Convertible laptops have been refined down to a science because their awkward first steps on the market a couple of years back, and Samsung is probably most representative of this. The firm’s Notebook 9 Guru is the ideal example of meteoric improvement we have seen in awhile.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Review, the newest Notebook 9 Guru is a semi automatic 2-in-1 laptop, far removed from the traditional trappings of the previous generation. Rather, the electronics company has chosen to keep things simple with one configuration for both versions while focusing its energy on integrating its S-Pen technology and Air Command software.
The results are still an economically-configured, stylish all-metal laptop sporting a number of Samsung’s latest touchscreen and stylus technology. Frankly, we are so impressed by the device’s appearance and capacity despite its price and specs that we’ve granted the Notebook 9 Pro our Editor’s Choice Award.
Price and availability
Samsung has smartly specced and priced the Notebook 9 Guru to be cheap. The 15-inch version we’ve reviewed — its just configuration — costs $1,299 (about #1,000, AU$1,720). (The 13-inch version goes for $1,099 [approximately #850, AU$1,460].)
For the list of components you see here, that’s quite the bargain in contrast to, say, HP’s 15-inch hybridvehicle, the HP Spectre x360 15. To wit, it includes an HP Active Pen stylus, although its variant isn’t built into the notebook’s framework and requires a AAAA battery.
Meanwhile, the 15-inch MacBook Pro costs almost twice as much at $2,399 (Number2,349, AU$3,499) for a sharper-still display, the 2,880 x 1,800 Retina display backed by marginally more powerful Radeon Pro 555 graphics. Plus, facial login and also a touchscreen on the Samsung hybrid vehicle are stand-ins for Apple’s Touch ID and the Touch Bar, respectively.
For the function and form the Notebook 9 Pro achieves with smart, economic choice in parts, we’d say it is a far better bargain than the Apple laptop for the general consumer, and butts heads fairly closely with HP’s device.
The Notebook 9 Pro builds upon Samsung’s new approach to laptop design that’s a bit more uniform and nearer to how it assembles its own phones. The end outcome is much more curvature than ever in the lid and keyboard deck, an outward silver sheen bedecked by a carbon-colored metal on the interior.
Samsung managed to achieve beautifully thin bezels on the screen’s sides, squeezing a 15-inch diagonal display within a 13.67-inch-wide framework. Likewise, the laptop measures only 1.7cm (0.67 inches) thin and weighs 1.7kg (3.79 pounds).
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Battery Review, with lots of room for the enormous trackpad. Despite the distance, Samsung opted for more spacing between the well-backlit keys over an numeric keypad.
Instead, additional space is given to webpage control keys as well as arrow keys, meanwhile the speakers are relegated to under the base. You’ll find plenty of punch in those curved keys, and the smallest curve for their face.
The screen is as color-rich as some of Samsung’s smartphone displays, making the absolute most of its comparatively just-satisfactory resolution of 1080p. Samsung also calls this type of RealView display, able to glow at 350 nits brightness in normal mode and up to 450 nits in outside mode.
This makes it much easier to see your work or play in the sunlight, though it’s still a shiny panel, which makes warmth an inherent annoyance. That said, games and movie look brilliant on the screen, as do doodles in the Samsung Air Command app.
Speaking of which, the addition of the S-Pen here is fairly smart, with a slot for the stylus inserted into the ideal side of the bottom in the lip. Unlike electronic pens, it requires no charging, and nonetheless, offers up to 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity in addition to tilt controllers. This stylus is competitive with Microsoft’s latest Surface Pen, which weighs twice as much and requires a battery to get the exact same basic functions save for a applications eraser and deeper Windows controls.
Drawing the S-Pen out of its sheath automatically conjures a radial menu of alternatives from in which the Action Center appears. This can be called Air Command, and the options available include Create Note, View All Notes, Smart Select, Screen and Show Window.
The first option is a notetaking app similar to OneNote, called Samsung Notes, though much simpler than Microsoft’s version. It provides various ink types and colours … and not much more. At least you can save and share those notes in addition to draw over existing image files.
Smart Select is a much more effective tool, enabling you to use the S-Pen to extract rectangular or oval-shaped screenshots, and can even read text from said image and extract it into another file. Even better, the tool can create GIFs by framing a recording distance on your favourite video clips no matter the source.
Screen Write simply captures a screen and allows you to doodle on it, while Show Window allows you to pick which windows are shown on which displays in multi-screen environments.
All in all, it’s a robust stylus that feels perfectly mild and quick. Digital ink doesn’t lead a lot of whilst drawing and writing, thanks in part to strong screen response. While we prefer the “truer” eraser from the Surface Pen, we’ll take the button-based one about the S-Pen for its enhanced portability and enjoyable features.
The Notebook 9 Pro won’t disappoint the average consumer, offering more than suitable performance for your student or home user with its Core i7 chip and AMD graphics.
You may even expect to game moderately well, though don’t expect to have much further than games like World of Warcraft or Hearthstone.
With 16GB of DDR4 memory, you can expect to have the ability to multitask particularly well, with space for lots of browser tabs in there. As we have said before, the touchscreen delivers too, with snappy result of the stylus and facial login through Windows Hello is speedy.
This laptop seems to prioritize getting to whatever it is that you are doing quickly, and in fashion, above the majority of other factors. That is where Samsung’s smart economic choice making came into play, choosing Full HD 1080p rather than 4K screen resolution, for example.
We watched varying battery life scores in the Notebook 9 Pro in our two evaluations, providing testament to just how much they ought to be trusted. While the Samsung laptop came within an hour short of the HP device within our PCMark 8 battery evaluation, the Notebook 9 Pro acquired its rival in battery lifetime by almost three hours at our own video playback test.
Beyond that, we have discovered general use to sit down between 6 to 8 hours. This could in part be thanks to battery-saving improvements Microsoft introduced into Windows 10 using the Creators Update only this past spring, after the Spectre x360 was reviewed.
However, this battery outlasts both, and even supports rapid charging through the notebook’s USB-C port.
Samsung truly is cramming a great deal of value within this package because of its price point, remaining well competitive with rivals while supplying much of the same power and panache as a MacBook Pro for much less. We also appreciate the notebook’s long battery life and bevy of vents new and old, specifically the combination of USB-C and USB 3.1 as well as microSD support. The display is also rich in color and just sharp .
While it’s not a knock against the S-Pen, we favor our styluses a little weightier, however, not needing to control is a massive plus. We just wish that, with quite ample space, the speakers might have been better positioned. And, if we are really nitpicking, the bottom bezel on the screen is somewhat thick for our tastes.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Review, Samsung has done it so well that we might well be shaky. Awfully aggressive with close rivals and taking the 15-inch MacBook Pro to work, the 15-inch Samsung Notebook 9 Pro ought to be on your list of removable 15-inch laptops.
In case you not turn the notebook 360 degrees via its stunning, sturdy hinges, then you’re still able to enjoy so much power and advantage from this machine. It’s for that reason that we’ve recognized the Notebook 9 Pro worthy of our Editor’s Choice Award.