Samsung has added a premium variant to its Series 9 ultrabook lineup that packs a full HD (1920 x 1080) matte display and Core i7 processor for $1,399. The 13.3-inch machine is viewed as a competitor to the MacBook Air, and at that price it does manage to outclass the Apple’s comparable 13-inch system in several areas -- including thickness and weight at 0.51-inches and 2.56 lb -- but falls short when it comes to storage.

The Series 9 Premium packs an Intel Core i7-3537U processor clocked at 2.0 GHz with integrated HD 4000 graphics, 4GB of memory, a 128GB SSD, 802.11n Wi-Fi, a 1.3-megapixel webcam, 1.3W stereo speakers, and a battery that’s good for 5.8-hours of run time according to MobileMark 2012. Samsung also touts boot times less than 10 seconds and the ability to resume from sleep "nearly instantly".

Perhaps with the exception of the display that’s mostly par for the course when it comes to high end ultrabooks, of course, but the Series 9 really shines when it comes to design and build quality with an aluminum “single shell body” that has been “sand-blasted” to fight fingerprints. Key components like its keyboard, battery, and fans have reportedly been customized as well to accommodate to the thin form factor.

On the software side the machine comes loaded with Windows 8, though Samsung isn’t fully taking advantage of the operating systems finger friendly interface since it doesn't have a touchscreen display.

The Series 9 Premium is available now from Samsung’s website and a variety of retail stores. With sales of personal computers dropping to the lowest levels in years, it will be interesting to see if customers value the higher resolution display and additional horsepower enough to pay for a $1,400 Windows 8 ultrabook.