Notebookcheck

Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N (7500U, FHD, GeForce 940MX) Laptop Review

Lightweight and pricey. The new Notebook 9 carries an impressively bright display that is equally as fragile. The flexible chassis brings down an otherwise very portable and reliable machine.

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Samsung laptops don't receive nearly the same marketing push or recognition as the almighty Galaxy S series of smartphones and it's a bit of a shame as the ATIV Book/Notebook 9 flagship series has always scored quite well in our tests. At CES 2016, for example, the Notebook 9 refresh was but a small desk with only a handful of demos in the sea of Galaxy Tabs and other Samsung products. The even lesser-known ATIV Book 5, Book 6, and Book 8 models all exhibit great displays and runtimes in very lightweight designs that mimic the MacBook Air series.

The latest model in the underrated series is the 15.0-inch Notebook 9 Always (NP900X5N) with a Core i7-7500U CPU, FHD glossy display, GeForce 940MX GPU, 16 GB of RAM, 66 Wh battery, and 256 GB NVMe SSD as reviewed here for approximately $1400 USD. A second lower-end SKU (NP900X5MI) with the i5-7200U CPU, 8 GB of RAM, 30 Wh battery, and no dedicated GPU is also available, but we could find no such configuration in stock at least in North America. A smaller 13.3-inch version of the Notebook 9 (NP900X3N) exists as well with similar features as the NP900X5MI that we'll likely check out in the near future.

The NP900X5N with Kaby Lake is the first Notebook 9 model to stop by our labs in over three years. A lot has changed since then with the 15.0-inch Samsung sandwiched between new competitors in both the 14-inch space (ZenBook UX3410, ThinkPad X1 Carbon) and the more common 15.6-inch space (VivoBook S510, XPS 15). For this review, we'll see how the Samsung stacks up against these more popular Ultrabooks in the market.

Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US (Notebook 9 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX - 2048 MB, Core: 1004 MHz, Memory: 1800 MHz, DDR3, 375.63, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4, 1066.7 MHz, 15-15-15-36, Dual-Channel (Onboard)
Display
15 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 147 PPI, ID: BOE06E8, Name: BOE HF NV150FHB-N31, IPS, 350nit (Outdoor mode: 500nit), glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm, Card Reader: microSD, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 15.4 x 347.9 x 229.4 ( = 0.61 x 13.7 x 9.03 in)
Battery
66 Wh Lithium-Polymer, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 15 h
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Quick Start guide, Samsung PC Cleaner, Recovery, Update, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.21 kg ( = 42.68 oz / 2.67 pounds), Power Supply: 210 g ( = 7.41 oz / 0.46 pounds)
Price
1500 USD

 

Case

Our first impression of the new Notebook 9 is how incredibly lightweight it is without resorting to cheap plastic materials. The notebook utilizes thin metal treated with "Micro Arc Oxidation Technology" and the result is a slightly roughened and textured matte surface from top to bottom. The lack of any glossy finishing or brushed surfaces make the system appear plastic with a similar gray color tone to the MacBook Pro. It's definitely understated in design compared to the lengths competitors go to create more unique looks such as the piston hinges of the Spectre 13, brushed concentric surfaces of the Zenbook 3, or distinctive wristband hinge of the Yoga 900 series.

Rigidity is perhaps the weakest aspect of the design. We're always wary of thin displays and narrow bezels simply because there is a higher chance of a more flexible lid. Dell has proven that this doesn't necessarily have to be the case with the excellent InfinityEdge XPS 13 and XPS 15 designs, but we can't say the same for Samsung. The lid here is far more susceptible to twisting and bending than both the XPS 15 and Spectre 13 and feels extremely fragile despite the clean minimalist look. The base is fortunately more rigid compared to something like the Yoga 910, though it doesn't come close to the MacBook Pro 15 or XPS 15. Its palm rests and keyboard surface, for example, show moderate warping when applying pressure with a finger. On the other hand, the wide bar hinge is sufficiently taut to prevent teetering when typing on a flat desk and can be opened up to 180 degrees. If at angles greater than about 140 degrees, however, the hinge becomes looser and will have trouble maintaining a fixed angle. While the chassis is not poor by any means, it's certainly not as firm or inelastic as competing ultra-thin flagships.

Build quality is otherwise excellent with no unintended gaps or defects on our particular test unit including the inner bezels of the screen. It can be somewhat difficult to lift open the display when it is in a closed position as the front notch is small and hard to grip. Creaking is fortunately nonexistent unless if attempting to twist the base with an improper amount of force.

The 15.0-inch screen size automatically gives Samsung the weight and size advantage over 15.6-inch competitors with the even lighter LG Gram 15 being a notable exception. With this in mind, the Notebook 9 still manages to be lighter and thinner than some 14-inch notebooks including the Asus UX3410UQ. Both the MacBook Pro 15 and XPS 15 may offer slightly larger display sizes with very similar dimensions to our Samsung, but both are significantly heavier and denser by several hundred grams. Users will be hard pressed to find a 15-inch notebook as light as our Notebook 9 as even the Surface Pro 4 with its keyboard attachment is only about 150 g lighter.

