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Samsung Notebook 9 15 Ext review: Quite possibly the best 15-inch Ultrabook

What happens when you combine some of the best qualities of the Dell XPS 15 and the HP Spectre x360 15 and make it all weigh less than three pounds? The Samsung Notebook 9 15 Ext.

Best Samsung Laptop
(Image: © Windows Central)

Windows Central Recommended Award

Falling into the category of a traditional Ultrabook with no touchscreen, the Notebook 9 15 is a stunning achievement in design and efficiency by a company that deserves more credit for its Windows 10 PCs than it gets.

How can you describe a 15-inch laptop that weighs only 2.7 lbs (1.22 kg), has a NVIDIA GeForce 940MX GPU and gets 10 hours of battery life? In this full review, I'll explain what else Samsung got right with this $1,400 laptop — and why it may be the best 15-inch Ultrabook available.

About this review

The Samsung Notebook 9 15 Ext (NP900X5N-X01US) was purchased from photo and video site B&H for $1,397. There is only one configuration option for this model, though a lower cost version with no discrete GPU and only 8GB of RAM (versus 16GB) is available for $1,149.

Hardware and features

For those looking for a 2-in-1 laptop that can transform into a tablet or has active pen support, the Notebook 9 is not your device. In every way, Samsung made the new Notebook 9 15 to be a very traditional Ultrabook. It's thin, light, and has lots of ports, and it's built for business and productivity. It's the ideal laptop for students, businesses, and anyone else who spends a lot of time writing.

Nonetheless, Samsung put some impressive hardware into such a small and nimble package. Here is what the Ext version of the Notebook 9 15 packs:

Samsung Notebook 9 15 Ext technical specifications

CategoryNotebook 9 15 Ext
OSWindows 10 Home
Processor7th-Gen Intel Core i7-7500U dual-core
2.7 GHz, Turbo up to 3.5GHz
Internal storage256GB SSD PCIe NVMe (PM961)
RAM16GB DDR4 2,133 MHz
SO-DIMM
Display15-inch 1080p LED IPS, non-touch
HDR
GraphicsIntel HD 620
Discrete graphicsNVIDIA GeForce 940 MX
2GB GDDR5
TouchpadPrecision
Windows HelloYes (Fingerprint)
Keyboard backlitYes (multi-stage, auto)
Portsone Thunderbolt 3 via USB Type-C
two USB 3.0 Type-A
one USB 2.0 Type-A
one HDMI
microSD
headphone and microphone port
WirelessIntel dual-band AC-8265
Bluetooth 4.2
Battery66WHr
Weight2.73 lbs / 1.24 kg
Dimensions (W x H x D)13.7" x 0.6" x 9.0" / 34.8 cm x 1.5 cm x 22.9 cm
ColorsSilver ("Light Titan")

Everything about the hardware choices here made by Samsung is excellent. The processor is the latest "Kaby Lake" Core i7, and while it's only dual-core it still packs a punch. The RAM is soldered on so there is no way to upgrade it, but it's speedy at 2,133MHz, and 16GB of RAM is enough for this class of device.

For storage, it's no surprise that Samsung uses its very own Samsung PM961 solid-state drive (SSD), which is equivalent to 256GB of the commercial Samsung 960 EVO SSD. It's an excellent SSD. While 256GB is a bit limiting, you can upgrade it if you need more space.

Samsung opted for Intel's dual-band AC-8265 wireless card for Wi-Fi. That card supports Bluetooth 4.2, MU-MIMO, 802.11r, 802.11k, and 802.11v along with more standard 802.11ac. It's the latest card from Intel, which is well known for its excellent drivers. That card is soldered on as well, however, so you won't be able to swap it out.

The NVIDIA GeForce 940MX is an attractive card. It's older and is used by manufacturers to add some added graphics boost to newer laptops. It's not made for gaming per se, but it will certainly aid in photo editing, web browsing, some video work and even playing some casual games, such as like Pinball FX2. HP also uses this same GPU in the HP Spectre x360 15 but it also uses a 4K display versus Samsung's more conservative Full-HD choice.

Build quality and design

I have used Samsung's previous Notebook 9 15 from 2016, as well as this new refresh. It's clear to me Samsung is listening to its users' feedback. Specifically, the company added a fingerprint reader and made the keyboard backlit. These are both unique additions, and it is evident that Samsung is still attuned to user needs when making PCs.

