Just about a year after Samsung first announced its mid-range Series 5 Ultrabooks, it's refreshing them with a higher-end aluminum chassis, backlit keyboards and touchscreens. The laptop, which will be available with a 14-inch screen only, will be offerred in black, red and navy (same as the GS III). It will come standard with a touchscreen in the US, though the version on display here at CES wasn't touch-enabled.
Perhaps the biggest difference -- aside from the touch bit -- is that the design has a considerably more upscale feel than the last-gen models. Here, you have a brushed aluminum lid that takes after the high-end Series 9 line. In fact, every surface here is made of metal, save for the bottom, which is plastic. The keyboard layout is more similar to last year's model, though, except that now it has backlighting.
As before, the chassis is thick enough to accommodate a tray-loading optical drive. Other amenities include three USB ports (one of them 3.0), an Ethernet jack, HDMI-out, a headphone port, DisplayPort (swapped in for VGA) and a lock slot. A Samsung rep told us it will be sold in two configurations in the US: a $749 model with a Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM and an $899 model with Core i5 and eight gigs of memory. Both will have 1,366 x 768 resolution (a minor disappointment) and a 500GB hard drive paired with 24GB of ExpressCache for faster boot-ups and application launch times. In the US, at least, you're looking at integrated graphics only, though in other countries it will be available with an AMD Radeon HD 8750 GPU. Look for these in February and for now, enjoy the hands-on shots below.