updated 08:05 am EDT, Tue October 14, 2008
Samsung Notebooks Enter US
Samsung this morning stepped up competition by jumping into the American notebook market with several models, including some of its most recent systems previously reserved only for Europe and Korea. The 13.3-inch X360 and 14.1-inch X460 headline the launch as Samsung's thinnest and lightest systems. As with the original version, the X360 is positioned against the MacBook Air with a 13.3-inch display and a slightly thicker (0.6 to 1.2 inches) body in exchange for a lighter 2.8-pound weight; it carries either a 1.2GHz or 1.4GHz ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo, either a 120GB hard drive or 128GB solid-state drive, and full expansion that includes three USB ports, Ethernet, as well as both HDMI and VGA out.
The X460 line represents more traditional notebook performance and weight (4lbs.) with either a 2GHz or 2.26GHz small-package Core 2 Duo, regular-sized 250GB and 320GB notebook hard drives, DVD burners and a GeForce 9200M GS for dedicated video.
Both of these models come with between 3GB and 4GB of memory, 802.11n Wi-Fi and a 1.3-megapixel webcam. Prices start at $1,699 and $1,799 for the X460 series but scale up to $1,899 and $2,499 for the X360.
Samsung's mainstream notebooks include the Q310, a conventionally-designed 13.3-inch model with similar specifications to the X460 but with GMA X4500 video and a heavier 4.4-pound chassis; the 14-inch P460, a 5.3-pound parallel to the X460 with GMA X4500 video; and the 15.4-inch P560 that brings the specifications to a larger screen. Starter pricing sits at $1,199 for the Q310 and P460 but lifts slightly for the $1,299 P560.
A lone 16:9 ratio model, the R610, carries a 16-inch, 1366x768 display suited to playing 720p video and sports a 2GHz Core 2 Duo, 3GB of memory, 250GB of hard drive storage, a DVD drive and GeForce 9200M GS video. It weighs 6.1 pounds but costs $1,049.
Lastly, Samsung plans to port its NC10 netbook. At 10.2 inches, it carries a near full-size keyboard but is otherwise equipped with the features of most high-end netbooks, including a 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB of memory, a 160GB hard drive, a 1.3-megapixel webcam and Windows XP Home. It comes in blue or white trim for the US and sells for $499.
All of these systems should be available soon if not immediately online and at some retailers.