The Notebook 9 15's design for 2017 has changed significantly. Gone are the tapered edges and black keys. Instead, Samsung rounded all the corners and edges, giving the device a more uniform and symmetric look. The keys are also now silver to match the chassis.

Due to the silver metal — what Samsung calls "Light Titan" — users will inevitably compare the Notebook 9 to an Apple MacBook. While I see the similarities, especially between quality and design consistency, I think the generalization is too broad. It is, however, one of the nicest laptops I have used based on quality and design.

The Light Titan metal does not show any grease or dirt, which means the Notebook 9 rarely needs a wipe down. It's just a very clean machine.

It is hard to put into words just how light the Notebook 9 is compared to other 15-inch laptops. The Dell XPS 15 and HP Spectre x360 15 both weigh around 4.4 lbs (2 kg), making the Notebook 9 nearly 2 lbs (0.9kg) lighter.

It's borderline absurd.

The laptop feels hollow, and it's so light that it boggles the mind when using it. When you open it up, there is even extra space on the inside. In theory, the company could have put a larger battery in, but that would have made it heavier and more expensive. Plus, this laptop already gets crazy battery life, making any additional power unnecessary.

While the metal is cool to the touch, it is exceptionally thin and appears to be a combination of plastic and metal layered together.

Samsung makes opening and servicing the Notebook 9 very easy, but you can only swap out the SSD because everything else is soldered to the board.

The bottom of the Notebook 9 is rigid, but the top display has some flex in the middle when closed. That's just a side effect of going for thin and light. Luckily, the keyboard deck is also very sturdy for typing.

Perhaps the most surprising "test" is that the display for the Notebook 9 can be opened with one hand with ease. While I wouldn't recommend buying a laptop just for that, it's a testament to Samsung's design abilities.

This LED is blue for power, green for charged, and red when charging. Nice touch.

Finally, on the top left keyboard deck, there is a small LED with three color stages: blue for powered on, green for fully charged, and red for charging. It's a subtle and nice addition that more manufacturers should adopt. On the top right side is the elongated and tactile power button.

Display is the sum of its parts

A non-touch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display that is just 15 inches — not the usual 15.6 inches — in 2017 is not cutting edge. Companies such as Dell and HP are putting out 4K displays in all sorts of laptops, and even Samsung has a "pro" version of this notebook with a touch-enabled 4K screen.

Nonetheless, Samsung did an outstanding job here with the Notebook 9's display. It's sharp, exceptionally bright, and the color saturation is excellent.

Samsung includes some nifty tools to control the display's color profiles, such as dynamic, standard photo editing, and reading. For those who want a more hands-off approach, there is an auto mode that will choose the best color profile based on the content you are viewing.

An "outdoor mode" lets the brightness ramp up to just over 400 nits, ensuring legibility in the sun. The display itself, while technically glossy, absorbs reflections very well, making it almost a hybrid matte-glossy screen. It's the best of both worlds. This glossy screen is one that I don't mind using.

There is also an optional high-dynamic-range (HDR) setting that ramps up the display contrast even higher, making it ideal for watching movies, videos or viewing photos.

The bezels are also relatively thin on this laptop, particularly on the sides where they are millimeters in width. The top bezel is a little thicker, but Samsung rightly puts the 720p webcam in its place with a few microphones.

Speaking of that webcam, it's only OK, unfortunately, at 720p. It gets the job done, but Samsung makes good cameras and this one does not live up to expectations.

I should remark that the display hinge is also one of the smoothest and most effortless to open and close. Samsung also made that hinge open to 180 degrees so it can lay flat. It's an odd thing that isn't very practical, but it also does not have any negatives that I can find.

For some reason the Notebook 9 15 Ext does this.

Putting aside the lack of touch or high resolution, the Notebook 9's display is one of the best Full HDs on the market. In short, the display looks better than its specs suggest, and that's a good thing.

Keyboard is backlit

The biggest oversight in last year's Notebook 9 15 was a keyboard that did not have backlit keys. The decision seemed odd for what is a premium Ultrabook. For 2017, Samsung delivered a fix in this year's refresh.

The Notebook 9 15 features an excellent spacious, chicklet-styled keyboard.

