Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch - The First Windows 8 Touchscreen Ultrabook

Launch SRP: S$1549

Battery Life and Portability Index

Battery Life and Power Consumption

One of the key features of Ultrabooks is their great battery life. How will the addition of a touchscreen affect the Touch Ultra's battery life? As it turns out, the touchscreen didn't drain battery life like you might think. In fact, Windows 8 seems to require less power than Windows 7, and in combination with the more power efficient Ivy Bridge processor, the Ultra Touch managed to last an extra 50 minutes compared to the older Series 5 (running on a Sandy Bridge processor platform). It also lasted longer than both of our other Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks (and many others that we've compared previously), suggesting that Windows 8 does indeed require less power than Windows 7. As a result, its power consumption score was also excellent.

The more techie enthusiasts reading this article might still argue the fact that the difference in power consumption and battery life are solely due to the change in platform. We previously compared a HP Pavilion dv6 running on Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge platforms with nearly identical hardware other than the computing platform, and we noted about a 15% to 20% improvement in both power consumption and battery life. This time around, with similarly designed Samsung Series 5 notebooks, the Ultra Touch model registered a greater improvement of about 20% to 30%. The increased battery life and the fact that many other Ivy Bridge notebooks have garnered more mediocre battery performance, all point to the OS having a positive impact. Still, we'll revisit this topic of battery efficiency on Windows 8 in a future article.

Test Notebooks Compared
Specifications/Notebook Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch Sony Vaio T

Intel Ultrabook
(Ivy Bridge)

Samsung Series 5 Ultra
Processor Intel Core i5-3317U
(1.7GHz)
Intel Core i5-3317U
(1.7GHz)
Intel Core i5-3427U
(1.8GHz)
Intel Core i5-2467M
(1.6GHz)
Chipset Intel UM77 Intel UM77  Intel UM77 Intel HM65
Memory  4GB DDR3 8GB DDR3  4GB DDR3  4GB DDR3
Storage 500GB HDD with 24GB SSD Cache 500GB HDD with 32GB SSD Cache 256GB SSD 500GB HDD with 16GB SSD Cache
Video Intel HD Graphics 4000 Intel HD Graphics 4000 Intel HD Graphics 4000 Intel HD Graphics 3000
Battery 6 Cell Li-ion / 45 WHr 6 Cell Li-ion / 45 WHr 6 Cell Li-ion / 47WHr 6 Cell Li-ion / 45 WHr
Dimensions 315 x 218 x 16.8 - 19.8mm 323 x 226 x 17.8mm 329 x 223 x 16mm 315 x 218 x 14.7 - 17.5mm
Weight 1.73kg 1.6kg 1.46kg 1.47kg

 

Portability Index

Our portability index factors in battery life, weight and volume so you can see which notebook is the most worthwhile to carry around with you. It's an excellent comparison tool for notebooks within a same class/type. Despite the good battery life of the Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch, it didn't score all that well on our Portability Index due to its increased weight and thickness. Having said that, it was still respectable, with a ratio of over 2.1.

 

7.5
Design
7.5
Features
8
Performance
8.5
Value
7.5
Mobility
7.5
The Good
Great battery life
Touchscreen
Good keyboard
The Bad
Heavier than most 13.3-inch Ultrabooks
Touchscreen not ideal with clamshell form factor
No clickpad