Notebookcheck

Samsung Notebook 9 Pen NP930QAA (i7-8550U) Convertible Review

Under 1 kg. The 13.3-inch Samsung Notebook 9 Pen focuses on three strengths: weight, brightness, and S Pen support. The end result is a versatile convertible that's noticeably lighter than the competition and with a brighter display for improved outdoor visibility. The drawbacks, however, are hard to ignore and worth keeping in mind for anyone considering the $1300 flagship Samsung.

Samsung may be the most well-known brand when it comes to smartphones, but the same can't be said when it comes to laptops. The South Korean manufacturer has a range of Ultrabooks and even gaming laptops that are often overlooked by consumers in favor of Dell, HP, Lenovo, and others. It's a shame because Samsung laptops tend to offer some unique advantages over the competition that home and office users may appreciate.

Our review today focuses on the high-end 13.3-inch Notebook 9 NP930QAA convertible equipped with a Core i7-8550U CPU, 1080p touchscreen, 256 GB M.2 PCIe SSD, and 8 GB of RAM for $1300 USD. There are no other SKUs available for U.S. customers other than the one we have here.

The NP930QAA is notable for integrating the S Pen stylus while being extremely lightweight. Direct competitors include other 13-inch convertibles such as the Dell XPS 13 9365 2-in-1, HP Spectre x360 13, HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3, Lenovo Yoga C930, Acer Switch 7. Lenovo Yoga 730, and the ThinkPad X380 Yoga.

The chassis design is nearly identical to the 2017 Notebook 9 NP900X3N and so many of our existing comments on the NP900X3N still apply here. The NP930QAA can be thought of as the convertible variant of the otherwise traditional NP900X3N.

More Samsung reviews:

Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA (Notebook 9 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620, DDR4, 25.20.100.6472
Memory
8192 MB 
, 1200 MHz, 10-10-10-28, Dual-Channel
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 166 PPI, 10-point capacitive, native pen support, BOE075E, IPS, BOE NV133FHB-N33, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: MicroSD, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Accelerometer
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 16.5 x 310.4 x 206.5 ( = 0.65 x 12.22 x 8.13 in)
Battery
39 Wh, 5120 mAh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Micro-USB to USB Type-C adapter, Samsung Update, Notes, Gallery, Recovery, PC Cleaner, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
998 g ( = 35.2 oz / 2.2 pounds), Power Supply: 151 g ( = 5.33 oz / 0.33 pounds)
Price
1300 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

When closed, the chassis looks almost indistinguishable from the NP900X3N. The magnesium alloy surfaces remain and so does the matte silver color scheme. One notable change, however, is the new edge-to-edge glass overlay in order to support the touchscreen. This adds a bit more weight to the system, but the glass reinforces the lid for increased rigidity over the NP900X3N.

Base rigidity is stronger than the LG Gram 13 but still weaker than both the Spectre x360 13 and XPS 13. Attempting to twist the base results in slightly more warping and creaking than on both the aforementioned Dell and HP. The keyboard center also warps more easily from applied pressure. The more flexible chassis here is the price to pay for having such a lightweight design.

Construction quality is excellent from top to bottom with no unintended gaps or defects on our test unit. Hinges are uniformly firm and do not teeter when typing. One improvement we would make is to increase the grip along the front edge of the laptop as it is difficult to open the lid even with two hands.

At just under 1 kg, the Notebook 9 NP930QAA is one of the lightest 13.3-inch convertibles available by several hundred grams over the competition. It even manages to weigh less than the XPS 13 2-in-1 while also being much faster. The super lightweight LG Gram 13 comes closest to our Samsung in terms of portability, but it lacks the versatile 2-in-1 form factor.

Matte magnesium alloy frame hides fingerprints very well
Matte magnesium alloy frame hides fingerprints very well
Rounded edges and corners contrast the sharper design of the Spectre x360 series
Rounded edges and corners contrast the sharper design of the Spectre x360 series
Stronger chassis than the LG Gram 13 series
Stronger chassis than the LG Gram 13 series
Extremely lightweight for more comfortable use in tablet mode
Extremely lightweight for more comfortable use in tablet mode
333 mm / 13.1 inch 229 mm / 9.02 inch 17.05 mm / 0.671 inch 1.4 kg3.14 lbs320 mm / 12.6 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 15.4 mm / 0.606 inch 1.5 kg3.28 lbs310.4 mm / 12.2 inch 206.5 mm / 8.13 inch 16.5 mm / 0.65 inch 998 g2.2 lbs309 mm / 12.2 inch 208 mm / 8.19 inch 14 mm / 0.551 inch 817 g1.801 lbs306 mm / 12 inch 218 mm / 8.58 inch 13.6 mm / 0.535 inch 1.3 kg2.78 lbs304 mm / 12 inch 199 mm / 7.83 inch 13.7 mm / 0.539 inch 1.2 kg2.71 lbs