The backlight is a bit peculiar, however. It is yellow-green. It works well, but you will only want to use it when it is dark and not semi-light out. Like HP's all silver Spectre x360 13, the Notebook 9 has silver keys making any LED light contrast difficult. That is why Samsung smartly offset it with a yellow-green hue, but it can still cause some difficulty when there is light in the room. The system is multi-stage, and it even turns on when the sensor detects it is dark enough. I appreciate all those things, and it is an improvement from last year.

Although tough to see in photos the keyboard backlight is a unique greenish-yellow.

The Notebook 9's keyboard is outstanding. The keys are a little slippery, being metal, but the chicklet design, smooth travel, and even, key return make it one of the best keyboards on the market. The full-size Backspace and Enter keys work well, and the arrow keys, while small, get the job done.

While I would still rank the Surface Book's and Spectre x360's keyboards more highly, the Notebook 9's is close enough and sits right up there with those devices.

New fingerprint reader

Another missing feature in last year's Notebook 9 was Windows Hello, Microsoft's biometric authentication system for Windows 10. For 2017, there is an included all-metal fingerprint reader that sits on the keyboard deck right below the vertical Home key row.

FPC makes the fingerprint reader and not Synaptics, but that's not an issue. The reader worked every single time with no misreads. The placement is ideal, and it is easily discernable from the other keys.

The one oddity is that that because the fingerprint reader is aligned with the vertical Home row, it offsets the lowest row on the keyboard, which includes the space bar. For typing, this is not a problem and you won't even notice it. However, the trackpad is slightly off-center. While I didn't have any formal difficulties with it, it's an odd design choice that you will notice.

Trackpad and Precision goodness

Samsung has been embracing Precision trackpads for a few years. That carries over with this refreshed Notebook 9. It has a large, smooth, glass trackpad, with a splendid click, and it's not too deep or too loud.

Included in the mix are some optional gestures like a single-finger long press that lets you navigate in Explorer or Edge with one finger. It's hit or miss, however, and luckily Samsung leaves it off by default.

Enormous Precision trackpad? Check!

I have zero complaints about the Notebook 9's trackpad. In fact, it's one of my favorites to date. It's big, smooth, and with Precision drivers, it's 100 percent reliable with support for all the gestures in Windows 10.

Audio

The two 1.5W speakers for the Notebook 9 are located on the bottom, near the front. The square grills give adequate sound that seems to emanate from the laptop's body as much as the grills. While nothing amazing, I would rate the sound better than usual — or expected — for such a thin and light device.

Samsung's "Sound Alive" feature lets you tune the audio for music and video, or you can just set it to auto.

These tiny speakers are better sounding than you would expect.

Given a choice, I would prefer the speakers to be on top near the keyboard.

Ports: eGPU support with Thunderbolt 3

Samsung did an excellent job with ports on the Notebook 9 15 Ext. It contains just about everything you would want in a PC.

There are three USB Type A ports with two being 3.0 and a third being an older 2.0. There's a full HDMI, though it's not clear if it's 1.4 or 2.0.

The microSD slot is unusual. There is room in the chassis for a full SD card slot, but my guess is Samsung used the smaller version because its cameras and phones use microSD.

Perhaps the best surprise is the full Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C port. It supports data, power, video and even external GPUs (eGPU).

The Notebook 9 with an eGPU NVIDIA 1080Ti benching Killer Instinct is off the chain.

The Notebook 9 with an eGPU NVIDIA 1080Ti benching Killer Instinct is off the chain.

I plugged the Notebook 9 15 Ext up to my Razer Core eGPU sporting a cutting-edge NVIDIA GTX 1080Ti and connected it to a Full HD G-Sync curved gaming monitor. I was able to play Rise of the Tomb Raider at 60 frames per second (FPS) on very high graphics, which is impressive. Not all laptops can make use of eGPUs using Type-C, but Samsung did not cut any corners here.

Performance

Samsung ships the Notebook 9 15 Ext with a 7th-Generation Intel "Kaby Lake" Core i7 dual-core processor (7500U). Its base speed is a modest 2.7 GHz and it supports Turbo up to 3.5GHz. The Intel 7500U is the same processor that HP uses in the Spectre x360 13 and 15 laptops and that Dell uses in the XPS 13.

For an Ultrabook, it's a great processor, and it delivers, especially for single-core tests. Featuring a dual-core chip, the Notebook 9 15 Ext will lose to the Dell XPS 15 (9560) with its beefy quad-core processor.