Left: XPS 15 9560, Right: Notebook 9 NP900X5N
Left: XPS 15 9560, Right: Notebook 9 NP900X5N
Matte surface susceptible to scratches
Matte surface susceptible to scratches
Lid is significantly more fragile than on the Dell
Lid is significantly more fragile than on the Dell

Connectivity

Ports are limited to HDMI, 3x USB, and Thunderbolt 3. Fortunately, the Thunderbolt port should provide a wide range of docking and external display options if needed. Charging cannot be done through USB Type-C or the adjacent proprietary connector. It would have been more convenient to see Samsung drop the AC adapter port and include two USB Type-C ports similar to the Spectre 13 or EliteBook x360 series, but having multiple Thunderbolt 3 ports would have likely been costlier. Nonetheless, we're satisfied with what is available as the competing Zenbook 3 and MacBook Pro 15 systems integrate no USB Type-A or HDMI ports at all.

It's worth noting that Samsung explicitly advertises the full 40 Gbps bandwidth for its Thunderbolt 3 port whereas this same port on the Dell XPS 15 utilizes only half the bandwidth.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: MicroSD reader, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI
Right: MicroSD reader, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity
Left: AC adapter, USB 2.0, USB Type-C + Thunderbolt 3, 3.5 mm combo audio
Left: AC adapter, USB 2.0, USB Type-C + Thunderbolt 3, 3.5 mm combo audio

SD Card Reader

The integrated spring-loaded MicroSD reader performs similarly to the MicroSD reader found on the Latitude 12 5285 with an average transfer rate in the mid 80 MB/s range. Transferring 1 GB worth of photos from our Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 test card to desktop will take about 15 seconds. While a MicroSD reader is appreciated, it's a bit disappointing that the system omits a full-size SD reader especially when the older and thinner 13-inch Notebook 9 NP900X3C managed to fit one in back in 2012.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
120.5 MB/s ∼100% +75%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
(Toshiba THN-M401S0640E2)
68.72 MB/s ∼57%
Dell Latitude 12 5285 2-in-1
(Toshiba THN-M401S0640E2)
64 MB/s ∼53% -7%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
252.6 MB/s ∼100% +192%
Dell Latitude 12 5285 2-in-1
(Toshiba THN-M401S0640E2)
86.9 MB/s ∼34% 0%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
(Toshiba THN-M401S0640E2)
86.49 MB/s ∼34%

Communication

Uncommon M.2 1216 module
Uncommon M.2 1216 module

The 2x2 Intel 8265 WLAN module comes standard and, unlike on most notebooks, is of the M.2 1216 variety instead of M.2 2230 or 2242. This appears to have no performance or connectivity consequences as we are able to record a real-world transfer rate of 668 Mbps when paired with our Linksys EA8500 test router. WWAN options would have been a great addition to further accentuate the portability of the notebook.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
668 MBit/s ∼100%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
648 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Dell XPS 13 9365-4537 2-in-1
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (I210-T1)
208 MBit/s ∼31% -69%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
529 MBit/s ∼100% +14%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
465 MBit/s ∼88%
Dell XPS 13 9365-4537 2-in-1
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (I210-T1)
142 MBit/s ∼27% -69%

Accessories

There are no included extras in the box beyond the AC adapter and Quick Start guide. A carrying sleeve or velvet cloth would have been neat additions especially at this price range. Fortunately, the presence of Thunderbolt 3 gives the notebook plenty of expandability options down the road.

Maintenance

Serviceability requires only a Philips screwdriver and sharp edge. Unlike on some recent Asus notebooks, there are thankfully no screws hidden underneath the rubber footing and the panel will pop off quite easily. Users will have direct access to the M.2 SSD, internal battery, and system fans. RAM is soldered and so we suggest choosing carefully between the 8 GB and 16 GB SKU.

Easy accessibility
Easy accessibility

Warranty

The standard one-year limited manufacturer warranty applies while the battery is covered for only the first six months. There is no "zero dead pixel policy" as Samsung will only replace units with more than five dead pixels.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The Chiclet keyboard offers a surprisingly firm keystroke with a travel of 1.5 mm compared to 1.3 mm on the Spectre 13 or 1.6 mm on the ZenBook Pro UX501. We were expecting feedback to be softer because the center of the keyboard base warps a bit too easily for our liking, but this does not appear to be the case with the exception of the half-sized Arrow keys as they feel spongier than the rest of the keys. The new Notebook 9 is one of the more comfortable laptops to type on for its size class with the main drawback being its loud clatter. The ThinkPad AccuType or XPS 15 keyboard are comparatively quieter if noise is an issue.

The three-level backlight continues to be teal-green in color instead of the usual white on most notebooks. This color difference has the benefit of being easier on the eyes if typing in a very dark room, but it is slightly dimmer than a white backlight. Note that the keyboard backlight is tied to the ambient light sensor and will only trigger once the surrounding environment is considered too dim.

Touchpad

The large trackpad (11.0 x 8.0 cm) is completely smooth for better gliding properties than the roughened surrounding palm rests. Both cursor control and multi-touch gestures of up to four fingers respond swiftly as one would expect with no jitters or random jumps. Meanwhile, the integrated mouse keys are very shallow in travel with just average feedback and a slightly muffled auditory click. It's not terrible, but it takes quite a bit of force to push down on the trackpad surface unless if your finger is directly on the bottom left or right corner.

