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Samsung ZX310: Hands-on with the PC that's thinner than a MacBook Air

We get to grips with a laptop so thin you couldn't even use it as a draught excluder -- the Samsung ZX310. Check out our hands-on photos to discover just how slim this laptop really is...

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Luke Westaway

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Every laptop aspires to be thin, light and portable, but not many throw themselves at that goal with as much gusto as the Samsung ZX310 -- a hyper-skinny laptop that's thinner than the MacBook Air, previously the thinnest thing in the universe. But with great slenderness comes great responsibility -- can this laptop measure up in other respects? Click through our photos direct from CES 2011 to check it out.

Holding the ZX310, we can confirm that yes it is astonishingly thin, and incredibly light, and if portability is what you crave this is something that would happily slide into a bag along with all your other gubbins. Just be careful when reaching in to retrieve it -- the ZX310 is so thin it might slice your whole arm in two if you grab at it too enthusiastically.

It might share some of the dimensions, but it's obvious from the get-go that this laptop is very different to the MacBook Air. For one thing, it's made of duralumin, which feels very different to the aluminium body the Air rocks. It might be a sturdier material, but we're not sure it has the same classy feel as Apple's unibody.

The black lid and chassis also picks up fingerprints like a passionate fingerprint collector at a pristine-windows-for-oily-men convention, as you can see in our photos. It's worth bearing in mind though that these CES models will have experienced an obscene amount of manhandling.

Down the side the ZX310 has a smattering of ports, protected from the harsh outside by a flip-up cover. Connectivity is spartan indeed -- a microSD card slot, a 3.5mm headphone socket and a single USB 3.0 port is all you're getting.

The trackpad definitely apes the MacBook Air's, with one solid pad rather than separate click buttons. We're a little wary of this -- a really responsive, clever trackpad is hard to get right -- hopefully trying to click on the touch-sensitive surface won't lead to frustrating mistakes.

On the inside however things are looking rather potent. A model we investigated had an Intel Core i7 CPU, as well as 4GB of RAM. We're told we can expect a 256GB SSD to handle storage. That's some serious hardware to jam into such a tiny package.

It'll cost $1,600 (£1,035) in the states, UK pricing and availability hasn't been announced yet but as the inimitable Charles Kloet , if it costs more than the Air, we won't be best pleased.

What do you think of Samsung's ZX310? Slim pickings? Or thin for the win? Let us know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.

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It's 16mm thick at the widest point.
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Hip to be, uh... thin.
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The black lid looks good, but does collect fingerprints.
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The keyboard is pleasantly large.
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The MacBook-style trackpad.
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Here are the hidden ports down the right side. From left to right, a microSD slot, a 3.5mm socket and a USB port.
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This laptop packs some powerful hardware.

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