Notebooks Guide

Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch (Intel Core i5) review

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

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Launch SRP S$1549

Overall rating 7.5/10
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


Performance and Benchmarking

Performance and Benchmarking

While the Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch is the first touch screen Windows 8 Ultrabook available, its specs are very similar to other Ultrabooks already on the market. To give you an idea of how it compares, we've selected Sony's VAIO T, which has slightly more RAM, but is otherwise very similar, as well as Intel's own reference Ultrabook. We've also thrown in the original Series 5 Ultra which is using an older Sandy Bridge processor.

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



 

PCMark 7

As we've seen in the past, the presence of an SSD drive hugely influences PCMark 7's scoring system. As such, the Intel reference Ultrabook with its full SSD drive is miles ahead of the competition. However, in actual user experience, while an SSD drive is obviously faster, the difference isn't as noticeable as the charts would make out. Having said that, for disk intensive operations like loading a complex game or heavy file transfers within the drive, the added speed advantage can be quite noticeable over a non-SSD equipped system, so it really depends on your usage behavior.

The overall PCMark 7 score for the Samsung notebook is somewhat consistent with the Sony notebook, but detailed results show that for some reason, the results vary from one sub-test to another. On the other hand, the other compared notebooks produced more consistent results. 

 

3DMark 11

The first generation Series 5 was running Intel HD 3000 graphics which isn't DX11 compatible and as such has been left out of this chart. As you can see, the Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch fared quite well, scoring on par with the Intel reference notebook that was running on a faster processor.

 

Far Cry 2

To find out how the notebook handled an actual game, we fired up Far Cry 2 and noted that Intel's HD Graphics 4000 engine provides quite a sizeable boost in performance when comparing the Ultra Touch to the old Series 5, making the Ultra Touch capable for more than just casual touchscreen games like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. Just like in 3DMark 11, the Ultra Touch was speedier than the Vaio T notebook in Far Cry 2 by quite a notable margin. So despite its shaky productivity scores, it actually held up pretty well in gaming tests.