Samsung's Notebook 9 series laptops are best known for their light weight, and this year is no exception. The company announced a spate of supersleek notebooks before the show started, but we only just got to take the updated 15-inch Notebook 9 for a spin. Suffice to say, it was immediately clear that road warriors will find a lot to like here.
It's one thing to read about how light this thing is; it's another thing entirely to actually feel it for yourself. When I first picked up the 15-inch Notebook 9, I honestly thought it was a dummy model Samsung forgot to put away. (The fact that the screen was on should've been a giveaway, but what can I say? I was shocked.) This particular Notebook 9 variant weighs in at just 2.17 pounds, just slightly heavier than Apple's 2-pound MacBook. This stunningly light body was made possible thanks to a magnesium alloy material that allows for great durability (or so Samsung says) without the added ounces. It's been a day since I played with the machine and I still can't quite get it out of my head.
Gallery: Hands-on with the 15-inch Notebook 9 | 9 Photos
More important, the 15-inch Notebook 9 doesn't force you to choose between power and portability. You'll be working with one of Intel's seventh-generation Core i7 chips and up to 8GB of DDR4 dual-channel RAM. I didn't get to spend a ton of time with the machine, but it certainly felt snappy enough as I opened Chrome tab after Chrome tab and generally treated it like a jerk.
We'll have more nuanced impressions on performance after we get a final production unit, but, for now, it seems safe to say the Notebook should slot into your daily workflow without much trouble. For those of you who need a little extra graphics clout for gaming and what-not, Samsung also has a variant on deck with a dedicated NVIDIA 940MX GPU. Just know that machine is about half a pound heavier than the base model. No matter what graphics processor drives those visuals, though, they generally look good on Samsung's 15-inch, 1080p screen.
There's a full suite of ports here too: two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0 and a full-size HDMI socket. That said, the Notebook 9 uses a USB Type-C port for power. Your phone charger will do in a pinch if you need juice, but you should be sure to keep that included 45W power adapter handy: It's said to fully recharge the machine in about 80 minutes.
There's at least one potential problem, though: As far as looks go, the Notebook 9 is unassuming at best. The body is decked out in a nondescript silver, without much to break up the visual monotony beyond a Samsung logo slapped on the front. Style mavens might not need to apply, but folks who value function over form probably won't mind the trade-off much, if at all. In fact, the overall strength of this package is enough to make me consider ditching the 12-inch MacBook I've been traveling with as of late. We're counting on nabbing one for review soon, so stay tuned for a deeper dive.
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