You buy a vast and complicated 15.6-inch laptop so we can get genuine work finished faster—that means a rugged quad-core CPU and dissimilar graphics.
Samsung’s Notebook 9 Pro packs those in, afterwards adds an glorious 4K Ultra HD touchscreen and a 10Gbps USB 3.1 Type C pier to a mix. At $1,500 MSRP (available at Best Buy), it’s labelled a same as competing laptops that have fewer high-tech features. That’s a ruin of a deal.
Room to work
The Notebook 9 Pro has a classical demeanour of a Samsung laptop, with a black, anodized-aluminum framework and brushed-aluminum accents. At 4.5 pounds, this 15.6-inch cover feels plain yet is a tiny slippery, too—you’ll need to keep a good hold on it. Our examination section also had an overly unbending hinge that we had to holder on in sequence to strech a limit 140-degree observation angle, that done opening it while walking additional dangerous.
While a Notebook 9 Pro is vast during 14.75 x 9.75 inches, it’s also surprisingly thin. The spots we totalled on a physique ranged from 17mm to 18mm thick, identical to a girth of Apple’s 2014-vintage MacBook Pro 15. Dell’s XPS 15 isn’t as far-reaching nor as deep, yet it’s thicker during 19mm to 20mm.
More considerable is this laptop’s eye-catching screen. Samsung didn’t yield minute specs, yet it’s sourced from a association itself. You get a 15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) row with full 10-point touch. A unequivocally light anti-glare cloaking cuts down on reflections. The shade is rated during 350 nits, yet we totalled it a tiny over that during about 380 nits dead-center on a unit. Backlighting is unequivocally even, some-more so than on contemporaries like a Dell XPS 15 and a HP Spectre x360 15T. The backlighting does use PWM, that strobes a backlight when we revoke a brightness, for those who are supportive to shade flutter during low liughtness levels.
Samsung also includes some image-tweaking utilities such as an HDR (high-dynamic range) mode. HDR is substantially overstating a effect, yet it does a assistance with shade fact yet floating out highlights in images.
It does have to be pronounced that while high-resolution images demeanour many crook interjection to a use of a 4K UHD fortitude row instead of a cost-conscious 1920×1080 screen, we do unequivocally need get adult tighten to a shade to see it. Nevertheless, this display’s distance and fortitude make it ideal for operative on spreadsheets and in other situations where we need to see a lot of elements on a screen.
The Notebook 9 Pro comes versed with a full-size HDMI port, combo headset jack, 3 USB 3.0 Type A ports, a Kensington close port, and a USB 3.1 Type C port. From what we can tell, that USB-C pier is full 10Gbps USB 3.1, yet a doing is odd. On many laptops with USB Type C, we get USB 3.1 during possibly a full 10Gbps speed or a slower 5Gbps (what is infrequently still called USB 3.0)—or we get a Thunderbolt 3.0 pier that also supports 10Gbps USB 3.1. In this laptop, Samsung uses Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 controller yet enables usually a USB support.
Why a association would do that, I’m not sure. If Samsung went to a difficulty to confederate a pricier Intel Alpine Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controller, since not give us a full monty?
You do during slightest get 10Gbps USB 3.1 send speeds in a end, though. Using a Sandisk Extreme 900 USB drive, we totalled send rates in a 600MBps operation for review and writes by a port. That was a bit revoke than a 700MBps I’ve seen on other laptops with full Thunderbolt 3 implementations, yet it’s unequivocally improved than being stranded during 400MBps on USB 3.0-only laptops.
Under a hood
Inside a Notebook 9 Pro are a quad-core Intel Core i7-6700HQ, a GeForce GTX 950m graphics with 2GB of GDDR5, a Lite-On M.2 SATA SSD, and 8GB of DDR3/1866 RAM in dual SO-DIMM slots. That final choice is a head-scratcher, since many of a foe has changed on to DDR4 for vast Skylake laptops. But while being one era behind in memory record looks bad on paper, when you’re indeed comparing DDR4/2133 vs. DDR3/1866, there’s tiny discernible disproportion during use.
More concerning for opening fanatics is a choice of an M.2 SATA drive. Typical M.2 drives regulating a PCIe interface will strike 1.5GBps review speeds vs. a 548MBps we saw out of a Notebook 9 Pro’s Lite-On SSD. Write speeds were flattering equal, yet (at slightest according to Crystal Disk Mark 5.1.2), with a rate in a 300MBps range.
Most people assume a same partial in Laptop A gives we a same opening as Laptop B. The law is, manufacturers balance opening formed on many factors, including how many feverishness a sold complement will endure and a limit heat a laptop is authorised to reach.
