Best Samsung Laptops Android Central 2020
The 13-inch Notebook 9 from Samsung is an excellent Windows-powered laptop that offers the best in terms of hardware, performance, and dimensions within the company's catalog of portable PCs.
- Best Overall: Samsung Notebook 9 13
- Runner-up: Samsung Notebook 9 15
- Best Budget: Samsung Notebook Flash
- Best Portable: Samsung Galaxy Book2
- Best for Gaming: Samsung Notebook Odyssey Z
- Best Chromebook: Samsung Chromebook Plus
Best Overall: Samsung Notebook 9 13
The 1080p display lives up to the Samsung standard when it comes to screens, and this thing is beautiful. It's bright enough to use outside, and the colors and contrast are just about perfect, so you can use it inside as well. It's pretty important to be able to use a laptop, right?
Coming in at 2.2 pounds (0.99 kg) and 0.59 inches (1.49 cm) thick, the Notebook 9 is also sleek without compromising performance. You can get up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 256GB SSD. This laptop will get you through a solid work day without breaking a sweat, and the beefy battery means you won't waste time looking for an outlet, clocking in at around 10 hours.
The backlit keyboard's keys are spaced so that they're comfortable even after hours of typing, and the Precision touchpad offers full gesture support. The durable aluminum body won't show wear from normal use, and it has the ports you use most, including USB-C, HDMI, USB-A 3.0, and a microSD card reader. A fingerprint reader makes this laptop compatible with Windows Hello.
The only issue with the Notebook 9 13 is the lack of a discrete GPU option, which will rule out some more serious gaming and intensive workloads as you'll have to rely on the included GPU with the Intel processor, which isn't very capable at all.
- Outstanding build quality
- Speedy solid-state drive (SSD)
- Beautiful FHD display
- Fingerprint reader for Windows Hello
- Weighs just over two pounds
- No discrete GPU
- Cheaper options available
The best Samsung laptop for most consumers
This 13.3-inch laptop has a beautiful display, comfortable keyboard, slim chassis, and the performance hardware inside needed to cut through a day's work.
Runner-up: Samsung NoteBook 9 15
The 15-inch Notebook 9 is another great Windows laptop since it's essentially an enlarged version of the 13-inch model we selected as our favorite. With this version, it's possible to get up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD storage, and a dedicated NVIDIA MX150 GPU.
The 75 Wh battery will provide around 10 hours worth of uptime before needing to be topped up with a power outlet, allowing you to get work done while away from the desk. There are numerous ports available for hooking up all your favorite accessories and peripherals.
The same excellent display and design are at play here, making it one laptop you'll enjoy using day in and day out. If you need something a little larger with more power than the 13-inch Notebook 9, you may want to check out the 15-inch version, especially if you need a dedicated GPU.
- Great build quality
- Fast SSD storage
- Beautiful 15-inch FHD display
- Fingerprint reader for Windows Hello
- Mushy keyboard
- Only 1080p resolution
Larger with a dedicated GPU
Love everything about the 13-inch Notebook 9 but need a larger display and dedicated graphics? Check out this 15-inch configuration.
Best Budget: Samsung Notebook Flash
Samsung's Notebook Flash is a unique budget laptop in that it doesn't really look like an affordable laptop. In fact, this notebook sports a rather interesting design with a keyboard layout that reminds one of the days when typewriters were in use. Not only is the design a little bizarre, but so too is the feature list.
For the small price, you get a Windows 10 laptop with a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello, a whole host of ports for hooking up all your external devices and peripherals, and there's even a microSD slot to expand the integrated 64GB flash storage.
This notebook won't break any world records for performance and you really should only use the Notebook Flash for browsing websites, checking email, drafting documents, and other light tasks, but for the price, you can't complain.
- Cool design
- Budget price
- Fingerprint reader
- Plenty of ports
- Expandable storage
- Sluggish performance
- Mediocre trackpad
The Notebook Flash is experimental, but if you're looking for something cheap that doesn't need to work too hard, this is a great option.
Best Portable: Samsung Galaxy Book2
The Samsung Galaxy Book2 is for those who need a laptop that can be carried around and work without being tied to a Wi-Fi network or some form of LTE dongle. This laptop is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU compatible with Windows 10, allowing you to enjoy an instant-on computing experience with built-in 4G.
It looks similar to the Surface line-up of PCs too, which isn't a bad thing. Performance is solid, even for a seemingly less powerful CPU than AMD or Intel counterparts. There are a few drawbacks, however, including the rather small trackpad, weak pen magnets, and the keyboard design.
These are minor gripes of a laptop that is a must-have for anyone looking for a high-quality Samsung notebook that resembles a Surface with support for 4G LTE.
- sAMOLED display
- Great battery life
- Good S-Pen
- Solid audio
- Pen magnet is weak
- Mediocre fingerprint reader
- Keyboard looks cheap
- No eSIM and semi-locked
Like how Microsoft designed the Surface Pro but want to run a Samsung device on ARM? Grab the Galaxy Book2 and get a premium 2-in-1 with LTE connectivity.
Best for Gaming: Samsung Notebook Odyssey Z
Samsung not only makes low and mid-range laptops, but also notebooks that can handle gaming. This Notebook Odyssey Z model, in particular, houses a GTX 1060 GPU, Intel Core i7 processor, and 16GB of RAM in a sleek-looking chassis, which is more than enough to handle most games.
The main drawback of going with a "gaming" laptop is the battery life, which is never great when you have a dedicated GPU onboard. It's possible to prolong a full charge by being relatively conservative with use, but be prepared to hunt down a free power outlet if you fire up any PC titles.
It is possible to find other Odyssey Z models with up to 32GB RAM and advanced NVIDIA GPUs, but you'll have to settle with older Intel CPUs in most listings. The GTX 1060 is the sweet spot for 1080p gaming, especially portable PCs where battery life can take a severe hit with more powerful internals.
- Slim aluminum design
- NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU
- Plenty of RAM
- Good performance
- Mixed Reality-ready
- Limited configurations
- Battery life
Best for Gaming
Dedicated GPU for gaming
With some quality specs, including an NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU, you shouldn't have any problems running modern games on the Odyssey Z.
Best Chromebook: Samsung Chromebook Plus
When Windows 10 simply will not do, the Samsung Chromebook Plus is a great middle ground between the entry-level models and the high-end. It's great for anyone who wants something better than average, but doesn't need to buy a Chromebook that costs $700 or more. Starting at $500, the Chromebook Plus offers great value, with the option to go for LTE.
It's premium-feeling and is one of the better Chromesbooks you can buy right now. For someone who wants a no-fuss model that is dependable, looks and feels great, and will support Chrome for many years to come, it's a worthy purchase. Just try not to be let down by the lack of any keyboard backlighting.
- Optional LTE
- Solid aluminum build
- Legacy USB 3.0 port
- Bright HD display
- No keyboard backlighting
- Slow secondary webcam
Google OS with optional LTE
Windows 10 isn't the only desktop OS that can handle LTE connectivity. Samsung also makes some Chromebooks and the Chromebook Plus is a solid example.
Samsung makes some exceptional hardware and this includes the company's collection of notebooks. When looking at the best Samsung has to offer, the 13-inch Notebook 9 stands out with its size, performance, battery, and solid display. While there are other options available from Samsung for those with specific needs and requirements, the Notebook 9 is our favorite.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Daniel Rubino is executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009 back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.
Rich Edmonds is a word conjurer at Windows Central, covering everything related to Windows, gaming, and hardware. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a device chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
Cale Hunt is a staff writer at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on PC, laptop, and accessory coverage, as well as the emerging world of VR. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.
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