Before there were Ultrabooks, there was the Samsung Series 9. When it arrived on the scene last year, measuring .64 inches thick, weighing 2.8 pounds and packing a blazing SSD, it seemed to offer Windows users the closest thing to a no-compromise experience — provided, of course, they were willing to pony up the requisite $ 1,649. As it turns out, the Series 9 was great — memorable, even — but not without flaws. It lacked an SD slot, the trackpad was jumpy and the display resolution topped out at a humdrum 1366 x 768.
A year later, Samsung is back with a second-generation laptop that promises to correct all of these shortcomings, and ushers in an even thinner, even lighter design. Make that two laptops: Sammy’s selling a 15-inch Ultrabook, too. And truly, there’s nothing quite like it: nothing quite this thin, with this large a screen. (Consider for a moment that it measures just .08 inches thicker than the new 13-inch Series 9, which is already thinner than most other Ultrabooks on the market.) As always, though, luxury doesn’t come cheap. The 15-inch Series 9 will cost $ 1,500 when it ships at the end of this month (the 13-inch version is available for an also-pricey $ 1,400, though we haven’t gotten to take that model for a spin yet.) Ultimately, then, are the Series 9′s elegant aluminum design and 1600 x 900 matte display enough to justify the premium you’ll pay over other Ultrabooks? And does the 15-inch version offer long enough battery life to match its larger size? Let’s find out.
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