Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch

Samsung has updated its Series 5 Ultra from earlier in the year, adding a touchscreen in readiness for the launch of Windows 8.


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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 Touch has a capacitive touchscreen, 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 Series 5 Ultra Touch will come in two versions: the US$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 1366x768-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 worked as you'd expect: in other words, much like any touchscreen Windows 8 tablet. The 10-point capacitive multi-touch technology is the same that's used in the Series 5 and 7 Slate.

But here's the question most consumers will ask come 26 October, when the new Series 5 Ultra Touch becomes available: would 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 of 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, the new Series 5 Ultra Touch laptop doesn't cost an arm and a leg for the extra touch function, which could be the key for their success.

Via CNET.com

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Chandler posted a comment   
Australia

My wife recently got a Samsung Series laptop, and it's a nice bit of kit. I held off knowing that Windows 8 tablets were coming and liking the look of the ASUS Infinity Pad but wanting the functionality of a Windows computer... hey presto!

I'm disappointed that gigabit Ethernet is via an adapter - why not put a port on the keyboard dock: I'm sure there's space! Realistically, I'd love the current Samsung Series as is, just as a docking tablet. Move your internals and one or two ports around, and that's really all I'd like to change...

Touch-enabled laptops (in my opinion) are a bit nonsensical, but dock-able tablets... awesome! It gives you the tablet portability and the laptop functionality in one device. Yes, you can get docks and wireless keyboards, but a keyboard dock gives you a keyboard (duh!), more ports and battery, and maybe even an optical drive (hint hint!). Hell, put a discrete graphics card into the keyboard dock too: other laptops have done it with a desktop-based dock (Sony Vaio, among others, I believe?). All that in a setup that makes sense (the traditional laptop), versus some funky looking stand and wireless keyboard (a la the thumbnail of the video above), which have no other purpose than to prop up your tablet and give you a keyboard...

 

Chandler posted a reply   
Australia

TL;DR:

Docking keyboard = WIN!
More functions on dock i.e. optical drive, discrete graphics, ports, ports, ports = WINNING!

 

Chandler posted a reply   
Australia

The comment on more functions is meant to read that future devices should consider adding these functions. This product doesn't have them...




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User Reviews / Comments  Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch

  • Chandler

    Chandler

    "My wife recently got a Samsung Series laptop, and it's a nice bit of kit. I held off knowing that Windows 8 tablets were coming and liking the look of the ASUS Infinity Pad but wanting the function..."

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