Surprisingly comfortable keys with firm feedback and loud clatter
Surprisingly comfortable keys with firm feedback and loud clatter
Ventilation grilles hidden underneath the length of the hinge
Ventilation grilles hidden underneath the length of the hinge
Subdued teal-green color is dimmer and less of an eyestrain
Subdued teal-green color is dimmer and less of an eyestrain

Display

The 1080p display is definitely the highlight of the notebook. Texts and images are very crisp with no hints of graininess due to the overlying glossy panel. Colors are vibrant and appear to pop since there is no thick layer of glass between the panel and the outer surface of the screen. Contrast is excellent and on par with competing Ultrabooks with faster display response times than both the MacBook Pro 15 and the Sharp IGZO panel on the XPS 15 9560. The BOE HF NV150FHB-N31 IPS panel on our Samsung can be found on no other notebook in our database at this time likely because the 15.0-inch size category is so uncommon. Unfortunately, no higher resolutions or touchscreen features are available.

A unique feature of the NP900X5N is the Outdoor Mode option that will automatically increase the maximum backlight to an advertised 500 nits. The concept is not unlike on the Galaxy S7/S8 or Galaxy Note series of smartphones where maximum brightness can be toggled even higher than usual for easier outdoor visibility. This is significantly brighter than most Ultrabooks where 300 to 350 nits is the norm and the difference is substantial. In fact, our own independent measurements show Outdoor Mode to be slightly brighter than 500 nits at the very center of the screen. All of our display measurements were performed with Outdoor Mode enabled as we wanted to see the notebook at its very best. Maximum brightness will be limited to 350 nits if Outdoor Mode is toggled off, which is still more than sufficient for indoor use.

Uneven backlight bleeding is minimal around the top left corner and hardly noticeably during day-to-day use. The most unfortunate aspect of the display is the presence of detectable PWM on all brightness levels up to 99 percent regardless of the Outdoor Mode setting. Thus, unless if the brightness setting is always at maximum, users who are sensitive to screen flickering will want to avoid this notebook altogether. The occurrence of PWM here is strange because very few notebooks exhibit this behavior on nearly every brightness setting available. 

Very minimal uneven backlight bleeding on top left corner
Very minimal uneven backlight bleeding on top left corner
Subpixel array (147 PPI)
Subpixel array (147 PPI)
508.3
cd/m²
545.1
cd/m²
501
cd/m²
524.7
cd/m²
565.6
cd/m²
498.9
cd/m²
520.8
cd/m²
550.5
cd/m²
501.3
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 565.6 cd/m² Average: 524 cd/m² Minimum: 7.65 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 565.6 cd/m²
Contrast: 1154:1 (Black: 0.49 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 2.5 | - Ø
97.5% sRGB (Argyll) 61.2% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.21
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
ID: BOE06E8, Name: BOE HF NV150FHB-N31, IPS, 15, 1920x1080
Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full-HD)
Sharp SHP1453 LQ156M1, LED IGZO IPS InfinityEdge, 15.6, 1920x1080
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.9 GHz, 460)
Apple APPA030, IPS, 15.4, 2880x1800
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
UHD UWVA eDP BrightView WLED-backlit , IPS, 15.6, 3840×2160
Lenovo ThinkPad T570-20HAS01E00
BOE NV156QUM-N44, IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Response Times
-47%
18981%
117%
132%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
40.8
54
-32%
46
-13%
44
-8%
41.6
-2%
Response Time Black / White *
32.4
52.4
-62%
56
-73%
38.8
-20%
15.2
53%
PWM Frequency
208.3
119000
57029%
1000
380%
925.9
345%
Screen
-34%
-1%
-1%
-32%
Brightness
524
392
-25%
401
-23%
336
-36%
314
-40%
Brightness Distribution
88
89
1%
90
2%
83
-6%
89
1%
Black Level *
0.49
0.26
47%
0.3
39%
0.24
51%
0.36
27%
Contrast
1154
1538
33%
1400
21%
1465
27%
942
-18%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2
4.9
-145%
3.33
-67%
3.3
-65%
4.2
-110%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.5
7.2
-188%
2.73
-9%
1.9
24%
5.1
-104%
Gamma
2.21 109%
2.11 114%
2.48 97%
2.09 115%
2.16 111%
CCT
6896 94%
6911 94%
6457 101%
6784 96%
6569 99%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
61.2
64.2
5%
78.09
28%
64.4
5%
59.4
-3%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
97.5
98.9
1%
99.97
3%
88.2
-10%
91
-7%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-41% / -37%
9490% / 5176%
58% / 31%
50% / 13%

* ... smaller is better

Our independent measurements show an sRGB color coverage of approximately 97 percent compared to the advertised 95 percent. This is in line with the IGZO display of the XPS 15 9560 but still pales in comparison to the display on the MacBook Pro 15 2016 where wider color profiles than sRGB can be attained. When compared to more mainstream Ultrabook displays like the VivoBook S15 S510UA, however, the Notebook 9 is much more capable of reproducing deeper and more accurate colors.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. MacBook Pro 15 2016
vs. MacBook Pro 15 2016

