Samsung refreshes Notebook 9 Windows 10 laptops -- insanely light with Kaby Lake processors

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If you want a thin and light laptop, Apple is usually the way to go. Its computers are designed to be both durable and beautiful while also being very svelte. Windows laptops, however, have historically been more heavy and made of cheap plastic with a focus on affordability -- beauty and skinniness be damned.

Lately, computers running Microsoft's operating system have been much nicer -- sometimes giving Apple a run for its money. The Surface Book, for instance, is a work of art. Today, Samsung refreshes its Notebook 9 laptops with a focus on being extremely portable -- very thin and light. In fact, it is lighter than the 2016 MacBook Pro -- holy cow. Unlike Apple's newest laptops -- which run the older 6th generation Skylake processors -- Samsung's machines have the latest-and-greatest 7th gen Kaby Lake Core i5 and i7 processors.

The 13.3-inch Notebook 9 weighs in at an insanely light 1.8 pounds. Its bigger brother at 15 inches is hardly obese -- it is an impressive 2.17 pounds. Samsung promises both will get about 7 hours battery life. This is decent, but hardly class-leading. In comparison, the newest MacBook Pro can get up to 10 hours. The Notebook 9 can be full charged in 80 minutes, however.

Samsung Notebook 9 is full of cutting edge features that are essential nowadays. It has a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello -- meaning you can log into Windows 10 without needing to remember a password. USB-C is here, of course, future-proofing the machine for years to come. The memory is DDR4 and an NVMe SSD is available.

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Unfortunately, the configurations are a bit odd. The 15-inch model can be configured with fast 256GB NVMe SSD, but it is limited to 8GB of RAM. The 13.3-inch variant can get up to 16GB of RAM with the Core i7 processor, but it is limited to a 256GB SATA SSD. In other words, you cannot get a Notebook 9 with both 16GB RAM and an NVMe drive. Weird.

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Samsung shares the specs below.

  Samsung Notebook 9 (15-inch) Samsung Notebook 9 (13.3-inch)
OS WINDOWS 10 Home WINDOWS 10 Home
PROCESSOR  7TH GEN INTEL CORE i7 7TH GEN INTEL CORE i5/i7
DISPLAY 15.0″, 350nit, FHD (1,920X1,080), 178°, LR, sRGB 95% Delta E<2.5, Outdoor mode (500 nits), Video HDR 13.3”, 350nit, FHD (1,920X1,080), 178°, LR, sRGB 95% Delta E<2.5, Outdoor mode (500 nits), Video HDR
GRAPHICS SHARED SHARED
STORAGE PCIe NVMe, up to 256GB SSD SATA3 SSD, up to 256GB SSD
MEMORY DDR4 dual channel, up to 8GB (on board) DDR4 dual channel, up to 8GB for i5, up to 16GB for i7 (on board)
WIRELESS 802.11 ac 2X2 802.11 ac 2X2
BLUETOOTH Bluetooth 4.1 Bluetooth 4.1
SOUND 1.5W X 2 SPEAKERS 1.5W X 2 SPEAKERS
INTEGRATED CAMERA 720p 720p
MIC Internal Dual Array Digital Mic Internal Dual Array Digital Mic
KEYBOARD 1.5mm stroke, backlit, curved keycap, fingerprint sensor 1.5mm stroke, backlit, curved keycap, finger print sensor
I/O PORTS 2XUSB 3.0, 1XUSB 2.0, 1XUSB-C, HDMI, MicroSD, HP/Mic 2XUSB 3.0, 1XUSB-C, HDMI, MicroSD, HP/Mic
AC ADAPTER  45W small adaptor 45W small adaptor
DIMENSIONS 347.9 X 229.4 X 14.9mm 309.4 X 208 X 13.9mm
WEIGHT 2.17lbs 1.8lbs
BATTERY 30Wh, Fast Charging, External Battery Charging 30Wh, Fast Charging, External Battery Charging

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Both display sizes are limited to 1080p, which is disappointing -- especially on the 15-inch variant. The displays have a very-bright 500 nits, however, and support HDR. Samsung's machines also have HDMI and USB Type-A for those that still need it, though -- Apple's newest laptops require dongles for that.

What laptop would you rather have -- Notebook 9 13 or 15? Tell me in the comments.

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