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Samsung Series 5 Ultra up for pre-order in the US, brings optical media to the ultrabook for $949

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Samsung's Series 5 Ultra ultrabooks are now available for pre-order at J&R, and start at $899.99 for a lightweight, decently-specced machine including a 1.6GHz Core i5 processor. A 14-inch version with an optical drive runs $949.99.

samsung series 5 ultrabook_640
samsung series 5 ultrabook_640

Koreans won't be the only ones sticking DVDs into exceptionally thin laptops this year: Samsung's Series 5 Ultra laptops are now available for pre-order at J&R. The first time we heard of the aluminum-clad ultrabooks, we didn't have a firm grasp of specs or pricing, but the e-tailer's seemingly spilled all the beans ahead of CES. There are two models, an optical-drive-equipped 14-incher for $949.99 and a 13.3-inch machine for $899.99, but they're otherwise nearly identically specced: both come with a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-2467M processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 500GB hard drive with 16GB of solid state storage cache (increasingly popular these days), a 1366 x 768 display, integrated Intel graphics, a webcam and a pretty decent amount of connectivity. There's dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI a 4-in-1 card slot, and two USB 2.0 ports, and the 13.3-inch model gets an additional USB 3.0 port to make up for the lack of optical drive. Unfortunately, there's no mention of the hybrid Radeon HD 7550M graphics that Samsung promised abroad; perhaps that's being saved for a more expensive model. For now, the main thing we're missing is a shipping date: if you feel like becoming an early adopter, please let us know what J&R says about that!