Last year Samsung proved that it was possible to make an ultraportable laptop that could match or exceed the MacBook Air on every front: design, performance, and coolness. The Series 9 became the template for the ultrabook wave weâ€™re experiencing now with the exception of the price.
Samsungâ€™s Series 5 Ultra laptops bear the ultrabook moniker, but thereâ€™s still room in the market for premium ultraportables that push the limits of how thin, light, and and impressive a notebook can be. Thus Samsung also announced the second generation Series 9 today, a machine so sweet you may be tempted to save up your pennies to afford the $1,399 asking price.
The new Series 9 has a smaller footprint than the first generation even though it has the same display. And I mean the exact same display â€” 400 nit SuperBright, 1600 x 900 resolution, matte â€” just with a smaller bezel.
Overall this model is 37% thinner and 0.4 pounds lighter resulting in a 2.5 pound weight and half an inch thickness. When I held it for the first time I was filled with envy. Even my netbook isnâ€™t as light as this, and itâ€™s certainly not as powerful.
Just as before the notebook will come with Intelâ€™s Core i5 processor inside and a 128GB SSD. Samsung is leaving open the possibility of bringing out a more powerful Core i7 version, but right now there are no plans.
Despite being far thinner, the second gen Series 9 is better with port arrangement, ditching the pull-down drawers and just placing the two USB 3.0 ports and DisplayPort at the back edges where the notebook is a bit thicker. Thereâ€™s also a full SD card slot instead of a microSD â€” much more useful.
This model isnâ€™t made from Duralumin like the previous generation, though it does have an aluminum unibody design. Itâ€™s also a little less swoopy than before, but still keeps to the wave idea in design.
The 13.3-inch version will cost $1,399 and will be available in February.
Now id youâ€™re looking at all this fancy thin and lightness and thinking it would be super awesome if you could have the same design but with a bigger display youâ€™re in luck. Samsung is bringing out a 15-inch version of the Series 9 as well. It will also hit shelves in February and cost $1,499. This larger Ultrabook has a bigger screen, but it is wedged into a 14 inch frame to keep things nice and compact.
As a fan of the original Series 9 I will admit that Iâ€™m very excited about this new version. It balances weight and size well yet delivers plenty of power for any mainstream task and even some of the workhorse stuff I need. And I’ll reiterate: the 13-inch one is lighter than my netbook. That’s enough to make me consider saving all my pennies for this one.