Samsung Series 9 Samsung gives its Series 9 notebooks some Sandy Bridge love

Samsung's ultra-thin 11.6-inch Series 9 notebooks have finally been upgraded to Intel's ULV Sandy Bridge CPUs, while the larger 13.3-inch version was given a spec bump or a price reduction. That said, neither model is exactly what we'd call cheap, but you do get a very sleek and stylish looking notebook for your money.

Samsung's ultra-thin 11.6-inch Series 9 notebooks have finally been upgraded to Intel's ULV Sandy Bridge CPUs, while the larger 13.3-inch version was given a spec bump or a price reduction. That said, neither model is exactly what we'd call cheap, but you do get a very sleek and stylish looking notebook for your money.

The first generation 11.6-inch Series 9 notebooks from Samsung featured a previous generation Intel Core i3-380UM processor clocked at 1.33GHz, whereas the new models are actually getting a slightly slower processor in the shape of the Sandy Bridge based Core i3-2357M which is clocked at 1.3GHz. Both CPU's sports 3MB of L3 cache, two cores and four threads, but the Core i3-2357M has 1W lower TDP, Intel's much improved HD 3000 graphics (350/950MHz clock in standard/turbo modes) with support for Intel Quick Sync video and a few other features and  finally it also supports AVX.

The base model retains the pathetic 2GB of RAM and 64GB SSD, although the price has come down from US$1,199, to US$1,049 for the base spec. Luckily Samsung has come to its senses and offers an upgraded model with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD for US$1,249 which is a price we'd be happy to pay for a usable notebook compared to the base version. Both version will be available in the US from August.

The 13.3-inch models have gone through a lesser transformation with the CPU being upgraded from a Core i5-2537M at 1.4GHz to a Core i5-2467M at 1.6GHz. The turbo frequency for the new model is still capped at 2.3GHz, but its graphics core will go all the way to 1,150MHz, compared to 950MHz for the older version. Samsung has also added a Core i7 option with the 2617M CPU which has a slightly lower base clock than the Core i5-2467M, as the Core i7-2617M starts out at 1.4GHz, but it'll turbo up to 2.6GHz. It also has an additional 1MB of L3 cache, but surprisingly it has the same graphics clock as the Core i5-2537M. It's worth pointing out that the Core i5-2467M lacks support for Intel VT-d and Trusted Execution Technology, something the Core i7-2617M offers.

The MSRP for the first generation model was US$1,649 and Samsung is no offering its base model as a much more affordable US$1,349 which includes the Core i5-2467M CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. At US$1,649 you're looking at an upgrade to a 256GB SSD and finally US$2,049 gets you the Core i7-2617M model with 6GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. All three models have already gone on sale in the US.

Source: Samsung USA