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Juan Garzon / CNET

Samsung Notebook Flash promises speed and style on a budget at CES 2019

But we're not sure it can keep those promises.

When I first heard about the Samsung Notebook Flash, it sounded like a less expensive version of one of our favorite slim, stylish notebooks, Microsoft's Surface Laptop.

Starting at $350 (roughly £275 , AU$490), the 13.3-inch laptop is intended for students or anyone looking for a stylish, inexpensive laptop for everyday use. It'll be available in multiple colors and the keyboard deck was described as having a textile finish that sounded like the Alcantara fabric Microsoft uses on its Surface devices. I was wrong.

Samsung manufactures its own plastics and, over the years, it has experimented with various finishes and textures to those plastics. For example, its Chromebook 2 from a few years back had a plastic lid textured to look like leather and even had "stitches" around the edge.

For the Flash, Samsung used plastic that looks and feels like burlap. And while Samsung said it will be available in multiple colors, in the US it will be available in only a charcoal color for the moment, which looks a bit like concrete.


Somewhat hidden among the Flash's typewriter keys is a fingerprint reader. 

James Martin

Then there's what's on the inside. It's running on a low-end Intel Celeron N4000, 4GB of memory and 64GB of eMMC flash storage. Those are the components you'd find in a similarly priced Chromebook, but this is running Windows 10 Home.

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Trying to add some perks to the package, Samsung added faster Gigabit Wi-Fi, a fingerprint reader, a microSD slot that also takes faster, more efficient UFS cards, and a typewriter-style keyboard.

The Samsung Notebook Flash will be available on Jan. 15 from Amazon and directly from Samsung.

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