Further measurements with an X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal accurate grayscale and colors out of the box. Samsung advertises the Notebook 9 with a color Delta E of under 2.5 and our measurements do indeed show this to be true on average. Magenta and teal colors are slightly more inaccurate than others with Delta E values closer to 4 at higher saturation levels, but this is still more accurate than the displays of most Ultrabooks available including the XPS 15 9560. A calibration will improve grayscale and colors by just small margins as shown by our CalMan results below.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
32.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17.6 ms rise
↘ 14.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 81 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (27.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
40.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20.4 ms rise
↘ 20.4 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 44 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (43.7 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 208.3 Hz99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 208.3 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 99 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 208.3 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 59 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 4352 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is good only when Outdoor Mode is enabled because of the very glossy display. We find that glare can still be an issue on overcast days or if working under direct sunlight, so the extra-wide 180-degree hinges will indubitably come in handy for finding an optimal angle. A matte panel option would have made a better pairing with Outdoor Mode instead of the forced glossy screen.

Outdoors on overcast day
Outdoors on overcast day
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors on overcast day
Outdoors on overcast day
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

The i5/7200U and i7-7500U are currently the only CPU options available for the refreshed 15-inch Notebook 9 lineup with a choice of either the integrated HD Graphics 620 or discrete GeForce 940MX GPU with Optimus. The integrated option should more than suffice for word processing, browsing, classwork, and streaming while the Nvidia solution is preferred for light gaming and editing workloads. The 940MX here is of the slower DDR3 variety instead of GDDR5 and performance subsequently suffers as shown in our next few sections.

 

Processor

The i7-7500U performs as expected with just minimal gains over the i5-7200U and older Skylake i7-6500U as shown by the CineBench results below. Performance in single-threaded operations is impressive for a 15 W ULV CPU at just 10 percent slower than the much more demanding 45 W i7-6820HQ. Running CineBench Multi-Thread in a continuous loop shows consistent CPU performance with no major dips.

See our dedicated page on the Core i7-7500U CPU for more technical details and benchmark comparisons.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.7 GHz, 455)
Intel Core i7-6820HQ (Win 10)
154 Points ∼69% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13-20J2S00G00
Intel Core i7-7500U
145 Points ∼65% +4%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
Intel Core i7-7500U
139 Points ∼62%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel Core i5-7200U
129 Points ∼58% -7%
Acer TravelMate P449-M-7407
Intel Core i7-6500U
127 Points ∼57% -9%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
123 Points ∼55% -12%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-A-10X
Intel Core i7-4500U
112 Points ∼50% -19%
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
Intel Core i3-7100U
86 Points ∼39% -38%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.7 GHz, 455)
Intel Core i7-6820HQ (Win 10)
704 Points ∼38% +105%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13-20J2S00G00
Intel Core i7-7500U
351 Points ∼19% +2%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
Intel Core i7-7500U
343 Points ∼18%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel Core i5-7200U
328 Points ∼18% -4%
Acer TravelMate P449-M-7407
Intel Core i7-6500U
316 Points ∼17% -8%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
276 Points ∼15% -20%
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
Intel Core i3-7100U
256 Points ∼14% -25%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-A-10X
Intel Core i7-4500U
223 Points ∼12% -35%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad 13-20J2S00G00
Intel Core i7-7500U
1.67 Points ∼25% +2%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
Intel Core i7-7500U
1.64 Points ∼25%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel Core i5-7200U
1.47 Points ∼22% -10%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
1.43 Points ∼21% -13%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-A-10X
Intel Core i7-4500U
1.27 Points ∼19% -23%
Acer TravelMate P449-M-7407
Intel Core i7-6500U
1.16 Points ∼17% -29%
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
Intel Core i3-7100U
1.03 Points ∼15% -37%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad 13-20J2S00G00
Intel Core i7-7500U
3.87 Points ∼19% +1%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
Intel Core i7-7500U
3.83 Points ∼19%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel Core i5-7200U
3.67 Points ∼18% -4%
Acer TravelMate P449-M-7407
Intel Core i7-6500U
3.56 Points ∼18% -7%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
3.07 Points ∼15% -20%
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
Intel Core i3-7100U
2.85 Points ∼14% -26%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-A-10X
Intel Core i7-4500U
2.4 Points ∼12% -37%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
Intel Core i7-7500U
5630 Points ∼63%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.7 GHz, 455)
Intel Core i7-6820HQ
5580 Points ∼63% -1%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel Core i5-7200U
4999 Points ∼56% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13-20J2S00G00
Intel Core i7-7500U
4835 Points ∼54% -14%
Acer TravelMate P449-M-7407
Intel Core i7-6500U
4779 Points ∼54% -15%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
4695 Points ∼53% -17%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-A-10X
Intel Core i7-4500U
4230 Points ∼48% -25%
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
Intel Core i3-7100U
3871 Points ∼44% -31%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.7 GHz, 455)
Intel Core i7-6820HQ
21079 Points ∼52% +81%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
Intel Core i7-7500U
11676 Points ∼29%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel Core i5-7200U
11292 Points ∼28% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13-20J2S00G00
Intel Core i7-7500U
11109 Points ∼28% -5%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
9543 Points ∼24% -18%
Acer TravelMate P449-M-7407
Intel Core i7-6500U
9158 Points ∼23% -22%
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
Intel Core i3-7100U
8718 Points ∼22% -25%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-A-10X
Intel Core i7-4500U
7448 Points ∼18% -36%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
Intel Core i3-7100U
644.6 s * ∼8% -41%
Acer TravelMate P449-M-7407
Intel Core i7-6500U
521.22 s * ∼6% -14%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel Core i5-7200U
467.287 s * ∼6% -2%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
Intel Core i7-7500U
456.763 s * ∼5%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.7 GHz, 455)
Intel Core i7-6820HQ
241 s * ∼3% +47%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
Lenovo Thinkpad 13-20J1001BUS
Intel Core i3-7100U
817.6 Seconds * ∼4% -45%
Toshiba Portege Z30t-A-10X
Intel Core i7-4500U
675.39 Seconds * ∼3% -20%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel Core i5-7200U
655.742 Seconds * ∼3% -16%
Acer TravelMate P449-M-7407
Intel Core i7-6500U
645.84 Seconds * ∼3% -15%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.7 GHz, 455)
Intel Core i7-6820HQ
581 Seconds * ∼3% -3%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
Intel Core i7-7500U
563.28 Seconds * ∼3%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6681
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
11676
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5630
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
49.95 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.83 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.64 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
65.32 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
343 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
139 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark benchmark scores are very close to both the XPS 15 9560 and MacBook Pro 15 2016 by just single-digit percentages. Subjectively, the notebook responds swiftly as expected from a SSD-based system with no notable software glitches.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4928 Points ∼76%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.9 GHz, 460)
Radeon Pro 460, 6920HQ, Apple SSD SM1024L
4755 Points ∼73% -4%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
4422 Points ∼68% -10%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
5114 Points ∼55% +7%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.9 GHz, 460)
Radeon Pro 460, 6920HQ, Apple SSD SM1024L
4984 Points ∼54% +5%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4769 Points ∼51%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.9 GHz, 460)
Radeon Pro 460, 6920HQ, Apple SSD SM1024L
4066 Points ∼68% +6%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3852 Points ∼64%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
3588 Points ∼60% -7%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3852 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4769 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4928 points
Help

