Samsung Series 5 Ultra touch

How many ways can you skin a device with Windows 8? The landscape of laptops and convertible devices leading up to Microsoft's late-October Windows 8 launch seems to be heading toward several solutions: convertible tablet/laptop devices and computers with touch screens added on. Most are trying both at once.
Samsung's newly announced Windows 8 version of the Samsung Series 5 Ultra has a capacitive touch screen, but it's otherwise very similar to the Series 5 Ultra we reviewed earlier this year. The 13-inch Series 5 Ultra was already an attractive laptop, with a clean design and thin profile, albeit not as thin as the Series 9. The new touch-enabled version looks like it has a slightly thicker lid.

The touch-enabled Series 5 Ultra will come in two versions: the $849 NP540U3C-A01UB will include an Intel Core i5-3317U processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive with 24GB SSD cache. The $799 NP540U3C-A02UB will have the same dimensions and specs (and a 1,366x768-pixel display), except with an Intel Core i3-3217U processor.
In my brief time with the Series 5's touch interface, I found that it all works as you'd expect: in other words, much like any touch-screen Windows 8 tablet. The 10-point capacitive multitouch is the same technology as in the Series 5 and 7 Slate.
But here's the question most consumers will ask come October 26, when the new Series 5 Ultra becomes available: is a touch-enabled laptop even be a good idea? So far, in my limited hands-on time with a few devices, I think the answer depends on the distance from the screen to your elbow. The more you have to reach across a wide expanse of keyboard, the less appealing it's likely to feel. Smaller devices seem like a more logical touch candidate, ironically enough, because it's easier to reach across and use the screen.
At the prices quoted by Samsung, these new Series 5 Ultra laptops don't cost an arm and a leg for the extra touch function, which could be the key for their success.

Operating System
  • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
CPU/ Processor
  • Intel® Core™ i5-2467M Processor
  • CPU Clock Speed (Max.): 1.6GHz
  • CPU Cache: 3MB L3
  • Series 5
  • NP530U4B-A02US
  • 14" Screen Size
  • 1366 x 768 Resolution
  • Brightness: 300 nits
  • 4GB System Memory
  • Memory Type: DDR3
  • 500GB Hard Drive Capacity with Express Cache, 16GB
  • Intel® HD Graphics 3000
  • DVD +/-RW Super Multi Dual Layer (S-ATA)
  • 3 W Stereo Speaker (1.5 W x 2)
  • 1.3MP HD Webcam
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n Wireless LAN
  • Bluetooth v3.0 High Speed
  • Gigabit Wired Ethernet LAN
I/O Ports
  • VGA
  • HDMI
  • 2 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0
  • Headphone/MIC combo
  • 4-in-1 Multi Card Slot (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC)
  • RJ45 (LAN)
Input Devices
  • 81 Key Keyboard
  • Touch Pad (Scroll Scope, Flat Type)
  • Kensington Lock Slot
  • 40W AC Adapter
  • 8 Cell / Li-Po Battery
  • 6120mAh
  • Silver
  • 13.1" (W) x 9.0" (D) x 0.82" (H)
  • 3.94 lbs.
  • 1 Year Standard Parts and Labor