Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (NP940X3M-K01US) Review

     
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New products for the 2-in-1 laptop market are added on a frequent basis. People are always looking for ways to make their life easier, and it’s something these convertible laptops seem to be capable of doing – rather well. Thew new Samsung Notebook 9 Pro NP940X3M-K01US promises laptop-tablet functionality, plenty of performance and even some gaming capacities in one package. Let’s see if there’s any substance to back up these claims; in the end, whether the laptop is worth your money or not.

Fine Performance for Day to Day Computing and More

Ensuring lag-free use for most cases, the laptop has the Intel Core i7-7500U processor running the show. The chip dates back to late 2016, but it’s still a member of Intel’s latest 7th generation family (which is rad, by the way). In a nutshell, this processor is a dual-core unit with 2.7GHz clock speed, with 3.5GHz turbo boost aiding in the process. The letter “U” in the end means ultra low voltage; indeed, a TDP (Thermal Design Power) is just 15W, meaning the chip uses only a little energy.

The Samsung’s memory is configured on the mainboard, which unfortunately means non-upgradeable memory. Nonetheless, you are free to use the 8GB DDR4 RAM it has, to the maximum. Eight gigabytes, in general, is good for anyone – including gamers and most power users. And do not forget it’s DDR4 which is faster than the older DDR3 you might be used to.

The storage comes from a 256GB solid-state drive, hooked to M.2 SATA3 port. Windows installation will take its toll, you will be left with around 230 gigabytes free space in reality. In this laptop, the M.2 slot supports also NVMe/PCIe drives as far as I know. Thus, feel free to upgrade to a faster or bigger solid-state drive if you want.

Is the Screen Beautiful to Look at? Should Be!

The notebook is thin and light, a big thanks for that goes to the 13.3 inches display. It’s not huge, but enough for productivity use and certainly great for traveling and tight spots. The resolution is nothing less than 1920×1080, with aspect ratio being 16:9 for Full HD. The brightness stands at 350 nits which makes it quite bright, so good for outdoors as well. Touchscreen support is included too, and the system comes with a pen you can use the display with.

A laptop this petite has hardly any extra space inside. Thus, a dedicated (= more space-taking) graphics card is quite impossible to include on the mainboard. This problem is “solved” by using integrated (= very little) graphics engine, called Intel HD 620 in this model. Many scoff at such integrated graphics; perhaps rightfully so, although for low-level gaming they can work rather well. In general, as long as you don’t use too high in-game settings, you will thrive and prosper with your gaming efforts.

Hands-on Video

Keep it Connected Through USB-C

As most laptops today, also Samsung Notebook 9 Pro NP940X3M-K01US sports USB-C port. If you don’t know what it is, the USB-C is a reversible port promised to fix many problems the previous USB versions had (read more from this article if you are interested). The port supports up to 5Gbps data transfer rates and also 4K display out. Furthermore, the notebook can be charged through the USB-C port. There are still two regular USB 3.0 ports backing you up in case you prefer the tried and tested method.

To get Internet access, the laptop offers Intel 8265D2W wireless adapter. It supports the 802.11ac standard, with 2×2 wireless antenna and Bluetooth 4.1 adapter both. As you might guess, Gigabit RJ-45 port wouldn’t be available, but that is the case with most of today’s notebooks – everything has moved to Internet, precisely to wireless Internet.

DVD burner is not available on this unit. Most laptops in 2017 don’t have it anymore, for the reason mentioned above. However, you are not out of luck as external DVD burner can be plugged in no problem.

A Few Other Things To Ponder

As a reminder, the system unit is lightweight. With battery, it weighs 2.9 pounds and the thickness is 0.63 inches, so this is not your typical desktop replacement laptop but much smaller one.

Indeed, also traveling would be feasible, as battery life on these convertible models is usually great. It has a 4-cell 54Wh battery unit, with manufacturer-announced 11.5 hours life – which is always way off reality by the way. A few user reports talked about ~8 hours duration, while one said six hours is what he could get. Anyway, getting above 7 hours is quite a good achievement I’d say.

Backlight keyboard is available, it stays in one color but can be toggled on and off.

Pros:
Competes with MacBook - Yes, those Apple products are known for high quality and performance; exactly the features this notebook also possesses. In a nutshell, this Samsung will feel snappy to use, having a i7 processor goes a long way for keeping things running nice and smooth.

Bright screen - Luckily the manufacturer upped the nits on this display, making the screen bright and thus suitable for outdoors use. Many users have noted this, saying the screen indeed has a great picture quality.

Cons:
Not best for gaming - The problem with 2-in-1 models, throughout their short history, has been the lack of space for graphics cards. Hence, you can not expect them to do a great job when it comes to gaming (but you can still play games with low requirements, such as CS: Go and even GTA 5 to some extent).

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro NP940X3M-K01US is not the cheapest 2-in-1 convertible laptop you can buy, not at all. But the reason for this is well justified: the notebook in question sports solid performance, thanks to the Intel’s 7th generation i7 processor and SSD. Continuing the list of advantages, the display should be bright with many users commenting the screen is one of the best things in this laptop in general. If something negative was to be said, it would be questionable gaming performance but this is what you will face in any non-gaming laptop, really. If you want MacBook-like quality in something else than a Mac, choosing this Samsung would be a smart move.

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