Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US Laptop Review

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March 31, 2017
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Samsung is the go-to brand for many people when it comes to TVs, smartphones and tablets. However, in the computer world they haven’t been that popular. Surely their products sell, but competitors such as Dell and HP sell even more. Nonetheless, some quality laptops have been recently released from their camp. One of them, the Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US, looks extremely promising choice for high-end users. Supporting this claim are the few positive reviews it has already gained – let’s see what my verdict will be…

Design

Going by looks, Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US is full of professionalism. The shell has a neat silver/grey finish, the material is magnesium alloy. The weight of this unit is a mere 2.73 pounds with the standard battery. Comparing to regular 15-inch laptops weighing +5 pounds, you can see how lightweight the Samsung is. Moreover, the thickness is just 0.61″, way less than an inch. The computer is hardly going to take any space in your bag.

First impressions on performance

The processor is a member of Intel’s latest 7th generation family, the Core i7-7500U. Having been released in the late 2016, it runs at a decent 2.7GHz clock speed with 3.5GHz turbo boost aiding the system in tight spots. The typical TDP (Thermal Design Power) hovers around 15 watts which is not much. This partly contributes to the long-lasting battery on this model. One of the more popular benchmarks, the CPU Mark, gives the processor ~5300 points. This translates to upper mid-range performance in the laptop processor hierarchy.

Your storage needs are taken care by the 256GB M.2 solid-state drive. It uses the PCIe/NVMe technology which offers better transfer rates than the traditional SATA. The drive is upgradeable so you’ll be able to put in a bigger SSD – provided it’s a PCIe/NVMe drive as well. The storage sizes on those drives go up to 1TB so space will not be a limiting factor.

The 16GB of RAM is a great amount for anybody. Especially when it’s the DDR4 2133MHz type like here. But a small downside, all of it is soldered on the mainboard. You won’t be able to upgrade it, there are no free slots available. Nonetheless, 16GB is a lot, it suffices from casual users to gamers to serious multitaskers.

Video review

Any good for gaming?

Ultrabooks, even in this price range, are often considered as bad apples for gaming. But I tell you what, Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US is somewhat different. It features Nvidia GeForce 940MX which happens to be a dedicated graphics card! It is not in the same league than the top GTX 960 and above cards, but by restricting settings and resolution you’ll find the 940MX useful for most games. Ideally, you would be running games like GTA 5 on medium settings and 720p resolution, getting over 60 frames per second. Lower tier games, such as League of Legends and sports games, would possess no challenge for the 940MX card anyway.

Connections and ports

Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US is not your typical ultrabook in the ports department either. It has many connections, but that is admittedly due to the larger 15-inch size. In total you are going to find four USB ports here, two being regular USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0. Also USB Type-C is located on the side, it supports 4K display and also charging of the laptop. On top of that, a regular HDMI-out is provided. You can thus connect an external monitor to the notebook no problem.

Memory cards can be used, but you are limited to microSD cards – there’s no full size reader here. CDs and DVDs won’t obviously work either, a notebook this thin has no space for optical drives. Using external USB DVD drive is your best bet for working with discs.

Going wireless is your only option for networking. RJ-45 port is not present. But the WiFi card is excellent, Intel Wireless-AC 8260 with support for 2×2 802.11ac standard and Bluetooth 4.1. Long range and high speeds are strengths of this adapter.

Miscellaneous things

I have read praising words about the display on Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US. The screen has exactly 15.0″ diagonal, while most “fifteen inchers” are usually 15.6″. The resolution is 1920×1080 which is something any laptop of this price should have. The screen has anti-glare coating and coupled with 500nits maximum brightness, perfect for using the laptop outside. The IPS panel moreover means accurate colors and wide viewing angles. Touch is not supported. The camera on top won’t capture 1080p video, just 720p.

Now, 15″ laptops don’t often have great battery. But that’s not true in this Samsung at all! People are talking over 10 hours life which is magnificent. You won’t have to worry about finding a power outlet often. And in fact, when you need to charge the unit, the USB-C charging will get the job done in 100 minutes (battery full).

The notebook features backlit keyboard.

Verdict

Overall, Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US is a great ultrabook. Its strengths lie in solid processor performance, beautiful Full HD screen and darn long battery life. It is not going to slow down before the heaviest of programs thanks to the i7 processor and (upgradeable) SSD. Also gaming to an extent works because dedicated graphics card is in place. And yes, the battery life is wonderful on this, you will be going the whole day with a single charge. All of this costs money, but if you are not ready to make compromises, this Samsung laptop is a very safe and powerful choice for quality ultrabook seekers!


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