Samsung's aluminum-clad, 11.6-inch ultraportable is shipping from retail stores in the U.S., the second Series 9 laptop that takes precise aim at Apple's MacBook Air line.
Samsung seems to be on a mission to--let's put this carefully--emulate Apple. First Samsung came out with the MacBook Air, it is carved out of aluminum, is super thin at 0.64 inches (the MacBook Air is 0.68 inches at its thickest point), weighs just less than 3 pounds (2.88 pounds) and has a great display (with 400 nit brightness).. Like the 13.3-inch
Now, Samsung has come out with a likeness of the 11.6-inch MacBook Air. And just like the the Air, it is 2.3 pounds. Hmm...I'm beginning to see a pattern here.
Though Samsung is obviously following Apple's lead, there are some important departures from the Apple template. First, the Series 9 uses Intel Core i series processors, not the older Core 2 Duo Intel chips in the MBAs. Second, it has a USB 3.0 port (the Air only has USB 2.0, no Thunderbolt ports--yet). Third, it packs 4G WiMax capability (Air has Wi-Fi only).
A few Samsung Series 9 11.6-inch highlights:
- Weight/height: 2.3 pounds, 0.65 inches
- Materials: "arching duralumin" enclosure
- Processor: Intel Core i3-380UM, ultra-power-efficient Core i chip
- Storage: 64GB solid-state drive
- Memory: 2GB
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0; WiMax 4G
- Ports: USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, MicroSD
- Battery life: specified at 7 hours
- Software: Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
- Price: $1,199 (though this list price is discounted at Amazon)
That's a pretty impressive spec sheet. Not only matching Apple on design but besting it on hardware in some areas.
Not everything comes up roses, though. The $1,199 11.6-inch MacBook Air packs a 128GB solid-state drive, twice that of the Samsung. And despite the high-end design, Samsung still must contend with the formidable Apple brand.