While the traditional clamshell laptop form factor has always been king, one could say that the future is convertible. Samsung certainly seems to think that way, if one were to judge by the recently announced nifty Notebook 9 Pen fold-back convertibles.
Despite what the name might lead you to think, the convertibles aren't 9" machines—they come in 13" and 15" sizes. We'll start with the common characteristics first. The Notebook 9 Pen is powered by an eighth-generation Core i7 processor that gets its data from 16 GB of RAM. A 512-GB NVMe SSD is pretty dang roomy for a portable machine, and there's also a microSD slot for further expansion.
The 13" machine weighs 2.47 lb (1.12 kg) and uses an IGP for pixel-pushing, while the 15" machine tips the scales at 3.44 lb (1.56 kg) but contains an Nvidia MX150 graphics card with 2 GB of VRAM. The two variants are otherwise identical save for their dimensions.
The Notebook 9 pen is built using an all-metal chassis that's partially made of aluminum. The casing contains a 54-Wh battery that Samsung says should be good for up to 15 hours between arguments with a wall socket. The port cluster contains two Thunderbolt 3 ports alongside another USB Type-C port. Wi-Fi connectivity is above par in this machine thanks to a 2x2 802.11ac Wave 2 controller. The keyboard has backlighting for that moody night-time computing.
The convertible has one special trick up its proverbial sleeve, though. The chassis contains a slot that hosts an S Pen stylus, which Samsung says has half the latency as the previous model. Last but not least, there's an infrared-enabled webcam with facial recognition support, and a pair of 5-W speakers that Samsung says can be driven pretty loud thanks to an amplifier affectionately called ThunderAmp.
As is familiar with pre-CES gear, there are no price tags just yet. Samsung does say that the Notebook 9 Pen will be in South Korean stores from December 14 and will be doing a world tour through the US, China, Brazil and Hong Kong in early 2019.