We just got a quick look at a previously Korea-bound Samsung X430 laptop that Microsoft has tapped as a "Microsoft Store Exclusive." It's pretty good hardware, both inside and outside, for the price. Also, due to its Store-exclusive nature, Microsoft also put the promised
"Microsoft Signature Image" on here, which means a copy of Windows 7 completely free of crapware and trialware, though Microsoft has put a good quantity of first party software that you'll probably want like Windows Live, Bing Maps 3D, and Microsoft Security Essentials. If you ask yourself "how would Steve Ballmer use this computer," the Signature Image is pretty much the answer. For $1,099 you get a Core i3 ULV processor, GeForce 310M graphics, a 500GB HDD, and a 14-inch WXGA screen. Our favorite part is probably just the premium feel of this device, and its no-nonsense look, at least when it's open and you're actually using it -- that faux carbon fiber lid on the outside is a little loud.
Samsung X430 headed for Microsoft Stores