In HD SoundLab we are audio engineers creating computer audio enhancement software like the SoundPimp. To do succeed with that, a laptop proper for advanced audio software development is mandatory.
Preferences for laptop is a very personal and subjective matter, and I am the happy owner of a Samsung ATIV 9+, a great piece of engineering art. The keyboard is a tint too hard so that occasionally a keyboard touch would not be registered, but beyond that, the hardware is simply excellent, not to mention elegant.
I cannot envision replacing this machine for many years to come.
But as usual with any laptop, there are some software problems and annoyances. Let me summarize a few of them in the hope that this article will be read by people inside Samsung, Realtek and Intel, people taking pride in correcting malfunctioning software features.
The hardware deserves it, but I have my doubts it will ever happen. Yes, this is so, and then I move on to the examples :
Realtek audio drivers
The audio drivers from Realtek is a colossal +100Mb software package with a lot of not-that-useful features bordering on so-called bloatware, including the major annoyance of having misunderstood completely the new EU directives for protecting my ears. It means I had to acknowledge – a thousand times – that I am aware that loud music may cause damage to my hearing faculty. It is a truly a – if not THE most – intentionally helpful but still idiotic feature ever seen, and it may not be unchecked.
Being an audio engineer within the field of computer audio, I was given no option but to uninstall the whole package and replace it with Microsoft Standard audio drivers, working just fine in a “cut the crap??? kind of way.
Solution found, but let me add that I tried several times to address this problematic “feature” to leaders of Realtek, through friends well connected within that company. Unfortunately, no response, no error correction, no nothing.
Intel graphics display drivers and color management
Update 080515: This error has been corrected in the later version of Samsung Settings /Display/DisplayColor. Just uncheck the “audo display mode management”. It is impossible to understand what it does, but you will be able to observe that when on batteries, the displays keeps it vivid colors. (But will use more battery).
Another error is related to third party Intel’s software for controlling their own built in display. It is an excellent display that deserves perfect drivers, but this is not the case. When running on batteries, the display actually miss a natural yellow color until you install a driver “patch??? from Samsung. As one has come to expect, Intel is demonstrating incapacity for creating revisions of malfunctioning software.
For example, doing an update of the graphics drivers delievered to you by the oh-so-slow-train-coming called Samsung software update, the “patched” and proper yellow will be gone again after such an update. So skip that update.
Samsung snail-speed software updating system
And while speaking of it, the Samsung software update system is indeed of a questionable quality, in particular on the server side. Not only are large 300Mb updates not accompanied by even the tiniest explanation on what is included for my benefit. No, along the lines of traditional “Far East??? software handling, any update will steal at least a half an hour due to a ridiculously slow download time.
What a time thief! It is unacceptable and it simply means Samsung Software update system is to be avoided at all cost. The advice? Just create a stable version of present software version so that your machine work fine, and stick with that as long as you can. The fact is that most of the software on board is of a sufficient quality already.
All this is written for the possible attention primary of the company Intel. Intel could choose to drink some strong Java coffee and get to work, or perhaps hand over any past, present and future software responsibility to other entities more suited for the task at hand. Software is a complicated animal, including, but not limited to all those tedious revisions and updates.