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MacBook Air gets competition: $1,649 Samsung Series 9 debuts tomorrow, 11-incher coming soon

One of the sleekest laptops at CES 2011 is about to go on sale. Alas, it isn't cheap, but it's certainly attractive.

Samsung Series 9: call it the Windows Air.
Samsung Series 9: call it the Windows Air. Samsung

If we can recall one laptop that turned heads more than any other from this year's CES 2011, it might be the Samsung Series 9. Thin, curved, and very reminiscent of a Windows version of the MacBook Air, the Series 9 has finally been given a release date--and that date is tomorrow.

Now, here's the not-so-great news: the price is $1,649. We knew the Series 9 was that expensive back when we first covered the laptop during CES, but we held out a little hope that the well-designed 13-incher might get more aggressively priced. $1,699 makes Apple's MacBook Air seem like a bargain.

The specs are admittedly impressive: Windows 7 Home Premium, second-generation Intel Core i5-2537M CPU, 128GB SSD, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 1,366x768-pixel resolution display, and a weight of 2.89 pounds. The $1,599 13-inch MacBook Air has double the SSD storage, a higher-resolution display, and a nearly identical weight, but half the RAM and an older CPU.

Meanwhile, an 11-inch Series 9 is on its way for April. Specs are, not surprisingly, akin to those on the 11-inch MacBook Air: a 64GB SSD, Core i3-380UM CPU, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 1,366x768 resolution display, and a price that's TBD.

Is it worth its premium price? We'll let you know when we review ours--which should hopefully be soon.