PROS / The Notebook 9 Spin has lightweight and a convertible design.
CONS / With Intel integrated graphics, the laptop is best suited to web browsing and media streaming.
VERDICT / The Samsung Notebook 9 Spin offers solid performance and has a lightweight, versatile design.
The Samsung Notebook 9 Spin proves that the best ultrabooks can be the best tablet PCs, too, with a convertible 2-in-1 design that adds tablet functionality to a very good ultraportable laptop. With its combination of long battery life, solid performance and a high-quality display, the Notebook 9 Spin is one of the best touchscreen ultrabooks available, and the addition of a 360-degree hinge just makes it more versatile. It earns our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
Specs & Performance
The Notebook 9 Spin is outfitted with an Intel Core i7-6500U processor. Clocked at 2.5GHz, it’s one of the latest dual-core mobile CPUs available. This is paired with 8GB of memory, and it utilizes Intel HD Graphics 520, an integrated graphics solution that uses the processor to render visuals instead of a dedicated video card. Storage is also right in line with the competition, with a 256GB solid-state drive. The Notebook 9 Spin comes with Windows 10 Home.
All of this hardware is fairly standard ultrabook fare, though the use of a Core i7 processor does give it an edge. In Geekbench 3 the convertible ultrabook scored 6,914 points, one of the best scores seen in our testing. It also did fairly well in Laptop’s Spreadsheet Performance test, completing the test in four minutes and 45 seconds. Its graphics performance wasn’t quite as impressive, scoring just 37,000 points in 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited and 837 points in 3DMark Fire Strike, but it’s more than sufficient for the average user who wants to stream videos and maybe edit a few photos.
Design & Construction
As an ultrabook, the Notebook 9 Spin is marked by a slim design that measures 12.39 x 8.69 x 0.59 inches and weighs just 2.98 pounds. It’s one of the thinnest models we reviewed – many competitors measure thicker than 0.6-inch – and on the lighter end of the spectrum at less than 3 pounds. With a tested battery life of more than nine hours, it’s quite portable. It’s also flexible, thanks to a 360-degree hinge. This hinge lets the notebook open up into a laptop or open further, flipping the display around for tablet functionality. Whether you use it as a laptop or a tablet, the Notebook 9 Spin is quite well made, with a sturdy aluminum chassis.
The laptop features a 13.3-inch touchscreen with 3200 x 1800 resolution, matching the top resolution available on any model we reviewed. It’s also bright, with an average screen brightness of 350 nits, and has good color accuracy with an average DeltaE rating of 4.3.
On the left side of the laptop is an HDMI output, a single USB 3.0 port and a headset audio jack. On the right side are two additional USB 3.0 ports and a microSD card slot. The decision to use microSD instead of a full-size SD card slot is slightly inconvenient, since there’s no way to convert from a larger to smaller format, leaving anyone with a full-size SD card in need of an extra USB adapter. For wireless connectivity, the Notebook 9 Spin has both 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.
Help & Support
Samsung covers the Notebook 9 Spin with a standard one-year warranty, which is par for the course for consumer ultrabooks. Samsung’s overall tech support is quite good, ranking third out of 10 brands in Laptop Mag’s independent testing by providing helpful advice via phone and the web. The company also offers a premium support program called Samsung Plus, which has such niceties as video chat help, discounts on repairs and even express device replacement service for some members. Membership requires registering your product and is tiered based on how many Samsung products you have registered.
The Samsung Notebook 9 Spin ranks among the top ultrabooks you can buy thanks to a slim and flexible 2-in-1 ultrabook design, powerful performance and decent battery life. If you want a laptop that lasts all day and does double duty as a tablet, it’s a great alternative to our top-rated system.