Remember that touchscreen Series 5 Ultrabook that Samsung showed off at Computex last June? Well, it's definitely coming to the US and will be available October 26th, the same day Windows 8 formally launches. As we noted in our hands-on, this is basically the same Series 5 we reviewed earlier this year, except the touchscreen adds some heft (it now weighs 3.83 pounds, versus 3.24 for the non-touch version). As for specs, you're looking at just two configurations, both of which have 4GB of RAM, a 13-inch (1,366 x 768) display and a 500GB hard drive with 24GB of ExpressCache. The only difference is that the entry-level $799 model has a Core i3 processor, while the $899 version steps up to i5.
If that all sounds rather humdrum, Samsung is attempting to spice up Windows 8 by bundling custom apps, some of which you might remember from its various Android products. Sammy's various "Hubs" (Music, Video, Media and Social) are all present and accounted for, as is the AllShare app, which uses DLNA to share content across different devices. Additionally, Samsung is including a handful of desktop applications designed to soften the learning curve for people new to Windows 8. For instance, S-Launcher is a desktop widget that replicates the now-extinct Start Menu, live search and all. eSettings, meanwhile, is a centralized options menu for folks who might not know where to find power management or display settings in Win 8. If you follow on below, you'll find a short video walk-through of some of these apps (Sammy didn't demo AllShare or the Hubs for us, sadly), and we've also got fresh hands-on shots to complement the ones we took back in June.
Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch hands-on (official announcement)
Sarah Silbert contributed to this report.
SAMSUNG INTRODUCES NEW SLATE PCS FEATURING WINDOWS 8 AND DETACHABLE KEYBOARD
New PC Offers Users the Best of Both Worlds – an Easily Portable Slate and a Fully Equipped Laptop – In One Stylish Product
BERLIN, Germany – August 29, 2012 – Samsung Electronics America Inc., a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, today announced its new Series 5 and Series 7 Slate PCs. The new products can easily transform from a traditional clamshell PC to a Slate device with just the click of a button, maximizing both productivity and mobility. Designed for Windows 8 with Samsung's advanced engineering and a ten-point touchscreen, users can easily stay connected and productive from everywhere. Additionally, Samsung today announced a new touchscreen version of its popular 13-inch Series 5 ULTRA laptop.
"With the introduction of our new Slate PCs, we are providing customers with greater choice while maintaining the power of a traditional PC," said Todd Bouman, vice president of marketing at Samsung's Enterprise Business Division. "We created our Slate PCs with a focus on beautiful design, powerful performance and ease of use, attributes that our customers have come to expect in their Samsung computing experience. Our mobile PC business has grown significantly over the past year, which is a testament to our ability to meet customer needs in this space, and we expect strong growth to continue with our new Slate PCs."
Enhanced Creation and Consumption Experience
Both the Series 5 and Series 7 Slate PCs have a Samsung S Pen conveniently embedded in a slot on the device. With 1,024 levels of sensitivity, the S Pen is designed for natural and intuitive content creation, and offers features including handwriting to text conversion and varying thickness when drawing or writing, depending on the pressure applied. Slate PC users can also take advantage of preloaded Samsung services such as MediaHub, which make it even easier to access entertainment and apps on your device.
Convenient Convertible Design
Weighing less than two pounds, the new Samsung Slate PC is designed to go anywhere. The keyboard dock attaches with a mechanical hinge so that users can pick up the device with one hand without fear of the pieces separating. The keyboard and display were designed as one device and the components fit seamlessly when connected. This design also makes the device easier to use, carry and store. Samsung's renowned design inspiration is evident through the device's curved edges and smooth lines.
Both the Series 5 and Series 7 Slates feature an 11.6-inch display. The Series 7 display is 1920x1080 resolution; the Series 5 has a 1366 x 768 resolution. The Series 5 ULTRA features a 1366x768 resolution display with Samsung's SuperBrightTM Technology (300 nits).
Powerful Performance Tailored to Meet Varied Demands
The Samsung Series 7 Slate was designed with power users in mind. With an Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, it satisfies the needs of even the most demanding users. Whether you're building a presentation while multitasking on email and the web or editing photos while listening to music, the Series 7 Slate has the power to get the job done.
The Series 5 Slate is also a powerful device, designed with the everyday user in mind. With an Intel two- watt processor, 2GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD, this device keeps you connected to work and play from everywhere.
For users looking for a traditional clamshell laptop, the touchscreen Series 5 ULTRA laptop offers powerful components including a third generation Intel® CoreTM i3 or i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive with 24 GB of ExpressCache. ExpressCache results in faster boot-up and start times for frequently used programs.
The Series 5 and Series 7 Slates, as well as the touchscreen Series 5 ULTRA, will be available beginning on October 26, 2012. The MSRP for the Series 7 Slate is $1,199. The Series 5 Slate will be available both with the keyboard dock, for an MSRP of $749, or without, for an MSRP of $649. The MSRP of the new Series 5 ULTRA will range from $799-$849.