Samsung notebook 9 review: long life, fast performance

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What vị you bởi vì if you’re a computer manufacturer and the past few laptops you’ve sầu released have sầu been panned for cheap-looking designs & shoddy build quality? If you’re Samsung, you bởi vì retìm kiếm. A lot of it.

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

The result? A laptop with a much improved, but painfully generic thiết kế, & with most of the features you’d expect in a premium Windows 2-in-1 máy vi tính.


Our đánh giá of Samsung Notebook 9 Pro


Verge Score 7 out of 10
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I would have sầu loved for Samsung khổng lồ have sầu kept the extremely light weight of prior models while improving the rigidity and tactile experience, but if I have to lớn choose between the two, I prefer this more solid-feeling máy tính. 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 & narrow bezels on the top & sides. My main frustrations with it are common lớn many Windows laptops: it has a giant “chin” bezel at the bottom and a cramped 16:9 aspect ratio. A 3:2 aspect, lượt thích 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 baông xã inkhổng lồ 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 clip in its “tent” mode.


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

The sides are also home page to lớn a microSD thẻ slot và 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 lớn 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 & 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 máy vi tính 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.

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The MacBook Pro-like appearance of the 9 Pro is most apparent in the new keyboard design, which feels lượt thích a photocopy of Apple’s keyboards. The keys have sầu the same shape, size, and feel as those on the lademo 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 khổng lồ copy on Apple’s lachạy thử 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 và more effective sầu, & even with their short travel, the keys are more comfortable to use. My biggest frustration with it is the xúc tích of the function row keys: by default they are phối khổng lồ the standard F1-F12, which requires me lớn hit the Fn key khổng lồ change things lượt thích brightness or volume. There is a Fn Loông xã button that will switch the operation lớn the system controls, but that also will switch the arrow keys to their secondary functions & inexplicably cause the Esc key lớn launch Samsung’s support phầm mềm.

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

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Inside, the base Model of the 9 Pro that I’ve sầu been testing has a Core i7-8565U processor, 8GB of RAM, và 256GB of NVMe storage. You can increase the RAM lớn 16GB & the storage lớn 512GB for $200, which seems lượt thích a reasonable price for those upgrades.

Even if you don’t spring for the higher-end mã sản phẩm, 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 Slaông xã, email, Word, và other productivity apps, without making the 9 Pro sweat. The fans rarely kiông chồng on, and when they bởi vì, they are quiet enough to lớn be barely audible. The 9 Pro is not suited for gaming — it just has Intel’s UHD 6đôi mươi integrated graphics instead of a discrete chip — nor will it fare well for Clip editing without the help of an external GPU, but it can certainly hold its own for editing photos và doing most any task an average user will ask of it.

Samsung claims the 55Wh battery is good for up khổng lồ 14 hours of use, but as with any Windows máy tính xách tay maker’s battery claims, the reality is far from it. Still, the 9 Pro is able to lớn last about seven hours between charges with my typical workflow và 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 sầu tested. It’s also far better than the four khổng lồ five sầu hours I saw from the Notebook 9 Pen last year.

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Overall, Samsung has managed to lớn produce an entirely competent máy tính 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 chất lượng, và almost all of the features you’ll find on competing laptops lượt thích 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 máy vi tính than the company could manage on its own.

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