Samsung unveils 9 Series, a thin competitor to the MacBook Air

Samsung's razor-thin new portable aims to compete with the elite laptop crowd.

Getting sexy: Samsung's slim 9 Series laptop.
Getting sexy: Samsung's slim 9 Series laptop. Samsung
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LAS VEGAS--Samsung laptops have caught our eye for more than a year now, with an increasingly impressive design aesthetic and fairly good prices to boot. Today, its announcement of a thin, 13-inch laptop aimed squarely at the MacBook Air-loving crowd seems to indicate a direction in higher-end products, too, and we certainly can't complain.

The 9 Series comes with a second-generation Intel Core i5-2537M CPU, 4GB of DD43 RAM, and a 128GB solid-state drive, along with Windows 7 Professional. The design looks great so far: its metal finish has beautiful curved edges, and Samsung boasts it's the thinnest 13-inch laptop in existence. While specific dimensions weren't provided, it weighs 2.86 pounds. Despite its size, it also packs a 1.5-watt subwoofer and stereo speakers, too.

The Samsung 9 Series isn't cheap at $1,599, scraping the top of the high-end. However, it's nice to see laptops aiming to get sexy again, a trend seemingly lacking at this year's CES. With heated competition from tablets and smartphones bearing eye-popping designs, we're surprised more laptop manufacturers aren't following suit, albeit perhaps with something a bit more affordable.

Editor's Take: After playing a bit with the 9 Series hands-on at CES 2011, we found that it proved to be every bit the thin stylish showpiece we expected. The interior of the laptop has a plastic feel (duralumin, to be precise), encased in a thin sheath of metal on the outside. Two side panels flip down for port access. For the non-Apple crowd, this is as close to a MacBook Air as you're likely to get.

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