Help me decide Macbook Pro vs Samsung ATIV Book 9

slstein

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 17, 2012
25
6
I've always been a PC guy, but recently got a MacBook Pro 13" Retina late 2013 ( 256/8) from BB . I just love the new MacBook pro hardware.
It was an open box at BB originally $1499 - finally ended up paying $980 + tax. Great Deal for this machine.
I also really like the Samsung ATIV Book 9. I can also get this from BB open box for around $1100+ tax.
For the last year I've been using a Asus Zenbook ux31a with touchscreen.
It's a good machine but I want something new.

My use is mostly for business emails and web surfing, etc.

Any thoughts or suggestions to help me make my decision?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,708
33,599
Boston
I'd go with the MBP because I prefer OSX over windows. Its really a personal preference but I think the MBP is a better machine :)
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2008
2,993
149
NH
Samsung laptops have a poor reputation, near bottom of the barrel. My neighbor had two that best buy eventually ended up buying back which he used to purchase an MB Air which he loves.... over 24 hour battery time. Perhaps the open box is one of the ones he returned?
 

Burnsey

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2007
572
67
Canada
Before coming up with the name ATIV Book 9, Samsung wanted to call it ATIV Book Fail, which tells you all you need to know about which machine to pick.
 

iamfredrik

macrumors member
Jul 29, 2013
60
1
Why in the world would you want a Samsung when you got a better deal on the MBPr? It would be like paying to trade in a new BMW for a Hyundai or Kia. :eek:
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,788
5,275
The Samsung is surely nice, but you get better performance with the rMBP for less money. Should be a no-brainer.
 

Wuiffi

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2011
686
78
looking at the specs the Samsung Ativ Book 9 is a Macbook Air with a higher resolution screen. So on the CPU/GPU/SDD side the Macbook should outperform it.

The screen looks good on paper, but from what I have heard there are some serious problems with color accuracy (yellow often is brown, contrast and brightness (I don't know if those problems have been fixed).
Furthermore the 3200x1800 Screen uses an RBGW layout. The white pixels are used for light throughput (otherwise the display would either be darker or use a lot more energy). So in the end the Ativ Book 9 does not have any more subpixels that the Macbook retina does.

So I would go (due to better Hard and Software) the Macbook route.
 

Steve121178

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
5,233
4,410
Bedfordshire, UK
I've always been a PC guy, but recently got a MacBook Pro 13" Retina late 2013 ( 256/8) from BB . I just love the new MacBook pro hardware.
It was an open box at BB originally $1499 - finally ended up paying $980 + tax. Great Deal for this machine.
I also really like the Samsung ATIV Book 9. I can also get this from BB open box for around $1100+ tax.
For the last year I've been using a Asus Zenbook ux31a with touchscreen.
It's a good machine but I want something new.

My use is mostly for business emails and web surfing, etc.

Any thoughts or suggestions to help me make my decision?
You're the one who has to decide, not us!

Personally I'd take the rMBP as I believe it's the best 13" notebook on the market. You can also run Windows on it should you need to do so, so you have the best of both worlds.

If you felt like a new machine in a 2-3 years time the MacBook should have a very good resale value which you can put towards a new machine. The Samsung will be worth the price of a Big Mac.
 

pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,157
1,082
Montreal, Canada
Here's the list of benefits IMO:

MacBook Pro:
  • Better CPU (minor difference)
  • Better GPU (significant difference)
  • Better screen (better color accuracy / less glare)
  • Better battery life (10h07 vs 5h36 in The Verge battery test)
  • Better trackpad
  • Faster storage (PCIe)
  • Better Wi-Fi (802.11ac)
  • Better I/O (Dual Thunderbolt 2, full-size HDMI without adapter)
  • More attractive design (looks more premium, less ugly branding and stickers)
  • OS has much, much more HiDPI-optimized software
  • Comes with software you'll probably actually use and no bloatware
  • In-store service/repairs
  • Higher resale value
  • Cheaper (especially in your case)

Samsung Ativ Book 9:
  • Thinner, especially at the front (wedge shape like MBA)
  • 13% lighter
  • Has touchscreen

It really comes down to:

How much do you value portability? Do you think shaving 13% weight is worth all the tradeoffs mentioned, including performance, battery life, trackpad and HiDPI support, on top of the significantly higher cost of ownership?

I suspect for the vast majority of people, the answer is no, simply because the 13" rMBP isn't that heavy to begin with and the Samsung has a ****load of compromises and isn't even cheaper.

It's not a bad laptop per se but its value is really questionnable when you put it next to the 13" rMBP. I would only recommend if it was significantly cheaper than it is ($999 instead of $1399). It is equivalent or worse than the MBA in several key aspects and its best component, the screen, has little value for now on the Windows side.
 
Last edited:

blueflower

macrumors 6502
Sep 26, 2006
273
19
I agree with most of the other posters here. In my opinion this is a no-brainer and Samsung laptops are not known for their reliability. The Ativ Book 9 also looks really cheap to me in comparison to other notebooks in its class.

When I was shopping around for notebooks recently I looked into the ATIV Book 9 but took it off my list almost as quickly as I had put it on. Even worse the ATIV Book 9 would actually cost you more than the Macbook Pro.

I think you should stick to the Mcbook Pro and if you need Windows use virtualization software to achieve that.
 

AppleGoat

macrumors 6502a
Oct 14, 2010
651
5
All the PC folk give us Mac-philes flack for not getting as much "spec" for the money as they do. Not the case here. It seems with the Samsung you are paying for the touchscreen. Personally, a touchscreen on a notebook does not appeal to me at all. Leave the touchscreen to devices which one can hold in the palm of his hands. This tablet takeover of the personal computer must cease and desist.
 
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