The 14in Samsung Series 5 ULTRA 530U4B-S01AU is one of the most unique Ultrabooks on the market and it's become even more unique because of its insane price: $ 718.40 on special at retailer JB Hi-Fi. What makes this ultra-light 1.79kg laptop so unusual is that it has a dedicated graphics card, a DVD burner and a range of ports that wouldn't look out of place on an all-rounder (a bigger traditional laptop). And it has a quite powerful processor in a low-voltage 2nd generation Intel Core i5. In fact, it's actually a big laptop that's been squeezed into a 20.9mm thick Ultrabook body by Samsung's superb engineering and design.
Its AMD Radeon HD 7550M dedicated graphics card in particular offers a huge boost over the integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 typical for a Ultrabook with a 2nd generation Intel low-voltage Core processor (2nd Gen has only recently been superseded by 3rd Gen processors). Running the 3DMark Vantage graphics benchmark shows a marked difference in GPU score: the 7550M scored 2,627; the Graphics 3000 scored 1,217, which means this Ultrabook will be able to play PC games at low to mid settings. It also has a good number of ports, including Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, three USB ports (two of which are 3.0) and an SD card reader. And in light use on Samsung Eco Mode, its battery lasted 4.5 hours.
In other words, this machine is a beauty if you're looking for the kind of functionality found in bigger, heavier, battery guzzling traditional laptop - even a DVD player - but in a super-portable, super-thin laptop of the kind that you would have paid $1,000 plus until now. At $718.49 this really is one of the better and more interesting specials we've seen this year.
See a summary of the specs below:
PROCESSOR - The laptop's engine
The 530U4B features a 2nd Gen Intel Core i5-2467M (1.6GHz), a mid-range low-voltage processor that can run productivity applications and some intensive software. It can burst up to 2.3GHz using Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology if a particularly demanding program is running. In other words it has enough power to easily get through common computing tasks.
GRAPHICS - Control what you see displayed on the screen
The AMD Radeon HD 7550M is one of the better entry-level graphics cards from AMD, and it should be able to handle modern games at medium settings.
RAM - The memory used for computation
4GB of RAM is enough to run several programs at once smoothly and ensure fluid system performance with Windows 7 Home Premium.
STORAGE - The long term store for data and programs
A 500GB hard disk drive is about average in size for a standard laptop, but excellent for an Ultrabook. The Samsung also has a 16GB solid state drive that is used for caching programs, resulting in faster overall performance and program loading. This hybrid approach is followed by several Ultrabooks.
The 530U4B sports a 14in (1,366 x 768 resolution) matte screen. The matte screen is better suited for outdoor use, because direct sunlight won't turn it into a mirror as would be the case with a gloss screen.
The 530U4B has great portability, because it weighs 1.78kg and is 20.9mm thick. It can be carried around very easily and remain quite inconspicuous in your bag.
See the special online here.