Samsung notebook 9 pro


Обзор Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

Лучший ноутбук 2 в 1 в мире.

Вердикт: Достойный награды редакции, Samsung Notebook 9 Pro – это экономично настроенный, стильный цельнометаллический ноутбук с наиболее современными технологиями сенсорного экрана и стилуса компании.

  • Плюсы: Эффективный S-Pen | Время работы | Внешний вид;
  • Минусы: Расположение динамиков;

Гибридные ноутбуки продолжают совершенствоваться, ещё лишь несколько лет назад их неуклюжие первые шаги открыли новый сегмент на рынке и Samsung, пожалуй, лучше других знает историю. Notebook 9 Pro – лучший пример скорейшей модернизации, отследить которую достаточно просто.

Читайте: Лучшие ноутбуки 2017 года;

Notebook 9 Pro доступен в 13,3-дюймовом и 15-дюймовом вариантах, это конвертируемый ноутбук 2 в 1, который далек от традиционных атрибутов предыдущего поколения. Вместо этого, производитель решил сохранить простоту идеи, одинаково конфигурируя обе модели и сосредоточившись на развитии технологии S-Pen и программного обеспечения Air Command.

Результатом становится экономически сконфигурированный, стильный цельнометаллический ноутбук, использующий некоторые из последних технологий сенсорного экрана и стилуса от Samsung. Честно говоря, мы настолько впечатлены внешностью и возможностями устройства, несмотря на его цену и характеристики, представленные Notebook 9 Pro для нашего обзора.

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro: Характеристики

Вот конфигурация 15-дюймового Samsung Notebook 9 Pro, присланного нам для обзора:

  • Процессор: Intel Core i7-7500U 2,7 ГГц (2-ядерный, 4 Мб кэш-памяти, до 3,5 ГГц);
  • Дисплей: 15-дюймовый светодиодный дисплей FHD (350-450 нит, 1920 х 1080) с сенсорным экраном;
  • Графика: Intel HD Graphics 620 | AMD Radeon 540 (2 Гб GDDR5);
  • Память: 16 Гб ОЗУ DDR4 (16 Гб на плате);
  • Встроенная память: 256 Гб SSD;
  • Подключение: Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2×2) | Bluetooth 4.1;
  • Камеры: Камера HD 720р (ИК-камера, Windows Hello);
  • Порты: х2 USB 3.0, x1 USB-C, HDMI, MicroSD, порт наушники / микрофон, DC-порт;
  • Размеры: 347,2 х 239 х 17 мм (Ш х Г х В);
  • Вес: 1,7 кг;

Цена и доступность

Samsung по достоинству оценил ценообразование Notebook 9 Pro, сделав его доступным. 15-дюймовая модель, которую мы рассмотрели в нашем обзоре – в её единственной конфигурации – 1299$ (78.000 рублей). 13-дюймовый Samsung Notebook 9 Pro обойдется вам в 1099$ (66.000 рублей).

Учитывая характеристики, которые вы могли бы видеть здесь, ноутбук сопоставим с 15-дюймовым гибридом HP, HP Spectre x360 15. Несмотря на то, что он предлагает только половину объема оперативной памяти, конкуренция заключается в графике Nvidia GTX 940MX, ноутбук также предлагает сенсорный экран UHD 4К за 1279$ (77.000 рублей). За эту цену гибридный ноутбук HP также включает в себя стилус HP Active Pen, хотя в данной версии перо не встроено в корпус ноутбука и требует батарейки АААА.

Между тем, 15-дюймовый MacBook Pro стоит практически в два раза больше, 2399$ (144.000 рублей) за лучший экран – дисплей Retina с разрешением 2880 х 1800 пикселей, при поддержке несколько более мощной графики Radeon Pro 555. Примечательно, что память DDR4 в объеме 16 Гб на Notebook 9 Pro опережает предложение в 16 Гб памяти DDR3 в MacBook Pro. Кроме того, авторизация по лицу и сенсорный экран гибридного ноутбука Samsung существенно превосходит решения Apple, включая сенсорную панель Touch Bar.

Учитывая функции и формы, которые ноутбук NoteBook 9 Pro предлагает путем умного и экономичного выбора компонентов, мы бы сказали, что это предложение гораздо лучше ноутбуков Apple для общего потребителя, и очень близко располагается к гибриду HP.

Дизайн

Новый Notebook 9 Pro основывается на новом подходе Samsung к дизайну ноутбука, который немного более унифицирован и ближе к тому подходу, что производитель использует для телефонов. Результат – больше кривых линий, чем когда-либо. Внешние серебряные акценты подчеркиваются металлом внутренней части ноутбука.

Samsung удалось добиться восхитительно тонкого ободка по сторонам дисплея, сжимая 15-дюймовый экран в рамке шириной 13,67 дюйма. Аналогично, ноутбук измеряется толщиной в 17 мм при весе в 1,7 кг.

Панель клавиатуры ноутбука просторная и удобная, с большим количеством места для огромного трекпада. Несмотря на дополнительное пространство, Samsung отказался от разнесения клавиш и отдельной цифровой клавиатуры.

Вместо этого, дополнительное пространство предоставляется клавишам управления страницей, а также клавишам со стрелками, между тем динамики перемещаются вниз. Вы найдете сносную глубину хода, а также небольшую кривизну на поверхности.

Дисплей настолько же насыщен цветом, как и любой смартфон Samsung, что делает его подавляюще привлекательным в сравнении с удовлетворительным разрешением в 1080р. Samsung зовет новый дисплей RealView, а также хватил его способность предложить 350 нит яркости в нормальном режиме и до 450 нит в режиме на открытом солнце.

Это решение существенно облегчает работу или воспроизведение игр на солнце, хотя панель остается глянцевой, что делает блики неотъемлемой частью работы на улице. Тем не менее, игры и видео выглядят блестяще на этой панели, как и работа с Air Command.

S-Pen в Windows 10

Заговаривая об этом, включение S-Pen является довольно умным решением, со слотом для стилуса, встроенным в правой части губы на базе ноутбука. В отличие от большинства цифровых перьев, он не требует зарядки и, тем не менее, предлагает 4096 уровней чувствительности к давлению, а также контроль наклона. Этот стилус конкурирует даже с новейшим Surface Pen от Microsoft, который весит в два раза больше и требует наличия батареи для тех же функций, не говоря уже о программном обеспечении для глубоких средств управления Windows.

Достаньте S-Pen из его слота и ноутбук автоматически вызовет опциональное меню. Это решение называется Air Command, в нем доступны следующие опции: «Создать примечание», «Просмотреть все заметки», «Умное Выделение», «Экран» и «Показать окно».

Первый вариант – это приложение для заметок, похожее на OneNote, которое зовется Samsung Notes, но гораздо проще версии от Microsoft. Приложение предлагает шрифты и цвета… но не более того. По крайней мере, вы можете сохранять и делиться этими заметками, а также рисовать поверх существующих изображений.

