Samsung has just announced the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro, a laptop that exists in both 13.3” and 15” versions. With these models, Samsung is adopting a 360 degree multimode PC approach that is now proven, and even expected in some market. The Notebook 9 Pro also comes with Samsung’s S-Pen which is fully supported by Windows Ink.
The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro uses a design language that reminds me of the recent Samsung Chromebook Pro we reviewed. It is a slick, minimalist design that should be an eye-pleaser for many. The display both both 13” and 15” has a resolution of 1080p/FHD. The specs say that it is an LED panel, but we’ll have to wait until we get some hands-on time to tell you how good it looks.
Internally, there’s a Core i7 7500U which is a well-known processor platform for laptops in this segment, and we have a good idea of the general performance which should be very decent for a productivity laptop. The 15” model has a discrete GPU option (AMD Radeon 540), which is nice for graphic designers and video editing because of the potential performance boost.
The 13” model has 8GB RAM, and the 15” has 16GB and that reinforces our impression that the smaller model is geared towards general productivity, while the bigger one is for creative work. There’s 256GB of SSD storage, but we’re not sure what kind of bus Samsung is using (SATA vs NVME)
As one can expect, the laptops come with the latest WIFI AC standard, along with Bluetooth 4.1. The 1.5W dual speaker setup seems powerful enough, but a trade show is hardly a serene environment for testing this, so we’ll have to get back to you on the audio quality.
The S-Pen competes well with other digitizer pen in laptop computer. With a 0.7mm tip and 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, it is (on paper) among the best available. Samsung didn’t disclose if the technology is compatible with Wacom or N-Trig, but historically, Samsung has worked with Wacom. The pen is neatly stored in the laptop’s chassis (vs. hanging outside) and that reduces the chances for loss or damage.
As usual, Samsung has a backlit chiclet keyboard with a comfortable 1.5mm key travel. The trackpad as large enough to be very comfortable, although it is probably not the absolute largest in this category.
Both laptops have a good number of ports: 2XUSB 3.0, 1XUSB-C, HDMI, MicroSD, HP/Mic, DC-in. Surprisingly, the 13” and 15” have the same 54Wh battery capacity, but different charger wattage (40W and 60W, respectively). We’re not sure if that is to accommodate the larger display, or if the 15” charges faster — both are supposed to have fast-charging, but the exact speed remains to be seen.
With dimensions and weight of 12.21” x 8.54” x 0.63’ / 2.91lbs (13”) and 13.67” x 9.41” x 0.67” / 3.79lbs, both laptops are firmly in thin and light territory and should compete well in their respective segments.
Overall, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro laptops seem to be solid options in the 13” And 15” productivity computers. The 15” has creative and gaming capabilities that are worth looking at if that is what you are shopping for.