Samsung Notebook 9 (15-inch, 2017) review: Shockingly light, long-life laptop with some extra perks

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MSRP: $1,399.99

The Good The Samsung Notebook 9 is one of the lightest 15-inch notebooks available. It has excellent battery life as well as fast charging and can be charged via its USB Type-C port. Add a discrete graphics, spill-resistant backlit keyboard and a smooth glass Windows Precision touchpad, a fingerprint reader with Windows Hello support and a handful of cool and helpful utilities and settings.

The Bad If you're concerned with looks, this one is uninteresting. The screen moves a touch too freely. There's no touchscreen option and although its graphics are boosted above the norm, the overall performance is nothing special.

The Bottom Line It might look like a simple laptop, but Samsung's lightweight 15-inch Notebook 9 has several features that help it stand out from its ultraportable competition.

Visit for details.

8.2 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Battery 9

The first thing you'll notice about the 15-inch Samsung Notebook 9 won't be until you pick it up: It weighs just 2.64 pounds (1.2 kg) by our measure. That's light for any notebook, but especially for one with a 15-inch screen. LG's slightly larger 15.6-inch Gram is the only one that beats it at 2.4 pounds. 

Unlike the LG, though, the Notebook 9 has many other features that make it a great choice as an everyday carry, not the least of which is an excellent battery life of more than 12 hours -- one of the longest we've tested. However, it is like the LG in that the design is somewhat uninspired. 

The Notebook 9's simple silver-on-silver chassis with rounded corners doesn't say "look at me" so much as "which one's mine." And although the slim bezels that frame its full HD display allow for more screen in a smaller body, they too are silver, which doesn't look nearly as nice as the edge-to-edge glass of models like the HP Spectre x360, Dell XPS 15 or even the Pro version of the Notebook 9. To be fair, those all have touchscreens and while there are a couple configurations of the Notebook 9, neither have a touchscreen. 


The 2017 Notebook 9 is more impressive than it looks.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Still, if you don't care about its somewhat bland design and the lack of a touchscreen option, there's little else not to like about this ultraportable. Even its price is fair for what you're getting: It lists for $1,400, but is available for around $100 less. (Samsung isn't currently offering this model in the UK or Australia, but that translates to roughly £1,075 or AU$1,765.) 

Samsung Notebook 9 (15-inch, 2017)

Price as reviewed $1,399.99
Display size/resolution 15-inch 1,920x1080 display
PC CPU 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U
PC memory 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz
Graphics 2GB Nvidia GeForce 940MX
Storage 256GB SSD
Networking 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.1
Operating system Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

It's all the little things

While the look of the laptop might not be too special, Samsung tucked in a number of features that certainly add to its appeal. For example, the island-style keyboard is pretty standard with just enough key travel to make it comfortable. However, it is spill resistant and the keys have a soothing greenish backlight  that comes on automatically with three brightness levels. There's also a fingerprint sensor at the bottom right of the keyboard for logging in with Windows Hello.

The glass touchpad is smooth and responsive without being jumpy, but it's also a Windows Precision pad supporting multitouch gestures. Samsung adds its own Press and Go feature to the pad, too, that lets you navigate Explorer and the Edge browser with one finger and no clicking. 

The full HD-resolution display might not have touch support, but it's otherwise excellent, with pleasing color and 350-nit brightness that can be boosted to 500 nits with an Outdoor mode (though this will totally eat your battery life). There's also a Video HDR mode that punches up the color and sharpness slightly as well as a handful of task-related modes for things like reading and photo editing.


It might be slim, but you still get a full-size HDMI output. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Then you get things like a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support that can be used to charge the laptop, connect to a network via Ethernet, transfer data at up to 40 Gbps and output to a 4K-resolution monitor. You'll also find two USB 3.0 type-A ports that support charging while the laptop sleeps, a microSD card slot, a headphone/mic jack and a full-size HDMI output.