Smart Select (Умное Выделение) – это гораздо более мощный инструмент, позволяющий использовать S-Pen для выделения прямоугольных или овальных скриншотов, а также считывать текст с указанного изображения с последующим извлечением его в другой документ. Ещё лучше, инструмент может создавать GIF, обеспечивая раздолье для записи ваших любимых видеоклипов, независимо от источника.

Опция Screen (Экран) просто делает снимок экрана и позволяет вам рисовать на нем, в то время как Show Windows (Показать Окно) позволяет вам выбрать, какие окна будут отображаться, а также разделить экран соответствующим образом.

В целом, это отличное ПО для стилуса, которое прекрасно выглядит и действует быстро. Цифровые чернила не требуют сильного давления при рисовании и записях, частично благодаря отличному дисплею. И пока мы предпочитаем «истинный» ластик Surface Pen, мы отдаем должное возможностям S-Pen благодаря удобной мобильности и интересным функциям.

Сравните ноутбук с MacBook 2017 от Apple и MacBook Pro 2017.

Контрольные показатели

Вот как Samsung NoteBook 9 Pro (15 дюймов) показал себя на тестах обзора:

  • 3DMark Sky Diver: 8780 | Time Spy: Нет данных | Fire Strike: 2495;
  • Cinebench CPU: 319 баллов | Graphics: 73 FPS;
  • Geekbench 4 (одноядерный): 4488 | (Многоядерный): 8716;
  • PCMark 8 (Home): 3331;
  • PCMark 8 (Battery): 2 часа и 48 минут;
  • Время автономной работы (видео-тест): 8 часов и 23 минуты;

Notebook 9 Pro не разочарует среднего пользователя, предлагая более подходящую производительность для учащихся и домашнего использования с процессором Core i7 и графикой AMD.

Рейтинг: Лучшие ноутбуки для учебы 2017 года;

Вы также можете ожидать умеренного воспроизведения игр, хотя не ожидайте чего-то большего, нежели Wolrd of Warcraft или Hearthstone.

Имея 16 Гб памяти DDR4, вы можете рассчитывать на возможности многозадачности, особенно, когда речь заходит о большом количестве вкладок браузера. Как мы уже говорили, сенсорный экран обеспечивает быстрый ответ на стилус, а также вы получаете быструю авторизацию с помощью распознания лиц Windows Hello.

Этот ноутбук, по всей видимости, уделяет первостепенное внимание тому, чтобы вы могли работать быстро, и делает это стильно, помимо других важных факторов. Именно здесь в игру вступает разумный экономичный подход Samsung, например, при выборе Full HD (1080 p), вместо разрешения 4К.

Разрешение, подобное этому, не только помогает Notebook 9 Pro превзойти Spectre x360, конкурируя с его панелью 4К, по существу, вы получаете прирост производительности и время автономной работы.

Время автономной работы

В наших двух тестах мы видели различные показатели времени автономной работы Notebook 9 Pro, что свидетельствует о том, насколько им следует доверять. В то время как ноутбук Samsung на час уступил время автономной работы устройству HP на тестах PCMark 8, Notebook 9 Pro выкурил своего конкурента, обыграв его практически на три часа в нашем собственном тесте воспроизведения видео.

Помимо того, обзор Notebook 9 Pro позволил нам получить от 6 до 8 часов смешанного использования на практике. Частично это благодаря усовершенствованным функциям экономии аккумулятора, которые Microsoft представила с Windows 10 в обновлении Creators прошедшей весной, после обзора Spectre x360. Между тем, неукротимый 15-дюймовый MacBook Pro может похвастаться временем в 7 часов и 45 минут.

Тем не менее, батарея Samsung превосходит оба ноутбука конкурентов, а также поддерживает быструю зарядку по средствам USB-C порта ноутбука. Это задатки победителя.

Заключительные мысли

Нам понравилось: Samsung действительно предлагает большую ценность с новым ноутбуком, легко навязывая конкуренцию лидерам сегмента, обеспечивая большую часть мощности и сопоставимый дизайн MacBook Pro. Мы также ценим продолжительное время автономной работы ноутбука и комбинацию новых и старых портов, а именно сочетание USB-C и USB 3.1, наряду с поддержкой карт памяти MicroSD. Экран также богат цветами и предлагает необходимую резкость.

Нам не понравилось: И пока это не критика в сторону S-Pen, мы предпочитаем, чтобы стилус был немного более весомым, однако, отсутствие необходимости покупать его отдельно – большой плюс. Мы просто хотим, чтобы с увеличением размеров ноутбука Samsung нашел способ для лучшего расположения динамиков. И, если искать недостатки, нижняя панель дисплея немного толстая на наш вкус.

Подводя итоги

Мы не можем восхвалять гибридный ноутбук такого размера, но Samsung сделал его достаточно хорошо, чтобы мы изменили своё мнение. Отлично конкурирующий с близлежащими соперниками и предлагая возможности 15-дюймового MacBook Pro, 15-дюймовый Samsung Notebook 9 Pro должен быть в вашем списке, если вы собираетесь покупать 15-дюймовый ноутбук.

Если вы никогда не будете разворачивать ноутбук на 360 градусов на основе его великолепных, прочных петель, вы все равно сможете оценить запас мощности и общее удобство этой машины. Именно по этой причине мы считаем Notebook 9 Pro заслужившим выбор редакции.

Обзор Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

Антон Зим

06.07.2017

10/10

Достойный награды редакции, Samsung Notebook 9 Pro – это экономично настроенный, стильный цельнометаллический ноутбук с наиболее современными технологиями сенсорного экрана и стилуса компании.

10 Overall Score

Достойный награды редакции, Samsung Notebook 9 Pro – это экономично настроенный, стильный цельнометаллический ноутбук с наиболее современными технологиями сенсорного экрана и стилуса компании.

www.howtablet.ru

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review

The best 2-in-1 laptops have a come a long way since their awkward first steps onto the market a few years ago, and Samsung is perhaps the best example. The legendary manufacturer’s Notebook 9 Pro is a fantastic example of a meteoric improvement.

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro comes in both 13-inch and 15-inch varieties, and it’s a  2-in-1 laptop that’s far removed from the trappings of traditional notebooks. Rather, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro simplifies things with a single configuration for both models, while focusing effort on the S-Pen and Air Command software.

Read more: Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (2019)

This all combines to make the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro a stylish, but economic Ultrabook packed front to back with Samsung’s latest touchscreen and stylus tech. If we’re being honest, we’re so impressed by the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro’s power and style despite the price that we’ve given it our Editor’s Choice award.

