Hands-on review: CES 2016: Samsung Notebook 9

Samsung’s new laptop range has emerged at CES 2016, and shows that the company still knows what it takes to make a decent looking Windows 10 notebook.

The Notebook 9 range comes in two flavors: the 15-inch model and the 13.3-inch variant. Both are running a rather uninspiring Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, although in practice it doesn’t seem too bad thanks to the screen optimisation.

The 15-inch model is 1.29kg, while the smaller option is an insane 0.84kg, making it lighter than some tablets out there.

Notebook 9

That said, the lighter weight actually makes it feel like a much cheaper device. It’s insanely easy to pick up, but feels almost cheaply made in plastic as a result.

Whereas the heft of the 15-inch model doesn’t take away from a strongly made device, and the expansive screen makes it a nicer option to use.

Notebook 9

In terms of core specs, you’ve got up to 8GB of RAM, up to Core i7 Intel chips and up to 256GB of SSD storage.

There’s a USB-C port with two other USB 3.0 option, HDMI and microSD too – plus there’s a pink variant if that’s your jam.

Notebook 9

It’s a speedy enough set of specs to keep both running smoothly, and I especially liked the keyboard on both models, allowing me to buzz up to a fast typing speed almost instantly. I can see either model being slung into a bag and pulled out on a train to get writing with ease, which is what many are looking for in modern laptops.

The ports are varied enough to work for most, with what’s on offer enough to let you connect up what you’ll need on the fly. You’ve not got a huge amount of USB choices on the go, but like the new Macbook these machines are embracing the ‘less is more’ ideal… but just with extra ports that you’d actually use.

Notebook 9

The Notebook 9 range doesn’t scream raw power though. They’re devices that work as Windows 10 laptops on the basic level, running a smorgasbord of programs fully without pumping in loads of raw grunt.

Notebook 9

I didn’t try any photo editing or high-end gaming on either, but I wouldn’t like to gamble on trying it without running the battery down in a heartbeat.

Early verdict

The Notebook 9 range is a slim, easy to use option from Samsung that offers two sizes that most will find use for. It’s a shame there’s no ultra-compact 11-inch option, but then again, there is the TabPro S for that if you really need it.

The 13.3-inch Notebook 9 is too light, in terms of both weight and spec, in my opinion, but does tick the box in terms of ultra-portability. However, the 15-inch model seems a much nicer fit and would be my pick thanks to the impressive screen.

As usual, it’ll come down to price and Samsung’s not announced anything around that yet – but if these come in at a half-decent cost they’d be a good choice for the mobile office warrior.

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