Samsung Notebook 9 Pen review: Stylus convenience, devoid of style

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Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

You’re probably familiar with Samsung smartphones, Samsung TVs, and maybe even Samsung home appliances, like futuristic refrigerators. People know Samsung for a lot of reasons, but their PC business generally isn’t one of them. While the South Korean tech giant sells a number of laptops, it knows that those devices aren’t as prevalent in the general consumer consciousness as competing Dell, HP, and Lenovo PCs.

Samsung wants to change this with the Notebook 9 Pen. The new flagship convertible packs in many of the features you’d expect of a 2018 ultrabook—a design with premium materials, an 8th-gen Intel processor, integrated graphics, and biometric security—along with a few classic Samsung creations like the company’s S Pen stylus. But it takes more than similar specs to compete with the top two-in-ones available today, and the compromises presented by the Notebook 9 Pen may be too great to convince some users.

Look and feel

Hold the Notebook 9 Pen while blindfolded and you may think it’s a device that follows the same design language as modern ultrabooks. But open your eyes and you’ll be disappointed: while the Notebook 9 weighs just 2.2 pounds, its design makes it look like it could be a much heftier machine.

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