Samsung adds Ivy Bridge, two sub-$1,000 Series 5 laptops

Samsung unveils two Series 5 notebooks with Ivy Bridge and JBL speakers

Aimed squarely at the back-to-school set, Samsung’s pair of new Series 5 laptops look like affordable, workaday systems.

Neither the 15.6-inch Series 5 nor the 14-inch Series 5 500 falls into Intel’s ultrabook category due to their general thickness, but they also look like reasonably attractive and capable mainstream PCs.

For the $899 Series 5, you get a quad core, 2.3GHz Core i7 3610QM chip, a 1,366×768-pixel screen, 8GB of system memory, a 750GB hard drive and a Nvidia GeForce GT 630M graphics chip. Samsung the overall weight is 5.5 pounds, with “6-plus” hours of claimed battery life.

For $100 less, the $799 Series 5 500 (terrible name differentiation, no?) offers a 14-inch 1366×768 display, a 2.5GHz dual core Core i5 3210M chip, and a 500GB hard drive. It has the same Nvidia graphics chip as the more expensive model, as well as the same battery life claim. It only weighs five pounds though, half a pound less than the vanilla Series 5, presumably due to the smaller display.

A closer look at Samsung’s Ivy Bridge Series 5 laptops (pictures)

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Both laptops also boast a built-in JBL speaker and subwoofer set, falling in line with the general trend of PC makers trying to set themselves apart by offering name brand audio components.

In addition to these new laptops, Samsung has also announced that it will add Intel’s third-generation Core CPUs to its existing Series 3, Series 5, and Series 9 laptops. Those systems will join the high-end Samsung Series 7 line, which already received Intel’s new chips. Samsung says those updates and the new models above will be available mid-June.

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