Geekbench 4.0 benchmarks (higher is better)

DeviceSingle CoreMulti Core
Samsung Notebook 9 15 Ext4,3168,320
Dell XPS 15 (9560) Core i74,50313,587
Dell Latitude 72804,3817,935
Dell XPS 13 (9360) Core i74,1207,829
HP Spectre 13 Core i74,1007,469
Surface Book 965M3,9777,486

Despite having the same processor as the Dell XPS 13 (9360) and HP Spectre, the Samsung device still edged out both using Geekbench 4.0.

PCMark - Home Conventional 3.0

DeviceScoreComparison
Samsung Notebook 9 15 Ext2,998Better than 57 percent of all results
Dell XPS 15 (9560)3,534Better than 71 percent of all results
Dell XPS Tower SE Core i53,420Better than 67 percent of all results
Dell Latitude 72802,829Better than 52 percent of all results
HP Spectre x360 152,472Better than 41 percent of all results

Similar results for Samsung are seen in PCMark's Home Conventional. Clearly, Samsung has some nice optimizations under the hood with its motherboard, RAM and SSD.

Things, however, begin to slow down when you focus on the NVIDIA GeForce 940MX for graphics. While it's an admirable GPU for some extra boost, don't look for that card to deliver significant improvements.

Geekbench 4.0 OpenCL (higher is better)

DeviceCompute Sore
Samsung Notebook 9 15 Ext23,207
HP Spectre x360 1528,868
Dell XPS 13 (9360)19,410
Surface Book HD52018,197
Dell Latitude 728017,827

Geekbench 4.0 CUDA (higher is better)

DeviceGPUScore
Samsung Notebook 9 15 ExtGT 940MX24,412
Razer Blade 14GTX 1060139,603
XPS 15 (9360)GTX 105075,636
Surface BookGTX 965M63,029
XPS 15GTX 960m54,992
Spectre x360 15GT 940MX28,868

3DMark (Time Spy)

DeviceGPUScore
Samsung Notebook 9 15 ExtGT 940MX522
Surface StudioGTX 980M2,862
Dell XPS 15GTX 10501,789
Surface BookGTX 965M1,531
Spectre x360GT 940MX613

Why such a discrepancy in graphics between the Spectre x360 15 and Notebook 9 despite both using a NVIDIA GeForce 940MX? It comes down to configuration and clock speeds. Samsung is significantly underclocking the GPU:

GeForce 940MX Core Clock

DeviceSpeed
Samsung Notebook 9 Ext450 MHz
HP Spectre x360 151,176 MHz

GeForce 940MX Memory bus clock (2GB)

DeviceSpeed
Samsung Notebook 9 Ext900 MHz
HP Spectre x360 151,000 MHz

Samsung is likely using a slower clock rate for core speed and bus memory for a few reasons, the main being thermals. It's just easier to cool something at a lower clock rate. That not only keeps the device cooler but prevents the fans from coming on frequently. Indeed, the Notebook 9 is an exceptionally quiet machine. The Spectre x360 15 also runs a full 4K display, which means that 940MX is pushing three times the number of pixels compared to the Notebook 9.

Still, it's a little disappointing to see the GeForce 940MX delivering just a minor GPU boost even on a Full-HD display. Luckily, as noted above, you can use an external GPU and still have a good gaming machine.

Turn to storage, and it's no surprise that Samsung's own PM961 SSD is a reliable performer.

CrystalDiskMark (higher is better)

DeviceReadWrite
Samsung Notebook 9 Ext1,365 MB/s1,213 MB/s
Dell XPS 15 (9560)2,207 MB/s1,628 MB/s
Dell XPS 13 (9360)1,287 MB/s794 MB/s
HP Spectre x360 151,128 MB/s862 MB/s
Surface Book1,018 MB/s967 MB/s
Dell Latitude 7280428 MB/s412 MB/s

Samsung's PM961 is equivalent to the 960 EVO, but at just 256GB it may be limiting for some users. Luckily, Samsung makes swapping out the SSD easy with 10 screws on the bottom and easy access to the M.2 slot. Users could even add a 2TB Samsung 960 PRO to the Notebook 9 15 as a future upgrade, though the 512GB or 1TB 960 EVO are likely better values.

With dual fans, the Notebook 9 never gets very warm under load and it stays quiet.

Finally, despite being a rather compact laptop, the Notebook 9 Ext stays cool under load without being loud. The fans are barely ever on, and even when they are they whisper. Temperatures peak at 102°F (39°C) near the vents, but the whole system stays cool, and even the warm spots on the bottom and upper keyboard deck rapidly cool as soon as the CPU and GPU wind down.

