Thin is in with Samsung's Ativ Book 9 Pro and Spin laptops

Think Samsung, and you might think "phones," "tablets," or "SSDs." The company makes notebook PCs, too, and its Ativ Book 9 Pro and Spin seem like sleek, stylish takes on Skylake laptops. 

The Ativ Book 9 Pro seems like a shot across the 15" MacBook Pro's bow. This machine is built around a 45W Intel Core i7-6700HQ quad-core, eight-thread CPU with 2.6GHz base and 3.5GHz turbo clocks. That chip is backed with 8GB of memory. Samsung taps a discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M graphics chip with 2GB of RAM for pixel-pushing duties, too.

This machine's 256GB SSD is a SATA 6Gbps affair, though the impressive-sounding 15.6" 4K touch screen with "real-time HDR enhancements" might make up for the lack of PCIe storage. The screen's outdoor brightness mode purportedly cranks the backlight to 500 nits of brightness for easier viewing in sunlight. Windows 10 Home runs the show.

The Ativ Book 9 Pro weighs in at 4.5 pounds, and its aluminum chassis is 0.7" thick. A backlit keyboard, four speakers, four USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.1 Type C port, and 6.5 hours of claimed battery life round out this premium portable.

The convertible Ativ Book 9 Spin offers more flexibility in a 13.3" form factor. This machine's touch screen can assume positions ranging from a normal laptop mode to the stand, tent, and tablet modes we've come to expect in convertibles. Windows 10 Home should be able to take advantage of the Spin's various modes.

The Spin draws its power from a Core i7-6500U CPU with two cores and four threads, running at 2.5GHz base and 3.1GHz turbo speeds. No Nvidia graphics here, though—Samsung relies on this chip's HD Graphics 520 IGP for visuals. The 3200x1800 display is still Retina-class, though, and it can hit an eye-searing 700 nits for outdoor viewing.

Like the Ativ Book 9 Pro, the Spin gets 256GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, and 3 USB 3.0 ports, though Samsung cuts two of the bigger machine's speakers and Type-C connectivity. The Spin measures 0.6" thick and weighs 2.9 pounds, and Samsung says it can run for 7.3 hours on battery.

The Ativ Book 9 Pro will carry a $1,599 suggested price, while the Ativ Book 9 Spin will sticker for $1,399. Both of these machines will be available exclusively from Samsung and Best Buy later this month.

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