Samsung Notebook 7 Spin review

A just-fine 2-in-1 laptop from Samsung

Samsung Notebook 7 Spin

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As expected, the quad-core nature of the Intel processor within the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin helps it keep up with nearly everything but the most extreme computing tasks. This laptop will do just fine for the average user or general student, but won’t be able to cope when it comes to video rendering and intense spreadsheet work.


Here’s how the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark SkyDiver: 4,514 ; Fire Strike: 1,112; Time Spy: 401
Cinebench CPU: 490 cb; Graphics: 49 fps
Geekbench 4 Single-Core: 4,086; Multi-Core: 12,817
PCMark 8 Home: 3,091
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 4 hours and 35 minutes
TechRadar Battery Life Test: 6 hours and 58 minutes

That said, the Notebook 7 Spin was able to outclass both the Lenovo Yoga 720 and the Google Pixelbook in our benchmark tests. The former is no big surprise given its older processor, but we expected a little more from the best Chromebook ever made.

This goes to show how much of a leap the 8th generation of Intel Core processors has been for laptops that have adopted them – even when comparing a 7th-gen Core i7 Y series chip against an 8th-gen Core i5 U series CPU. In short, just about anything that the Pixelbook or Yoga 720 can do, the Notebook 7 Spin can do better.

But, for the general public, that difference isn’t going to manifest itself. Also, don’t expect to play many games on this laptop beyond the casual distraction. Whereas last year’s model’s Nvidia graphics could withstand somewhat more advanced games, this model will not.

Samsung Notebook 7 Spin

Battery life

Luckily, we’ve found the Notebook 7 Spin to display some rather wonderful battery life figures. Numbers like that translate to a laptop that will last you throughout any continental US or Australian flight and across most, if not all, of western Europe.

The Google Pixelbook actually beat out the Notebook 7 Spin by just short of an hour, and the Yoga 720 by mere minutes, so we’ll call this one a draw. We chalk this up to the Pixelbook’s Y-series processor dealing with a super sharp screen in Google’s case – otherwise it would have lasted even longer than Samsung’s laptop here.

All in all, this is a battery that you can rely on lasting throughout most trips without emergency charging sessions. That said, we would have loved to have seen fast charging on this laptop, but alas that was not to be.

Samsung Notebook 7 Spin

Features and software

The Samsung Notebook 7 Spin isn’t spoilt for choice when it comes to features to discuss, but a few come to mind. Namely, this model comes with a fingerprint sensor embedded into the side-mounted power button on the laptop.

Setting up the sensor is made dead easy through Windows 10, and we’ve had no issues getting it to work on repeat uses. Logging in is that much faster through this method, so much so that we’d have trouble going back to lame old passwords.

As for software, Samsung puts up two honestly paltry apps: Voice Note and Studio Plus. The former is a voice recorder built into the operating system using the otherwise lame 480p webcam’s far field microphone for better voice recording. We could see this coming in handy in meetings and classrooms, but beyond that doesn’t bring much to the table.

The latter, Studio Plus, is a simplified way of creating your own videos featuring your media assets. Microsoft is already doing work in this area that’s more integrated with Windows 10 than this app, so there’s not much use for it.

Samsung Notebook 7 Spin

We liked

The keyboard on this laptop is one of its surprise marquee features, already coming in as one of the best we’ve used this year. We also appreciate the fingerprint sensor login using Windows Hello, and the battery life is top notch here.

We disliked

The fact that this laptop costs what it does and doesn’t include a stylus in the box, much less inside the system, is an oversight. We also aren’t fans of the fuzzy, 480p webcam, which has no place on a system of this caliber. 

Samsung Notebook 7 Spin

Final verdict

The fact that this laptop has changed so drastically year over year – in that it got smaller and has weaker graphics – and the price hasn’t budged a bit is not lost on us. Not to mention that the sub-HD webcam remains, and that the supported stylus isn’t included in the box much less the device itself.

However, the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin makes up for these shortcomings in presenting itself as an easily useful and usefully easy 2-in-1 laptop on a daily basis. The keyboard is a delight to type on, the screen is fantastic (but nothing revolutionary) and the laptop lasts nearly an entire working day on a single charge.

All told, we would be just fine if someone were to tell us that this is the only laptop we’re allowed to use for a year. While that’s not worthy of one of TechRadar’s coveted editorial awards, we’d say that’s fine praise for Samsung’s first laptop of 2018.

Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.