Connectivity

Available interfaces are the same as on the Notebook 9 NP900X3N albeit with one less USB 3.0 Type-A port. Users can recharge the laptop via USB Type-C even though the proprietary AC adapter port remains.

Port positioning is otherwise excellent as ports are evenly distributed along the left and right edges of the chassis.

Front: Spring-loaded S Pen recess
Front: Spring-loaded S Pen recess
Left: AC adapter, HDMI, USB Type-C Gen. 1 w/ DisplayPort support, 3.5 mm combo audio
Left: AC adapter, HDMI, USB Type-C Gen. 1 w/ DisplayPort support, 3.5 mm combo audio
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity
Right: Power button, MicroSD slot, USB 3.0 Type-A
Right: Power button, MicroSD slot, USB 3.0 Type-A

SD Card Reader

The spring-loaded MicroSD reader is not any faster or slower than the MicroSD reader on the Notebook 9 NP900X3N. Transferring 1 GB worth of images from our UHS-II test card to desktop takes about 13 seconds compared to almost half that on the Spectre x360 13.

A fully inserted MicroSD card sits flush against the edge of the notebook for safe transporting. The small card is a bit difficult to eject as a result.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
HP Spectre x360 13-ae048ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
157.2 MB/s ∼100% +95%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
80.5 MB/s ∼51%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
  (Toshiba THN-M401S0640E2)
67.37 MB/s ∼43% -16%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
  (Toshiba THN-M401S0640E2)
61.6 MB/s ∼39% -23%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
HP Spectre x360 13-ae048ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
206.9 MB/s ∼100% +131%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
89.65 MB/s ∼43%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
  (Toshiba THN-M401S0640E2)
88.07 MB/s ∼43% -2%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
  (Toshiba THN-M401S0640E2)
87.2 MB/s ∼42% -3%

Communication

Soldered 1216 WLAN module
Soldered 1216 WLAN module

Samsung has upgraded the Intel 8260 as found on the 2017 Notebook 9 NP900X3N to the Intel 8265 for our Notebook 9 2-in-1. Nevertheless, most Ultrabooks are now shipping with the even faster Intel 9260 for 2x the theoretical transfer rates over our Samsung (1.73 Gbps vs. 867 Mbps). We didn't experience any connectivity issues during our time with the test unit.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
668 MBit/s ∼100% +3%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
649 MBit/s ∼97%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LD0015US
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
594 MBit/s ∼89% -8%
HP Spectre x360 13-ae048ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
484 MBit/s ∼72% -25%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
309 MBit/s ∼46% -52%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP Spectre x360 13-ae048ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
655 MBit/s ∼100% +22%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
539 MBit/s ∼82%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
517 MBit/s ∼79% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LD0015US
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
492 MBit/s ∼75% -9%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
471 MBit/s ∼72% -13%

Maintenance

The bottom panel is secured by four Philips screws hidden underneath the rubber footing. It takes some patience to remove the panel since the latches are tight around the edges and corners. Most components are soldered including the WLAN and DDR4 RAM not unlike on the 2017 NP900X3N.

Internal layout is very similar to the 2017 NP900X3N
Internal layout is very similar to the 2017 NP900X3N

Accessories and Warranty

Samsung throws in a small Micro-USB to USB Type-C adapter free of charge. A cleaning cloth would have been nice as well since the touchscreen will inevitably collect fingerprints. It's worth noting that the included 45 W AC adapter is the exact same adapter that comes with the 13.3-inch Notebook 9 NP900X3N.

The standard one-year limited warranty applies.

Input Devices

Keyboard

Keyboard layout is identical to the NP900X3N including the dedicated fingerprint reader adjacent to the Enter key. We suspect that future revisions of this chassis will incorporate a power-fingerprint reader combo much like on the XPS 13 or MateBook X Pro.

