Samsung Notebook 9 Pro preview: Flip screened laptop with built-in S Pen

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Samsung announced its latest iteration of the Notebook 9 series at Computex this year and it comes with something extra. The Notebook 9 Pro has an embedded S Pen stylus and we got to go hands-on with the device on the show floor.

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As the device was on the Microsoft stand – having first appeared on stage at the Microsoft keynote on Tuesday 30 May – some specs were missing. However, we could see that it’s a 15-inch 2-in-1 convertible with some pretty convincing power going on under the hood.

t was running on Windows 10 and is Hello capable through facial recognition. There is no fingerprint scanner though.

Inside, the CPU is an Intel Core i7-7500U with AMD’s Radeon TM 540 GPU providing the graphics. The Computex model showed 16GB of RAM, plus a 256GB SSD.

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It sports a Full-HD touchscreen and the display we saw was bright and crisp. It has a rather generous lower bezel, reasonably slim bezels on the sides and an acceptably wide upper bezel to accommodate the camera.

The most immediately notable aspect, aside from the switch to convertible format, is the addition of the S Pen – Samsung’s own peripheral which has previously only been seen on their mobile devices.

It is neatly contained in a dedicated slot on the right-hand side of the base, which we assume handles the charging aspect. We did notice that the exposed end had already been scuffed, but this is perhaps more an issue of a busy show floor than poor quality workmanship. The S Pen worked smoothly when we played around with it and, according to the Microsoft staff, supports 10 touch points. It also supports Windows Ink.

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In terms of ports, there are two USB 3.0 ports, a microSD card slot and the power button on the right-hand side.

The power button placement is a little odd – we accidentally switched the screen off a couple of times while we were handling it.

The left side has a USB Type-C port, HDMI, audio jack and a power-in slot. It wasn’t apparent if the Type-C could be used for fast charging, but we’d hope this is an option.

This is a 2-in-1 convertible and we found that the all-important hinge movement is smooth when switching into tablet mode. Overall, it handles quite well and while the weight wasn’t given at the time, it feels reasonably light enough to hold in one hand. That’s great bearing in mind that this is a 15-incher.

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The keyboard is a fairly standard affair with plastic keys and regular spacing and we found no issues in our brief test. There’s a large buttonless touchpad situated just below the keyboard too.

There are two speakers on either side of the curve of the base and we quickly popped on a spot of the KLF to test them. We were pretty disappointed with the volume and the sound quality. It’s not the worst we’d heard but it was nothing special.

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro also comes in a 13.3-inch option and we’d look forward to getting a chance to review both fully.

At present, Samsung has not announced availability or pricing.

(pocket-lint.com, https://goo.gl/u6kWrT)

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