What I’m about to review is a laptop that’s been built and marketed as an alternative to more recognisable ultrabook names, such as the Dell XPS or the ASUS ZenBook. The Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US has the features and looks to seriously give the two models I’ve mentioned a run for their money. But does it have the specs, as well?
So, I want to start my review by saying that the Samsung Notebook 9 is a beautifully crafted piece of technology. Its all-silver chassis is fully built from lightweight aluminum, giving the ultrabook a professional feel. The looks remind me more of Apple’s MacBook than other Windows competitors: simple features, clean curves and a comfortable typing experience.
Plus, we’re talking about a 15-inch device with a keyboard that stretches almost from edge to edge and a touchpad which covers almost the whole width of the palm rest, from the space bar up to the lowermost edge of the notebook.
Aesthetics apart, let’s have a look at what Samsung’s Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US has fitted inside that sexy chassis.
First off, it features a powerful Intel Core i7-7500U processor. This dual core unit has a base clock speed of 2.7 GHz and a maximum boost speed of 3.5 GHz, not to mention it sports 4 megabytes of cache. As you’d expect from a 7th generation Intel processor, performance is top notch, guaranteed by these numbers and benchmark tests.
The Intel Core i7-7500U has managed to score roughly 5200 points, give or take, according to cpubenchmark.net. This result puts it into high-end CPU territory. What’s more, you won’t need to bother thinking about replacing it anytime soon, since it’ll keep up with advancing software for at least 3 to 4 years from now on.
Now, the Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US comes with plenty of system memory for all your multitasking needs, and more. To be precise, it has 16 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM installed, which should prove sufficient for any photography professionals, for moderate video editing software, for handling large data sets and whatever tasks you may throw at it in between.
Storage capacity is “limited” at 256 gigabytes. What you lose in terms of sheer vastness of storage availability, you’ll quickly make up for it in the form of system responsiveness. Unlike traditional laptops, the Samsung Notebook 9 features a new-generation, high speed Solid State Drive storage unit, many times faster, more energy efficient and reliable than a mechanical HDD.
Graphics and Display
The good news is the Samsung NP900X5N-X01US has a dedicated graphics card installed. The bad news is that it’s an entry level model. Specifically, I’m talking about the NVIDIA GeForce 940MX GPU. Although it’s relatively better than an on-board video card, you shouldn’t expect to run many games at max settings. However, online multiplayers such as CS:GO, LoL and such will play just fine.
But the real benefits will be drawn by visual professionals on the go who rely on a bit of aid from a graphics card in their work, especially when dealing with photos, video, illustrations and so on.
The Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US has a 15″ screen with LED-Backlit Full HD (1920 x 1080) display. It’s pretty bright (350 nit with up to 450 nit in outdoor mode) and will support two extra 4K monitors via the HDMI cable and the Thunderbolt.
Interface and connectivity options
Interface options aren’t unusual for an ultrabook of this calibre. Here they are:
- 2 x USB3.0 ports
- 1 x USB2.0 port
- 1 x Thunderbolt 3 port
- 1 x HDMI port
- 1 x COMBO audio jack
The same can be said about connectivity options:
- Intel Wireless-AC 8260 WLAN
- Bluetooth 4.1
Portability and battery life
The Samsung Notebook 9 is a supremely lightweight device, especially considering the fact that it features a 15-inch screen, and not 12″ or 13.3″ like we see on models that weigh around the same as this one. So, if physical size isn’t an issue, the lack of weight will surprise even the most iffy of users.
Battery life is also impressive and helps support the idea that the Samsung NP900X5N-X01US is a ultraportable device that should be used primarily on the go. A full charge will last up to 12 hours of moderate use, enough for the longest of international transcontinental flights. If this isn’t a great selling point, I don’t know what is.
All things considered, I must draw the following conclusion: the Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US is a worthy competitor to the best ultrabooks on the market today thanks to its amazing blend of design, performance, features and portability stats. It reigns supreme in more than one area, but will it be enough to cement itself as a user favorite? Only time will tell.