Smartphones and tablets aren’t the only product markets where Apple and Samsung butt heads. Their competition will be fierce here in the ultrabook market too. So in this line-up, we’re pitting the new Apple 13-inch MacBook Air up against the Samsung ATIV Book 9 PLUS to see how they compare.
Overall performance is determined by the processor and here, the Samsung ATIV Book 9 PLUS features a selection of Intel’s new Core i5/i7 (Haswell) CPUs. Its Apple 13-inch MacBook Air rival does likewise, revving along with a 1.3GHz Intel Core i5 CPU or Core i7 chip clocking along at up to 1.7GHz.
Screen quality goes a long way to setting your overall experience and here, the Apple 13-inch MacBook Air runs a TFT LCD-type panel that measures 13.3 inches and delivers 1440×900 pixels. Samsung’s ATIV Book 9 PLUS also has a 13.3-inch display panel but with a massive 3200×1800-pixel resolution, it’s the highest resolution panel in an ultrabook so far.
Both of these ultrabooks feature Intel integrated graphics – the ATIV Book 9 PLUS gets the HD Graphics 4400 integrated GPU; the MacBook Air the uprated HD Graphics 5000 core. You don’t get far without memory on any device and in this comparison, both models top out at 8GB maximum.
Longer-term storage is supplied in both models via solid-state drive with the official maximum level set at 256GB (we wouldn’t be surprised to see the aftermarket offering deliver 512GB unofficially).
The Apple 13-inch MacBook Air’s operating system comes courtesy of Apple Mac OS X 10.7 (Mountain Lion) and the ATIV Book 9 PLUS is powered by Microsoft Windows 8 OS (not Windows 8.1 – yet but it’ll be a free upgrade when available).
Battery capacity is generally growing in all devices and here, the Samsung ATIV Book 9 PLUS doesn’t quote a battery size yet but claims 12-hour battery life, while the Apple unit has a 54-watt-hour Lithium-polymer battery and claims the ’12-hour battery life’ highground as well.
Wireless connectivity is deliver through the 802.11a/b/g/n/-standard options on both models – interesting that neither is capable of supporting 802.11ac. For personal wireless peripherals, they’re both Bluetooth 4.0-ready.
You can connect up various peripherals to these devices through USB – both have two USB3.0 ports on offer. And there’s no worry about bigger-screen entertainment either, with the Samsung ATIV Book 9 PLUS offering a microHDMI port and the Apple 13-inch MacBook Air also featuring a Thunderbolt port to connect it up to your big-screen digital TV.
All of those features are squeezed into a reasonably tight space with the MacBook Air measuring 325 x 227 x 17mm and weighing in at 1.35kg. By contrast, the ATIV Book 9 PLUS tips the scales at 1.39kg and measures 319.6 x 222.9 x 13.6mm. The Samsung ATIV Book 9 PLUS was announced in June 2013 while the Apple 13-inch MacBook Air first appeared in May 2013.
NOTE: All specifications are subject to change and may not be correct at time of purchase. Please check before you buy any device that it meets your expectations and requirements.
|Model||Samsung ATIV Book 9 PLUS||Apple 13-inch MacBook Air|
|Processor||Intel Core i5/i7 (Haswell)||Intel Core i5/i7 (Haswell)|
|Clock||TBA||Up to 1.7GHz|
|GPU type||Intel HD Graphics 4400 (integrated)||Intel HD Graphics 5000 (integrated)|
|Screen size (inches)||13.3||13.3|
|Screen type||touchscreen||TFT LCD|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows 8||Apple Mac OS X 10.7 (Mountain Lion)|
|RAM||8GB maximum||8GB maximum|
|Internal storage||Up to 256GB SSD||Up to 256GB SSD|
|Battery type||TBA (12-hour battery life)||54-watt-hour Lithium-polymer (12-hour battery life)|
|Video recording||Up to 720p@30fps||Up to 720p@30fps|
|Dimensions||319.6 x 222.9 x 13.6mm||325 x 227 x 17mm|
|Announce Date||June 2013||May 2013|
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