Here is the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (15-inch) configuration sent to TechRadar for review: 

CPU: 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U (dual-core; 4MB cache; up to 3.50GHz) Display: 15-inch FHD LED display (350 ~ 450 nits; 1,920 x 1,080) with Touch Screen Panel Graphics:  Intel HD Graphics 620; AMD Radeon 540 Graphics (2GB GDDR5) Memory: 16GB DDR4 RAM (16GB on board) Storage:  256GB SSD Connectivity:  802.11ac Wi-Fi (2 x 2); Bluetooth 4.1 Camera: 720p HD Camera (IR Camera; Windows Hello) Ports:  2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB-C, HDMI, MicroSD, headphone/mic, DC-in Dimensions: 34.72 x 23.9 x 1.7cm (13.67 x 9.41 x 0.67 inches; W x D x H) Weight: 1.7kg (3.79 pounds)

Price and availability

Samsung has smartly specced and priced the Notebook 9 Pro to be affordable. The 15-inch version we’ve reviewed – its only configuration – costs $1,299 (about £1,000, AU$1,720). (The 13-inch model goes for $1,099,about £850, AU$1,460.)

That’s quite a deal compared to, say, the HP Spectre x360 15. However, it only offers half as much RAM to start, but it’s still competitive with Nvidia GTX 940MX graphics driving a sharper 4K touchscreen for $1,279 (about £1,000, AU$1,680). But, it does include the HP Active Pen, though it isn’t built into the Spectre’s frame and requires a AAAA battery.

Meanwhile, the 15-inch MacBook Pro costs nearly twice as much at $2,399 (£2,349, AU$3,499) for a sharper-still screen, the 2,880 x 1,800 Retina display backed by slightly stronger Radeon Pro 555 graphics. Notably, the Notebook 9 Pro’s 16GB DDR4 memory is a step above the MacBook Pro’s 16GB of DDR3 memory. Plus, facial login and a touchscreen on the Samsung hybrid are stand-ins for Apple’s Touch ID and the Touch Bar, respectively.

For all the utility and quality-of-life improvements that the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro brings to the table with its smart array of components, it’s a much better deal than the MacBook Pro for most users, and butts heads rather closely with the HP Spectre x360. 

Design

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro builds upon the tech behemoth’s modern laptop design in a way that’s more uniform and closer to how it constructs smartphones. This results in a curvier laptop than ever, in both the lid and keyboard deck, with an outward silver sheen bedecked by a carbon-colored metal on the interior.

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro keyboard deck is both spacious and comfy, with a ton of room for the enormous trackpad. In spite of the size, Samsung opted for more spacing between the well backlit keys over a numeric keyboard.

Instead, extra space is given to page control keys as well as arrow keys, meanwhile the speakers are relegated to beneath the base. You’ll find plenty of punch in those rounded keys, and the slightest curve to their surface.

Samsung managed to achieve delightfully thin bezels on the display’s sides, squeezing a 15-inch diagonal screen within a 13.67-inch-wide frame. Likewise, the laptop measures just 1.7cm (0.67 inches) thin and weighs 1.7kg (3.79 pounds).

The screen is as color-rich as any of Samsung’s smartphone displays, making the absolute most of its comparatively just-satisfactory resolution of 1080p. Samsung also calls this a RealView display, able to shine at 350 nits brightness in normal mode and up to 450 nits in outdoor mode.

This makes it easier to see your work or play in the sunlight, though it’s still a glossy panel, making glare an inherent annoyance. That said, games and video look brilliant on the display, as do doodles in the Samsung Air Command app.

The S-Pen on Windows 10

Speaking of which, the inclusion of the S-Pen here is pretty clever, with a slot for the stylus embedded into the right side of the base at the lip. Unlike digital pens, it requires no charging, and yet, offers up to 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity as well as tilt controls. This stylus is competitive with even Microsoft’s latest Surface Pen, which weighs twice as much and requires a battery for the same basic functions save for a software eraser and deeper Windows controls.

Drawing the S-Pen from its sheath automatically conjures a radial menu of options from where the Action Center appears. This is called Air Command, and the options available include Create Note, View All Notes, Smart Select, Screen and Show Window.

The first option is a notetaking app similar to OneNote, called Samsung Notes, though much simpler than Microsoft’s version. It offers various ink types and colors ... and not much more. At least you can save and share those notes as well as draw over existing image files.

Smart Select is a much more powerful tool, allowing you to use the S-Pen to draw out rectangular or oval-shaped screenshots, and can even read text from said image and extract it into another document. Better yet, the tool can create GIFs by framing a recording space over your favorite video clips no matter the source.

Screen Write simply captures a screen and allows you to doodle on it, while Show Window allows you to choose which windows are shown on which displays in multi-screen environments.

All in all, it’s a robust stylus offering that feels perfectly light and fast. Digital ink doesn’t lead too much while drawing and writing, thanks in part to strong display response. While we prefer the “truer” eraser in the Surface Pen, we’ll take the button-based one on the S-Pen for its improved portability and fun features.

  • Compare this to Apple's MacBook 2017 and MacBook Pro 2017

www.techradar.com

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review: Good at almost everything, including light gaming

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is aiming for the middle, in a good way. Compared to other models we’ve tested recently that offer a high-resolution touchscreen display, a 360-degree hinge, a cool metal chassis, and even pen support, it’s carefully designed to offer a little bit of everything, with a few standout features: a discrete Radeon RX 540 GPU, an integrated S-Pen with special Samsung applications as well as Windows 10 inking compatibility, and impressively long battery life.

Given its good overall showing, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is a laptop many people can like, including entry-level gamers. You’ll see us comparing it to two other 15-inch laptops with 360-degree hinges: The Lenovo Yoga 720 is very similar in design and price, but its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 discrete GPU makes it heavier and hotter as well as faster. The 15-inch HP Spectre x360 is considered a class leader, but you might be surprised at how it performed in our tests compared to the Notebook 9 Pro. 

Lenovo Yoga 720 (80X7001WUS)

Price, specs, and features

The Notebook 9 Pro model we tested (poetically named NP940X5M-X01US) costs $1,300 as configured and is the higher-end of the two SKUs in this product line (we’ll briefly describe the other SKU below). 

CPU: Intel Core i7-7500U. This is a 7th-generation Kaby Lake dual-core CPU with a base clock of 2.7GHz and a maximum clock speed of 3.5GHz. It’s a pretty good chip, but as you’ll see in our tests, the performance difference between dual-core and quad-core CPUs is significant.

RAM: 16GB of DDR4 RAM. You’ll still see some laptops with just 8GB, but 16GB is the sweet spot right now. 

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro has subtle grillwork on the bottom panel for air intake, and along the hinge for exhausting warm air. The fan is whisper-quiet. 

GPU: AMD Radeon RX 540 with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. This lower-end discrete GPU isn’t going to burn any barns, but it’ll suffice for light gaming. 

Display: 15-inch, FHD (1920x1080) IPS LED touchscreen whose top bezel houses a 720p webcam and a facial sensor for use with Windows Hello. The display offers a measured maximum brightness of 344 nits (in line with Samsung’s 350-nit spec). You wouldn’t want to crank it up all the way, however, especially when running on battery, as brighter displays consume more power. 

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The ports on the right side of the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro include microSD and two USB-A.

Storage: 256GB SATA3 M.2 SSD. A Samsung model, natch, and a good size.