Notebook 9 15's battery goes all day (and then some)

Samsung packs an impressive 66WHr battery into the Notebook 9 15 Ext. For comparison, the HP Spectre x360 15 uses a larger 79WHr battery, and it is nearly twice the weight. The Spectre also has a 4K touch display to manage versus Samsung's very efficient LED Full-HD screen.

Battery life for the Notebook 9 Ext is out of this world. I can hit the 10-hour mark without even trying. If you use the device for a few hours a day you can go three days easily without a charge. Moreover, it doesn't have any discernible drainage when in sleep or hibernate — it's one of the best standby machines I have used that doesn't deplete in low-power mode. (I'm looking at you, Surface.)

Samsung also gives users a compact 65W charger. It is one of the smallest chargers I have used, and at 0.76 oz (22 g) it's also light. Moreover, there are small blue LEDs on the barrel charger, which is a nice touch, and it supports Fast Charge so that you can replenish the laptop in less than two hours.

My only complaint is that I wish the AC prongs folded in on the charger to make it more compact when traveling.

You can charge the Notebook 9 via its USB Type-C port, but you need to make sure the charger provides enough power to charge the laptop while it's discharging.

Security software and more

Typically, preinstalled manufacturer apps on laptops are junkware. That's changing, and Samsung puts some fascinating software on this PC, all of which can be easily removed if you so choose.

Here is what's included:

  • SideSync – This app lets you sync data between your Samsung smartphone and the laptop.
  • PC gallery – This is Samsung's photo app, which seems redundant, although you can upload to your Samsung account.
  • PC message – This lets you send and receive SMS messages on your computer or Galaxy phone.
  • teamPL – An app that lets you share your PC screen.
  • Simple sharing – Share photos, videos, and documents with friends.
  • Wi-Fi transfer – You can share files to any Galaxy phone.
  • Online support – This provides support for your laptop.
  • Samsung Recovery – You can back up the current system and restore it to a factory default status or a previous recovery point. It's also useful for upgrading to a new, higher-capacity SSD.
  • Samsung Update – This checks for new Samsung-specific BIOS, firmware and drivers.
  • Samsung PC cleaner – Lets you see how much space you have free, chart usage, remove apps and provides performance improvement tools.
  • Wi-Fi camera – This lets you use a Samsung phone's camera as your PC's camera.
  • Samsung Settings – Provides various settings for the Notebook 9.

Naturally, a lot of those apps presume you have and own a Samsung Galaxy phone, in which case you get to do a lot of sharing and use the phone as an extension for the Notebook 9.

The Samsung Update application keeps your PC's drivers and firmware on target.

Samsung Update is very useful, because out of the box the Notebook 9 Ext had seven driver updates, including Wireless LAN, NVIDIA graphics driver and a Sound Driver. In my experience, Samsung is reliable in delivering particular driver and firmware updates for its devices, and this app handles it with ease. It's one of my favorite manufacturer driver update apps.

Samsung Settings is ingenious. Samsung delivers some unique options with its laptops that any Windows 10 user would be envious of, including:

  • Outdoor mode – Boosts display brightness past 400 nits.
  • Video HDR – Adds new dynamic contrast ability to the display.
  • Auto booting – Make the system start automatically when opening the screen lid (or not).
  • USB charging in sleep mode – Toggle whether the USB ports stay on to charge external devices when in sleep mode.
  • Battery life extender + - Preserves the health of the battery if left on an AC charger frequently, and it doesn't charge past 85 percent.
  • Best AP – Chooses the best access point for Wi-Fi based on signal strength and security.
  • Sound effects – Selects sound based on appropriate environment, such as standard music or movies.
  • Keyboard backlight – Controls the backlight of the keyboard and the duration of that light when it's idle.

Samsung includes a way to completely disable the Notebook 9's microphone and camera so that no apps can use it, makes sure it's disabled when the display is turned off, and can only be used with pre-approved apps. There is a tiny blue LED near the camera to let you know when it is on and running.

Samsung Settings application lets you do some advanced configuration for unique features of the Notebook 9.

The best feature though is a neat Security Cam option that snaps a photo of someone who tries to log into your PC. If they enter a wrong password or fail using the fingerprint reader, the photo is taken automatically and emailed to you. Next time you log into that PC, you get a notification informing you that a user attempted to log in and failed.

