Saturday, August 30, 2008

Video Hands-on: Samsung X360 is an Air Killer [Ifa 2008]


I got my dirty paws all over the 2.79-pound Samsung X360 and I've got to say I'm impressed with everything except for the piano black finish. Its size and weight—very light and thin—is comparable to the MacBook Air, the 13.3-inch,1,200 x 800 pixel screen looks very good, and it comes with more ports and features than Apple's notebook: direct HDMI out, three USB ports, Express Card slot, 7-in-1 flash card reader, external optical unit included, and fingerprint reader for security. Definitely, the Samsung X360 bests the MacBook Air in features hands down... although yes, you guessed it, there's a big hairy but lurking around the corner.

It can't run Mac OS X. And to me, that's the killer. For Windows users, however, the Samsung X360 looks like the best machine of both. Granted, Apple fanboys will argue that a revision of the MacBook Air is just around the corner, but at this point and on the surface—and without knowing the final US price, which we guess will be comparable to the MacBook Air as well—, the winner is the Samsung X360.

The Good: Ultra-thin, ultra-light, great quality, and good number of features, including expandability via Express Card and direct access to HDMI and flash cards (I can kill for this one). No compromises except the optical unit, which I can live without, like many other people, I suspect. The keyboard was comfortable, chiclet-style.

The Bad: The damn piano black finish. As a personal note, the fact that it can't run Mac OS X (without modification) is the main drawback for me, as I think it's what makes the MacBook the best notebooks in the market. However, this last "bad" won't be bad at all for the largest part of the market, though.

Bottom line: If Samsung can nail the price of this unit at the $1,800 mark, they definitely have a best seller in their hands. However, we will have to wait and see Apple's new MacBook Air! , who ob viously has a long lead in this category at this point. [More IFA 2008 Coverage]