Samsung's Notebook 9 portables rock eighth-gen Core i7s

Samsung has announced three new slim portables with Intel's eighth-generation mobile processors inside. The 13" and 15" Notebook 9 models use the tried-and-true clamshell laptop form factor, while the Notebook 9 Pen has a 2-in-1 design with a 360° hinge and an included stylus that can sense 4096 levels of pressure.

The headlining news for TR readers is probably the inclusion of eighth-generation Core i7 processors in all three machines. Samsung didn't name exact CPUs, but buyers can expect four cores and eight threads from the Core i7-8550U or the faster Core i7-8650U. The CPU will access as much as 16 GB of Samsung-made memory in a dual-channel configuration. Storage options go up to a 512 GB NVMe SSD on the Notebook 9 Pen and up to a 1 TB drive on the non-convertible 13" and 15" Notebook 9.

Those with an eye for style will probably notice the machines' aluminum-magnesium alloy chassis and slim profiles before anything else. The 13" Notebook 9 is the thinnest of the bunch at 0.59" (14.9 mm) and the Notebook 9 Pen is the thickest, measuring 0.65" (16.5 mm) at its thickest point. The rest of the dimensions are about as compact as one can expect owing to the displays' thin bezels. The 15" model has a Thunderbolt 3 port, but the others have to make do with a regular USB Type-C port on top of the USB 3.0, HDMI, and audio combo jacks that all three machines have in common. All three machines have a fingerprint sensor, and the Notebook 9 Pen adds a Windows Hello-compatible IR camera.

The screens in all the new Notebook 9s have a 1920x1080 resolution, 95% coverage of the of sRGB space, and should hit at least 450 cd/m² of brightness. Samsung didn't specify the panel type but our money would be on IPS. The Notebook 9 Pen's display is a touchscreen with pen input support, of course. Buyers of 13" Notebook 9 and Notebook 9 Pen models will have to make do with Intel IGPs, but shoppers can spec out a 15" Notebook 9 with an Nvidia GeForce MX150 discrete graphics card with 2 GB of its own memory.

Samsung's 13" Notebook 9, 15" Notebook 9, and 13" Notebook 9 Pen all go on sale this month in South Korea. US sales are scheduled to start sometime during the first quarter of 2018. The company will have the machines on display in its Consumer Electronics Show booth in Las Vegas. There's currently no pricing info, but we imagine that information might become available during the trade show. Interested gerbils should pay close attention to TR's CES coverage in early January.

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