Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review

The best 2-in-1 laptop we’ve seen this year

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Editor's Choice
Benchmarks

Here’s how the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (15-inch) performed in our suite of benchmark tests

3DMark Sky Diver: 8,780; Time Spy: N/A; Fire Strike: 2,495
Cinebench CPU: 319 points; Graphics: 73 fps
Geekbench 4 Single-Core: 4,488; Multi-Core: 8,716
PCMark 8 Home: 3,331
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 2 hours and 48 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 8 hours and 23 minutes

The Notebook 9 Pro won’t disappoint the average user, offering more than suitable performance for the student or home user with its Core i7 processor and AMD graphics. 

You can even expect to game moderately well, though don’t expect to get much further than games like World of Warcraft or Hearthstone.

With 16GB of DDR4 memory, you can expect to be able to multitask particularly well, with room for plenty of browser tabs in there. As we’ve said before, the touchscreen delivers as well, with snappy response to the stylus and facial login via Windows Hello is speedy.

This laptop seems to prioritize getting to whatever it is that you’re doing quickly, and in style, above most other factors. That’s where Samsung’s smart economic decision making came into play, opting for Full HD 1080p rather than 4K screen resolution, for instance.

Decisions like these not only helped the Notebook 9 Pro outperform the Spectre x360, competing against its own 4K display essentially, in graphics, but also in longevity.

Battery life

We saw varying battery life scores from the Notebook 9 Pro in our two tests, providing testament to how much they should be trusted. While the Samsung laptop came in an hour short of the HP device in our PCMark 8 battery test, the Notebook 9 Pro smoked its rival in battery life by nearly three hours in our own video playback test.

Beyond that, we’ve found general use to sit between 6 to 8 hours. This could in part be thanks to battery-saving improvements Microsoft introduced to Windows 10 with the Creators Update just this past spring, after the Spectre x360 was reviewed. Meanwhile, the indomitable 15-inch MacBook Pro boasts a much-closer 7 hours and 45 minutes.

Still, this battery outlasts both, and even supports fast charging through the laptop’s USB-C port. In our book, those are the makings of a winner.

We liked

Samsung truly is cramming a lot of value into this package for the price point, remaining well competitive with rivals while providing much of the same power and panache as a MacBook Pro for far less. We also appreciate the laptop’s long battery life and bevy of ports new and old, namely the combination of USB-C and USB 3.1 as well as microSD support. The screen is also rich in color and just sharp enough.

We disliked

While it’s not a knock against the S-Pen, we prefer our styluses a little weightier, though, not having to charge is a huge plus. We just wish that, with rather ample space, the speakers could have been better positioned. And, if we’re really nitpicking, the bottom bezel on the display is a little thick for our tastes.

Final verdict

We may not be huge fans of hybrid laptops of this size, Samsung has done it so well that we may well be converts. Awfully competitive with close rivals and taking the 15-inch MacBook Pro to task, the 15-inch Samsung Notebook 9 Pro should be on your list of go-to 15-inch laptops.

Should you never turn the laptop 360 degrees via its gorgeous, sturdy hinges, you can still appreciate so much power and convenience from this machine. It’s for that reason that we’ve deemed the Notebook 9 Pro worthy of our Editor’s Choice Award.