This is eventually a stickiest partial for a Notebook 9 Pro. Yes, it’ll simply vanquish a vale skulls of any dual-core notebook, yet being a vast quad-core appurtenance means it unequivocally competes with other quad-core laptops. As you’ll see, it can’t utterly trade equal blows with them.
First adult is Maxon’s CineBench R15. This 3D digest benchmark is a CPU exam that thrives on CPU cores. The Notebook 9 Pro simply waves good-bye to a dual-cores, including Microsoft’s vaunted Surface Book. The problem is a disproportion between a Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (previously famous as a Book 9 Pro and still identified as that in a chart) and a Dell XPS 15. Both use a same Intel Core i7, yet opening is slower on a Samsung due to a revoke time speeds.
The good news for a Notebook 9 Pro is that a somewhat slower time speed doesn’t supplement adult to a lot on prolonged workloads. Our Handbrake 0.9.9 exam transcodes a 1920×1080 30GB MKV into a lower-resolution MP4 regulating a Android inscription profile. On a dual-core laptop, this exam takes a integrate of hours, yet a quad-cores make discerning work of it—including a Notebook 9 Pro with a revoke altogether time speed. The Dell XPS 15 is still faster, though.
The genuine problem is a graphics performance. The Notebook 9 Pro has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M dissimilar graphics chip in it. On paper, it’s not many opposite than a GeForce GTX 960M that Dell uses in a XPS 15. Both have a same memory bandwidth and volume of CUDA cores. The GTX 960M’s time speed is also about 20 percent faster. The opening gap, however, is closer to 25 percent.
It looks like Samsung motionless to keep a fan sound on a Notebook 9 Pro as unimportant as possible. Under a graphics load, a XPS 15’s fans get loud. The Notebook 9 Pro’s don’t, yet usually know that a effect is occasional slow-downs on a GPU that’s already slower than a Dell from a get-go.
This isn’t due to a form of memory used. The GeForce GTX 950M comes with an choice to use many slower DDR3 or a distant faster GDDR5 RAM, and Samsung smartly select a latter.
So since a incomparable opening tumble than expected? we motionless to pull both laptops with a complicated graphics bucket and we found a Notebook 9 Pro significantly corroborated off in opening after a few mins of use. we did this by using a Furmark woe exam while monitoring a GPU’s time speeds. When warm, it would dump off from 800MHz to 405MHz. Eventually, a Notebook 9 Pro would work a time speeds behind adult to 700MHz, yet that kind of dropoff is a tiny troubling. The Dell XPS 15, for comparison, would flattering many lay during a rated bottom speed of 1096MHz for an hour yet varying many during all.
When we supplement adult a appetite costs of a 4K Ultra HD touchscreen and quad-core chip with dissimilar graphics, you’re not going to get a laptop that will play cinema for a whole moody from Dubai to Panama. No surprise: The Notebook 9 Pro has a brief battery life, with about 260 mins of video playback. That’s substantially a lowest we’ve seen out of a laptop, yet we didn’t pattern a prolonged run with this many hardware.
I do consider Samsung should have deliberate a bigger battery, though. Dell offers a many incomparable 84-watt-hour battery ascent in some XPS 15 builds, and Apple’s MacBook Pro 15 uses a enormous 99-watt-hour battery. The Notebook 9 Pro’s battery is simply too tiny for this many hardware, and it shows.
Keyboard, trackpad, and speakers
The keyboard is spacious, with no apparent sizing or blueprint issues. we will contend underneath speed typing, it feels oppressive when a keys strike bottom, yet keyboards are a biased affair. It’s some-more critical that a keys aren’t laid out in any deal-breaking, irritating way, and Samsung doesn’t make any mistakes here.
The trackpad is a customary piano-hinge pattern that gets harder to pull nearby a top. I’d cite it to feel smoother underneath my fingertips, like on a Surface Book, yet it’s a good device otherwise.
Like a shade peculiarity and backlighting evenness, a Notebook 9 Pro also gets a curtsy for carrying a best speakers. The audio outlay on a XPS 15 and a MacBook Pro 15 are decent, yet a Notebook 9 Pro puts out a tiny some-more volume and has a fuller mid-range and low finish than a others.
Price and Conclusion
As mentioned earlier, a one area where Samsung prevails is price. A bottom Dell XPS 15 with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD will set we behind $1,500. For a same amount, a Notebook 9 Pro gives we a 4K row and hold capabilities. To get a same kind of shade on a Dell, you’ll have to flare over roughly $2,000. That Dell does give we 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a PCIe SSD, a bigger battery, and a faster GPU. You’re still out another $500, though.
Overall, a Samsung Notebook 9 Pro’s pattern seems like a compromise—perhaps a tiny too many so. It fundamentally does all well, yet doesn’t truly surpass during any one thing. The finish outcome is that this laptop fails to mount out as the 15-incher to have, notwithstanding a bells and whistles.