Ports: One USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) Type C, two USB 3.0 Type A, microSD. To its credit, there’s also a full HDMI port for connecting an external display. This handy port is getting harder to find as laptops get slimmer. 

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The ports on the left side of the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro include AC, HDMI, USB-C, and audio.

Weight: A tote-able 3.8 pounds. Add another 0.7 pound for the AC adapter. This compares well to 4 pounds, 7 ounces for the 15-inch HP Spectre x360 and 4 pounds, 9 ounces for the Lenovo Yoga 720. 

Spectre x360 15 (2017) See it

Dimensions: 13.67 x 9.41 x 0.67 inches

The Notebook 9 Pro has a lower-priced sibling, the NP940X5M-X03US, which differs in having a lower-end dual-core CPU, specifically the Core i5-7200U, and only 8GB of RAM. At $1,100, it seems like a lot to sacrifice for just $200 in savings. 

In use: A well-balanced machine

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The 360-degree hinge lets you use the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro in orientations from clamshell to tent mode (shown) to tablet mode. 

The Notebook 9 Pro has its quirks, but overall it’s a well thought-out product. Sure, you won’t get the charisma and drama of a flagship, but pretty much everything works. 

The matte-aluminum chassis with chromed Samsung logo is tasteful and sturdy. There’s barely any flex in either half of the body, and the 360-degree hinges feel rock-solid. We appreciate the lighter weight as well—bringing it along doesn’t feel like a hard choice. 

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro has a comfortable keyboard, with slightly concave keys for easier typing. 

The keyboard texture is slippery, but the slightly concave keys help keep fingers where they’re supposed to be. The keys feel comfortably spaced, none are in an odd location, and their travel feels comfortable. The trackpad is very large and responsive, and its centered location is great—it’s always disconcerting when it shifts to one side. 

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The S-Pen tucks into its own slot on the front of the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro.

More and more laptops offer pen support, but Samsung had a head start with the S-Pen technology it was already using on its Android tablets and phones. A huge advantage off the bat: The pen is housed in its own slot in the underside of the Notebook 9 Pro, rather than in some floppy loop or loosey-goosey magnetic connection. You will need to find a safe place for the special tweezers for removing and installing the spare nibs that come with the laptop. 

In addition to its support for Windows 10 inking features, the S-Pen comes with its own note-taking, drawing, and other productivity apps. Collectively called Active Command, they’re easily summoned when you remove the pen from its slot or press its button when it’s near the display. I enjoyed all of them, especially how you can digitally mix colors in the drawing app, and how you can select video clips with the pen to make your own animated GIFs. 

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

Press the S-Pen’s button to summon the Air Command menu of Samsung pen apps. The S-Pen also works with Windows 10’s inking features.  

There was only one glaring fault in our test unit, and that was the audio. The dual speakers in the Notebook 9 Pro, nestled into the bottom panel, have a surprisingly limited volume range, especially considering that this laptop is meant to play games as well as stream media. 

On the brighter side, the Notebook 9 Pro’s discrete GPU runs pretty cool. The slender intake grille on the bottom panel and the exhaust vent between the hinges murmur gently during operation. 

Performance: Happy medium

The Notebook 9 Pro’s test results follow its path of moderation—with one important exception. You’ll see it tracks closely with the similarly configured 15-inch HP Spectre x360 on most tests. Although the similarly designed Lenovo Yoga 720 has the advantage of a quad-core CPU and a more powerful discrete GPU, the Notebook 9 Pro shows it a thing or two. But wait ‘til you see the battery life, which is truly impressive and could be the deciding factor for some users.

Our first test is PCMark Work 8 Conventional, which simulates everyday activities like web browsing, video chat, and document editing. It’s a good test for isolating the CPU’s role in everyday use. Any machine scoring 2,000 or above will sail along smoothly during these low-intensity tasks. 

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro can hold its own in mainstream applications, even against quad-core competition.

It’s a light test, so it’s not surprising that the Notebook 9 Pro gets right into the mix with the quad-core competition. The HP Spectre x360 lagged behind somewhat because of its 4K display, which simply demands more processing power. 

Cinebench R15 offers a useful counterpoint to PCMark Work 8 Conventional. It’s a free 3D rendering test based on Maxon’s professional Cinema4D engine. It’s almost entirely CPU-bound and scales well with the number of cores and threads. In the case of the Notebook 9 Pro, you can see a starker difference between its dual-core CPU and the quad-core you can get with the Lenovo Yoga 720. 

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

In the CPU-intensive Cinebench test, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro performs as we’d expect for a dual-core CPU, hanging far back compared to quad-core CPUs. 

Editing and converting videos offers another good test of dual-core vs. quad-core, because more cores make a big difference. We used the popular and free Handbrake encoder to convert a 30GB 1080p video using the built-in Android tablet preset. Because of how long it runs, the results can also reveal how a system handles itself under heavy thermal load.

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro surprised us in the Handbrake test, performing its video conversion faster than the similar HP Spectre x360. 

As you can see in the chart above, the quad-core Lenovo Yoga 720 and Dell XPS 15 handily beat the dual-core Notebook 9 Pro at this intensive task. However, the Notebook 9 Pro in turn makes the HP Spectre x360 look like a laggard, likely because of thermal throttling. 

Futuremark’s 3DMark Sky Diver is a synthetic test that measures the graphics performance of a PC. Although it doesn’t use an actual video game engine, it’s still well respected and clearly shows what you get if you opt for a discrete GPU.

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro performs predictably in the GPU-intensive 3DMark Skydiver test given its moderately powerful RX 540 GPU.  

No surprise, the more powerful graphics engines in the Lenovo Yoga 720 and Dell XPS 15 prevail in this test. To its credit, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro achieves a lot with what it has, especially compared to the HP Spectre x360.

Outstanding battery life

On top of this strong overall benchmark performance, the Notebook 9 Pro can rightfully boast about its battery life. Note that your mileage will vary depending on how you use your laptop, and what power-sucking or power-sipping components it might have. For our test, we set the display brightness at an office-typical 250 nits and run down the battery by looping a 4K video, with a pair of earbuds plugged in and the laptop set to airplane mode.

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro posted an impressive 590 minutes, or nearly 10 hours, of battery life. 

The Notebook 9 Pro has a 4-cell, 3,530 mAh/54Whr lithium ion battery, which lasts up to 11.5 hours, per Samsung. In our test it lasted 590 minutes, or nearly 10 hours, long enough for most people to get through their day. The other laptops in this chart have much larger batteries (79.2Whr for the HP Spectre x360, 97Whr for the Dell XPS 15, and 72Whr for the Lenovo Yoga 720), but they can’t keep up with the Notebook 9 Pro—their systems demand more power. 

A bonus feature we didn’t test: You can squeeze a little more life out of your laptop by charging it with any USB-C-connected smartphone battery pack. You won’t be able to recharge the laptop fully, but it’s a nice backup if you’re running on fumes. Anecdotally we also tried a third-party USB charger on the Notebook 9 Pro, and it was willing to take a charge.

