Is it ever too early to trot out back-to-school laptops? Not if you're Samsung. Here at CES, hidden among the company's razor-thin Series 9 laptops
and bright yellow gaming rig
we found two mid-range laptops built for students, and other folks who just want something affordable and capable. What we have here are a pair of redesigned Series 5 notebooks, with 15.6- and 17.3-inch displays, respectively. And particularly given that they'll start at about $799 and max out around $1,199, they're looking pretty tempting. At this early stage, Samsung won't say much about likely specs, but so far, it seems that the specs could be quite generous. Take the display, for example. Both have the same matte, 300-nit display used in the new company's Ultrabooks, and the resolution is fixed at 1600 x 900 for the 15-incher, and 1080p for the larger model. At the high end, they'll both be available with a Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor, JBL speakers, a 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M card with Optimus
, an optional Blu-ray drive and up to 1TB in storage (2TB for the 17-inch version). Not too shabby for a mid-range laptop, especially if Samsung keeps its word and caps the price at $1,200. Plus, if we do say so, the keys are sturdy and pillowy, and the whole package isn't bad-looking either, though we'll let you, dear readers, be the judge.
Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.
Samsung Series 5 hands-on (early 2012)