Samsung Series 5 Ultra 13in and 14in review

The Series 5 Ultra packs a lot into an Ultrabook-sized chassis

11 Jan 2012
Samsung Series 5 Ultra 13in

The new Samsung Series 9 may be taking all the attention, but the company has released a second, slighty-more practical, range of super-slim laptops at this year's CES. The Series 5 is officially classed as an Ultrabook, but it's surprising how much Samsung has packed inside the sleek chassis.

Samsung Series 5 Ultra 13in

This is the 13in of the Series 5 Ultra

There are two versions of the Series 5 Ultra, with 13in and 14in screen sizes. Both have 1,366x768 resolution displays with 300nits of brightness. These looked pretty typical to us, and a definite step back from the super-bright display on the Series 9. They do have the same matt finish though for working on the go, although there's no backlit keyboard here.

Samsung Series 5 Ultra 14in

And here is the 14in of the Series 5 Ultra

Both can come with Core i5 or Core i7 processors and up to 8GB of RAM. Storage options include 128GB and 256GB SSDs or alternatively 500GB or 1TB drives (13in and 14in respectively) with 16GB ExpressCache for fast boot times.

The 13in slopes from 14mm up to 16.7mm in depth and weighs 1.38kg. The 14in is 20.9mm thick bt that extra space has been put to good use with an optical drive fitted and the option of AMD Radeon HD7750M dedicated graphics.

Samsung Series 5 Ultra 14in

Here's the optical drive on the 14in model

The 13in is well equipped for a laptop of its size, wih full-sized HDMI port, USB3, 2x USB2 and an SD card reader, Ethernet port (without any adaptor needed) and a webcam. That makes it one of the more practical Ultrabook options. The 14in taks this further still with a full-sized VGA output (a first we believe for an Ultrabook) and an additional USB3 port at the expense of a USB2 one.

Samsung Series 5 Ultra 14in

And this is also the 14in, with its enviable range of ports

With the Series 9 taking the high end, Samsung has given itself room to create an Ultrabook with more features than most. The 14in model in particular squeezes a practically full-sized laptop spec into an Ultrabook-sized chassis. Pricing will be critical, and none has been discussed yet but we're looking forward to its release in the next few months.

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