If Samsung's latest laptops were just a simple power upgrade over previous models, I wouldn't even bother to give them a second glance.
But the new Samsung PC models, announced on Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, come with fresh new designs that finally earns them a place next to the modern and beautiful machines from makers like Apple, Dell, Lenovo, or HP.
Indeed, there are plenty of laptops that can rock a powerful Intel Core i7 processor - Samsung seems to have finally realized that aesthetics matter as much as specs when it comes to standing apart from the competition.
Check out Samsung's latest laptops announced at CES 2019, the Notebook 9 Pro and the Notebook Flash:
The new Notebook 9 Pro I saw at CES 2019 has a 33cm FHD display, a powerful Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. Those are pretty standard specs for the high-end that pretty much any laptop from any company could sport - and many do.
It also comes standard with Samsung's Active Pen stylus, which is handy for taking notes or annotating and signing documents. It's good that Samsung includes the Active Pen with the Notebook 9 Pro - Microsoft sells its Surface Pen stylus separately. A laptop stylus is the kind of thing that's handy, but not usually useful enough to buy separately.
The Notebook 9 Pro weighs in at a lightweight 1,3kg, which is a hair heavier than the 2018 MacBook Air. It's also 1.4cm thick, which is actually thinner than the 2018 MacBook Air, which measures in at 1.5cm at the thickest point.
Any laptop can have great specs. It's become clear over the last few years that design is becoming more and more important - it's one of the few areas where laptop makers have the most control when differentiating their devices from others. This year, Samsung seized control of the design of its own laptops.
With narrow bezels, sleek black borders, sharper and more modern edges, and a solid aluminum exterior, Samsung's latest Notebook 9 Pro has caught up with modern laptop design, where its previous models always felt laggard in terms of looks.
It also has three "diamond-cut" strips around the edges that gives it a little extra flair over its competitors. There's a slight retro vibe around the strips that I'm actually quite fond of.
Samsung's new Notebook Flash laptop starts at $350 (R5,000), and it actually looks pretty good! Especially when you compare it to other sub-$500 laptops that appear forgotten by their respective companies' design teams.
The Notebook Flash runs on an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and a mere 64GB of storage, which is is on the lower-end of power and storage. But hey, it'll send your emails, stream your videos, and let you browse the web and social media. Starting at $350 (R5,000), the Notebook Flash could be a great machine for the lightweight user, or as a secondary device for less intensive tasks when you're done with work.
Samsung says the Notebook Flash will be available on January 15.
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