Storage Devices

Accessible M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe slot
Accessible M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe slot

Internal storage is limited to just a single M.2 SSD with no secondary options. Our test unit is configured with a 256 GB Samsung PM961 NVMe SSD that, unsurprisingly, performs about the same as the 512 GB version found in our ThinkPad T570. The manufacturer does not appear to offer any capacities larger than 256 GB, though upgrading should prove simple. Systems with SATA III SSDs can be up to 4x or 5x slower in sequential read and write rates than even a standard NVMe drive.

See our growing list of HDDs and SSDs for more benchmark comparisons.

CDM
CDM
AS SSD
AS SSD
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.9 GHz, 460)
Apple SSD SM1024L
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
Lenovo ThinkPad T570-20HAS01E00
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
8%
-3%
-6%
5%
Write 4k QD32
419.3
398.1
-5%
562.1
34%
395.2
-6%
474.4
13%
Read 4k QD32
545.3
509.1
-7%
679.3
25%
527.2
-3%
558.9
2%
Write 4k
131.9
134.1
2%
10.9
-92%
139.4
6%
144.1
9%
Read 4k
58.35
45.14
-23%
9.786
-83%
40.72
-30%
58.42
0%
Write 512
764.7
1119
46%
1058
38%
713.9
-7%
903.4
18%
Read 512
651.2
977.4
50%
913.7
40%
834.2
28%
788.7
21%
Write Seq
1281
1106
-14%
1440
12%
981.5
-23%
1134
-11%
Read Seq
1447
1684
16%
1458
1%
1266
-13%
1210
-16%
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Sequential Read: 1447 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1281 MB/s
512K Read: 651.2 MB/s
512K Write: 764.7 MB/s
4K Read: 58.35 MB/s
4K Write: 131.9 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 545.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 419.3 MB/s

GPU Performance

Performance from the dedicated GeForce 940MX in the Samsung is slower than other notebooks with the same GPU. We reran 3DMark benchmarks to verify that the Samsung is indeed outperformed by the GeForce 940MX in both the AsusPro P4540UQ and the Spectre x360 15 by as much as 33 percent according to Fire Strike. This is due to the comparatively slower clock speed of the GPU in the Samsung as shown in our Stress Test section below and the fact that the system utilizes slower DDR3 VRAM instead of GDDR5. Nonetheless, raw performance is still significantly better than the common HD Graphics 620 and only a step below the Iris Graphics 550 in some MacBooks. 

