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Samsung 9 Series Goes Right After MacBook Air with 2.8-Pound Duralumin Design, 400-Nit Display

We called the latest 13-inch MacBook Air one of the best ultraportables ever made. Now the Windows camp is fighting back--hard. Samsung's new 9 Series is a super-thin and light 13-inch notebook, weighing in a 2.86 pounds (just a hair under the 2.9-pound Air). The machine is made of duralumin, which Samsung claims is much stronger than plastic while being easier to recycle. A best-in-class 400-nit LED-backlit display makes the 9 Series the brightest ultraportable money can buy.

Samsung backs up that eye candy with a new Core i5-2537M processor (and Intel's souped up graphics), 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. Plus, the ZX310 should sound pretty sweet, thanks to two 1.5-watt speakers and a 1.5-watt subwoofer. The ultraportable is rated to last 6.5 hours on a charge. How much for this beauty? A somewhat steep $1,599, $300 more than the 13-inch Air's starting price.

We're assuming the premium is worth it, but keep it locked here for hands-on impressions. In the menatime, some gorgeous pics of the ZX310 should hold you over.