King of the Ultrabooks? A closer look at Samsung’s Series 5 Ultrabook

By Nick Mokey  www.digitaltrends.com

Samsung’s Series 5 breaks away from the Ultrabook hordes with features like storage up to 1TB, built-in optical drives, and discrete AMD graphics.

Samsung Series 5

Samsung Series 5

When we had a chance to fondle Samsung’s amazingly sleek Series 9 notebook last year at CES, there was just one problem: the price tag. At $1,649, the blade-like notebook made even rivals like the MacBook Air look cheap. Fortunately, the introduction of Intel’s Ultrabook platform has given Samsung a more affordable route to its super-slim aspirations, which makes the Series 5 one of our favorite notebooks of CES 2012.

Available in both 13- and 14-inch versions, the Series 5 retains the sleek metallic look that made the Series 9 so lustworthy, even with the dropped price. And at 0.69 inches thick on the 13-inch model – compared to 0.62 on last year’s Series 9 – the slim profile remains intact, too.

Unlike many Ultrabooks that only offer SSD-based storage, the Series 5 offers up to 500GB drives in the 13-inch model, and 1TB in the 14 incher. Since much of the performance of an Ultrabook comes from fast flash memory access, opting for a standard drive still scores you 16GB of ExpressCache , which is basically a tiny SSD built directly into the motherboard to speed up boot times. The result: Purported boot times of 20 seconds and resume times of 2 seconds on the 13-inch model. More info