Conclusion

Samsung’s Notebook 9 Pro does a very good job of balancing performance and features with battery life. It’s the kind of laptop a mainstream user can get without feeling they’ve compromised much. The discrete GPU, while modest, gives it a notable boost over laptops with integrated graphics. Best of all, the pen support and the long-lasting battery offer lots of productivity for the money. The tough choice is between this model and the Lenovo Yoga 720. It comes down to how much graphics power you want, and for what sort of tradeoff. The casual gamers will likely come down on the side of the Notebook 9 Pro. 

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Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review: boring is better than bad

What do you do if you’re a computer manufacturer and the past few laptops you’ve released have been panned for cheap-looking designs and shoddy build quality? If you’re Samsung, you do research. A lot of it.

That’s what the company claims it did for the new Notebook 9 Pro, which is hitting Best Buy stores and Samsung’s online store on March 17th for $1,099. The new 9 Pro was designed specifically for the US market using research from consumer focus groups on what they preferred in a premium-level laptop.

The result? A laptop with a much improved, but painfully generic design, and with most of the features you’d expect in a premium Windows 2-in-1 laptop.

Buy for $1,049.99 from Best Buy

My colleague Chaim Gartenberg called the Notebook 9 Pro “a reference design” when it was first announced in January, and I have to agree wholeheartedly with his assessment. It’s a sterile-looking, blocky aluminum laptop with sharp corners and a black keyboard. It looks a bit like a store-brand MacBook Pro.

The most unusual things about the Notebook 9 Pro’s design are the ridges along the side, which Samsung told me are “three distinct diamond cuts.” Aside from aesthetics, they don’t serve any real purpose and I think the laptop would look better without them.

The generic design doesn’t mean it’s bad, though, and the Notebook 9 Pro is much nicer to touch and use than last year’s Notebook 9 Pen. It’s solid (at 2.84 lbs it’s over half a pound heavier than the prior model) and doesn’t have any flexing or creakiness when I pick it up. The aluminum finish is miles better than the cheap-feeling alloy Samsung has used in the past, and the sharp corners help distinguish the 9 Pro from Samsung’s line of inexpensive Chromebooks.

I would have loved for Samsung to have kept the extremely light weight of prior models while improving the rigidity and tactile experience, but if I have to choose between the two, I prefer this more solid-feeling laptop. Even with the extra weight, the Notebook 9 Pro is still within the range of most other premium 13-inch laptops.

Samsung does other things right, as well. The 13.3-inch touchscreen has only a 1080p resolution, but at this size it’s plenty sharp enough. It also has a respectable 350-nits brightness and narrow bezels on the top and sides. My main frustrations with it are common to many Windows laptops: it has a giant “chin” bezel at the bottom and a cramped 16:9 aspect ratio. A 3:2 aspect, like that found on Surface computers or Huawei’s line of MateBooks, would provide more vertical space while also getting rid of the unsightly bottom bezel.

The Notebook 9 Pro is a 2-in-1: it has a 360-degree hinge that allows the screen to fold all the way back into a tablet mode. It’s too heavy and unwieldy to really use as a tablet, but the hinge is nice for watching the occasional movie or video in its “tent” mode.

The 9 Pro’s HD (720p) webcam is located where it should be, in the top bezel above the screen, and it’s perfectly adequate for video chatting. It unfortunately doesn’t have Windows Hello facial recognition features, but the power button on the right side of the laptop has a fingerprint scanner built into it. That’d normally be sufficient, but in use, the scanner frequently stopped working after the computer went to sleep and woke back up, forcing a reboot to get it functional again.

The sides are also home to a microSD card slot and three USB-C ports, two of which support Thunderbolt 3 with a full four lanes of PCIe. There are no USB-A ports at all, which means you’ll need a dongle to connect most accessories, and Samsung is not including one in the box with the 9 Pro.

Samsung is throwing in an Active Pen, which has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and lets you write, doodle, and draw on the 9 Pro’s screen. It’s not as advanced a stylus as the S Pen that comes with the Notebook 9 Pen, nor is there anywhere to store the pen on the laptop when you aren’t using it, so it mostly feels like a tacked-on afterthought. It’s nice that it comes in the box, though.

The MacBook Pro-like appearance of the 9 Pro is most apparent in the new keyboard design, which feels like a photocopy of Apple’s keyboards. The keys have the same shape, size, and feel as those on the latest MacBook Pros, and they even have the same shallow travel, which isn’t particularly great to type on. They are quieter than Apple’s rather loud keyboards, but if there was one thing to copy on Apple’s latest laptops, the keyboard certainly wasn’t it.

All of that said, the 9 Pro’s keyboard is still better than the one on the 9 Pen from last year. The backlight is much nicer and more effective, and even with their short travel, the keys are more comfortable to use. My biggest frustration with it is the logic of the function row keys: by default they are set to the standard F1-F12, which requires me to hit the Fn key to change things like brightness or volume. There is a Fn Lock button that will switch the operation to the system controls, but that also will switch the arrow keys to their secondary functions and inexplicably cause the Esc key to launch Samsung’s support app.

The trackpad below the keyboard fortunately doesn’t have any glaring issues; it’s wide and smooth and uses Windows 10’s Precision drivers for scrolling and gestures. It’s obviously not as big as what you get on Apple’s laptops, but it’s above average for Windows devices.

Inside, the base model of the 9 Pro that I’ve been testing has a Core i7-8565U processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of NVMe storage. You can increase the RAM to 16GB and the storage to 512GB for $200, which seems like a reasonable price for those upgrades.

Even if you don’t spring for the higher-end model, performance on the 9 Pro is quite good. It has no issues handling multitasking or typical productivity tasks. I can run dozens of tabs in my browser of choice (Vivaldi), while switching between Slack, email, Word, and other productivity apps, without making the 9 Pro sweat. The fans rarely kick on, and when they do, they are quiet enough to be barely audible. The 9 Pro is not suited for gaming — it just has Intel’s UHD 620 integrated graphics instead of a discrete chip — nor will it fare well for video editing without the help of an external GPU, but it can certainly hold its own for editing photos and doing most any task an average user will ask of it.

Samsung claims the 55Wh battery is good for up to 14 hours of use, but as with any Windows laptop maker’s battery claims, the reality is far from it. Still, the 9 Pro is able to last about seven hours between charges with my typical workflow and using the screen at a comfortable brightness setting (on this laptop, that’s about 70 percent). That’s not exceptionally good, nor is it exceptionally poor; it’s about average for most Windows laptops I’ve tested. It’s also far better than the four to five hours I saw from the Notebook 9 Pen last year.

Overall, Samsung has managed to produce an entirely competent laptop in the Notebook 9 Pro, with no show-stopping flaws. It may not be the most exciting computer on the market, but for the asking price, it provides good performance, a solid build quality, and almost all of the features you’ll find on competing laptops like the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 or HP Spectre x360 13.

Design by focus group might not be how the absolute best products are produced, but for Samsung, it seems to have resulted in a better laptop than the company could manage on its own.

