Computing

Samsung's Series 7 Ultra: Your MacBook Air Might Get Jealous

Sure, Samsung’s laptops of late have borne more than a passing resemblance to Apple’s MacBook line. The skinny, shiny Series 7 Ultra is no exception. But so what? In the Age of Windows 8, that just means you get basically the same pretty package with the added bonus of a touchscreen and some spec improvements. Not bad!

The 13.3-inch Series 7 Ultra comes in both touch and don’t touch versions, and the former is both slightly fatter (18.9mm versus 17.5mm) and heavier (1.65kg versus 1.46kg) than the latter. But even the beefier model comes within a hair’s breath of the MacBook Air’s thickness and weight, while sporting a glorious-sounding 1920×1080 display; the MBA drags behind a bit at 1440×900. You also get yourself three USB ports (only one of them USB 3.0), HDMI and mini VGA ports, up to 16GB RAM and up to a 256GB SSD. Good things, all.

There’s enough to give some slight pause, though; the Series 7 Ultra — unlike its delightful Series 9 big brother — is powered by a combination of Intel’s Core i5 or i7 ultra-low-voltage processor and discrete AMD HD8570M graphics. That’s still enough horsepower for most of your (non-gaming) needs, but it’s a bit lacking compared to more robust ultraportable options. Which in turn would be more than fine if the Series 7 Ultra had an ultra-low-cost to match, but pricing details aren’t available at this time.

For those who do need a little more oomph and don’t mind a hauling a 2.35-kilo, 15.6-inch beast machine, Samsung’s also updating its Series 7 Chronos rig with that same 1920X1080 resolution swipeable display, a 2.40 GHz Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, up to a 1TB HDD, and a body that still manages to come in well under an inch thick. It’s no retina MacBook Pro, but it also presumably won’t cost like one either. And while it doesn’t have quite the sleekness of the Ultra, it still has its charms:

We’ll know a lot more about just where the Series 7 Ultra and Chronos fit in once we know how much they cost and when they’ll be available; hopefully more details are forthcoming at CES. In the meantime, Samsung seems to be headed down the same steady road. Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but improving on a what’s already great can’t help but work out well for you.

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