Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch Review

1/29/2013 5:39:07 PM

This laptop possesses a sensitive touch screen, and is well supported with installed Windows 8, sturdy design and high operating performance.


Windows 8 which was released at the end of 2012 made many computer manufactures change their product strategy so as to become suitable for the demand. Samsung quickly caught this trend and released Series 5 Ultratouch model supported touch screen while remaining the compact design to the market. This combination will help users enjoy the new Modern UI configuration but the laptop still fulfills the task well as a traditional laptop.

Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch

Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch

The version of Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch is equipped with 13.3-inch screen, 1,366x768 pixel resolution, Intel Core i7-3517U 1.9 GHz processor, 8 GB RAM, hybrid hard drive with 500 GB HDD and 20 GB SSD. The laptop has reference price of 1,325 USD.


The design of Series 5 Ultra Touch is not too different from the traditional Series 5, as well as has features from Series 9 with the way to curve the borders and slenderize the edges. Samsung new laptop model still meets the ultrabook standards with the size of 315.1x218.9x16.6/19.9 mm and the weight of 1.69 kg, though it’s not very outstanding as compared with other models on the market. The laptop gives you a heavy yet sturdy feeling while holding in arms thanks to the metal chassis. The scarped aluminum surface not only creates luxury but also reduce the dirt. However, to those who have oily sweat, the sweat can creates tracks that can be seen when there is big source of light contrast.


Sturdy scraped aluminum cover

Sturdy scraped aluminum cover

Inside the laptop, the hand break session made from scrapped aluminum creates a comfortable feeling when putting your hand. Though the underside of the laptop is made from plastic, the paint with the same color tone will make many people think that it’s the same material to the upper side. Above the keyboard and near the joint, Samsung use a grid design as used for the speakers but in fact, this kit is set by this manufactures at the underside of the laptop and close to the sides.

The device has 13.3-inch screen with slim edge which can be seen in the recent laptop series of Samsung. This makes the product have a smaller size than ones with the same size and creates a “high-class” sense for the product.


LAN port has a joint to close when not use, along with USB 3.0, HDMI.

LAN port has a joint to close when not use, along with USB 3.0, HDMI.

Series 5 Ultra Touch is not so excellent in thinness but it’s that point that helps the laptop to possess complete connection ports: USB 3.0, HDMI, card slot and LAN port, all of which have joint to open or close when you need to use. The laptop isn’t equipped with VGA standard sized port but Samsung equips it with an extra miniVGA port and a jack as an added bonus in the kit.

Chiclet standard-size keyboard

Chiclet standard-size keyboard

Samsung products equipped with Chiclet standard-size keyboard gives users a moderate keyboard journey but when using at first, you can feel a bit of heaviness. However, the rebound as well as the high sensitivity will make the get-used-to process become easier, and you won’t be tired to type for a long time. Multimedia keyboard shortcuts are also integrated in the function keys and users have to use function in addition in order to operate when needed. A pretty regrettable point is that the laptop doesn’t have keyboard backlight, especially with an over 1,000USD-price laptop.

Meanwhile, touchpad of Series 5 Ultra Touch receives good impression. Wide area with a quite rough surface makes the operations of users more accurate without slipperiness. The mouse buttons designed separately instead of seamlessly as Series 9 has short keyboard pressing journey yet clear-cut and sensitive. Samsung also brings in multi-touch support such as sliding 2 fingers to syntonize or other operations such as drag, drop and rotate the pictures…

Stereo speakers of Series 5 Ultra Touch placed at the underside create a sufficient sound to hear in a small 20 m2-space. With the default mode, the sound seems to be quite clear with Jazz or gently Pop yet sharp. Meanwhile, when changing to integrated Sound Alive software, with the same song, the sound is more powerful and lively. However, with bass songs, laptop can perform at the average level, which is a point that in unavoidable with laptops unbiased against entertainment.


Sensitive yet excellent-displayed touch screen

Sensitive yet excellent-displayed touch screen

As named, the most outstanding and the strongest points on Series 5 Ultra Touch are the touch screen. This feature makes users’ experience on pre-installed Windows 8 operating system become more perfect. Operations such as sliding your finger from one side to access Chamrs Bar, sliding from the lower edges to access the menu or change the applications are very smooth. When using webpages or images and use 2 fingers to zoom in or out, it’s very smooth and seems to have no latency.