I spy you trying to log into my Samsung laptop!

While the Galaxy SideSync apps are OK, some of the others such as Settings, Update and PC Cleaner are excellent additions to the Notebook 9 Ext.

Samsung Notebook 9 15 Ext: The best 15-inch Ultrabook on the market?

Samsung Notebook 9 15 Ext

Judging "the best" laptop is always tough. For instance, if you need (or want) a touch display, or something with 4K resolution obviously, this is not the laptop for you. The same goes if you need a beefy quad-core processor or newer GTX 10 series GPU.

For those of us, however, who are OK with a traditional laptop and an excellent Full-HD display, the Notebook 9 Ext is an impressive device.

Remember, it packs a Core i7 processor, a modest GPU, 16GB of RAM, and a magnificent SSD, and it all weighs less than an XPS 13 despite being a 15-inch laptop. On top of all of that, it gets the best battery life I have seen, and only the XPS 15 (9560, Full HD) comes even close.

The Notebook 9 Ext is ideal for people who write a lot, use a laptop for productivity, enjoy browsing the web and watching movies, or for those who just need an ultra-light, high-performance laptop. I count myself among that group. While the quad-core XPS 15 is awesome, especially for light gaming, it weighs nearly two pounds (0.9 kg) more than this laptop. That is not insignificant when tossing it into a backpack or shoulder bag.

Typing is excellent on the device, as is the Precision trackpad. The display with HDR is borderline OLED in quality, and the fingerprint reader and overall design make it a very competitive machine for 2017. While I do wish the NVIDIA 940MX packed more of a punch for those who need to render video or want some CUDA cores, it's a nice boost.

And, hey, you can even connect this a NVIDIA GTX 1080Ti and make it a gaming machine when at home, even if that's unlikely.

The price of the Notebook 9 15 Ext is decent at $1,399. HP still edges it out with its 4K and pen-enabled Spectre x360 15, at just $100 more, but if you want a splendid 15-inch laptop that weighs less than three pounds, well, the Notebook 9 15 Ext is yours to own.

Samsung created a traditional but absolutely exceptional laptop that may be the best representation of what an Ultrabook is meant to be. It's super light, thin, powerful and elegant.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Pros:

  • It weighs just 2.7 lbs (1.22 kg).
  • Fast CPU and excellent SSD.
  • Fantastic build quality and elegant design.
  • Fingerprint scanner.
  • Best battery life for a 15-inch laptop.
  • Bright HDR-enabled LED display.
  • Large Precision touchpad.

Cons:

  • Web camera is only OK.
  • NVIDIA GPU is underutilized.
  • Full SD slot would be better than microSD.
  • Is there such thing as too light?

Wallpaper images utilized in this review are under license from Shutterstock and agsandrew. You can purchases images from that collection here (opens in new tab).

