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Samsung's midprice Series 5 UltraTouch looks and feels like a more expensive machine, but keeps it simple by skipping the complex hybrid mechanics of so many new Windows 8 systems.
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Despite solid hardware and a slightly improved Chrome OS, the Samsung Chromebook Series 5 550 comes with far too many caveats and compromises compared with similarly priced but more-capable tablets and laptops.
Samsung's finally made an affordable ultrabook, and the 13-inch Series 5 Ultra is a well-priced and far slimmer product than its 14-inch cousin. Still, it's not a runaway bargain, and it feels like corners have been cut in adapting it from the stellar Series 9's design. You also might want to wait a few weeks for Intel's latest processors to arrive.
If you ignore the ultrabook branding and instead think of this as a somewhat slim midsize, mainstream laptop, the 14-inch Samsung Series 5 is a fine example of the form.
The LG Marquee's slim design and jam-packed feature set make it Boost Mobile's flagship phone. But its high price (even without a contract) and slow processor will make it a tough sell.
Samsung's Series 7 Chronos 700Z5A-S03 is the closest Windows equivalent to a MacBook Pro in terms of specs, power, and design and even nearly matches on battery life, but it's $500 less expensive than an entry-level Apple 15-incher.
The RIM BlackBerry Torch 9810 should satisfy BlackBerry fans with its responsive touch screen and overall specs, but for $50 more, T-Mobile customers could get the much better Bold 9900 instead.
Despite solid hardware, great battery life, and fast startup, we can't recommend the Samsung Chromebook Series 5 until and unless Google improves the Chrome OS.