Ultrabooks are all the rage these days, no thanks to the massive marketing hype fueled by Intel and its cabal of PC manufacturer-partners. Just this week, no less than five companies launched their own Ivy Bridge-powered ultrabooks, with more slated to come soon.
But what we didn’t expect during Samsung’s technology launch this week is to find something that looks and feels like an ultrabook, but can’t really be called one.
Take a look at Samsung’s Series 5 Slim: it is a 13.3-inch notebook that weighs up to 1.84 kilograms and measures an astute 0.82 inch at its thinnest point. It’s supported by 4GB of DDR3 RAM and Radeon HD 7500G graphics, which make it a capable notebook deserving of the ultrabook tag.
But one critical element instantly takes the Series 5 Slim off the ultrabook table — that it’s run using a Trinity A6-4455 dual-core APU chip made by AMD, Intel’s rival in the PC processor business.
AMD, of course, has made a killing with the desktop PC market in the past decade thanks to its ultra-capable (no pun intended) processors that are cheaper than the ones Intel churns out every year.
The Series 5, therefore, inherits that chip legacy and fits it in the same chassis Samsung used for its legitimately-branded Intel-powered Series 5 ultrabooks. Can we ever run out of similar elements to compare the two? Even Samsung’s own executives sometimes got confused and called it an ultrabook.
One major factor, though, may sway consumers to pick the Series 5 slim over Samsung’s other ultrabook offers, and that is the price. At just P29,900, users would be able to carry around a thin and light notebook and save several thousands of pesos in the process.
Eric Sulit, Samsung Philippines’ Director for IT, said they have to sacrifice several things in order to bring the AMD-powered notebook down to that price level: for one, it comes with a 500GB mechanical hard disk drive which, in Ultrabook standards, may make boot-up time a bit slower than its SSD-fitted counterparts.
Still, Samsung’s Series 5 Slim notebook proves to be a legitimate competition to the barrage of ultrabooks entering the local market today. And with a sub-P30,000 price point, it has the guts to potentially rival most of the new notebooks in the minds of price-sensitive Filipino consumers today.