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Samsung Series 5 530U4B review

Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score


User Score


  • 14in, matt screen in 13in chassis
  • Stylish and affordable
  • Stays cool and quiet under load
  • Optional dedicated graphics
  • Optical drive (for those who want one)


  • Heavier than most (13in) Ultrabooks
  • Average battery life
  • No keyboard backlighting
  • Optical drive (for those who don't want one)

Review Price £853.76

Key Features: Anodised aluminium chassis; 14in 1366 x 768 matt screen; Dual-core Core i5, 4GB RAM; Up to 1TB 7200rpm/16GB SSD hybrid HDD; Optical drive, USB 3.0, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet

Manufacturer: Samsung

Occasional hiccups like the Samsung Series 3 aside, the Korean company has seriously impressed us with its recent laptop efforts, like the super-affordable 17in RV720 and MacBook Pro-beating Samsung Series 7 Chronos. However, it has been a little quiet on the Ultrabook front until now. The Samsung Series 5 530U4B is a 14in Ultrabook that’s eminently affordable and offers a few rare touches, most notably a Gigabit Ethernet port and optical drive.

Just to clear up any possible confusion, an Ultrabook is Intel’s idea of the ideal ultraportable. Though Samsung’s superb Series 9 easily matches any Ultrabook on the market, it came around before the standard was introduced (much like the MacBook Air) and therefore isn’t classed as one.

Ultrabooks are loosely defined, but there are a few standard characteristics. They all sport stylish and (so far) metal or part-metal chassis, use Intel Core i3-i7 CPUs, have a minimum of 4GB of RAM, use SSD or hybrid SSD storage, are less than 1in thick and tend to weigh under 1.4kg.

The latter is obviously not a strict guideline, since the Samsung Series 5 530U4B comes in at 1.78kg. However, it gets away with this due to its larger screen plus optical drive and, on some models at least, dedicated Radeon graphics – making Samsung’s Series 5 the first Ultrabook range to support something other than Intel’s mediocre integrated effort (not counting the Sony S2 with its external graphics dock).

If you’re thinking that the extras might have caused Samsung’s latest ultraportable to become a little podgy, worry not. It’s still under 21mm thick, and its sleek, tapered edges make it appear even slimmer. However, it does share more DNA with the Samsung Series 7 Chronos than Ultrabook rivals like the Lenovo IdeaPad u300s or Toshiba Satellite Z830. This is clear to see in the easily visible and accessible connectivity, which is certainly no bad thing but doesn’t have that MacBook Air je-ne-sais-quoi.

Build quality is solid, if not quite up to Samsung’s own Chronos or indeed Series 9 – but don’t forget that at around £850, this ultraportable is far cheaper. It still manages to feel premium though, thanks to its anodised aluminium lid and palm-rest. Both of these are nice to touch and don’t pick up fingerprints, an immediate advantage over some competitors and predecessors. The keyboard surround is plastic to keep the weight down but looks and feels as nice as the metal bits, so we won’t complain.

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Jon Williamson

March 2, 2012, 9:47 pm

I am sorely tempted by an ultrabook - but is it my imagination, or do none of them have built in 3G connectivity? This is key for me on the move...


March 3, 2012, 6:47 am

I think anyone considering this laptop should also consider Sony's S Series, which is virtually identical in size and weight to the Samsung (though not classified as an 'Ultrabook', since the term was not around when it was launched a year ago).


It features dedicated graphics, keyboard backlighting, a higher resolution screen (1600x900 on the SA series), an optical drive (with Blu-Ray if you want it) and an SSD also available. It can also be configured with wireless WAN, JonWill, which will give you built-in 3G connectivity. There is also an optional battery slice to extend the battery life. It can be customised to your hearts content on the Sony website and is also keenly priced (I believe Sony will probably launch a new version in the coming months). I'm in the market for something along the lines of the Samsung so it's a toss up between this and the Sony for me. Would be interested to hear the thoughts of the TR team on this.


March 3, 2012, 2:43 pm

Totally with you there, a dongle is not always an ideal solution.
You're right, there are very few 3G options at the moment. However, if you can hold on just a little longer it will be finding its way into many Ultrabooks this year - in fact we should be reviewing the first one soon(ish). :)
If you do want something now, prowan743's suggestion is good, or you could go for the http://www.trustedreviews.com/... which is one of the cheapest and best 3G-enabled laptops we've encountered.

It's a good alternative - as long as you don't mind the noise. Is an optical drive something you're particularly after?


April 1, 2012, 8:24 am

I have a Samsung laptop and they are usually good.


March 4, 2013, 3:06 am

DOES this laptop have a Dedicated Graphic Processor

Ishita N.

August 26, 2013, 6:15 pm

At first the specs and pricing of this laptop looks good and tempting to
buy. But this laptop is made for cheap components and will stop
working soon after its warranty period. In 9 months my HDMI stopped
working. They replaced the entire motherboard. 4 months after that, my
laptop stopped supporting standby and hibernate modes due to faulty
chip on motherbaord. Warranty had expired so I was asked to cough up
1/3rd the cost of the brand new laptop just for the motherboard. My
argument was that the motherboard was replaced 4 months back and should
have lasted atleast another year. My argument fell on deaf years.
Another 15 days and my hard disk has stopped working too. Cheap
components and poor replacements makes this laptop not a long term buy.
Buyer beware.

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