Samsung unveils MacBook Air competitor, sliding tablet PC

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Samsung has announced a new 13.3-inch MacBook Air competitor as well as a 10.1-inch tablet PC with a sliding keyboard. The former is part of the company's 9 Series and it said to be the "thinnest and lightest 13-inch notebook available," measuring 0.68 inches at its thickest point and weighing 2.89 pounds -- which is practically identical to the latest 13-inch MacBook air.

Specs include Intel's new Core i5-2537M processor, a 128GB SSD, 4GB of RAM, a backlit keyboard, a 1366x768 400 nit LED-backlit display, a pair of 1.5-watt speakers with a subwoofer, and Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. Naturally, there's no optical drive while connectivity includes HDMI, USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and audio jacks. Battery life is rated at 6.5 hours and pricing will be around $1,600.

Meanwhile, the company's new Sliding PC 7 Series will take on the boatload of tablets launching this year. The 2.2-pound hybrid carries a 10.1-inch 1366x768 display, Intel's 1.66GHz Z670 Oak Trail processor, 32 or 64GB of flash storage, 2GB of RAM, and Windows 7 Home Premium preloaded various Samsung-developed touch-optimized apps music, video, photos, weather and more.

The slider also packs USB 2.0 and HDMI ports, a 4-in-1 card reader, a 1.3-megapixel camera, optional WiMAX connectivity, an ambient light sensor, and it supposedly boots in under 20 seconds -- not bad for an ultraportable device running a full copy of Windows 7. The six-cell battery supposedly offers up to nine hours of life and pricing starts at $699 with availability slated for March 2011.

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