We really love that CES is hosting a ton of PC and laptop announcements, and one of the most original we’ve seen is the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro, a super-light 13.3” laptop that will turn a lot of heads.
With the Notebook 9 Pro, Samsung wants to compete on design and functionality, not on PC specs. Of course, the technicalities are very decent as well: Intel Core i7-8565U CPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage is enough to satisfy most users that Samsung targets.
But when we laid eyes on the Notebook 9 Pro, we immediately felt the desire to touch and use it. That’s really the difference between such a design, and perhaps more utilitarian ones. Obviously, Samsung is not the only player in the 13.3 Premium laptop space, which is the single most competitive market for Windows PC.
Samsung’s design team has managed to create a unique chassis design: the laptop has a very distinct rectangular shape, and is thin enough that it doesn’t need a wedge shape to pretend it’s thinner than it is.
The edges have diamond-cut ridges that look great, but also provide extra grip and texture while holding the closed laptop. As you can see in the photo gallery and in the video, the bottom half of the laptop is not much thicker than the diameter of a 3.5mm audio connector. That’s why there are three USB-C ports (2x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB 3.1), but no full-size USB-A connector.
There’s a microSD card reader as well, and it’s not surprising since Samsung is one of the largest flash storage maker in the world… but since so many cameras and other devices use it, it can be very convenient to have a reader that does not require a microSD tray.
The trackpad is huge and comfortable, which is best for people who use the more complex Windows 10 gestures. Since the chassis is too small to garage a full-size pen, Samsung made its Active Pen (4096 levels of pressure sensitivity) magnetic so it can stick to the laptop while you’re walking to your next meeting. The pen is included with the computer.
This laptop weighs 2.84 Lbs for a size of 12.1” x 8.1” x .55”, but it feels much lighter than it actually is, which is a bit strange when using it for the first time. We know for a fact that there are slightly smaller competitors, but this is exactly how good design can change the appeal and perception of a product, beyond specs. The environment was a bit noisy to have a good sense of how the dual 1.5W stereo speakers sound, but Samsung is pitching a powerful sound output, thanks to the Thunder Amp.""
Finally, the 55 Wh battery allows the Notebook 9 Pro to be very competitive in this category of laptops. The manufacturer mentions 18 hours of battery life, which is a best case scenario, while watching offline videos.
The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro features an original design, very good display quality and is shaping up to be a great thin & light computer.
Samsung Notebook 9 Pro Specifications
- 13.3” FHD, 6.7mm bezel, 350 nits, touch screen
- 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8565U, 8GB LPDDR3
- 256GB PCIe NVMe
- 802.11ac 2×2 (Gb WiFi)
- 55Wh battery, Fast Charging
- 2.84 lbs., 12.1” x 8.1” x .55”
- Thunderbolt 3 x2, USB-C x1, 3.5mm, microSD
- Speaker 1.5W x2, Thunder Amp
- Stylus Active Pen (included)
- Fingerprint Reader, Backlit Keyboard