Notebooks Guide

Samsung's Ultrabook Imminent along with New Monitors and Printers

Samsung's Ultrabook Eminent along with Updated Computing Products

Business and Personal Laser Printers

We've had the good fortune to be invited to have a first hand look at some of Samsung's key upcoming IT products. First off, Samsung unveiled a couple of printers starting with the SCX-3400, a multi-function laser printer targeted at the small, medium businesses. This printer features an "eco mode" that automatically saves power, toner, and paper consumption that maximizes cost efficiency, definitely something that would appeal to business sense. Pricing will range from S$218, to S$328, making it competitive with other similar products.

Next we have the ML-2165W personal laser printer that also features an "eco mode", but the fun doesn't stop there. This little printer will also allow you to connect to Samsung's myriad of high-end mobile devices that come with the Samsung MobilePrint application installed. Using Wi-Fi, it supports printing directly from these mobile devices. This personal printer's asking price starts from S$138 and tapers off $168, depending on which model (based on internal memory size) you get.

'Smart' Monitors

Ok so printers aren't exactly what turns you on? What about some really smart monitors like Samsung's Series 7 Smart Station monitor that will arrive in March 2012? Samsung introduced the monitor as the next evolution of their award-winning Central Station, which now features the Mobile High Definition Link (MHL). What it does is it allows you to connect any of your mobile device (preferably Samsung of course) and have its content displayed instantly. On top of that, it even allows you to control that mobile device using a traditional keyboard and mouse using what Samsung calls the "Mobile Control" feature.

The Ultrabook Proposition

Since we're on the topic of PC computing products, these days, no launch is quite as complete without fresh new notebooks. First seen earlier this year at CES, Samsung introduced the Samsung Series 5 Ultrabooks. And there's not one, but two models available - the standard Ultrabook sized 13-inch model (1.43kg), and a 14-inch model (1.79kg). There aren't any differences in styling for the two machines, but the 14-inch model comes with an optical drive, a feature which some (business) users find indispensable.

The Series 5 notebooks have what you have come to expect from Ultrabooks, but it doesn't feature the usual large trackpad, or SSD. Samsung mentioned that SSD options will be introduced at a later date however. For now, what it does have is a hybrid drive that has a flash memory cache cache that gives you all some of the speedy benefits of a true SSD,  while its mechanical drive advantage lends it vast storage space of 500GB or 1TB options.

We also found the build quality to be slightly inferior to the more premium Series 9 notebooks, especially when you compare the material used for construction. Even the keyboard doesn't feel as solid as those found on the Series 9. That is however, an inevitable outcome when trying to keep prices low for consumers. However Samsung was quick to point out that the components you get with the Series 5 are still quite 'premium'.

Take for example the matte HD LED display (1366 x 768 pixels resolution) is one of the brightest we've seen so far a screen rated at 300 nits. Both of the machines also have fairly well rounded connectivity options, with rarities like the VGA port, RJ45 ports making an appearance alongside the usual ones like USB 3.0 and HDMI ports.

If you are looking to snag yourself a Samsung Ultrabook, you don't have to wait long because they will be available soon in early February 2012 priced at S$1288 for the 13-inch model, and S$1588 for the 14-inch model. We're not totally convinced just as yet until we get a goods hands-on with the machines,so stay tuned for our review of the machines before dropping some hard-earned cash on one of them.

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