Samsung this week introduced new versions of its Notebook 9 ultra-thin and ultra-light laptops. The new mobile PCs are upgraded with Intel’s new Core i5/i7 Kaby Lake processors, new displays as well as a slightly different design that is slightly thicker, but is also slightly lighter. In fact, Samsung claims that its new Notebook 9 13” is the lightest laptop on the market at 816 grams (1.8 lbs), although some would claim that the 13.3-inch Lavie-Z holds that title starting at 720 grams (1.72 lbs).

Samsung positions its Notebook 9 machines for business travelers who have rather special requirements and who are willing to make certain tradeoffs. Apart from the new Intel Core i5/i7 processors featuring the Kaby Lake microarchitecture, the key improvement of the Notebook 9 are their new display panels with FHD resolution and a maximum brightness of 500 nits (their typical brightness is 350 nits), which is especially useful for those working outdoors. Quite naturally, at 500 nits the screens consume a lot of power, but the Notebook 9 laptops come batteries that have 30 Wh capacity, which is lower when compared to thin and light systems from Apple (41.4 Wh), Dell (60 Wh) and HP (38.4 Wh), but which helps to reduce weight (at the end of the day, not a lot of people have to work under direct sunlight). Samsung claims that the Notebook 7 can last seven hours on one charge, enough for office workers and even long-haul flights. As an added bonus, the Notebook 9’s monitors can display videos with HDR enhancements (the manufacturer does not reveal whether we are dealing with HDR10, but that is a likely situation).

The Notebook 9 laptops from Samsung can be equipped with up to 16 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, which is a rare option for contemporary ultra-thin laptops, many of which come with 8 GB of DRAM (but this may change in 2017). Meanwhile, when it comes to storage, Notebook 9’s SSDs top at 256 GB, but Samsung integrated a MicroSD card reader and hence road warriors may easily add storage space if needed. Connectivity-wise, Samsung’s Notebook 9 machines offer two USB Type-A, one USB Type-C as well as an HDMI port. For connectivity, a 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi + BT 4.1 wireless module is present.

The key selling points of the Samsung Notebook 9 range are their weight and dimensions: the 13” model is 13.9 mm thick, weighs 816 grams, whereas the 15” model is 14.9 mm thick, and weighs 984 grams. The laptops are thicker when compared to HP’s Spectre and Apple’s MacBook, but they are still thinner than Dell’s XPS 13. Moreover, when it comes to weight, the Notebook 9 are considerably lighter than (almost all) laptops in their class.

Comparison of Ultra-Thin Notebooks
Notebook 9 13"
Notebook 9
Dell XPS 13 HP Spectre Apple MacBook (2016)
Screen Resolution 1920×1080 with up to 500 cd/m² brightness and 95% sRGB color gamut 1920×1080 3200×1800 1920×1080 2304×1440
CPU SKU Core i5-7200U
Core i7-7500U
Core i7-7500U Core i3-7100U
Core i5-7200U
Core i7-7500U
Core i5-7200U
Core i7-7500U
Core m3-6Y30
Core m5-6Y54
Core m7-6Y75
Base 2.5 GHz 2.7 GHz 2.4 - 2.7 GHz 2.5 - 2.7 GHz 1.1 - 1.3 GHz
Boost 3.1 GHz 3.5 GHz 3.1 - 3.5 GHz 3.1 - 3.5 GHz 2.2 - 3.1 GHz
Graphics HD Graphics 620 (24 EUs) Intel HD Graphics 515 (24 EUs)
RAM 8-16 GB 8 GB 4-16 GB 8 GB 8 GB
Storage 256 GB SSD
256 GB SSD
256 GB NVMe
512 GB NVMe
256 GB SSD
512 GB SSD

256 GB SSD
512 GB SSD

PCIe 3.0 x2
Wi-Fi 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi
USB 3.1 × Type-C (unknown speed) 1 × Type-C 3 × Type-C -
3.0 2 × Type-A 2 × Type-A - × Type-C
2.0 × Type-A -
Thunderbolt - 1 × TB 3 2 × TB 3 -
HDMI 1 - -
Card Reader MicroSD SD -
Fingerprint Sensor Yes No
Other I/O Microphone, stereo speakers, audio jack
Battery 30 Wh 60 Wh 38 Wh 41.4 Wh
Thickness 13.9 mm 14.9 mm up to 15 mm 10.4 mm up to 13.2 mm
Weight 816 grams
1.8 lbs
984 grams 2.17 lbs 1.2 - 1.29 kg
2.7 - 2.9 lbs
1.10 kilograms
2.45 lbs
920 grams
2.03 lbs
Price ~$1000 ~$1200 $799+ $1100 / 256 GB
$1500 / 512 GB
$1800 / 1 TB
$1300 m3
$1600 m5
$1750 m7

Samsung did not announce MSRP or ETAs for its new Notebook 9 PCs, but it is logical to assume that the systems are set to arrive early in 2017. As for pricing, it is likely that the market segment that the manufacturer targets with the Notebook 9 family will not change with the arrival of new models, so we are looking at something like $1000+ for 13” models and something that starts at $1200 for 15” models.

