Samsung reveals ultra-thin Series 9 laptops

Samsung has revealed a pair of ultra-thin laptops, each with different parentage. These Series 9 systems include the 11.6" NP900X1A, which is priced at around $1199, and the 13.3" NP900X3A, which has a $1649 asking price. Samsung says both will be available in mid-April.

Strangely, Samsung has decided to build these twin models on completely different platforms. The larger NP900X3A is outfitted with a newer, Sandy Bridge-based Core i5-2537M, 4GB of memory, and a 128GB SSD. The smaller NP900X1A uses an older, Arrandale-based Core i3-380UM, 2GB of memory, and a more modest 64GB SSD. Both processors are dual-core affairs with similar base clock speeds, Hyper-Threading capabilities, and 3MB of L3 cache. Only the i5-2537M includes Turbo Boost, which raises its maximum frequency to 2.3GHz. The i5’s newer Sandy Bridge graphics component should be much more potent than the i3’s integrated GPU, as well.

While the notebooks have different panel sizes, both offer a 1366×768 display resolution and Intel integrated graphics.  Decent connectivity options are offered via an external HDMI output, MicroSD slot, and 3 USB 2.0 ports. On the wireless front, you get 802.11n Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and Bluetooth 3.0. Samsung claims run times of up to 7 hours for both systems using the included 6-cell batteries.

 

The Series 9 systems have similar physical dimensions, too. Both are around 0.64" thick and weigh less than three pounds. They also share a textured Duralumin outer skin that looks an awful lot like brushed metal. Samsung says Duralumin offers "twice the strength of aluminum, despite being light in weight."

As for the controls, the good-sized touchpad looks to have the buttons on the input area itself. We saw something similar on the HP Pavilion dm1z Cyril reviewed recently. The chiclet keyboard in the picture above seems to have a UK layout, complete with a fat enter key, the @ symbol next to the semicolon, and backslash next to the left shift key. One would assume variants of the system that ship stateside will have a regular US keyboard, although the image above and the ones in the gallery below come from Samsung’s US site.

Samsung clearly views the NP900X1A and NP900X3A as premium offerings—and prices them accordingly. While these machines have more recent processors than Apple’s MacBook Airs, which still pack aging Core 2 Duo chips, the MacBooks are actually much cheaper. Apple charges $999 for the base 11.6" Air model, and its 13.3" sibling starts at $1299. Both also feature GeForce 320M integrated graphics.

Comments closed
    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    I was all excited and then I saw both had Intel integrated. Even when performance doesn’t stink their drivers are less than competent. I’m saddened.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 9 years ago

      they look purdy though.

      • Chrispy_
      • 9 years ago

      If you’ve not tried the newer drivers (ie, since Arrandale) you should give them a try.

      As an ex-intel GMA-hater, I’ve had to get laptops hooked up to all manner of external displays, running 2D and 3D. They’re not as good as AMD or Nvidia, but they are now at least serviceable.

    • UberGerbil
    • 9 years ago

    “Duralumin” — wow, I haven’t heard that since reading SciFi and popular “adventure” stories written in the 1930s. Between Zeppelin skins and starship structures, it was the “unobtainium” of its day. But hey, if they have Sony battery problems at least you can watch it burn while appropriately crying “Oh, the humanity!”

      • stdRaichu
      • 9 years ago

      I think duralumin’s just an aluminium/magnesium alloy, no? Full marks for a catchy title, but if they want to nail the epeen market they should probably call it [i<]depleted[/i<] duralumin or something. Doesn't the Washington Monument have a chunk of alumunium at the top? At the time it was built, as you say, it was the ludicrously expensive unobtanium of its day. And if they're going to do the Hindenburg thing properly, you're gonna need a hydrogen fuel cell in there as well.

    • FormCode
    • 9 years ago

    Maybe a bit offtopic, but… “Core i5-2537M”… that’s a mouthfull fo’ sho’…

    • xii
    • 9 years ago

    1366×768 isn’t very premium, even for a 13.3 inch model. Let’s see about that touchpad and keyboard, when the reviews start rolling in.

    Most laptops can’t even get the most basic ergonomic in/out interfaces – screen, touchpad and keyboard – right. It’s sad really. They might be thinner and faster, in my opinion few laptops are more pleasant to use than some of the models made 10 years ago… And they still have the same (vertical) resolution.

    • dpaus
    • 9 years ago

    [i<]"Samsung clearly views (them) as premium offerings..."[/i<] - with no USB 3.0, no DisplayPort, MOTR CPUs, low-res screens and Intel graphics. Yup, sounds 'premium' to me...

    • stdRaichu
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]One would assume variants of the system that ship stateside will have a regular US keyboard[/quote<] You assume wrongly! This is clearly the first wave of a sinister attack by a combination of British and Korean forces. Without a US keyboard layout, you will continually mistype documents, reducing efficiency to the point that all work involving computers in the US becomes IMPOSSIBLE! Bwahahahaha! 7hr battery life on something this dinky is nice though.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 9 years ago

      “7hr battery life on something this dinky is nice though.”

      Not so much for the price. That’s $400 Bobcat territory in today’s bang for your buck.

      At an even lower price, and the same weight, this is what should be expected now:

      [url<]http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=6056&p=4[/url<] "The ThinkPad X220 with Intel Core i5-2520M processor delivered 8 hours and 47 minutes of battery life with the 6-cell battery. Our standard battery life test sets the screen to 70% brightness, wireless active and continuously refreshing a website on a 60-second interval, and Windows 7 set to the "balanced" power profile." In the Techspot review, it lasted 1 hour per cell [i<]while playing 720p video.[/i<] And those were both with the IPS panel, which should use a bit more power. With the 9 cell battery, it would last an eternity, and still cost less.

        • ludi
        • 9 years ago

        The X220 has a considerably thicker base. Engineering the battery for that platform is not as challenging as for something like this.

        • stdRaichu
        • 9 years ago

        Don’t get me wrong, the X220 looks awfully nice… apart from the trackpad anyway (no real buttons), and on machines this expensive I’d expect at least an option for a resolution better than 1368×768.

        Just nice to see more machines in the 11-12″ range with proper processors. Bobcat isn’t really an attractive option for me, being solely an Atom with shiny knobs on. GPU power isn’t an important factor for me, but a decent amount of CPU in a low power envelope and small form factor is. Of course, the X220 also apparently has the option for having an SSD + 2.5″ drive, which goes a long way to making up for the thickness. The Samsungs will also undoubtedly come equipped with the run-of-the-mill Samsung SSD’s.

        Looks like I’m gonna have to wait awhile for some more laptop options…

        *strokes his venerable 1810TZ*

      • Chrispy_
      • 9 years ago

      I don’t get why you’d want to have different layouts of the English keyboard. I’m used to typing on my UK layout, but looking at the differences between the two, we should just ditch it in favour of the US one for the sake of conformity.

      Yes, I’d have to readjust ever-so-slightly but if you changed the $ symbol and added OS support for currency (like blackberry’s do, for example) we’d be fine, and much better off.

    • Jambe
    • 9 years ago

    Gloss on an area that MUST BE TOUCHED every time you use it (bezel)?

    And you expect me to pay premium prices for that?

    Up yours, Samsung. Sheesh. It’s a shame, too, as it’s otherwise spiffy.

      • mikehodges2
      • 9 years ago

      Get yourself some matt emulsion, that’ll sort it 😀

        • indeego
        • 9 years ago

        Or cover it in skins with your own graphic/design. We’re talking $20-$30 on the high end, probably much less if you do it yourself. I hate logos with a passion. Stop being corporate tools.

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