New Samsung Ultrabooks to include Optical Drive

Dennis Faas's picture

Ultrabooks have been in the news lately as PC makers challenge Apple for dominance of the high-speed, ultra lightweight laptop-sized PC market niche.

Apple's MacBook Air, which effectively set the standard for the Ultrabook market for several years, offers lightning-fast processing speed and a display size much larger than the average netbook.

The price point for Apple's Macbook Air (and non-Apple Ultrabooks similar to it) sell at a price point upwards of well over $1,000. Until now, Ultrabooks lacked a DVD/Blu-ray optical disc drive; however, Samsung is hoping to change that.

Optical Disc Drive Now in 14" Samsung Ultrabook

Samsung isn't rocking the boat too much with regard to its price point.

The company recently unveiled its 13" and 14" Series 5 Ultra line, which, like the competition, offers serious processing power in a featherweight frame. However, the 14" Series 5 Ultra PC will include a powerful optical drive. (Source:

Also under the hood is the user's choice of a solid state or hybrid hard drive and a very powerful Radeon HD 7550M graphics card, which should give these new devices the boost necessary to play newer video games, such as Battlefield 3 or The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Both the 13" and 14" versions of Samsung's Ultrabook will also include Intel Core i5 processors and a variety of ports, including both HDMI and Ethernet.

Are Optical Drives Worth the Price?

Neither the 13" nor 14" Series 5 Ultra models will sell particularly cheap. In fact, experts expect them to hit store shelves in Korea later this month at retail prices close to $1,300 (for the 13" version) and $1,345 (for the 14" version). (Source:

Because rival PC Ultrabooks tend to retail for a couple of hundred dollars less, the important question is whether or not consumers want an optical disc drive in their Ultrabook so much that they are willing to pay significantly more for it. The answer should be clear by early 2012, after Samsung's Series 5 Ultra computers have been on the market for a few months.

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