Samsung expands Series 9 laptop family for back-to-school shopping

Samsung's Series 9 laptop line-up has proved to be a credible, Windows-based alternative to the MacBook Air, even if the notebooks have somehow managed to be even pricier than Apple's offerings. The result has been for Samsung to double-down on the sleek, svelte systems, adding new configurations to the Series 9 in time for the back-to-school buying season.

Samsung's Series 9 laptop line-up has proved to be a credible, Windows-based alternative to the MacBook Air, even if the notebooks have somehow managed to be even pricier than Apple's offerings. The result has been for Samsung to double-down on the sleek, svelte systems, adding new configurations to the Series 9 in time for the back-to-school buying season.

There are three new 13.3-inch versions now available, including one featuring an Intel Core i7 mobile processor. The NP900X3A-B01US includes a Core i5-2467M CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid-state drive for $1,349; that compares favorably to the original config's slightly less-powerful Core i5-2437M processor and $1,699 price tag (see review here). For an additional $300, the NP900X3A-B02US bumps the SSD to 256GB. Finally, the NP900X3A-A05US comes with a Core i7-2617M, 6GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD for $2,049.

While the Core i7 model may not be priced in a particularly student-friendly manner, two new 11-inch Series 9 laptops are a better fit for more budgets. Both include the Core i3-2357M processor, with the NP900X1B-A02US adding 2GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD for $1,049, while the NP900X3A-A01US provides 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD for $1,249. These configurations will be available starting in August.

All Series 9 laptops are built with duralumin, which Samsung says is twice as strong as aluminum. The 13.3-inch versions are just 0.62 inches thick and weigh 2.89 pounds. Other features include the company's FastStart technology, which Samsung claims will quick-boot your system in a few seconds, and USB 3.0 ports that can charge your mobile devices even when the laptop is powered off.