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Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (2019) review: Good value and sleek looks, but performance suffers

Samsung’s Notebook 9 Pro (2019) presents you with a study in contrasts. This 13.3-inch, stylish convertible offers the latest Intel Whiskey Lake chip, a generous number of ports, and strong performance in traditional office applications, all for an attractive price.

We did encounter a few quirks with our review unit, most of which were attributable to its pre-production status. As Samsung confirmed in a formal statement, “Samsung provided PC World with a pre-production device to ensure the product could be reviewed in a timely fashion, and as such, some of the devices features may not be final. Consumers purchasing the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro will have a full and complete experience out of the box.” 

Others problems we encountered likely didn’t apply. We didn’t like the keyboard design, for instance, and the laptop’s performance cratered under our more strenuous tests—likely due to the thermal compromises convertible laptops often suffer. Battery life was average, though an understated “battery plus” mode propelled it to the top of the heap. Even with those shortcomings, however, this $1,099 laptop could still be a good choice for someone sticking to mainstream applications.  

Mark Hachman / IDG

As a convertible, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (2019) flips easily into tent or tablet modes.

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (2019) basic specs:

Samsung’s Notebook 9 Pro has a pretty nice component list: an up-to-date Intel Core i7 processor, sufficient memory, and a somewhat roomy SSD. Samsung also added a pen stylus for free, a nice bonus. Here are the details: 

  • Display: 13.3-inch (1080p) LED
  • Processor: Intel 1.8GHz Core i7-8565U (Whiskey Lake)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD 620
  • Memory: 8G-16GB LPDDR3 (8GB as tested)
  • Storage: 256GB-512GB NVMe PCIe SSD (256GB as tested)
  • Ports: One USB-C, two Thunderbolt 3, microSD, 3.5mm
  • Camera: 720p HD Camera (user-facing)
  • Battery: 55.2Wh 
  • Wireless: 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Home
  • Dimensions: 12.1 x 8.1 x 0.55 inches
  • Weight: 2.92 pounds, 3.36 pounds with charger (measured)
  • Color: “Platinum Titan”
  • Additional features: Active Pen, fingerprint reader
  • Price: $1,099 (Samsung.com) as configured

We last reviewed the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro as a 15-inch model. While a 15-inch version is still available, the model we’re reviewing here is the smaller, 13-inch version.

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro’s aluminum chassis (in the solid color of “Platinum Titan”) is stylishly etched with diamond-cut ridges along the edges. The flourish is functional, too, as the ridges make it easier to grip. 

Mark Hachman / IDG

At under 3 pounds, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (2019) is surprisingly light.

The Notebook 9 Pro is subtly sturdy. At 2.72 pounds, the weight reminds me more of a Chromebook’s, but with premium construction. Structurally, there was no discernible flex in the chassis. It easily and smoothly folds back 360 degrees into tablet mode. A somewhat dense charger pushes the combined weight to 3.42 pounds, though you could likely day-trip without it, given the laptop’s good battery life.

Mark Hachman / IDG

On the right-hand side of the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (2019) sits a standard (5Gbps) USB-C port, plus a microSD slot and the power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader. 

The display on Samsung’s Notebook 9 Pro has a few special features. Our review unit shipped with a Full HD (1920x1080) IPS display that yielded a good maximum brightness of 296 nits. (We consider 250 nits the minimum for everyday use.) A couple of display adjustments in the Samsung Settings (which we’ll discuss in further detail below) let you tweak the color warmth through the Display tab. Configuring the Notebook 9 Pro into reading mode, for example, adds a yellowish cast to the display. There’s also an AMOLED “photo mode” that aims to provide rich photo color. 

Placing the laptop into “Battery performance mode” (via the Power management section) has the greatest effect. Samsung imposes a jet-black background onto the display in a bid to reduce power usage. As you’ll see in our benchmarks, it works effectively.

Typing experience and ports

Samsung seems to subscribe to the Apple belief that thin is in. An unfortunate side effect is that the butterfly-style keyboard on the Notebook 9 Pro is too shallow for comfortable use. Part of the discomfort may be due to the fact that the otherwise spacious keys, when fully depressed, feel noticeably lower than the surface of the keyboard. It feels a bit strange. Other laptops we’ve tested use keys that sink to the level of the keyboard, but no further. 

Mark Hachman / IDG

On the left of the Notebook 9 Pro, there’s a pair of more forward-looking Thunderbolt 3 ports (10Gbps), plus a headphone jack. 

I do like Samsung’s propensity for popping up brief explanations when you tap a function key, such as when it cycles through three different levels of keyboard lighting. As with other Samsung notebooks, the Settings key (F1) pops up Samsung’s own Settings menu, rather than Windows. (Huawei’s Matebook series does this as well.)

The F10 key on our Notebook 9 Pro was a bit wonky. Pressing it is supposed to reveal the shortcuts available to various functions, but it didn’t work for us—a likely preproduction bug. But pressing Fn+F10 does something more interesting: it enables Samsung Security’s Secret Screen, which quickly turns your window semi-transparent to hide its contents. 

Mark Hachman / IDG

While we think you’ll like the spacious, accommodating keyboard layout, a lack of comfortable key travel makes the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (2019) uncomfortable to type on for long periods.

Weirdly, I found this feature as productive as it was secure. I used it to peek at the window underneath my active window, to refer to my notes while typing this review, for example. An unexpected benefit!

The trackpad is large and smooth, and responsive across the majority of its surface. There’s also a dedicated function key to turn it off.

Mark Hachman / IDG

A closer look at the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (2019)’s function keys.

The Notebook 9 Pro’s downward-facing speakers provide a satisfactory volume level and a neutral sound up and down the audio spectrum, though the low end sounds a bit hollow. Samsung’s own settings menu offers a range of audio presets, but selecting them in turn didn’t seem to make much of a difference.

We’re seeing more laptops with biometric authentication and cameras, but vendors are still playing with where and how to implement them. In our earlier review of the Samsung Notebook 9 Pen, the fingerprint reader was embedded in the keyboard. With the Notebook 9 Pro, it moved to the power button on the right side.

Mark Hachman / IDG

The side speaker grilles don’t seem to play into the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro’s ability to cool itself, which appears to have a limiting effect on performance.

While the side-mounted sensor’s surface area is a fraction of the size of the keyboard version, the Notebook 9 didn’t seem to have any issues unlocking via my fingerprint, though it occasionally required a few taps. There’s no “wake on fingerprint” feature, though it’s easy enough to tap the power button once, then slide your finger over the built-in reader.

Right next to the power button/fingerprint reader are a microSD slot and a USB-C port. Samsung doesn’t include a USB-C dock or dongle inside the box, meaning that you’ll probably be forced to invest in a relatively inexpensive USB-C hub to connect to an external display, USB-A key, or external storage.