See our dedicated review page on the GeForce 940MX for more technical details and performance differences between the DDR3 and GDDR5 variants.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm
Ice Storm
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Unlimited
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
2784 Points ∼17% +57%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2609 Points ∼16% +47%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
2597 Points ∼16% +47%
Asus AsusPro P4540UQ-FY0056R
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7200U
2576 Points ∼16% +46%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
1770 Points ∼11%
HP 15-ba077ng
AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9700P
1466 Points ∼9% -17%
Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.2 GHz
Intel HD Graphics 515, 6Y54
1190 Points ∼7% -33%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
892 Points ∼6% -50%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6006U
867 Points ∼5% -51%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
3220 Points ∼6% +44%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
2696 Points ∼5% +21%
Asus AsusPro P4540UQ-FY0056R
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7200U
2645 Points ∼5% +19%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2576 Points ∼5% +16%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2230 Points ∼4%
HP 15-ba077ng
AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9700P
1856 Points ∼4% -17%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1309 Points ∼3% -41%
Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.2 GHz
Intel HD Graphics 515, 6Y54
1146 Points ∼2% -49%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6006U
1090 Points ∼2% -51%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2115 Points ∼5% +33%
Asus AsusPro P4540UQ-FY0056R
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7200U
2113 Points ∼5% +33%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
1903 Points ∼5% +19%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
1657 Points ∼4% +4%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
1593 Points ∼4%
HP 15-ba077ng
AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9700P
1213 Points ∼3% -24%
Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.2 GHz
Intel HD Graphics 515, 6Y54
783 Points ∼2% -51%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
672 Points ∼2% -58%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
14594 Points ∼9% +74%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
13172 Points ∼8% +57%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
11821 Points ∼7% +41%
Asus AsusPro P4540UQ-FY0056R
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7200U
11513 Points ∼7% +37%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
8385 Points ∼5%
HP 15-ba077ng
AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9700P
8107 Points ∼5% -3%
Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.2 GHz
Intel HD Graphics 515, 6Y54
6331 Points ∼4% -24%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
6189 Points ∼4% -26%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
98218 Points ∼26% +132%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
42314 Points ∼11%
HP 15-ba077ng
AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9700P
40461 Points ∼11% -4%
Dell Latitude 5280
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
34077 Points ∼9% -19%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
33758 Points ∼9% -20%
3DMark 11 Performance
2372 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
49982 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
6800 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1408 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
722 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Gaming is possible but not recommended as the 940MX is nowhere near powerful enough to play titles at the native 1080p resolution. The 940MX GDDR5 version in the ThinkPad T570 runs Bioshock Infinite over 60 percent faster and other titles will likely show similar performance deltas. Newer and more demanding titles like Rise of the Tomb Raider will be limited to the lowest of settings and resolutions.

See our dedicated GPU page on the GeForce 940MX for more benchmark comparisons.

BioShock Infinite - 1366x768 High Preset
Lenovo ThinkPad T570-20HAS01E00
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
64.3 fps ∼100% +64%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
51 fps ∼79% +30%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Iris Graphics 550, 6267U, Apple SSD AP0256
47.9 fps ∼74% +22%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
39.3 fps ∼61%
Dell Latitude 5280
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Toshiba MQ01ACF050
18 fps ∼28% -54%
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-C-16V
HD Graphics 520, 6006U, TOSHIBA MQ01ABD075
16 fps ∼25% -59%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 89.848.739.313.5fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 31fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 956424fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 37.420.510.9fps
Overwatch (2016) 65.244.8fps

Stress Test

We stress the notebook with synthetic benchmarks in order to identify for any throttling or hardware issues. With only Prime95 active, the CPU can be observed running at a steady 3.0 GHz or 300 MHz above its base clock rate. The i7-7500U processor itself is rated for speeds of up to 3.5 GHz and so it's a bit disappointing to see only limited Turbo Boost when under extreme CPU demands. Running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously to stress both the CPU and GPU will result in a slightly higher CPU clock rate of 3.1 GHz, but the GPU will throttle and fluctuate between 405 MHz and 900 MHz. The behavior is quite strange and not likely related to excessively high temperatures as the GPU stabilizes in the low 60 C range. This uneven GPU performance when under extreme loads may be partly responsible for the lower than expected 3DMark scores above.

Running Witcher 3 is more representative of real-world gaming loads where the CPU and GPU can be observed operating at a steady 3.5 GHz and 1037 MHz, respectively. In comparison, this same GPU in the Spectre x360 15 is slightly faster at a steady 1170 - 1189 MHz range under similar gaming loads. Core temperatures remain quite cool in the mid 60 C range especially for such a thin and light system as the Notebook 9.

Running on battery power results in no significant throttling of the CPU or GPU. A Cloud Gate benchmark on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 4122 and 8214 points, respectively, compared to 4093 and 8385 points when on mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Witcher 3 stress
Witcher 3 stress
012345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728Tooltip
The Witcher 3 low
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 3.0 -- 72 57
FurMark Stress -- 901 75 63
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 3.1 405 - 900 75 62
Witcher 3 Stress 3.5 1037 64 64

Emissions

System Noise

Twin 50 mm fans
Twin 50 mm fans

The cooling system consists of twin fans and a short heat pipe for both the CPU and discrete GPU. These components are kept as close to the rear of the system as possible to avoid warming the palm rests or frontal keys unlike on the VivoBook S15 series. The fans are silent when under idling or low loads at 28.3 dB(A) and are barely audible at 29.4 dB(A) if browsing and video streaming for longer periods. Pulsing fans and coil whine are both non-issues on the Samsung. Interestingly, the "Silent Mode" hotkey feature of older Notebook 9 models is now gone and can only be toggled through the pre-installed Samsung Settings app menu.

