Samsung invades NZ laptop market
Samsung has entered the New Zealand laptop market with a range of netbooks and notebooks tailored to students, consumers and SMBs.
The range includes the N150 Plus and N220 Plus netbooks, the R540 and R590 notebooks and the Korean company's flagship portable Q330 notebook.
Samsung's New Zealand notebook and netbook product manager Lane Stephens said Samsung had maintained a physical presence in New Zealand for five years now and the time was right for it to enter the laptop market. "For Samsung globally, IT is the next big growth area," he said.
The N150 Plus and N220 Plus are spec'd almost identically, with 10.1-inch LED screens, a choice of Atom processors and an integrated Intel GMA3150 GPU. Both come with 1GB of DDR2 RAM and have a battery life of up to 10 - 13 hours. The $699 N150 Plus is slightly smaller and weighs in at 1.24kg compared with the 1.32kg N220 Plus (RRP $799).
The R-series models, R540 and R590, are the company's mainstream notebook offering. They have 15.6-inch LED screens and come protected by a scratch resistant Samsung Duracase. The R540 can be powered by a choice of Intel Pentium dual-core, Core i3 or i5 processor, while the R590 comes with a choice of Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processors. Both of the R-series models have 4GB of DDR3 RAM but the R590 is slightly better setup for gaming with a NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics card.
Stephens said the R540 (RRP $1,499) and R590 (RRP $1,899) would have a broad appeal among New Zealand consumers and would cross over into the SMB market, due in part to the inclusion of a numeric keypad on the right of their keyboards.
The flagship model, the Q330 (RRP $2,299) is Samsung's attempt to blend performance and portability. Weighing in at 1.97kg, it has a 13.3-inch LED screen, 4GB or DDR3 RAM and can be powered by either an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor. Interestingly, the Q330 is also equipped with a hybrid graphic feature that can automatically alternate graphic modes between its integrated Intel GMA HD GPU and its nVidia GeForce 310M card.
Stephens said Samsung planned to launch further laptops into the New Zealand market before Christmas. He declined to name which models would be introduced but said Kiwis purchased about 400,000 laptops every year and Samsung saw a good opportunity to expand its market share in New Zealand.