- Graphic Design
- E-Sports Gaming
- Long Trips Away from Plug
THE SAMSUNG NOTEBOOK 9 PRO IS A PORTABLE AND POWERFUL 2 IN 1 WITH A BUILT-IN S PEN FOR CONTENT CREATION WORKLOADS.
At Computex 2017, Samsung announced the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro, their latest convertible laptop offering. The unit we tested was the 15-inch model featuring Radeon™ 540 graphics, Intel i7-7500U, 16 GB of DDR4 Memory and a 256 GB Solid State Drive.
Features like S Pen that work with Windows® Ink technology, automatic backlight display, and Samsung RealView Display technology make this a fantastic premium thin & light notebook.
- 15 Inch Convertible 2-in-1 Laptop
- 1080p Display
- S Pen Stylus
- Intel-i7 processor (7500U)
- Radeon 540 Graphics (Driver: 17.1.1)
- 16GB of DDR4 Memory
- 256 GB Solid State Drive
- Windows 10 64-bit
- 1.72 kg (3.79 lbs)
Build & Physical Features
A well-designed keyboard and track pad are an essential part of any productivity notebook and the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro delivered. I personally press hard on my keys when typing and the chiclet style keyboard felt solid and had minimal flex. For late night work sessions, the keyboard has an adjustable white backlight that automatically turns on when you head into dimly lit areas.
The track pad was intuitive to use and features gesture and multi finger shortcuts, such as two finger scrolling and pinch to zoom. Left click can be activated by pressing down anywhere on the keypad.
One feature we were drawn to is the S Pen that is tucked away just beneath the front of the laptop. Often found on Samsung mobile and tablet devices, we were happy to see it included on the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro. The S Pen was incredibly precise and responsive with pressure sensitivity and tilt detection. Draw sharp outlines by writing upright or tilt your pen to shade in the areas just like a real pencil.
On removal, a set of shortcuts instantly appeared on the screen for the user to select. Starting with the sketchpad, we were impressed at how precise the S Pen was. Pressure sensitivity and tilt are tracked, simulating real drawing and sketching. This experience is topped off with single small button on the side of the stylus for quickly erasing mistakes.
Opening up the Samsung Notebook 9 revealed a M.2 SSD and a dual fan configuration that pulls air from the bottom of the notebook with the exhaust directed out the back. The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro was virtually silent while working at my desk. The fans spooled up during gaming and heavy processing workloads, but remained barely audible unless you put your ear close to the vents. The days of loud fans on all gaming-capable notebooks are over. The M.2 SSD is upgradable if you need more than 256 GB of storage.
All essential ports can be found on the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro. One port to highlight on the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is the inclusion of USB-C with quick charge capabilities. In case you forget your charger, USB-C can keep you going.
- Power Connector
- 2x USB 3.0 Type-A
- MicroSD Slot
- USB-C (Quick Charge Ready)
- Headphone jack
All hardware is housed in an excellent lightweight chassis. I could easily move the laptop around with one hand.
The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro sports an excellent 1080p touchscreen panel with 360 degrees of motion. It can be used as a tablet or a traditional notebook. Colours are bright and sharp and features >95% sRGB coverage and colour accuracy ΔE <2.5. This accuracy was maintained across a large viewing angle. Images on the screen appeared vibrant even when viewing >45 degrees off center.
In a bright indoor office environment, we used 80 % brightness which still left additional headroom to push the display brighter when watching dark videos.
The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro features an impressive outdoor mode that can be activated by a function key directly on the keyboard. Activating outdoor mode pushes the display to 450 nits from 350 nits (indoor mode). We were able to comfortably work outside and enjoy the weather with the Notebook 9 Pro.
To measure the speed of this system I measured boot time from power up to the time my cursor no longer showed the spinning icon. My old work laptop with a HDD drive took over a minute to boot.
CrystalDisk Mark was used to measure Hard Drive Performance:
Snappy booting and opening apps can be largely attributed to the SDD. The 256 GB M.2 SSD posted strong read and write speeds. I really believe an SSD is a must-have for any productivity PC.
All tests were done on the latest driver and with the notebook plugged into the wall. For all new laptops, we recommended updating to the latest driver for the best performance.
League of Legends ran amazing and stayed above 100 fps during the game with all settings maxed out at 1080p. The IGP was not able to keep up, we recorded the fps after laning phase and the HD 620 integrated graphics never reached 90 fps and dropped below 60 fps during crucial team fights. The Radeon 540 did not have this issue and stayed above 100 fps on the rift.
The Radeon 540 had ~3X the performance of integrated graphics while running the built-in CIV 6 benchmark running DirectX® 12 on Medium Settings. The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro notebook experience allowed for smooth scrolling across large detail maps when powered by Radeon 540 graphics.
Discrete Radeon 540 graphics provided a significant performance uplift in Adobe® Photoshop® and Premiere®.
We tested by running a sequence of filters and effects in Adobe Photoshop (2017). A 4K image (300 dpi) was rotated 180 degrees, crystalized by a factor of 10, blurred using the Gaussian Blur tool by a factor of 1 pix, sharpened using the Smart Sharpen tool and rotated again by 180 degrees.
On Adobe Premiere, we tested with a 30 second 1080p mp4 video. The clip was flipped vertically, lens distortion was applied, and then a blur using the Gaussian Blur tool by a factor of 1 pix.
The battery life on the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro was outstanding. The 54 Wh battery powered the PCMark® 8 Mainstream gaming test for 2.5 hours, while a competitive laptop with 940MX graphics ran out of power after 1.9 hours. Idling with the screen on at 80% (a comfortable indoor brightness) resulted in 12 hours of run time before the notebook auto shutdown.
The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro can be charged through the USB-C port located on the left side of the laptop. If you forget your laptop charger, you can now plug into a portable battery pack or smart phone charger and continue working.
Charge time was quick on the laptop. We fully drained the battery, plugged it in and in 1 hour and 23 minutes the battery was back to 100%. The smart phone quick charger took 2 hours to charge the notebook to 50% which is enough to keep your computer running when your laptop charger is not available. Some laptops we’ve tested in the past could only be charged with compatible USB chargers. This is not a problem with the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro, find the nearest phone charger and you are good to go.
If you’re looking for a portable light weight productivity laptop the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro should be on your shortlist. The S Pen, beautiful display and discrete Radeon 540 graphics make it ideal for content creation and online gaming on the go. 16 GB of system memory and a 256 GB M.2 form factor make the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro nimble even with a dozen tabs and apps running at the same time. With excellent battery life and a beautifully bright screen; you can confidently work away from a plug for long periods of time.
|Clock Speed (Boost)||1124 Mhz|
|Peak Performance (TFLOPS)||up to 1.2|
|Memory||2 GB GDDR5|
|Memory Speed (Effective)||up to 6 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||48 GB/s|
Disclosure: This review is written by AMD employee Bryan Kong. Samsung is an AMD OEM customer.