In the meantime, for a limited period Amazon in the U.S. is selling out the previous-gen Samsung Notebook 9 13” (NP900X3L-K06US) for $749.99 and the Samsung Notebook 9 15” (NP900X5L-K02US) for $849.99.

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Source: Samsung

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  • SharpEars - Friday, December 23, 2016 - link

    Limited to 8GB of RAM and a 1920x1080 screen at 15"? Junk!
  • ddriver - Friday, December 23, 2016 - link

    And with that puny battery... XPS for me thanks!
  • Samus - Friday, December 23, 2016 - link

    I can't wrap my head around paying over $1000 for a high tech laptop that lacks Thunderbolt AND DisplayPort. I get that USB-C is the future but it only has one so you will need a hub or a device with a hub/passthru. And as others have mentioned, for it being a thicker machine than most others why does it have the smallest battery? 30wh? That's almost identical to the iPad Air,a 10" tablet. What the hell is in this laptop if the battery is so small!?
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, December 23, 2016 - link

    "Starts at 816 Grams"

    Strange for something like that to be in the title?
  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, December 23, 2016 - link

    When you're in this category of computing - stressing portability and mobility - battery capacity is just as important as weight. Thickness is, in my opinion, of secondary importance. Laptops exist on three dimensions so struggling and sacrificing to keep one as thin as possible doesn't make sense when the computer's other measurements remain unchanged. I still need a similar sized container to carry it. The fact that the three inch thick, padded container is 2mm thinner (or not because I don't swap laptop bags at the same rate I go through laptops, just doesn't matter very much to me. Battery capacity does though and I think Samsung et all are making something of an error in judgement by slimming down their computers to the detriment of its capabilities in the name of having a bullet point on marketing materials.
  • prisonerX - Friday, December 23, 2016 - link

    There are always people whining about things being too thin and they're always wrong. Thickness is of no utility in and of itself and thinness is an important factor in portability. The other dimensions determine screen size so they have a natural lower limit.

    Maybe you should get a one inch thick, laptop sized power brick for your three inch laptop bag. Then ask yourself why you're offended by the very existence of thin laptops. There are plenty of fat laptops, go focus on them and problem solved.
  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, December 23, 2016 - link

    I'm not sure why you've gotten so upset. I specifically disclaimed my comments as my own personal opinion about the situation. Atop that, I do agree that thickness is of no utility without offering additional capabilities (or at least, resulting in the removal of compromises made to reduce it as is the apparent case with this laptop as Samsung could easily have increased battery capacity to improve competitiveness without compromising portability). As for my own current laptops, I have a Dell Vostro 1500 and a Latitude e6400. My power supplies are about 1.5 inches thick. The Vostro is quite a monster and is the larger of the two measuring 14.1 x 10.6 x 1.7 inches and tips the scales at over 6.6 lbs. Even with a petite stature and comparatively scrawny build, I have no trouble making a cross-airport dash to pick up a tight connecting flight with it and a handbag. Though I attribute some of that to lots of exercise and a good diet, I'm pretty sure some of these buff-n-tough burly men that want skinny laptops could get through O'Hare International with my laptop bag on their shoulder as well if they wanted. So yes, my three inch thick laptop bag has been stuffed with my chunky, adorable Vostro and PSU with no problems. :3

    Instead of whining to me about my preference for laptops, why don't you go focus on people with opinions that support and affirm yours? It'd cause your little heart so much less stress since you can't seem to keep your feelings roped in and under a lid.
  • Manch - Friday, December 23, 2016 - link

    ^^^^THIS^^^^ ROTFLMFAO!!!!
  • vladx - Friday, December 23, 2016 - link

    13" model allows upto 16GB while 15" model only 8GB, wtf?
  • Samus - Friday, December 23, 2016 - link

    I don't really know why anybody except a Samsung fan boy would buy one of these over a HP Spectre or XPS 13. Boggles the mind.

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