Among the world’s current biggest IT companies, Samsung has one of the highest positions, after a weird evolution. Let’s put it very simply: a certain Lee Byung-chull, son of a landowner family, started a small business selling noodles and locally-grown food in 1938. One thing led to another, and Samsung became the biggest conglomerate in South Korea, the world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturer, and one of the top 3 IT companies in the world. Currently, it has revenue more than $300 billion, assets exceeding $530 billion, and comprises companies from all areas of industry, including medical equipment, computers, chemicals, consumer electronics, and so on.
Just like MSI, for instance, Samsung is relatively new on the laptop market. However, the tendencies shown by Samsung are entirely different from what MSI seems to be up to. While the latter is mostly addressing the super-high-end gaming and workstation market, the former is following the Apple path and creating laptops for those who appreciate slimness, lightness, and beautiful design. In fact, if there’s one strong point to Samsung laptops, that’s the design. In our honest opinion, it’s a tight competition between Samsung’s black/gray satin finish and provocative lines and Apple’s gentle colors and equally slim profile.
We’ve done our research and made a nice list of Samsung laptops you may want to have in your life. It’s not going to be a very long list, but it will include every type of laptop Samsung offers. Take a look and see if you like anything!
Best Overall Laptop: Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 15.6″ – NP940Z5L-X01US
Even though in general Samsung laptops have nothing to do with gaming, this marvelous machine is a gaming-oriented all-rounder. It doesn’t have the immense power of, say, an MSI or Asus ROG, but it’s pretty good for moderate gaming, and it will probably be able to run a couple of nice releases. It’s also, in our honest opinion, the most beautiful Samsung laptop around. It has truly sexy lines, slim and neat, and it’s everything you could want regarding portability.
Amazingly enough, there’s more to this laptop than meets the eye. It’s powered by a Core i7-6700HQ, quad-core, 2.6GHz and up to 3.5GHz Turbo – the same CPU Alienware and Asus use, for instance, in their gaming rigs. The 15.6” 3840 x 2160 UHD LED screen is brought to life by a nVidia GTX 950M with 2GB GDDR5, a mid-to-high-range discrete graphics card. It also features 8GB LPDDR3 RAM, as well as a 256 GB SSD. All things considered, the price tag is simply great, especially considering it’s only 18mm thick and 2kg heavy.
Best 13” Laptop: Samsung Notebook 9 13.3″ – NP900X3L-K06US
This is yet again a classy machine, with lines even slimmer than our nr.1 model. It has a brushed aluminum chassis, with a satin gray finish, and a matching black keyboard, illuminated by a subtle blue light. It’s shockingly thin, and light at 13mm maximum thickness and less than 1.3kg and the screen is a pleasant FHD with minimalistic bezels.
This amazing tiny thing features an i5-6200U, quad-core, clocked at 2.3GHz, overclocked up to 2.8GHz, which comes with the high-end integrated graphic chip Intel HD 520. It features 8GB LPDDR3 RAM, as well as a nice 256GB SSD. The battery life is also a plus on this one, being the longest among Samsung laptops at 10 hours or so.
Best Classic/Budget Laptop: Samsung Notebook 3 15.6″ – NP300E5K-L04US
While Samsung prefers slim and light models, there’s a nice, simple, classic model as well among them, albeit without the usual DVD-RW. It has the same beautiful lines as all its peers, as well as the FHD screen we can now expect from most mid-range models. What’s also great about it is the price, as it comes at really good budget option.
The Notebook 3 is built around an i5-5200U, Broadwell, 2.2GHz, overclocked up to 2.7GHz, which comes with the integrated video chip Intel HD 5500. It also features 4GB DDR3L RAM, as well as 1TB HDD. This laptop is, as far as we know, the only one upgradable among Samsung models, and you can add RAM and an SSD no problem.
Best 2-in-1 laptop: Samsung Notebook 9 Spin 13.3″ – NP940X3L-K01US
In complete accordance with the company’s aesthetic principles, this laptop is also a champion of slimness and portability, while enjoying an astonishing QHD screen. Samsung appears to have made good use of its experience with smartphones and tablets, and we’re pretty happy about it. Given the price tag, it’s all you’ve ever wanted from a multimedia device.
This model is powered by an i7-6500U, just a tad bit slower than the epic 6700HQ at 2.5GHz and 3.1GHz turbo. It doesn’t have a discrete graphics card, featuring the integrated Intel HD 520 instead. What it does have is 8GB LPDDR3 RAM @1866MHz, as well as the usual 256GB SSD. At 15mm thickness and 1.3kg, it’s almost as light as our nr.1 13” laptop while being a 2-in-1 device.
Best Chromebook: Samsung Chromebook 3 11.6″ – XE500C13-K01US
Samsung has a long history of cooperating with Google when it comes to smartphones, as its products are the best-known and best-sold Android devices. There’s also some cooperation when it comes to laptops as well, as the company also developed a couple of Chromebook models. This model is a Samsung in every respect, even more so since it runs on the Chrome OS instead of Microsoft Windows.
This is the smallest laptop in our list, with an 11.6” HD screen, and also the lightest, at only 1.1kg. It features an Intel Celeron N3050, clocked at 1.6GHz, overclocked up to 2.16GHz, with Intel HD Graphics, 2GB LPDDR3 RAM, and a flash storage capacity of 16GB. This is probably the best model for students, as it’s designed for light day-to-day tasks and also built for endurance and portability. It’s a pretty good budget item as well.
Samsung laptops can only be qualified as “sexy”, as far as we’re concerned, while the keyword for MSI is none other than “power”. The models include nothing remotely close to a true gaming rig, which is surprising considering what kind of smartphones they produce (seriously, Samsung phones are powerhouses). Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that; it’s simply that they lose the market sections for gaming laptops, workstations, and even classic laptops, choosing instead to focus on Ultrabooks, 2-in-1 devices, and so on. The price tags run from a budget $399 (pretty expensive for an 11.6”, but oh well) and up to $1400 for the top Notebook 9, which is not that bad considering what the device has to offer.
As expected from a phone company, phone tech support is excellent, one of the best. Same goes for the live chat support. On the other hand, Facebook support is far from being great, and the online database could use a couple of updates, from the current Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 documentation. The warranty is no good here either: Samsung only offers a 1-year warranty, which doesn’t include shipping. What’s more, they refuse to repair any “altered” devices – in other words, if you want to upgrade your RAM or something… don’t. The preloaded software, much like in the case of MSI, is a double-edged blade. On the one hand, the software updates and recovery tools, among other things, are fantastic. On the other hand, we’d like to kindly ask Samsung to not install Candy Crush and iHeartRadio by default. Please.
Devices made by Samsung mostly cater to the needs of businessmen, teachers, students, and similar categories of people. In other words, those who constantly work with multimedia content and need something that looks sublime and won’t let them down too easily. While Samsung laptops don’t have the reputation of endurance Apple devices have, they don’t have the $3000 price tag either, which is pretty significant when you’re a student and money isn’t kicking you out of the house.