Samsung's updated Notebook 9 is the new lightest 13-inch laptop
You said you wanted thinner, lighter, and longer lasting. Samsung: okay!
Samsung has updated their Notebook 9 Ultrabook, continuing with their ridiculously thin and light ways. The new Notebook 9, available in 13-inch and 15-inch variants, have been completely restyled from last year, opting for a more traditional block design versus the blade-like design of the first-generation of Notebook 9. But they stick to the ethos of thin and light — the 13-inch is well under 2.5 lbs and the 15-inch weighs in a 2.73 lbs.
The new look also comes with a smaller footprint, thanks to the serious reduction of bezels on the sides and top of the display. Even with the reduced size and 0.61-inch thickness, Samsung still is giving the Notebook 9 a decent compliment of USB ports: one Thunderbolt 3/USB-C, two full-size USB 3.0, and one USB 2.0. There's no HDMI-out here, as Samsung's banking on Thunderbolt 3 and adapters to support the various display connectors users will need.
While the Notebook 9 has been updated to the latest chips, including 7th-generation Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake processors, it's no powerhouse. The most powerful version is the 15-incher, which in the United States will have an optional dedicated graphics card (an NVIDIA 940MX) alongside 16GB of RAM and a 512GB PCIe SSD.
The biggest tradeoff with a super-thin laptop like this is battery life, and though Samsung advertises a 15-hour battery life for the 15-inch Notebook 9, we have a hard time believing that. Even so, the Adaptive Fast Charge tech that Samsung's built into this laptop means that a 20-minute charge will net 3 hours of use, and less than 2 hours of charge will fill up the battery completely.
While Samsung's not giving a release date for the updated Notebook 9, we can at least tell you the expected pricing:
- 13-inch Intel Core i5: $999
- 13-inch Intel Core i7: $1,199
- 15-inch Intel Core i7 with integrated graphics: $1,199
- 15-inch Intel Core i7 with discrete graphics: $1,399 (US-only)
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.