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CNET First Look
Samsung Series 5 UltrabookIf 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.
I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here with the Samsung Series 5. This is the 14 inch laptop. It looks and feels a lot like a lot of other mid sized mainstream laptops that we've seen. It's got a 14 inch display, it's got an Intel Core i5 processor. Look at that, it's got an optical drive that pops out of the side and it's got a 500 gigabyte hard drive. Weighs a little bit less than 4 pounds, little bit less than an inch thick, not particularly you know, thin and light but certainly slimmer than some mainstream laptops we've seen. Why is all these important? Because this laptop shockingly is being labeled and sold as an ultra book. I know you're asking, aren't ultra books supposed to be super thin, super light laptops, kind of like a Macbook Air? This is certainly a fairly slim, reasonably small laptop but it's nothing like a Macbook Air. What's happened is that definition for ultra has become so large that it encompasses things that are very slim, maybe like the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Folio 13, but also larger 14 and now 15 inch laptops that are maybe just a little bit thinner, a little bit lighter. In fact this guy as we saw has an optical drive and it's got just a regular 500 gigagbyte platter hard drive. The way it gets around that is by having a tiny 16 gig secondary SSD, good for maybe a fast boot up but it certainly shies away from the spirit if not the letter of the ultra book rule that says you have to have an SSD in a laptop that's called an ultra book. Now, if you ignore all of that, the Samsung Series 5 14 is a perfectly fine, mid sized mainstream laptop. It performs on par with a lot of the 13 and 14 ultra books that we've seen with the Core i5. It doesn't have the SSD hard drive that those have but you do get more capacity and of course it just has you know, regular integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics so nothing special there. If I was gonna carry around a you know, $800 to $900 14 inch, the Samsung Series 5 certainly is not a bad choice. But if you're looking at that ultra book name, you're expecting something a lot thinner and a lot snazzier, then that's not exactly what you're gonna find here. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the Samsung Series 5 14 inch ultra book.