Key feedback is surprisingly firm with deeper travel than most other Ultrabooks including the XPS 13 and MateBook 13. Conversely, clatter is a bit louder and more high-pitched than on the Dell. The overall typing experience is excellent so long as users don't mind the clatter.

The signature teal-green backlight returns in contrast to the white backlight on many competing Ultrabooks. Samsung claims that the teal-green color is easier on the eyes when working in dimly lit environments. The drawback, however, is that it's not as bright as a white backlight even when on the maximum brightness setting.

Touchpad

The precision-enabled clickpad is exactly same size as on the NP900X3N (10 x 6 cm). It's much smaller than the clickpad on the MateBook 13 (12 x 6.5 cm) and so multi-touch inputs can feel cramped. Fortunately, glide is smooth with no sticking even when moving slowly for excellent cursor control. Cursor jumping, however, occurs more often than we would like when using multi-touch inputs.

The integrated mouse keys have a loud audible click when pressed with shallow and firm feedback. In fact, we find the feedback to be firmer and louder than on the Spectre 13 or XPS 13. Nonetheless, the tendency for the cursor to jump impacts accuracy and the small clickpad surface area forces users to rely on the S Pen and touchscreen instead for longer sessions.

Speaking of the S Pen, we find it much too thin to comfortably grip for long periods especially when compared to the Surface Pen. It's small size is acceptable for smartphone use, but we expected more from a convertible laptop. The S Pen is thus best for short and occasional use only and not for fast note-taking sessions or lengthy classes.

Same keyboard layout as on the NP900X3N
Same keyboard layout as on the NP900X3N
Firm key feedback with slightly louder clatter than usual
Firm key feedback with slightly louder clatter than usual
Small S Pen is narrower than most pens for an uncomfortable grip over long periods
Small S Pen is narrower than most pens for an uncomfortable grip over long periods
Its diminutive size is more appropriate for smartphones than full-fledged Windows laptops (~11.4 cm in length)
Its diminutive size is more appropriate for smartphones than full-fledged Windows laptops (~11.4 cm in length)

Display

Our Notebook 9 2-in-1 utilizes a very similar panel from BOE as the 2017 Notebook 9 NP900X3N. This time, however, the display is touchscreen and pressure sensitive with the included S Pen stylus. The edge-to-edge glass coating feels thinner here and less resilient than the displays on most tablets or the Spectre x360 13.

Display impressions and properties are otherwise similar to the Notebook 9 NP900X3N. Brightness, color coverage, and contrast are nearly the same between the two laptops. One notable area of improvement is pulse-width modulation as its frequency is now much higher to impact fewer users who may be sensitive to onscreen flickering. We would have preferred it to be absent completely, but this is at least a step in the right direction.

Speaking of brightness, the "Outdoor Mode" toggle returns to bump the backlight to a measured maximum of 473 nits for improved outdoor visibility. If toggled off, maximum brightness is only 350 nits. The results here are significantly brighter than the competing Spectre x360 13, XPS 13 2-in-1, and Lenovo Yoga C930 even though contrast suffers just a bit. Remember to disable 'Display Power Saving Technology' in order to take full advantage of the maximum backlight setting when running on batteries.

Slight uneven backlight bleeding is present around the top corners of our unit as shown by the picture below. It's mostly unnoticeable even if viewing video with black borders.

