Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus Review
Software And User Experience
The ATIV Book 9 Plus boots in as little as six seconds. Waking from sleep mode is as fast as a second. After booting, you’ll be greeted by the typical Windows 8 start screen. If you browse the list of preinstalled apps, you’ll find S Player+, S PhotoStudio, HomeSync Lite, SideSync, Plants vs. Zombies, Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, Microsoft Office, and others in the list of Samsung Apps. Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, Plants vs. Zombies, and Microsoft Office are trial versions of the software.
According to Samsung, the S Player+ lets you “play whatever you want” as it supports various formats of movies and music that aren’t supported by Windows 8. S PhotoStudio provides basic editing capabilities such as crop, rotate, resize, and various effects.
Samsung is obviously promoting the SideSync and HomeSync Lite capabilities of this ultrabook—if you look in the bottom right corner of the notebook, you’ll notice SideSync and HomeSync Lite branding painted on the finish of the notebook. An included Windows 8 Apps Quick Guide that accompanies the ATIV Book 9 Plus also mentions these apps. Unfortunately, the documentation for either of these apps is limited to this brief Quick Guide unless you do a bit of web searching.
Samsung’s SideSync lets you sync an ATIV PC with a Samsung-branded mobile device when the two devices are connected via USB. According to Samsung, “When connected through USB or wirelessly, users can effortlessly work across devices, including responding to a text on a mobile phone from the PC keyboard; viewing maps, photos and multimedia from their phone on their PC screen; making edits to files on their phone via their ATIV PC; and even dragging and dropping files from one unit to another.” Unfortunately, we weren’t able to test this feature due to bugs and software incompatibilities. Samsung is troubleshooting the issues we encountered, but we haven't received any fixes just yet.
HomeSync Lite lets you use the ATIV Book 9 Plus’s hard drive as a personal cloud server. With HomeSync Lite, you can back-up personal files, photos and videos from portable devices to PCs and access that content remotely via a mobile device anytime, anywhere. Although it’s not listed as a supported device, we were able to test HomeSync Lite with our Galaxy S 4. This smartphone had Samsung Link already installed. By opening the app on the phone, we were able to select pictures and easily transfer them to the ATIV Book 9 Plus using a USB connection between the Galaxy S 4 and the ATIV Book 9 Plus.