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Samsung's newly announced ZX310 ultra-portable laptop is thinner, lighter and faster than Apple's MacBook Air, if the specs are to be believed. 

Unveiled at the CES trade show, the 13-inch whippersnapper weighs 1.31kg to the 13-inch Air's 1.32kg. The ZX310 is also 16mm thick at its widest point, compared to the Air's maximum thickness of 17mm. 

Samsung's tried to make the ZX310 more durable than the Air too, crafting it from duralumin. Used in the design of planes, duralumin is apparently twice as strong as aluminium. It isn't as shiny though, is it, Samsung? Ever think of that?

We were smitten with the Air's display, but the ZX310's 'SuperBright Plus' screen also sounds promising. With 400 nits of brightness, it should be able to melt your eyeballs right out of your head -- the Samsung Galaxy S smart phone's uber-blinding screen apparently has 300 nits. 

On the inside, the ZX310 also appears to have the advantage, sporting either an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, rather than the relatively dated Intel Core 2 Duo processors available in the Air. Samsung reckons the ZX310 will power up in 12 seconds, whereas we found the Air took 14 seconds to do so.

On the storage front, the ZX310 matches the Air, offering a 256GB SSD. Presumably, that SSD will be replaceable too, unlike the Air's 256GB of flash storage. The ZX310's 8GB of memory also contrasts positively with the maximum 4GB of memory in the Air.

Samsung claims the ZX310's battery will last for around three times longer than a standard laptop battery -- not that such vague statements amount to much. We'll have to wait until we've got our hands on one before we can tell whether the ZX310 can match the Air's 7 hours of wireless usage.  

We'll also have to manhandle the ZX310, which runs Windows 7, before we can tell how well it fares against the Air in terms of usability. Apparently, the ZX310's trackpad is gesture-sensitive, so it could be a close contest.

The ZX310 will be available for a whopping $1,600 (£1,035) when it lands in the US. UK pricing and availability have yet to be announced, but, if it costs more than the high-end Air, we'll chew our own faces off.

Stay tuned for some hands-on photos soon, and click through the photo gallery to see the ZX310 looking all sleek and mysterious.

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