updated 08:00 am EST, Mon December 12, 2011
Samsung Series 5 Ultra has thin profile, big drive
Samsung in its home country has rolled out the Series 5 Ultra in what's considered a tenuous claim to the ultrabook title. While a 13-inch system at 0.6 inches thick and 3.1 pounds is largely inside of the official definitions, the 14-inch system at four pounds and 0.8 inches is outside of the class, even with an aluminum shell. In including the choice of an optical drive, they also fit more closely to the definition of a traditional notebook.
In return for the bulk, Samsung gives the Ultra features closer to that of higher-end notebooks. The 13-inch system can either have just a 128GB solid-state drive or else a 16GB SSD boot drive and a 500GB rotating hard drive; an 8GB cache is always available. Shifting to the 14-inch model puts in a 1TB hard drive and Radeon HD 7550M dedicated video that makes it work for mid-range gaming.
Some of the performance claims of ultrabooks keep as a result: Windows wakes up in two seconds, and it can resume from hibernation in seven seconds.
All have both Ethernet and HDMI, and they can carry as much as 8GB of RAM. Samsung starts off with a low-voltage Core i5.
Likely hinting at an American release in January, Samsung will put its notebook in Korea by late December at prices equivalent to $1,124 to $1,298 for a 13-inch system and $1,168 to $1,342 for a 14-inch system.