2019 Notebook 9 Lineup (regular/pro/pen)

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by skygunnerblue, Jan 25, 2019.

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  1. njweb

    njweb Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks a lot for your feedback!

    I know this is subjective, but is the keyboard travel average, more than average or less than average for a laptop this size, in your opinion?
    I know you haven't had any problems with the keyboard, as you put it, but how do you like the keyboard feel / experience compared to prior laptops you've owned? Better or worse?

    When you say battery life is average, how many hours approx do you get (I know you are not using power saver settings [yet])? and is it below average for a laptop this size?
    The 54Wh battery on this new one was supposed to dramatically improve battery life compared to the 2018 39Wh.

    Since the pen is not a requirement, I am wondering if I should go with the new 2019 non-pen version of the Notebook 9 which has a 72 or 74Wh battery. Aside from the pen and battery they seem very similar. But there is no launch date announced...

    My main requirements are a very comfortable /good keyboard, great battery life and small size /low weight.

    The Lenovo X1 Extreme I bought (40% off promotion) several months ago looks nice and is great overall, but it does not have good battery life, which is its biggest drawback by far. The keyboard, while very good (it's a classic ThinkPad keyboard), actually requires too much actuation force 78 grams which takes away from the experience unfortunately.
    The LG Gram 15 has great battery life, a small size for a 15.6 laptop and the keys are okay, but I am not sure about the flex in the chassis.
     
  2. skygunnerblue

    skygunnerblue Notebook Guru

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    I can't find any specs for the exact distance of the key travel, but to me the distance feels slightly better than average. In terms of feel though I'd say it's my favorite keyboard that I've owned, and second favorite that I've tried on a machine this size (my favorite probably being the current HP Spectre).

    I'm not going to try to speculate on battery life yet because I just don't have enough data. I, too, considered waiting for the non-pen version, but as you said there hasn't been anything really announced about it and I really needed a laptop sooner than later.

    Size and weight are great! It's both smaller and lighter than even my old NP900X3F. As I mentioned before, the Pro is oddly heavy in comparison. The regular non-pen is supposedly lighter though.

    Other things I like:
    • Ocean Blue color is really nice
    • Microsoft Precision drivers create a responsive touchpad (HP Spectre, for example, uses trash Synaptics)
    • USB-C adapter included
    • Speakers get crazy loud (although there is distortion above 90%)
    • Fingerprint reader works great and is super convenient
    • Great thermals and noise, seems to historically be a strength of Samsung, particularly compared to other OEMs
    • I was shocked at how fast the wifi is. Maybe this is just me coming from an old laptop. My Comcast plan is 150 down, and this thing gets 140-170 regularly. Not super scientific, I know, but thought I'd mention it.
    • Did I mention that I love the Ocean Blue color? both the Pro and the Regular are boring silver colors :)

    Nitpicks:
    • The hinge is tight and you can't quite open it with one finger without lifting the laptop off the table. Maybe this is a good thing for a flip?
    • Touchpad is physically small, though admittedly it couldn't be much bigger on a 13"
    • Battery LED is on the deck and thus not visible when closed
    • Some bloatware
    • FN key commands are the same color as the regular keys

    Future wishlist:
    • 16:10 or 3:2 aspect ratio


    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
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  3. njweb

    njweb Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks, yes all your feedback does really help!

    Yes, size / weight, keyboard and battery life are my 3 main criteria in a laptop. Seems only battery life is not fully confirmed (no reviews yet). I also like the Ocean Blue and the all aluminum exterior.
    I could wait for the non-pen version of the 2019 Notebook 9 (15") with the larger 75Wh Hexa battery if I really wanted to, since I have the Lenovo X1E (40% off post-Black Friday deal) in the meantime. However there is no release date for the non-pen version and I am one of those people who enjoys new Tech and who likes instant gratification... :)
    Decisions, decisions.
    LG Gram 15 is another contender with excellent confirmed battery life, but while it can survive a drop from staggering heights, its case build quality is somewhat debatable. Also the keyboard is not the greatest (tried it out). Anyway, since this is a Samsung forum, I won't diverge any further on that...

    I assume the keyboard and travel on the new 2019 NB 9 non-pen edition will be the same as this 2019 NB 9 pen version?
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
  4. njweb

    njweb Notebook Enthusiast

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    PS: I originally thought the NB 9 was 15.6" like other laptops in this size class. It only being 15" vs 15.6" might * end up being a deal breaker since, at times, I use the laptop for work (when away from home) and I want to maximize screen real estate without moving up to 17 / 17.3" which lacks portability.
    15.6 has always been that sweet spot for me (balance between screen real estate and portability).

    * I say 'might' above because I have not seen 15 and 15.6 side by side and maybe the difference will be manageable (or even negligeable).
     
  5. skygunnerblue

    skygunnerblue Notebook Guru

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    Interesting, I just assumed it was 15.6" as well. Had I realized it was 15.0" I might have considered moving up to get the additional keys and screen space without giving up too much portability.

    Another random update: my battery drain in standby mode was initially really bad (~50% in 24 hours). After changing some settings and getting a BIOS update it's gotten much better (~5% in 24 hours).
     
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  6. njweb

    njweb Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks again for the feedback
    To be safe, given there are still no official reviews with comparative battery life and keyboard feel and travel, I returned the NB Pen unopened to avoid $240 restocking fee.
    I might wait for the 2019 Notebook 9 given it has the 75Wh Hexa battery.
    I tried the old (2018?) non-pen notebook in store today and keyboard may be decent enough.
    Hopefully 15.0 vs 15.6 will be manageable for the times I am away from from home and need to use it for work and need maximum real estate.
    Down to these contenders
    LG Gram 15
    Asus Zenbook 15 UX533FD
    Upcoming 2019 Samsung Notebook 9 15 (75Wh)
    2919NB 9 Pen (only 54Wh may be a deal breaker.
     
  7. njweb

    njweb Notebook Enthusiast

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    Tried the old Notebook 9 Pen (13.3") and old Notebook 9 15" in a store today. I was impressed with the NB 9 keyboard; it felt noticeably better than the pen version; given that and the fact that it and the new generation have a big 75 Wh battery, I may wait for the new 2019 NB 9 15" and not try the NB 9 Pen (only a 54Wh battery) assuming Samsung's NB 9 Pen and NB 9 keyboards have not changed from 2018 to 2019.
    If i wait for the 2019 NB 9 (non-pen) to come out, I hope can live with a 15" screen instead of 15.6" and that I am willing to let go of my Lenovo X1 Extreme (mainly due to short battery life and disappointngly high keyboard actuation force).
    Ironically a big part of the reason I sold my Dell XPS 15 9560 and got the Lenovo X1 Extreme is that a good keyboard was a major priority for me. Lenovo seems to use several keyboard suppliers in the SAME model, so they can feel different! :(
     
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