Samsung has always been known more for their smartphones than their laptops. However, with the ATIV Book 9 Spin, that may change. In addition to being reasonably priced, Samsung’s 13.3-inch laptop is a beauty inside and out.
For $1,399 ($1,299 at Samsung’s site,) you get a beautiful laptop with an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 13.3-inch 3,200 x 1,800 pixel resolution display. What’s the catch here?
Well, the battery life isn’t perfect. One test revealed that with the screen set to 80 percent brightness while streaming back-to-back movies, the Book 9 lasted about five-and-a-half hours. Most users will get six or even seven hours of use. This would have been great three years ago, but things have changed. Still, the battery life beats that on Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 and even the Surface Book. It has about the same juice as the Dell XPS 13.
Most will like the keyboard, but it does take a little bit of getting used to. The keys are perfectly spread, but are somewhat flushed in without a huge amount of travel. However, once you get used to the keyboard, which takes less than a day, you’ll be able to type just as fast as you can with your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.
The trackpad on the Book 9 Spin is the best one on a Windows laptop to date. It won’t make you completely forget about the trackpad on Apple’s notebooks, but you won’t be missing Apple’s trackpad that much either. The Book 9 Spin’s trackpad has a slippery, but smooth feel and responds very well to your fingers. Unlike just about every other Windows 10 laptop, the Book 9 Spin’s trackpad registers every click you make.
Samsung decided to go with a matte finish on the Book 9 Spin’s screen rather than a glossy one and, for the most part, it’s a good choice. The colors aren’t 100 percent accurate, but they’re close enough. However, the yellows seem more off than the other colors, but this will only present a problem if you are a professional color editor or spend the whole day on Photoshop replacing colors. Most photographers and video editors won’t have a problem, but the more milky-looking yellows are noticeable.
With the the ATIV Book 9 Spin’s features, it’s easy to forget that the notebook has a 360 degree rotating display. Unlike the rotating displays in some other notebooks (hello, Lenovo!) the display doesn’t feel like it’s going to break off as you put it back. You can operate the Book 9 Spin in full tablet mode, although it is a little heavy when used this way.
The ATIV Book 9 Spin also has a touchscreen display, which works very well and accurately. There is no digital pen, but — perhaps — the people buying the Book 9 Spin aren’t buying it for the pen capabilities in the first place. You could use a capacitive stylus if you really want something to write with.
The ATIV Book 9 Spin is the best ultraportable Windows 10 computer available. If you are a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro user and are afraid of moving to a Windows machine, switching to the Book 9 Spin will be a breeze. You won’t even miss your MacBook; Samsung offers all the ease, smoothness, and style of Apple’s best notebooks. Even if you have no plans to buy the ATIV Book 9 Spin, at least go check it out at Best Buy. You’ll have a hard time taking your hands off Samsung’s new ultraportable hybrid notebook.
[Photo via Daryl Deino]