Medium loads as represented by 3DMark06 will bump the fans to their steady maximum of 38.3 dB(A). On one hand, we're a bit disappointed to see the fans reach their maximum potential without needing to resort to Prime95 or FurMark, but the 38 dB(A) range is tolerable and still quieter than the fans of the Spectre x360 15 when under similar loads. The fans will power down to slower speeds almost immediately when the demanding program or workload is shut off. 

Notebook 9 NP900X5N (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Notebook 9 NP900X5N (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
XPS 15 9560
XPS 15 9560
Spectre x360 13
Spectre x360 13

Noise Level

Idle
28.3 / 28.3 / 28.3 dB(A)
Load
38.3 / 38.3 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.3 dB(A)
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.9 GHz, 460)
Radeon Pro 460, 6920HQ, Apple SSD SM1024L
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
Lenovo ThinkPad T570-20HAS01E00
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Noise
-11%
-6%
-9%
-4%
off / environment *
28.3
28.4
-0%
29
-2%
28.5
-1%
29.3
-4%
Idle Minimum *
28.3
29
-2%
30.3
-7%
28.5
-1%
29.3
-4%
Idle Average *
28.3
29
-2%
30.3
-7%
28.5
-1%
29.3
-4%
Idle Maximum *
28.3
32.2
-14%
30.3
-7%
36.3
-28%
31.1
-10%
Load Average *
38.3
47.1
-23%
35.1
8%
42.7
-11%
35.2
8%
Load Maximum *
38.3
47.1
-23%
46
-20%
42.7
-11%
41.3
-8%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Surface temperatures are flat on both sides of the notebook when idling. When under heavier loads, the left half of the notebook will become slightly warmer than the right due to the asymmetric cooling system. We would have preferred this to be the other way around as the commonly used WASD keys can become quite warm if gaming or editing. This area can be as warm as 40 C when under extreme conditions, though this is still cooler than on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon where certain spots on the keyboard can be almost 50 C. Temperatures on the Samsung never become uncomfortable for typing so long as users don't mind having one hand be warmer than the other.

Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (bottom)
Maximum load (bottom)
Witcher 3 load (top)
Witcher 3 load (top)
Witcher 3 load (bottom)
Witcher 3 load (bottom)
Max. Load
 40 °C40.4 °C37.8 °C 
 34.2 °C38.8 °C29.8 °C 
 31.6 °C30.4 °C29 °C 
Maximum: 40.4 °C
Average: 34.7 °C
37.2 °C42.4 °C39 °C
31.2 °C35.2 °C34.8 °C
29.6 °C32 °C32.4 °C
Maximum: 42.4 °C
Average: 34.9 °C
Power Supply (max.)  38 °C | Room Temperature 22 °C | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer

Speakers

The internal 2 W stereo speakers are lacking not only in bass but also in volume. As shown by our pink noise measurements below, lower frequencies are not well represented and maximum volume is lower than expected. Users will likely be setting the volume to 70 percent or higher if watching videos as anything lower can be somewhat soft in a typical office or home environment. Fortunately, the speakers introduce no static, reverberations, or heavy imbalances no matter the volume setting. 

Notebook 9 NP900X5N (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
Notebook 9 NP900X5N (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
XPS 15 9560
XPS 15 9560
Spectre x360 13
Spectre x360 13
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs203637.12535.338.93132.934.44033.731.85032.932.56332.632.38030.530.710028.230.312529.229.716027.72820025.931250264131525.647.540025.747.850024.347.563023.846.780022.954100022.856.8125022.556.2160022.453.220002253250021.953.6315021.750.6400021.853500021.745.3630021.655.3800021.858.21000021.8581250021.855.41600021.848.7SPL34.666.2N2.320.3median 22.5Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01USmedian 50.6Delta2.1635.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (58.2 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 16% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.8% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.4% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (13.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (25.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 78% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 17% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 35%
Compared to all devices tested
» 69% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 25% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 96% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)
Graph 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Graph 2: Audio off

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Samsung will consume anywhere from 5 W to 12 W depending on the Power Profile and display brightness when idling on desktop. Running 3DMark06 will draw about 48 W to be nearly identical to the similarly equipped Spectre x360 15.

