pleasant. In idle mode, we measure barely perceptible 30.7 dB (A). Under full load, the volume of the unit increases to a maximum of 41.2 dB (A), penetrate the load mix well 40 dB (A) to the user’s ear.
Temperatures in idle are about 2 ° C lower on average than that of the predecessor NP530U3C and move from 24 to 39.3 ° C. The maximum temperature of 39 ° C is good but a little too high for an idle operation and indicates too little fan tray.
Rise only under full load over a longer period of time, the surface temperatures to a maximum of 51.1 ° C, measured at the upper left of the top. The entire area above the keyboard – ie directly on the processor and graphics chip – heats very strong and drives the average temperatures of 34.4 to 35.4 ° C at the top, respectively bottom of the notebook. But the neuralgic areas of the palm rest remain consistently in the green area, only the touchpad heated to moderate 35.7 ° C. The power supply should be positioned for maximum temperatures of about 50 ° C.
The Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook are installed with an Intel HD Graphics 4000 graphics card and a ULV processor i5-3317U very low-power components. Accordingly, the consumption values fall out low. In idle the notebook consumes 6.5 to 11.2 watts and offers 530U3C scarce. In load mode, a maximum 40.6 watts are measured. The average consumption is comparable to that of its predecessor.
The installed, 45 Wh lithium-ion battery strong remains the same, which was used already in the Samsung 530U3C. The included 40-watt AC adapter charges the battery drained in 2 hours and 50 minutes back.
Samsung specifies a maximum battery life of 8 hours for the Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook. Our review unit provides this information about even. The synthetic benchmark program certifies that the Notebook Battery Eater Reader’s Test 8 hours and 27 minutes run time. This value is determined in the energy saving profile with minimum brightness and disabled wireless module. The load simulation Battery Eater Classic has ended on the highest brightness level with enabled WLAN after 2 hours and 28 minutes.
Our surf via WLAN test marks a realistic runtime test in which always surfing various websites. With active power profile and adjusted brightness (at five levels dimmed) reached the Samsung NP540U3C 5 hours and 40 minutes. Slightly less long enough juice for a movie playback at full luminance: 4 hours and 14 minutes remain on the clock here.
Conclusion on Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook Review
The Samsung NP540U3C Ultrabook inherited a good and improved in many places. The elegant housing and the power-saving components were largely covered. A fleet SSD improves the already decent application performance significantly compared with the hybrid solution of its predecessor. The battery life is neat and allows good mobility, even if you should pack for a whole day with normal use, the compact power supply. The bright, shiny touchscreen is clearly a matter of taste, the sub-optimal contrast and black levels are not.
Other positives: The service door allows easy open an independent cleaning the fan. The RAM can be upgraded and the SSD is quickly replaced with a larger model.
Bottom line, the Samsung NP540U3C is an interesting subnotebook with touch functionality, but the price in the competitive sector has tough competition. For those who prefer a matte screen without the touch functionality, uses the previous NP530U3C.