For those of you watching the Ultrabook craze unfold, you might be considering the Samsung Series 9 machines. They come in a 13.3” and 15” model. I have tested both of them with the Sandy Bridge chipsets and found them to be quite compelling. The new Ivy Bridge based machines with the third generation Intel processors are even better. The Intel HD 4000 GPU impresses everyone that tries it.
I did want to caution you on a couple of items. First, Samsung didn’t change the port configuration on the latest Ivy Bridge models so there is still no mini DisplayPort video output. If you have a high resolution 27” or 30” LCD panel, you are going to be limited on the maximum resolution that can be displayed from mini HDMI or mini VGA. 1920×1080 doesn’t look very good on my Dell U2711 LCD panel.
Second, for some unknown reason Samsung is using Sandisk U100 mSATA drives in some of the 128GB configurations. I suppose mSATA drives are in high demand so they needed another source of parts. I don’t know about you, but I want the Samsung mSATA storage device in the machine if I buy one. When you are paying a premium price, you should expect premium components.
If Samsung reads this, please create a 13.3” SKU that has 8GB of memory. I don’t care much what you put in the mSATA slot because I can always change that, but 4GB of motherboard soldered RAM is too limiting for me. Me wants more.
If you are looking for these machines, amazon.com has all five models of the Ivy Bridge machines. The 15” has three configurations and the 13.3” has two (currently). The models with Windows 7 Professional also have a TPM chip.
Here are the amazon links:
Costco is currently only selling the Sandy Bridge machines online. I suppose they’ll switch before too long. http://jr.com has the Sandy Bridge models in stock at this moment in time, and are taking pre-orders on the Ivy Bridge. http://store.microsoft.com hasn’t listed the Ivy Bridge models yet.
Happy Ultrabook shopping!