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Samsung Series 5 ultrabooks surface in Korea

The Samsung Series 5 name has been applied to two powerful new ultrabooks with rather chubby bodies. Will they be enough to challenge Asus' Zenbooks?

Samsung has pulled the curtains off two new additions to the ultrabook range of laptops -- the Series 5, available in 13- and 14-inch varieties.

The Series 5 title currently describes Samsung's Chrome OS powered, Internet-reliant Chromebook, but there's apparently enough room under the umbrella for a couple of ultrabooks too.

At 20.9mm thick and weighing 1.8kg, the 14-inch model doesn't strictly speaking qualify as an ultrabook, as it fails to meet Intel's minimum requirements of a 20mm thickness and weight of 1.4kg. It's packing a low voltage Intel Core i5 processor though, as well as up to 8GB of RAM, so it may be able to challenge the stunning Asus Zenbook UX31 in power, if not size.

Also included is a 1TB hard disk drive (which is slower and more power hungry than the solid-state drives found on other ultrabooks), a dedicated AMD graphics chip and an optical disk drive. Having a DVD drive is an odd move in an ultrabook -- strip it out and you could shave a good few millimetres off the overall thickness.

At 14.9mm thick and weighing 1.4kg, the 13-inch model is more what we think of as an ultrabook. It offers similar processors and RAM options, but will be equipped with a 500GB HDD and will likely dispense with the optical disk drive.

Both models will be carved out of aluminium, which should make them extremely sturdy. The Series 9 -- Samsung's previous attempt at making an ultraportable laptop -- was excellent, so we had high hopes of a similarly gorgeous ultrabook. The fatter sizes, more power-hungry HDDs and lack of Core i7 processors in these new additions put them at something of a disadvantage in the face of the super-slim Asus Zenbooks, however.

There's no word on UK pricing or availability yet, but SammyHub has word that they're due to land in South Korea towards the end of December, priced around £720 for the 13-inch and £750 for the 14-inch model.

Make sure to keep keep it CNET UK for all the news on when or if we'll see these chaps -- and let us know in the comments below, or over on our Facebook page, what you think.