Staples has begun selling the 11.6-inch Samsung Series 3 laptop for $619 after "instant savings," one of the least expensive ultraportables based on Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processor.
The Series 3 presages sub-$800 Ultrabooks likely to appear in 2012 from PC makers. Though--with a maximum thickness of about 1 inch--it's not as thin as Ultrabooks are expected to be, the weight is about right at 2.8 pounds.
The silicon is similar to Ultrabooks too. In this case, an ultra power efficient Intel Core i3-2357M Sandy Bridge processor.
Unlike the Samsung Series 9 (which can be considered an early Ultrabook), the Series 3 does not have a solid-state drive but a standard spinning hard disk.
And here's another way to think of this Series 3 model: an inexpensive alternative to the 11.6-inch MacBook Air, which begins at $999.