The laptop has 13.3-inch size with 1,366x768 pixel resolution like other common laptop models. However, the use of mirror glass technology makes the laptop uneasy to use outdoors or at places with strong light from the back because of dazzling screen. Samsung provides many image options to chance the color saturation on the laptop such as movie option or standard option... so as to be suitable. Test in standard mode shows that the images are well displayed, but not excellent.

Operating performance

Owing hybrid hard disk drives (SSD and HDD) as well as Windows 8 operating system and a good configuration, Series 5 Ultra Touch gives you an impressive startup time. In 5 small tests, when turning off the laptop completely the pressing the power switch, it’s about 10 to 12 seconds for this product to show the Start Screen. When closing the lid and reopen, the restore time is about 2-3 seconds. If the lid is closed and left for a long time (the product change to hibernate mode), the reopen time is short, just about 5-6 seconds.

With the test configuration mentioned above, Series 5 Ultra Touch receives 5.7 points when scoring with Windows Experience Index on pre-installed Windows 8 operating system. Particularly, microprocessor receives 6.9 points, 7.5 points for RAM, graphics score is 5.7, game graphics reaches 6.5 points and the 6.6 points for hard disk drive.

Despite the use of Intel Core i3 microprocessor with low voltage and Intel HD Graphics 4000 integrated graphics chip, Series 5 Ultra Touch gives you an impressive graphics test result. The laptop receives 5,705 points with 3D Mark 06, a surprising score in comparison with other models which have more than 4,000 points though when running this software, though they all have Intel Core i3 microprocessor. Due to this figure, the laptop can meets the graphics demand for users well.

Meanwhile, if performing test with PcMark Vantage, the memory score of the laptop reaches 2,737, 4,148 for game and the score for hard disk drive is 8,421.

Test with CineBench 11.5, Series 5 Ultra Touch receives 2.25 points CPU and 17.73 fps for Open GL.

The size of the laptop’s hard disk drives is 500 GB produced by Hitachi but there is a combination with an attached 24 GB SSD memory chip which helps to increase the overall operating performance of the laptop. Test performance shows that the HHD hard disk drives have excellent read speed, up to MB/second, much better than other model which has the average speed of 70 MB/second.

When running with simple office operations and listening to online music through headphones,  Ultra Touch Series 5 battery timer is at the moderate level with more than 4 running hours. This timer is better than common laptop but not very impressed as compared with regular ultrabook model.

Performance test

Meanwhile, let the laptop play a HD 720p standard movie in a test and repeat this continuously until it is off: turn off the Wi-Fi connection, use headphones instead of speakerphone and set the volume at 70% (Windows Media Player’s volume at 100%), brightness at 50%, let the laptop run till it turns off itself (battery level at 5%), the time for this test reaches 3 hours 27 minutes.

In a test, open Chrome, download 10 websites and let them reload after every 15 minutes, open one more site about online music and repeat continuously, use headphones instead of speakerphone and set the volume at 70% and brightness at 50%, let the laptop run till the battery remains 5% (turn off automatically).

It can be said that Series 5 Ultra Touch creates impression through impressed renovation. Smooth touch screen combined with stable operating capabilities are outstanding strong points this laptop gives you. This model will be a suitable mobile device for energetic users who want to look for themselves a new experience with the new Windows 8 operating system.



1.7-GHz dual-core Intel Core i5-3317U

Operating System

Windows 8



RAM Upgradable to


Hard Drive Size

500GB + 24GB SSD

Hard Drive Speed


Hard Drive Type

SATA Hard Drive + mSATA SSD

Display Size


Native Resolution


Graphics Card

Intel HD Graphics 4000

Video Memory




Wi-Fi Model

Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235


Bluetooth 4.0

Ports (excluding USB)

Ethernet; HDMI; Headphone/Mic; mini-VGA; USB; USB 3.0

USB Ports


Card Slots

3-1 card reader


1 Year Standard Parts and Labor


12.4 x 8.6 x 0.66 ~ 0.78 inches


3.8 pounds


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