IFA 2008: Samsung Launches MacBook Air Killer

Samsung shakes up the notebook market with its latest 13.3in beauty.

Under the hood is an Intel Centrino 2 platform utilising the latest Ultra-Low Voltage CPU. This ULV chip has an 800/1,066MHz FSB, unlike the previous model was stuck with a 533MHz bus. The two SoDIMM slots will cater for memory configurations up to 4GB of DDR3. Storage options include a base level 120GB hard disk, but both 64 and 128GB SSD options will also be available.

Wireless connectivity is very well catered for with 802.11a, b, g and n support, while Intel’s Echo Peak WiMAX card will also be offered as an option. You also get Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, and Gigabit Ethernet thrown into the mix. There was no mention of HSDPA support during the presentation, but Samsung confirmed that this too will be an option. The multiple connection options will help you make use of the 1.3-megapixel webcam that’s mounted above the screen.

The 13.3in screen is, of course, an LED backlit affair, and is consequently very thin – the aluminium shell keeps flex to a minimum though. There’s a high contrast glossy coating on the screen, and the colours look extremely bright and vibrant – the viewing angle isn’t too shabby either. Screen resolution is limited to 1,280 x 800 – I’d have preferred 1,440 x 900, but the lower res isn’t too much of a disappointment in a screen this size.

There’s no built-in optical drive in the X360, but Samsung does supply an external DVD writer in the box, so you won’t have any problems installing software once you take it out of the box – unlike some slim 13.3in laptops I could mention.

Samsung quoted battery life of 10 hours on the supplied six-cell battery. That’s pretty impressive, but the company tempered that statement by indicating that in a real world situation you’ll be getting between six and seven hours, which is still good.

As usual, Samsung is being very aggressive with its pricing, and the full Monty, 128GB SSD version of the X360 should be hitting shelves for around £1,499, making the MacBook Air look even less attractive – the Air specced with only a 64GB SSD, Ethernet adapter and external DVD writer will set you back nearly £1,700.

I should be getting my paws on a review sample of the X360 very soon, and if its performance can match its looks and features, I can see it making the shortlist for the best notebook of 2008.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor

Previous page