Perhaps the more interesting observation is the system's unusually low maximum power draw of 55.7 W compared to 74.9 W on the Spectre x360 15. As shown by our GPU benchmarks above, the same GeForce 940MX GPU in the HP system handily outperforms the Samsung in all benchmark tests. The more reserved power consumption of the Samsung when under heavy loads may be responsible for its more middling GPU scores. The small power adapter (6.8 x 6.8 x 3.0 cm) is rated for an output of up to 65 W maximum, which is still lower than what the HP can provide.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.3 / 0.83 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5 / 11.6 / 12.2 Watt
Load midlight 47.8 / 55.7 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
7500U, GeForce 940MX, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 15
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), Lite-on CX2-8B512-Q11 NVMe SSD, IGZO IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.9 GHz, 460)
6920HQ, Radeon Pro 460, Apple SSD SM1024L, IPS, 2880x1800, 15.4
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
7500U, GeForce 940MX, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK), IPS, 3840×2160 , 15.6
Asus VivoBook S15 S510UA
7200U, HD Graphics 620, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ128G8NY, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Power Consumption
-89%
-12%
-18%
28%
Idle Minimum *
5
11.9
-138%
3
40%
8.14
-63%
4.6
8%
Idle Average *
11.6
17.1
-47%
9.9
15%
10.91
6%
7.6
34%
Idle Maximum *
12.2
17.3
-42%
12.5
-2%
12.26
-0%
7.7
37%
Load Average *
47.8
94.7
-98%
70.6
-48%
45.67
4%
35.1
27%
Load Maximum *
55.7
122
-119%
90.8
-63%
74.94
-35%
36.2
35%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Runtimes are excellent from the internal 66 Wh battery at just over 10 hours of real-world WLAN use. Simply idling on desktop on the lowest brightness setting will last for over a full day and so standby time is impressively long before needing to recharge. Battery life is longer than the similarly configured Spectre x360 15 despite the HP carrying a larger capacity battery. The XPS 15 9560 will not lastly nearly as long due to its more powerful internals.

Charging from near empty to full capacity will take just over two hours through the AC adapter port. Charging through the USB Type-C port is possible with a generic 10 W (5 V, 2 A, BC 1.2-approved) adapter similar to those included with some smartphones, but Samsung themselves do not appear to offer any official USB Type-C chargers designed specifically for this notebook. We recommend using the included AC adapter for charging instead of resorting to third-party solutions whenever possible for more reliable charging.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
27h 22min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
10h 04min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 56min
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US
7500U, GeForce 940MX, 66 Wh
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 97 Wh
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.9 GHz, 460)
6920HQ, Radeon Pro 460, 76 Wh
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
7500U, GeForce 940MX, 79.2 Wh
Asus VivoBook S15 S510UA
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 42 Wh
Apple MacBook 13"
T7200, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950,  Wh
Battery Runtime
-29%
-27%
-10%
-53%
-37%
Reader / Idle
1642
831
-49%
866
-47%
614
-63%
390
-76%
Load
116
103
-11%
52
-55%
148
28%
70
-40%
120
3%
WiFi v1.3
604
434
-28%
619
2%
535
-11%
259
-57%

Pros

+ easy serviceability; upgradeable M.2 SSD
+ impressively crisp and colorful display
+ very bright backlight; Outdoor Mode
+ near complete sRGB coverage
+ very lightweight and portable
+ Full Thunderbolt 3 support
+ comfortable keyboard
+ quiet fans; no pulsing
+ long battery life
+ metal chassis

Cons

- no touchscreen, matte, or higher resolution options
- very fragile lid; lack of edge-to-edge glass
- GeForce 940MX with slower DDR3 RAM
- maximum volume could be louder
- non-upgradeable RAM
- no full-size SD reader
- no WWAN options
- pricey

Verdict

In review: Samsung Notebook 9 Always NP900X5N-X01US
In review: Samsung Notebook 9 Always NP900X5N-X01US

The Notebook 9 NP900X5N excels in so many categories but misses the mark in a key few areas. We commend the manufacturer for being able to offer such a bright 1080p display on an extremely lightweight system and still have discrete graphics options available. If brightness, portability, longevity, Thunderbolt connectivity, and GeForce graphics are of priority, then the Notebook 9 becomes an easy recommendation especially if users find touchscreen options frivolous or 14-inch alternatives to be too small for productivity.

The Samsung is far from perfect and is merely average in chassis rigidity with some odd display configuration choices. As lovely as the narrow-bezel display may be, it is far more flexible than what competitors currently have to offer. It's strange that the glossy panel is mandatory and yet it carries no Gorilla Glass protection or touchscreen options that typically accompany it. The presence of PWM on nearly all brightness levels is another factor that some users may have to consider before purchasing.

Additionally, we're disappointed to see only the DDR3 GeForce 940MX version instead of the superior GDDR5 version especially since this particular GPU is aging very quickly. Nvidia will soon launch the GeForce MX150 for thin-and-light notebooks that will essentially make the 940MX series obsolete.

Finally, the system is priced quite high at $1400 USD for our particular configuration level. The pros still outweigh to cons so long as owners can avoid any bumps and bruises to the fragile lid.

The new Notebook 9 is unique due to its 15.0-inch screen size that occupies a void between 14-inch and 15.6-inch notebooks. It's surprisingly portable and comfortable to use especially for constant travelers, but the chassis could have benefited from more reinforcement.

Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N-X01US - 06/15/2017 v6
Allen Ngo

Chassis
76 / 98 → 78%
Keyboard
87%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
53 / 81 → 66%
Weight
73 / 67 → 100%
Battery
93%
Display
88%
Games Performance
64 / 85 → 75%
Application Performance
89 / 92 → 97%
Temperature
92%
Noise
95 / 95 → 100%
Audio
50%
Camera
45 / 85 → 53%
Average
76%
86%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X5N (7500U, FHD, GeForce 940MX) Laptop Review
Allen Ngo, 2017-06-15 (Update: 2017-06-16)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.