Samsung Notebook Flash promises speed and style on a budget at CES 2019

But we're not sure it can keep those promises.

Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
Expertise Laptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and drones Credentials
  • More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
Joshua Goldman
2 min read
Juan Garzon / CNET

When I first heard about the Samsung Notebook Flash, it sounded like a less expensive version of one of our favorite slim, stylish notebooks, Microsoft's Surface Laptop.

Starting at $350 (roughly £275 , AU$490), the 13.3-inch laptop is intended for students or anyone looking for a stylish, inexpensive laptop for everyday use. It'll be available in multiple colors and the keyboard deck was described as having a textile finish that sounded like the Alcantara fabric Microsoft uses on its Surface devices. I was wrong.

Samsung leans into premium designs with latest Notebook series laptops

See all photos

Samsung manufactures its own plastics and, over the years, it has experimented with various finishes and textures to those plastics. For example, its Chromebook 2 from a few years back had a plastic lid textured to look like leather and even had "stitches" around the edge.

For the Flash, Samsung used plastic that looks and feels like burlap. And while Samsung said it will be available in multiple colors, in the US it will be available in only a charcoal color for the moment, which looks a bit like concrete.


Somewhat hidden among the Flash's typewriter keys is a fingerprint reader. 

James Martin

Then there's what's on the inside. It's running on a low-end  Intel  Celeron N4000, 4GB of memory and 64GB of eMMC flash storage. Those are the components you'd find in a similarly priced Chromebook, but this is running Windows 10 Home.

Watch this: Samsung Notebook 9 Pro, 9 Pen and Flash make premium design a priority

Trying to add some perks to the package, Samsung added faster Gigabit Wi-Fi, a fingerprint reader, a microSD slot that also takes faster, more efficient UFS cards, and a typewriter-style keyboard.

The Samsung Notebook Flash will be available on Jan. 15 from  Amazon  and directly from Samsung.

See all the best laptops from CES 2019

See all photos

CES 2019: See all of CNET's coverage of the year's biggest tech show.

CES schedule: It's six days of jam-packed events. Here's what to expect.