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

27 Comments
  • That's pretty nice. I'm not much of a laptop user though. I have my PC and my phone for mobility. I have 2 laptops but they just sit there.
  • Great review! I'm in the crowd -- if it's not touch, I can't go back to that. And FHD means even at only 100% scale, not enough fits on the screen, especially on a 15" screen. Hi-res touch and SSD are all essential to me in any laptop these days. I'd also like a pen/stylus, but that's not critical. Everything else about this sounds good. Daniel mentioned a Pro model including touch and a higher-res screen. Based on this, I'll check it out.
  • Agreed. I wouldn't buy any windows 10 laptop these days that didn't have a greather-than 1080p screen res and touch capability, unless it was a workstation-type CAD laptop of course...
  • I'm in the same camp as you. If no touch screen and 4K for 15" screen, I pass. Also, I don't understand why still using USB 2.0. Why can't all type A USB be 3.0? SSD also essential to me. I'm currently looking at the Dell XPS 15 or Precision 15. Because of lack of touch, I'd choose the HP Spectre 15" 4k.
  • But one good thing still going for FHD on 15'' screens is the native 100% scaling while remaining legible enough to use. Legacy win32 apps in particular love full HD, and since I use legacy apps like 90% of the time on my desktops and laptops, I still favor it over 4k for now. On tablets where I mainly use UWP, I'm all for 1440p, 4k etc.
  • IMHO 15" need a keypad.  why would I want a 15" without one?  I rather get a 13"
  • Im getting an external one, its better as you place it anywhere, left hand, right etc
  • This^, so this! It's always been a big deal to me not having the numpad with my keyboard. An absolute deal breaker in my book, so much wasted space :-(
  • What USB c charger would u recommend I'm looking for either a power bank or a accepted wall brick for my HP Spectre x360
  • Great review! - I tried the XPS and Spectre 15's and too heavy while the 13's screen is too small.  This seems to tick all my boxes, digital nomadic lifestyle is one step closer...and nearly a KILO lighter! wow.. I might get a Samsung phone till the SP drops too
  • Daniel Try to source the amazing "Crush White" colour, It looks like one of the best laptops ever in that white colour. Check out that colour here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_va5PTYGzM From this review and the other positive reviews online, it Sounds like an awesome 15 inch ultrabook and i am glad to see this category heat up as the last 4-5 years have been all about the 13 inch category and there was lack of innovation in the 15 inch category, the XPS 15 has started the renassiance of new age 15 inchers and the HP spectre and Samsung Notebook 9 have taken it to the next level. I am loving this as i find 13 inchers too small for any work and need at least 14 inch laptop for comfortable use.
  • Huh...never saw that white version. Damn, that looks awesome, will try to find one, thanks. Agree, I too am a bit fatigued of the 13.3" category. There's a lot of fun stuff in the 14" and 15" range as this laptop and Lenovo's X1 Carbon demonstrate (that review is coming next week).
  • Is this available in the UK, cant seem to find it anywhere.
  • Samsung has left the Laptop market in the entire Europe including UK, it is the same with India and some other Asian countries as Samsung Laptop division is focussing mostly on USA and South Korea since 2016. 
  • Grrr, guess a trip to the US is needed.
  • Yup, can also ask any visting friend to get it or order it via Amazon Global shipping or some other forwarding service. I use Amazon or "Aramex Shop and Ship" for my high value Global shipping, small value items come slowly via aliexpress or ebay.
  • Nice, waiting for the X1 carbon review. Hope you get the Notebook 9 in coral white, it is already available in South Korea but no news on USA websites till now, hopefully all three colours will be available soon.
  • That price and GTX 940 tho. I wish they would add a little size for a 1050.
  • Things done right:
    ​Superb keyboard (Dell should not have missed this on the XPS 15)
    Intel Wifi  (again Dell blew this one)
    ​Camera in the right location
    ​Full thunderport with universal support of external eGPU boxes Things missed
    Silver keyboard?  (Dell got the black right)
    Face recognition?  (+2 for Dell)
    ​Soldered wifi card (seriously?)
    ​Fast charging  (maybe they fear this now after the Note problem?)
    ​DP should be 1.3 out
    ​HDMI should be 2.0x ​I am happy they are building such a well thought out device.  Several places they did a far better job than Dell but in a few places they dropped the ball.    
  • I said it has Fast Charge in the review.
  • I am really impresssed that Samsung chose to use the same design language as Windows 10's for their settings app. That is the first time I have seen something like that :)
  • And how does this laptop compare to the LG gram 15? The latest model has 16Gb Ram, core I7, 512GB SSD, weighs 2.4 pounds, backlit keyboard  and has not only a touchscreen but also a numpad (which is essential for me). Unfortunately also this is not available in Europe (for which I HATE LG by now!), but it would still be good to know if this laptop would not be the better 15.6' inch ultrabook. Ok - it does not have an internal graphics card. What's your opinion on that?
  • IIRC the SSD is SanDisk and not nearly as fast and there is no GPU option; Gram also has a much smaller battery and no Precision touch. Pretty much all of those nixed any interest by me in the LG Gram.
  • Hey Daniel, I'm in the market for a new laptop that can last for a while. Would you recommend Razer blade 14 or the set up of samsung notebook 9 + Razer core/Akitio Node + GTX 1080? I'm a college student who does programming on the go and sometimes play games.
  • Daniel, Did you remove the video review of this laptop on youtube?
  • "The ideal laptop for ...anyone else who spends a lot of time writing."... on a clear (silver) keyboard, with a silver palmrest and silver screen frame? Really? Is it a joke? The new dark mode on Windows 10, the "new" dark mode on Adobe reader, even the new, not yet official, dark mode in YouTube, doesn't tell anything to Samsung and HP? Soldered Wi-Fi card? Really?
  • Do you have the link for the 4k pro version? I could only find the pro version for the previous model but not for this one. Non-touch FHD is for me a deal breaker.