Samsung Series 9 Hands On

The Samsung Series 9 debuted at an odd time, before “Ultrabook” was a buzz word, and when a 2.8-pound laptop was novel enough to warrant a 49 price tag. A year later, it returns at an even more pivotal moment: Ultrabooks are cropping up by the dozens, and while their specs are similar to what the original Series 9 had to offer, they cost hundreds less. So with that as the backdrop, Samsung just announced a pair of slimmed-down, redesigned Series 9 laptops: a 13-inch remake, priced at 99 and up, and a new 15-inch form number that will cost 99-plus when the two go on sale next month. Though consumers are likely to draw comparisons between that 2.5-pound 13-incher and the umpteen other ultraportables hitting the market, Samsung isn’t positioning the Series 9 laptops as Ultrabooks, but rather, premium, top-tier machines. Still, for something that’s not an Ultrabook, the brothers Series 9 certainly look the part: both pack Core i5 processors, 4GB of RAM, 128GB SSDs, six-hour batteries and backlit keyboards — Ultrabook-like specs if ever we’ve heard them. Even the 15-inch model is missing an optical drive, and isn’t much larger than the last-gen Series 9.

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