On the left-hand side of the chassis are another pair of USB-C ports, this time equipped with Thunderbolt I/O capabilities. To the average consumer the furor over Thunderbolt may be a tempest in a teapot; there hardly are any displays that accept a native Thunderbolt connection. But the faster I/O capabilities (10Gbps) also mean that you won’t run into any contention when using multiple peripherals over a USB-C hub. All three USB-C ports accept the charger input, and you can configure the right-hand port to supply power for charging a phone by adjusting a toggle in the Samsung Settings app. There’s also a dedicated headphone jack.

Samsung includes an Active Pen with each Notebook 9 Pro. Pens are a storage issue for virtually all notebook PC manufacturers. Samsung’s Notebook 9 Pen featured a thoughtful holster to store the pen, though we managed to get it jammed in the slot. The Notebook 9 Pro lacks such a storage compartment, but so do most notebooks. The pen takes a AAAA battery.

Mark Hachman / IDG

The rear of the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (2019) preserves the minimalist design.

Samsung Settings and the beauty camera

We’ve seen a number of laptops ship with their own utilities that facilitate upgrading the BIOS, perform hardware status checks, and manage other under-the-hood tasks.Samsung doesn’t aspire to this level of functionality. Instead, it adds its own “Samsung Settings,” which appear on the taskbar. 

Mark Hachman / IDG

Here you’ll find some of the more understated yet significant aspects of the notebook, including the various power modes, some basic audio equalization options, and more. While some of these reproduce the functions of Windows’ own Settings menu, many offer something more. It’s worth poking through these to evaluate your options.

One odd quirk doesn’t appear in Samsung Settings at all. In addition to the usual Windows bloatware, Samsung has also put its own spin on the Camera app, which intelligently tries to “improve” your appearance. This “beauty camera” contains several preconfigured settings, with cosmetic modifications to each. For example, the camera will try to narrow your chin, enlarge your eyes, or add color to your cheeks and lips.

Mark Hachman / IDG

This guy’s in need of some help.

You can even tailor the beauty camera to your own tastes, which can create some horrific effects. One note: The “whiten” control fortunately appears to slightly lighten the entire scene, and not just the face. Still, who thought this concept was a good idea in 2019? 

Mark Hachman / IDG

Samsung’s beauty camera tries, but can’t do anything here. In fact, my (custom) efforts to improve my appearance have created a (slimmer) monster. 

Additional performance modes, quirks

You may be aware that Windows allows most notebooks to adjust performance to the benefit (or detriment) of battery life. We typically leave the settings at the factory defaults, reflecting the vendor’s intentions to favor one or the other.

With the Notebook 9 Pro, Samsung includes its three custom modes, all accessible within the Samsung Settings app: a “maximum performance” mode, the opposing “battery plus” mode, and a “silent” mode that turns the fan off under all scenarios. We tested all three as an adjunct to our normal performance testing.

The short answer: We saw absolutely no benefit to the “maximum performance mode,” an alarming drop in performance under silent mode, and a worthwhile improvement in battery life under “battery plus” mode. 

In part, that appears to be because the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro can’t cool itself as well as some of its competition can. Intel’s Core i7-8565U is a 15-watt part, capable of a 1.8GHz base clock but also able to run at 25 watts and a sustained speed of 2GHz, under load. Using a CPU test like Cinebench (explained below), Samsung’s notebook can jump into a overclocked “burst” mode, reaching speeds of 3.6GHz to 4GHz for a time. Using an Intel tool called Power Gadget, we can log the clock speeds and power consumption of Notebook Pro 9 and its competition over time.

What we found is that the Notebook 9 Pro’s Core i7-8565U had to drop out of a sustained boost mode more quickly, for example, than another notebook also powered by the I7-8565U, the Huawei Matebook Pro 13. If we had to make a guess, it’s that not enough air is being circulated around the processor to allow it to run as fast as its competition.

Performance results

We evaluate each notebook using a mix of real-world tests and synthetic benchmarks. We noticed an enormous discrepancy between the older PCMark tests, which tax the CPU intermittently, and the more CPU-intensive stress tests, which we detail a bit further below. It’s rare to see such a pronounced gap

PCMark’s PCMark 8 tests (Work, Home, and Creative) split up workloads between three separate tests. The Work test measures basic office tasks such as word processing, spreadsheet work, and some VoIP calls. Any score over 2,000 is a good score, and the Notebook 9 Pro clears that handily. 

Mark Hachman / IDG

If you’re buying the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro as a strictly office machine, the PCMark Work benchmark says that you’ve made a wise choice.

Even in the Home and Creative tests, which shift the emphasis to light gaming, photo manipulation, and video editing, the Notebook 9 Pro fares pretty well. We’re keeping in mind the Notebook 9 Pro’s $1,000 price, too, which undercuts the faster HP Spectre series by quite a bit. 

Mark Hachman / IDG Mark Hachman / IDG

The Notebook 9 Pro (2019) does well in PCMark 8 Creative, though many of the scores are closely packed because they use similar components.

Cinebench is a brief CPU test in which a static 3D scene is rendered by the laptop processor’s cores and threads working together in concert. This test’s lackluster results caused us to start digging for reasons, which we’ve theorized above is due to poor cooling.

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Mark Hachman / IDG

It’s shocking how quickly the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (2019) falls to the bottom rung of this computationally-intensive test.

While the Cinebench benchmark is a quick sprint, the HandBrake benchmark converts a Hollywood movie into a format that can be viewed with an Android tablet. It’s a practical, real-world task, as well as a telling benchmark: How quickly can you prep a movie for viewing on a tablet, when your flight leaves in a few hours? Again, we see that the Notebook 9 Pro simply can’t keep up.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Ugh, again. The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (2019) simply can’t sustain a prolonged computational load.

Our final performance benchmark is based on the 3DMark Sky Diver benchmark, which puts general-purpose laptops like the Notebook 9 Pro through their graphics paces. Don’t consider this notebook to be a gaming notebook at all, though you should find older 2D sprite-based games, and even some 3D-ish games like Trine, will run acceptably. 

Mark Hachman / IDG

This test indicates that the 3D graphics performance of this class of notebooks is essentially the same, with the exception of the two notebooks that include discrete GPUs, at the top.

Battery life is our final benchmark, and it’s worth discussing in a bit of detail. We set the laptop’s brightness at about 250 nits, which we consider to be an acceptable brightness level for indoor work, then loop a 4K video over and over until the laptop runs out of power. Normally, we leave the notebook at default settings, as we’ve done here. Our review unit’s battery was spec’d at 55.2 watt-hours, through Windows reported that the full charge capacity was 52.9 watt-hours. About ten hours of battery life is perfectly respectable—but wait, there’s more!

Mark Hachman / IDG

If you run the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (2019) under the standard battery mode, you should see just under ten hours of battery life, which is perfectly reasonable. But under the battery plus mode, we saw a battery life of 786 minutes (13.1 hours), nearly at the top of the charts.

We also tested with Samsung’s built-in “battery plus” mode, and saw an enormous improvement: over 13.1 hours! Battery plus mode does dial down the performance somewhat, but we were pleased to find that it still enabled our test movie to loop without any noticeable degradation. (The “battery plus” mode dials down the screen brightness significantly. Before we tested it, however, we restored the screen brightness to our default testing intensity.)

