Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US Laptop Review

Samsung continues to push the envelope on what is possible in the traditional Ultra-book category with the release of the Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US. A laptop that weds the best qualities seen on the HP Spectre x360 and Dell XPS 15 and goes further to weigh less. The 15-inch laptop is powered by the Newest 7th generation Core i7 processor and 16GB DDR4 RAM. It comes along with a 256 GB Solid state drive and has a NVIDIA GeForce 940MX GPU.

The Notebook comes out as a traditional ultra-book without the much hyped touchscreen neither is it a convertible laptop. The laptop is thin, light with plenty of ports for all your connectivity purposes and its design seems to work too well for productivity and business. It fits into the life of students, businesspeople and professionals after a portable device for handling day to day tasks.

Design

The Notebook 9 15 sports an all-new design with rounded corners and edges that give the device a more uniform and symmetric look. The laptop is clad in a silver chassis that Samsung refers to “Light Titan” that strikes more similarity to the Apple MacBook. The light titan metal is great since it does not show any dirt or leave fingerprints thus making it quite a clean machine to hang around with.

The metal is also very thin in what appears to be a combination of metal and plastic layered together. The notebook measures 9.03 x 13.7 x 0.61 inches and weighs in at 2.73 pounds thus making it a very light companion to carry all day. It is lighter than other laptops in the competition including the HP Spectre x360 and the Dell XPS 15 that both weigh in at 4.4 pounds.

Performance

Under the hood, the notebook houses Intel’s latest 7th generation Core i7-7500U processor. It runs at a decent 2.7GHz clock speed that can reach 3.5GHz with turbo boost technology to see it through demanding tasks. There is 16 GB of DDR4 2133MHz installed memory that most folks will find more than enough. The memory is soldered on the mainboard thus dashing away the hopes of upgrading any further. This however does not demean the laptop in any way since the 16GB takes care of both the casual and power demanding user.

In terms of storage, Samsung packs a 256 M.2 solid state drive that offers fast booting speeds and loading of programs. If the storage space won’t be enough for you, then you can upgrade to a much bigger SSD. Important to note that is the fact that it should be a PCIe/NVMe drive since this is the type that Samsung uses in this device.

When it comes to gaming, you will be able to a run a number of games in the Samsung thanks to the dedicated Nvidia GeForce 940MX embedded on this machine. The graphics card does not have the same energy like the GTX 960 but then it gets to handle games well at restricted settings and resolution. Running games such as GTA and Rise of the Tomb Raider on medium settings and a 720p resolution won’t be too much to ask. You will get over 60 frames per second, which is great for this game. If you delve into lower tier games for instance the League of Legends, the 940 MX will get to handle it seamlessly.

 

Connectivity

The Samsung has a number of connectivity options including two USB 3.0 ports and a USB 2.0 port. The inclusion of the full Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C port is a surprise and welcome feature befitting the status of this notebook. The port supports data, power, video and even external GPUs. There’s a full HDMI port for extending the display to larger screens such as monitors and HDTVs to enjoy watching your videos and Movies. There is a MicroSD slot that you could use to expand your storage or better still get to transfer your photos from Camera memory sticks.

The light and thin profile is a clear indication that you won’t get a CD/DVD burner drive. Going for the external Optical drive seems to be inevitable if you want to use your discs in this laptop. Seemingly reading from the MacBook pro script, there is no RJ-45 port for networking. You will however find an Intel wireless AC 8260 with support for 2×2 802.11ac standard and Bluetooth 4.1. The adapter is capable of long range and high speeds for better internet connectivity.

Display

The Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US comes with a screen that is exactly 15.0 inches which is a departure from the usual 15.6-inches in most screens. The display features a 1920×1080 resolution, a standard screen that we all expected in this type of a laptop. It supports In Plane Switching Technology that offers wide viewing angles and accurate colors.

Additionally, the screen has an anti-glare coating and around 400nits brightness that makes it a good match for out-door. If you have been accustomed to touchscreen displays, then this notebook will disappoint you as it is not touchscreen enabled. Most people who have used touchscreen won’t be comfortable with this plan, me included, despite the goodies the laptop comes with.

The display has a high-dynamic-range (HDR) setting that pushes the display contrast higher, thus making it a nice companion for watching videos, movies and viewing photos. The bezels on this laptop are very thin with the top bezel being slightly thicker to accommodate the 720p webcam. The 720p webcam is below our expectations given that Samsung has a reputation in making good cameras.

The cam is good for security purposes when the Security Cam option is at work as it gets to snap a photo of anyone who tries to log into your PC.  Another notable feature is the smooth hinge on this laptop that is easy to open and close. The hinge open up to 180 degrees making it possible for the notebook to lay flat.

Other Features

The keyboard is a backlit with a yellow-green color that will work well for you in dim environments. The keys on the keyboard feel a bit slippery considering the fact that it is metal. The chiclet design, key return and smooth travel on the keyboard makes it to be among the best keyboards in the market. The build-up quality and design here almost meets the standard keyboards seen on highly placed devices such as the Microsoft surface book and the HP Spectre x360. The trackpad in this Samsung is a sight to behold, it is large and smooth with an impressive click and it is not too loud or too deep.

Samsung introduces an all-metal fingerprint reader that is located at on the keyboard deck right below the vertical Home key row. The fingerprint scanner is located in a strategic position that makes it easy to differentiate it from other keys. This is a welcome feature that other netbooks should get to bring on-board.

There are two 1.5W speakers placed on the bottom side of the laptop, near the front that offers adequate sound. The speakers do not bring anything new into the mix but then they get to offer you all the much needed sound that could be said to be better in such a thin and light device.

The battery packed on the Samsung is an impressive 66WHr battery that can offer up to 10 hours of usage time. The HP Spectre x360 15 packs a larger 79WHr battery that pushes the weight of this laptop higher. Samsung could have packed a larger battery since there is some free space in the device but then that could have made the netbook heavier.

Conclusion

The Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US is a decent ultraportable notebook that offers a powerful performance. The system packs a strong 7th generation Intel Core i7-7500U processor and a massive 16 GB DDR4 RAM. The 256 GB SSD included in the device wraps up the goodies on-board. The 15-inch screen is a departure from what we have seen in other laptops that come with 15.6, and the 1920x1080p resolution is great.

The laptop can also get to handle some gaming with the presence of a 940MX graphics, but I wish it packed more of a punch for gaming enthusiasts. Typing on this device is excellent with a precision trackpad and the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner and its overall design makes the machine a good bet for 2017. All said, the Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US could be a great way to spend your money if you are after a superlight, thin and powerful Ultrabook.

Check out the Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US at Amazon