PC Advisor today spent some time with Samsung's latest laptops here at the CES tradeshow in Las Vegas. The Samsung TX-100 and the Samsung ZX-310 are the key products in a raft of new releases from Samsung, and both bring something fresh to the laptop form factor.
Known as the Samsung 7 Series in the US, the Samsung TX-100 is a 10in Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium laptop with a full qwerty keyboard. Slide the keyboard under the touchscreen and the TX-100 converts to an Apple iPad-like Tablet PC.
A Samsung spokesman told PC Advisor that the TX-100 will launch in the UK in the Spring, and will cost around £599 inc VAT. In truth, by build quality alone it feels like a more expensive product, and at first glance the combination of full laptop and Tablet PC functionality is compelling. Indeed, the Samsung spokesman told us that the concept behind the TX-100 is "functionality is key", and that he believed the laptop could be both a "primary or secondary device".
iPad fans should bear in mind that the keyboard means the Samsung TX-100 is pretty fat for a Tablet, however, and whether a convertible device is the best of both worlds or master of none may depend on the individual's needs. Indisputably - and predictably - the screen is good-looking, and running Windows 7 on a Tablet will be useful for many. We were also impressed with the keyboard, which for a small device is very nice to type on.
Samsung told us that the TX-100 will likely launch with Wi-Fi only, but a 3G version will follow. It will run an Intel Atom CPU, have a 64GB SSD and 2GB RAM. USB and Mini SD round out the spec.
Samsung TX-100: iPad plus qwerty keyboard plus Windows 7
If the Samsung TX-100 is an iPad plus, the ZX-310 has in its sights fans of another hero product from Apple: the Apple MacBook Air .
Thinner than the Macbook Air, Samsung told us that the ZX-310 is aimed at "style-conscious business people". The sort that might buy, you know, Apple products. It is a 13in laptop - an 11in model will follow - made of duralumin, which is twice as tough as aluminium, according to Samsung. (Samsung declined PC Advisor's offer to test this by hurling the ZX-310 across its busy stand at CES, but it's early days yet.)
A whole millimetre thinner than the Air, the Windows 7-based ZX-310 will ship with an Intel Core i5 chip, 128GB SSD and 4GB RAM. It really is a stunning looking product, screaming quality from top to bottom and it is incredibly thin and light. The keyboard is, again, responsive and comfortable to use. But those 'style-conscious' consumers had better have deep pockets. The Samsung ZX-310 will cost around £1,399 inc VAT when it ships to the UK in the Spring.
Samsung ZX-310: for style-conscious technology fans