The Samsung NP900X4C-A02 features a widescreen aspect
ratio, 15" display that uses LED backlights rated to 400nits
luminance. The screen has a matt, anti-reflective coating to diminish the impact of reflected light sources
and its widescreen format gives the monitor an overall size of 13"w x 7.5"h (33.3cm x 18.5cm).
The display has a native
resolution of 1600x900 which makes the overall dot pitch high enough to look
sharp, but it's not so fine that you'll be squinting to see text. Video output
to an external monitor can be handled via a standard VGA port dongle (not included) or through
The display is pleasing too look
at, head on, with nice colour saturation and a fine pixel pitch. Illumination
goes up to blindingly bright levels... One neat trick with the Samsung NP900X4C-A02 is that it
has an ambient light sensor nestled in just above the keyboard. This sensor
automatically calibrates screen brightness to the particular environment, so for example if
you move from a dark room to a sunny back yard you
don't have to fiddle with anything to make the screen legible again. The keyboard backlight is
also tied into this light sensor, but PCSTATS found the keyboard backlight a little dull, at best.
The backlight is suitably bright for typing in complete darkness, but not bright enough for dusk situations.
Over the week or so PCSTATS had hands on time with the Samsung
900X4C-A02 we unfortunately found the screen to have pretty poor viewing angles. Head
on, the 1600x900 screen looks wonderful, but if you stray too
far off to one side, or tilt the screen too far forward contrast goes out the window.
Notebooks typically have shallower viewing angles than desktop LCD monitors (which average 180/180), but given the
wide screen display here, we expected markedly better side-to-side colour fastness than the Samsung 900X4C-A02 delivered.
Here's a real world example of why viewing angles
matter: if you're typing on an airplane and the person in the seat in
front of you leans back, it can cause the 900X4C-A02's display to tilt
forward ~60-70 degrees to eye level. At
this point the shallow vertical viewing angle makes it difficult to read text, as you can see
for yourself in the top/bottom/left/right photo montage below. Click on the image above for a full size picture. Samsung
do not disclose the exact angles, we'd estimate them to be around 140 - 150 degrees.
The screen panel is 5mm thick - remarkably thin -
the bezel around the screen is 12mm wide. The screen doe not tilt flat all
the way back, but at most to about 25 degrees.
PCSTATS goes in for a closer look at the side and ports
on the NP900X4C-A02 Ultrabook, next.