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CES 2012: Samsung Sends CES an LTE Note, New Series Laptops

By Matthew Braga

Smart TVs weren’t the only surprises Samsung had in store at this morning's press conference.

Smartphones may be all about touch these days, but that doesn’t mean Samsung is ready to bury the stylus just yet. After launching in Europe last Fall, AT&T is bringing the Galaxy Note and its gigantic pressure-sensitive 5.3-inch screen stateside, much to the delight of mobile Pictionary fans everywhere. Americans have one advantage however, with the addition of LTE hardware for next-generation 4G speeds.

But oversized phones weren’t the only mobile surprises Samsung had in store, however. A revamped Series 9 ultrabook was pictured on-stage too, but a 13-inch model was just the start.

The Galaxy Note is no mere pen-capable device. The included stylus is capable of 256 levels of pressure sensitivity—like a portable Wacom tablet—all on a 1200x800 pixel Super AMOLED display. Otherwise, you have dual-core 1.5GHz device with the addition of LTE. In fact, this was the second LTE device to be unveiled by AT&T and Samsung today, alongside the new Galaxy Tab 7.7.

As for its larger mobile products, Samsung has revamped its line of Series 9 notebooks. The 13-inch model remains, weighing just 2.1lbs at a thickness of half-an-inch. At a base cost of $1,399, you’re getting a 1.6GHz Core i5, 4GB of RAM and an Intel HD 3000 GPU. This time, however, Samsung has also seen fit to offer a 15-inch model—which, by minimizing the size of the bezel, they’ve managed to fit in a 14-inch chassis. The device is a bit thicker, and weighs an extra pound, but is otherwise the same as the 13-inch model in terms of specs. That Samsung decided not to consider the Series 9 as an ultrabook is surprising, as it definitely fits the mold.

Instead, that honour goes to Samsung’s new Series 5 ULTRA line, which, at around 0.75-inches, are actually a little thicker. Available in 13 and 14-inch configurations starting $899, you get the same model of Core i5 processor as the Series 9 models, but with an AMD Radeon GPU—not to mention an optical drive, and a bevy of HDMI, VGA and USB 3.0 ports.