Do you need a 360-degree hinge on your next work laptop? Samsung's Notebook 9 Spin offers a flexible, folding hinge that lets the notebook transform from laptop to tablet, plus fast performance, a sharp 13.3-inch display and a lightweight, commuter-friendly design. The lack of stylus support limits the usefulness of the Spin's hybrid design, though, and the notebook's keyboard and battery life also leave something to be desired.
Like other 2-in-1 laptops, the Notebook 9 Spin's touch-screen display folds all the way back so you can use the system like an oversized tablet. It's a nice way to use touch-screen apps, especially when you're in cramped quarters — like on an airplane, where you have to work on unroomy tray tables. But while competing systems offer active pen support for digital note taking, the Notebook 9 Spin lacks that feature. The HP Spectre x360 13t or Lenovo Yoga 900s are both better options for note takers.
Commuters will appreciate that the Notebook 9 Spin is light enough for you to tote back and forth between home and the office. But at 2.9 lbs., it's far from the lightest hybrid laptop around. If portability is your top concern, the HP Spectre x360 13t (2.4 lbs.) and Lenovo Yoga 900s (2.2 lbs.) are both better picks.
Other hardware highlights include a quad-HD+ display that's sharper than what you get on rival laptops. The high-res screen is a perk for workers, since it makes the system's 13.3-inch display feel roomier. The result is that screen-intensive productivity tasks — like editing large documents — are more comfortable.
Touch typists aren't likely to love the Notebook 9 Spin's shallow keyboard. The keys offer a disappointing 1.2 millimeters of travel on each stroke, and feel a bit stiff on top of that. Deeper keyboards are better for marathon typing sessions, since they provide a more comfortable, desktop-like typing experience.
The Notebook 9 Spin's battery life also disappoints. The system ran for just 5 hours and 38 minutes on our battery test, which simulates continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi. That's unlikely to get you through the end of the workday, and it's well below the 7 hour and 53 minute average for similar laptops.
Check back for a full review of the Samsung Notebook 9 Spin soon, or check out our picks for the best business laptops and tablets on the market.