It looks like an online retailer did put up some preliminary specs for an 11.6-inch Samsung 9 Series ultra-portable laptop that would rival the similarly-sized Apple MacBook Air. While Engadget isn’t sure about an 11.6-inch model, at the Consumer Electronics Show where we did manage to speak with Samsung representatives and were told that there would be an 11.6-inch version of the 13.3-inch lightweight notebook with options for ‘reduced’ specs–a lighter CPU–though Samsung says that the model may not make it to the U.S. and Stateside residents should be looking at the 13.3-inch aluminum body laptop.
The specs on Provantage, which lists the 11.6-inch variant at just shy of $1,200 indeed confirms what Samsung told us. Instead of the Core i5 Sandy Bridge, the 11.6-inch model will ship with a dual-core Intel Core i3 CPU clocking in at 1.33 GHz. For the asking price, the laptop will ship with the 64 bit edition of Windows, feature 2 GB of RAM along with 64 GB SSD for storage.
At CES, Samsung reps informed us that they weren’t sure if there would be a Core i3 variant only or if the company will also allow a higher-spec model with the option for a Core i5 to match the 13.3-inch model’s CPU.
Whether the laptop will be as attractive to consumers as the MacBook Air is still unclear. While the MacBook Air uses an older Intel Core 2 Duo dual-core CPU, the device comes with an integrated NVIDIA graphics processor whereas the new Core i5 on the 9 Series comes with an integrated Intel GPU. The current Core 2 Duo MacBook Air with 2 GB RAM and 64 GB SSD retails for only $1,000 with an NVIDIA GeForce 320M GPU alongside a Core 2 Duo CPU, giving it a $200 price advantage. For the $1,200 asking price, users would get double the SSD capacity on Apple’s Air.