Samsung Notebook 9 Shaves Inches and Adds Features: Hands On

by Reads (6,919)

The Samsung Note 9 series laptops are well known for their thin profiles and lightweight designs. This year at CES proves to be no different as the company unveiled what they’re claiming is the lightest 13-inch laptop on the market.

However, the Samsung Notebook 9 has more than just a thin profile. The Ultrabook provides a strong performance boost with Intel’s 7th-generation Kaby Lake processors and fast charging.

Samsung Notebook 9 top

Shockingly Slim, But Firm

It really says something that we knew Samsung would have one of the lightest notebooks at CES 2017 and we were still blown away. While looking over Samsung’s entire line of laptops we stumbled across the 13-inch Notebook 9 and mistook it for a mock-up model. It really feels almost hollow inside when you pick it up.

Impressively the 15-inch variant isn’t much heavier either at only 2.17 pounds. Finally, the Samsung Notebook 9 15 EXT weighs in slightly heavier at 2.73 pounds, but that’s still very impressive considering the inclusion of on-board dedicated graphics.

While both laptops are incredibly light and thin, they also feel quite durable thanks to the sturdy magnesium alloy chassis. The silver chassis curves along the edges for a clean simple aesthetic. One design element that NBR was sad to see go was the sloped bottom chassis from last year’s design, the slow moving angled design really helped the Notebook 9 stand out from the other Ultrabooks on the market.

Samsung Notebook 9

Doing away with that design may have been for the best, though, as the new Notebook 9 manages to pack an impressive array of ports into its compact form factor. The 13-inch Notebook 9 features two USB 3.0 ports, a USB-C port, a full HDMI connector, and a headphone/microphone combo audio jack. The 15-inch variant adds a USB 2.0 port along with a MicroSD card reader. The 15-inch EXT variant also features Thunderbolt 3 technology offer up to 40GBs data transfer with an optional 4K video out display adapter.

All three devices offer charging via the USB-C ports, meaning that you can use your typical phone charger when in a pinch. However, there’s still a good reason to carry around the Notebook 9’s charging cable as the series features fast charging technology that can reportedly fill a charge in just 80 minutes. That in conjunction with Samsung’s reported 15 hours of battery life on a single charge makes the Notebook 9 the ideal travel companion.

Samsung Notebook 9: Packed with Performance

The Samsung Notebook 9 Series is no slouch in the performance department. The entire lineup comes with Intel’s latest 7th generation of Kaby Lake CPUs, which should provide a significant performance boost. Unfortunately, NBR didn’t have enough time to run any of the models that we saw through rigorous testing, but they all did seem fast responsive when doing some light web browsing and simple applications.

The specs vary from model to model but all three units feature to up 7th generation Intel Core i7 CPU, with up to 16GB of DDR4 ram, and up to 256GB of PCIe NVMe SSD onboard storage. The 15-inch EXT additionally offers dedicated graphics in the form of the Nvidia GTX 940MX GPU.

Samsung Notebook 9 ports

The one area where Samsung may fail to contest other market-leading Ultrabooks is in resolution. Unfortunately, every Notebook 9 ships with an FHD (1920 x 1080) resolution panel and there are no higher resolution options available.

The resolution doesn’t tell the whole picture, though, these are still great looking screens. With razor thin bezels and a fantastic 350 nits brightness, NBR was impressed by how well colors popped. All three models even come with an outdoor mode that increases the screen’s brightness to 500 nits to help increase readability in direct sunlight. It’s a smart feature, just be warned it will chug through your battery life.

The Notebook 9 series looks fantastic so far. If Samsung can deliver on their reported battery life projections then we have a real contender for road warriors. Add in the fast charging and strong performance and you have a well-rounded Ultrabook that delivers on most fronts. The Notebook 13-inch model starts at $1,000 while the 15-inch version starts at $1,200 and offers an EXT variant that features Thunderbolt 3 technology and a Nvidia GTX 940MX GPU. Both models will be available for purchase in the near future and are currently available for preorder.


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4 Comments

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  1. john.matox

    I seriously don’t understand this.
    My 4 year old Samsung laptop is more appealing than this…
    Bear with me:
    i7 (old but 2.4gh quad core)
    8gb of ram
    8870M (2gb GDDR5)
    All aluminium unibody. Really slim and light, 5 pounds.
    6 hour battery.

    And I got it for $1000 (plus 150 for 512 SSD)

    4 years later and they put out this ugly thing (compared to mine at least)

    How is this attractive consumers??

    By the way. Good review. Thank you!

  2. JoshLefelhocz

    The performance can outweigh the looks. Just look at why Microsoft is doing better than Apple. Function over form. It has to work well before it can look good.

  3. john.matox

    Well yes but what I’m saying is that after 4 years this doesn’t really look like a significant upgrade.
    This does not seem to perform that much better to justify an upgrade after 4 years.
    I’m better off buying a cheaper one for my mom and keeping mine to myself.
    I forgot the model in the last post.
    Samgung NP870Z (8870M version)
    But thanks for the feedback!

  4. alexbot999

    do you have any idea what happened with the new EXT 15 inch version?
    it was available to preorder on samsung.com for a few days and now it’s gone.