Mark Hachman / IDG

Battery-plus mode blacks out the background and puts the laptop into power saver mode.

While we wouldn’t recommend running in battery-plus mode on a normal basis, that extra battery life could come in handy on a long flight, or a day packed with meetings or classes. We think this is a noteworthy feature.

Conclusion

There are depths to Samsung’s Notebook 9 Pro (2019) that justify diving a bit deeper than we might normally. Whether it’s the convertible for you depends on what you’re looking for in a PC. Are you looking for a lightweight, attractive notebook with the potential for long battery life? Are you ready to commit to modern, USB-C Thunderbolt ports, or is there still a need for USB Type-A legacy connections?  Does its robust performance in real-world office applications outweigh its collapse when put under prolonged load? 

Given that the majority of one’s day is probably spent on the web or on office work, we’re inclined to weight those aspects a bit more heavily. But we’re not ignoring some obvious improvements that Samsung could make, either in processor performance or the keyboard. 

Our rating of 3.5 stars reflects how the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (2019) feels a bit deficient in places. Still, you can’t argue with the relatively low price and extended-battery options. Value, in the end, may be the best reason for buying Samsung’s latest Notebook 9 Pro.

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  • See it

    Samsung's 13-inch Notebook 9 Pro (2019) combines sleek design, good battery life, and forward-looking Thunderbolt 3 ports. Despite its shiny new Whiskey Lake processor, though, performance is compromised by the convertible design.

    • Good value for money
    • Decent battery life; battery plus mode adds even more
    • Excellent performance in office applications
    • Performance is poor in CPU-intensive apps
    • Shallow keyboard is uncomfortable

www.pcworld.com

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is what happens when you design by questionnaire

The 2019 Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is perfectly fine. 

At 2.8 pounds (1.3 kg), the 13.3-inch ultraportable two-in-one is one of the lightest in the category and it's thin at just 0.5 inch (14 mm) thick. Its battery lasted more than 12 hours, performance is right where it should be and its metal chassis gives it a premium look and feel. And, with a $1,100 price, you're not overpaying for what you're getting, either. 

Still, there's something missing. 

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Sarah Tew/CNET

When Samsung first told us about the Notebook 9 Pro redesign at CES 2019, it kept hammering on how much work it put into the design. It had conducted a US-specific design study that influenced its choices on things like bezel design, profile taper and corner radii. That's exactly how it feels, too: A laptop designed by questionnaire and lacking any sort of personality. 

Price as reviewed Display size/resolution CPU PC Memory Graphics Storage Networking Operating system
$1,099
13.3-inch 1,920 x 1,080 touch display
1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U
8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz
128MB Intel UHD Graphics 620
256GB SSD
802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless; Bluetooth 5.0
Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

Form pulls ahead of function

Falling short of marketing hype happens, of course. (Just ask Apple how things are going these days.) The Notebook 9 Pro doesn't have any major issues caused by the design, but the design doesn't noticeably improve use, either.  

For instance, Samsung used a full-size active pen instead of its compact and debatably more useful S Pen. The S Pen stores in the body of Samsung's other laptops including the new Notebook 9 Pen and never needs to be charged. The Pro's pen has no garage or holder and requires the unusual AAAA-size battery. The Pro's pen also lacks all of the S Pen's Air Command features that give it an edge over other pen-enabled two-in-ones. 

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The Notebook 9 Pro's diamond-cut edges are its main distinctive design touch. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Also sacrificed to the design gods are ports. The Pro has three USB-C ports (two are Thunderbolt 3), a microSD card slot and a headphone/mic combo jack. That's certainly not unusual for premium ultraportables these days, but it does mean you'll be carrying around adapters. The Pro can charge through all of the USB-C ports, however. Not that you'd know it was charging with the lid closed, though, since there are no indicator lights on the outside at all.  

With the keyboard, Samsung enlarged the key caps and reduced spacing between them to improve the typing experience and appearance. There is not much travel to the keys, however, which doesn't help the experience at all. 

The slim power button on the laptop's right side is also a fingerprint reader. Nearly flush with the body, it's tricky to use with the laptop sitting on a desk and I frequently had to swipe it a few times to get it to register. Maybe slender fingers work better, but it might have been best to place it up on the keyboard deck. 

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The Pro's power button doubles as a fingerprint reader. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The full-HD touchscreen is bright at 350 nits, though you'll still be fighting reflections outdoors or under office lights. Color performance is good and Samsung said its gamut is 72 percent NTSC, which is roughly 100 percent sRGB. The display bezels are thin on the top and sides, but it does have a chin if that's something that bothers you. 

Although I'm disappointed to not have an S Pen, the active pen worked well. You might see a little jitter, but drawing with Autodesk's SketchBook app was generally good as was writing in the preinstalled Nebo handwriting recognition software (a 90-day trial is included). 

Samsung also includes a voice recorder that lets you add handwritten bookmarks along the way as well as non-pen apps for video editing and security. You can even set it up to take a photo with the webcam and email it to you if someone tries to log in with the wrong password. 

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro gets edgy for 2019

Hard worker

Samsung is looking to attract creatives and creators with the Notebook 9 Pro. Depending on what you're creating, though, this may not have the power you need. Like others in its class, the components are geared for average home and office uses like word processing, web browsing and email, but with enough muscle to push through more demanding work assuming it's not too graphics intensive. 

It won't get bogged down if you have a dozen tabs open in Google Chrome with some other applications running in the background. Streaming video and music are no problem either. And it'll handle casual photo and video editing without choking, though for large, high-resolution images and video, you'll want something with discrete graphics. 

Unlike LG's unrealistic 21-hour battery life for its Gram two-in-one, Samsung's 14.7-hour claim is actually fairly close to what we got in our tests. The Notebook 9 Pro ran for 12 hours, 30 minutes on CNET's streaming video test. That's only 5 minutes shy of the LG's runtime and 4 minutes more than Lenovo's Yoga C930 ($1,219 at Amazon). 

Sarah Tew/CNET

More sterile than stunning

Like I said from the start, the 2019 Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is perfectly fine. There are a bunch of little things about the design that distract from the overall package instead of improving it. And because Samsung spent so much time talking up the redesign, it makes those little things stand out more. 

Fortunately, performance and battery life are both excellent. Also, while the design isn't perfect, the Pro is light and small making it a good pick for a daily commuter or student. If you don't care about any of the other stuff I mentioned with the design, the Pro is worth checking out. 

Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018) Longer bars indicate better performance Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018) Longer bars indicate better performance Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018) Longer bars indicate better performance Samsung Notebook 9 Pro LG Gram 14 2-in-1 Lenovo Yoga C930 Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018)
Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD
Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 512GB SSD
Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; 12GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD
Apple MacOS Mojave 10.14; 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8210Y; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 1,536MB Intel UHD Graphics 617; 256GB SSD

www.cnet.com


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