Samsung Series 3 12.1 inch laptop

Samsung will roll out a whole new line of laptops for the back-to-school season. The Samsung Series 3 line will include notebooks with screens ranging in size from 11.6 inches to 15.6 inches. Honestly, the largest laptops in the family bear little resemblance to the smallest in terms of design or features, but the gist I got after meeting with Samsung last night was that the Series 3 will be the company’s new mainstream line of laptops while specialized machines like the Series 5 Chromebook and the Series 9 premium ultraportable laptop continue to fill smaller niches.

I got a chance to check out the 12.1 12.5 inch model at an event in New York last night, and the little guy’s a looker. It will probably retail for around $749 and for that price you get a laptop with an Intel Core i3 processor, HDMI output, an SD card slot, a full sized island-style keyboard, 2GB of RAM, and Windows 7. A Core i5 processor option will also be available.

The laptop has a matte display, which is a rarity among consumer notebooks these days. But unfortunately it also has a battery that’s not user replaceable — which is becoming less and less rare. Larger laptops in the Series 3 line will have user replaceable batteries, but they’ll also have optical disc drives and much thicker cases.

The specs for this laptop haven’t been finalized yet, but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on if you’re looking for a thin and light laptop that packs a little more punch than an Intel Atom powered netbook.

You can find some more hands-on photos after the break.

Update: It turns out this model actually has a 12.5 inch display rather than 12.1 inches.

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11 replies on “First look at Samsung’s Series 3 ultraportable laptop”

  1. Hi Brad,

    A couple of questions if you don’t mind:

    1) Did you see the 11.6″ there as well?
    2) The photo of the bottom.. is it glossy or is that just one of those clear film strips covering it? I hope it’s a matte texture, as glossy would scratch easily.
    3) Is the top made out of the same plastic “metallic” texture as on the grey Galaxy Tab 10.1″?
    4) How was the display quality/viewing angles?
    5) How were the speakers? I don’t see them from the photos.


    1. 1. Nope
      2. Matte
      3. I don’t recall.
      4. I didn’t check this extensively, as the lighting at the event wasn’t great.
      5. There’s almost no point in testing speakers at this kind of trade show event. It was a very noisy room.

      We should know more once Samsung starts sending demo units to reviewers. 

      1. thanks for the quick response! did the samsung reps indicate a timeframe for release? i’ve been without a computer for a few months now, and was hoping this would be released by late july/early august. would you say that’s possible?

        1. I don’t have a firm date… but I get the feeling these are going to be part of the fall/back-to-school lineup, so August seems like a possibility… but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was September.

          1. Nice find, thanks!

            The smaller models in this line have non-replaceable batteries which probably means that a) Samsung thinks they get decent battery life or b) the company was more concerned with looks than performance.

            I guess we’ll find out which soon.

  2. the 11.6″ notebook would def be a lighter alternative to my 15″ macbook rn..
    but i’m guessing the smaller series 3 notebooks won’t have the user replaceable batteries? :/

    1. Probably will have to wait till after AMD goes 28nm next year.  They still have to get power usage and thermals down a bit to get into the smaller systems.

  3. the 15.6″ version has an option for an AMD A4 Llano APU, was there any indication that this option would be available on the 11.6″/12.1″ versions?

    1. I got the impression that the smaller models would only support Core i3 and Core i5, but there aren’t a lot of details available yet. We should know more within the next few weeks. 

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