Thin edge-to-edge glass for sharper colors that pop
Thin edge-to-edge glass for sharper colors that pop
Bezels are a bit thicker than the latest Ultrabooks
Bezels are a bit thicker than the latest Ultrabooks
Slight uneven backlight bleeding along the top left corner
Slight uneven backlight bleeding along the top left corner
RGB subpixel array (166 PPI)
RGB subpixel array (166 PPI)
443.4
cd/m²
446.3
cd/m²
430.3
cd/m²
427.9
cd/m²
473
cd/m²
443.3
cd/m²
417
cd/m²
441.7
cd/m²
445.3
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
BOE075E
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 473 cd/m² Average: 440.9 cd/m² Minimum: 5.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 473 cd/m²
Contrast: 830:1 (Black: 0.57 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.72 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1, calibrated: 2.14
ΔE Greyscale 5.1 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
90.8% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 58.9% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.31
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
BOE075E, IPS, 13.3, 1920x1080
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
IPS, 13.3, 1920x1080
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
AU Optronics AUO572D, IPS, 13.3, 1920x1080
HP Spectre x360 13-ae048ng
Chi Mei (CMN1376), IPS, 13.3, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LD0015US
Lenovo LEN40A9, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
ID: BOE06E1, Name: NV133FHB-N31, IPS, 13.3, 1920x1080
Response Times
-28%
-21%
250%
7%
-34%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
49.2 (33.2, 16)
48 (16.4, 31.6)
2%
52 (24.4, 27.6)
-6%
36 (18, 18)
27%
40.4 (22.4, 18)
18%
41.6 (22.8, 18.8)
15%
Response Time Black / White *
27.6 (17.6, 10)
32.8 (7.6, 25.2)
-19%
37.2 (21.2, 16)
-35%
27 (13, 14)
2%
28.8 (17.2, 11.6)
-4%
34 (20, 14)
-23%
PWM Frequency
3049 (99)
1042 (29)
-66%
25000 (40)
720%
210.1 (99)
-93%
Screen
-14%
21%
7%
-2%
9%
Brightness middle
473
322.6
-32%
389.8
-18%
311
-34%
267.2
-44%
510.7
8%
Brightness
441
306
-31%
396
-10%
278
-37%
239
-46%
481
9%
Brightness Distribution
88
91
3%
88
0%
82
-7%
75
-15%
90
2%
Black Level *
0.57
0.19
67%
0.27
53%
0.2
65%
0.27
53%
0.66
-16%
Contrast
830
1698
105%
1444
74%
1555
87%
990
19%
774
-7%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.72
7.7
-107%
2.72
27%
3.98
-7%
3.5
6%
2.4
35%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.83
11.1
-42%
5.49
30%
8.48
-8%
6.4
18%
7.3
7%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2.14
1.25
42%
3.81
-78%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.1
7.9
-55%
4.2
18%
5.57
-9%
1.3
75%
2.4
53%
Gamma
2.31 95%
2.88 76%
2.1 105%
2.51 88%
2.146 103%
2.23 99%
CCT
7569 86%
7044 92%
7470 87%
7810 83%
6523 100%
6747 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
58.9
44.1
-25%
62.2
6%
64
9%
56
-5%
57
-3%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
90.8
69.9
-23%
98.2
8%
99
9%
86
-5%
88.1
-3%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-21% / -17%
0% / 15%
129% / 63%
3% / -1%
-13% / -1%

* ... smaller is better

Color space covers approximately 91 percent and 59 percent of the sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, respectively. While significantly better than budget panels where 60 to 70 percent sRGB is common, users who want full sRGB coverage may want to consider the HP Spectre x360 13 instead.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB

Colors are fairly accurate out of the box, but color temperature is on the cool side and grayscale could have been better. Our calibration addresses these issues for a more color-accurate display overall. We recommend applying our ICC profile to get the most out of the panel.

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
27.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17.6 ms rise
↘ 10 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 58 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
49.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 33.2 ms rise
↘ 16 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. » 82 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (40 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 3049 Hz ≤ 99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 3049 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 3049 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9418 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is good when under shade because of the strong backlight. Direct sunlight, however, will still wash out the screen and accentuate glare. If outdoor visibility is of utmost importance, then users may want to consider the HP EliteBook x360 830 G5 and its 1000-nit display. Viewing angles are otherwise excellent as one would expect from an IPS panel. Contrast changes just slightly if viewing from very obtuse angles.

Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

The Kaby Lake-R Core i7-8550U and integrated UHD graphics 620 GPU are commonplace on mainstream Ultrabooks. Samsung has yet to make the transition to Whiskey Lake-U as of this writing, but we're not too concerned since the raw performance benefits over Kaby Lake-R are minimal at best. Users who want dedicated graphics options may have to consider giving up the convertible form factor for a more traditional 13.3-inch Huawei MateBook 13 or Asus ZenBook UX333.

Processor

CineBench R15
CineBench R15

The Core i7-8550U in the Samsung is about 13 percent slower than the average i7-8550U in our database taken from a sample of 70+ other laptops. As a more extreme example, the XPS 13 with this same CPU is able to outperform our Samsung by 29 percent in multi-threaded workloads. While still faster than the last generation i5-7200U in the 2017 Notebook 9 NP900X3N by over 50 percent, Samsung's implementation of the i7-8550U here is substandard.

We can observe why performance is so much lower than expected by running CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop. The initial score of 530 points steadily drops to about 449 points for a performance loss of 15 percent due to thermal throttling. The XPS 13 with the same CPU is able to maintain faster clock rates albeit at warmer core temperatures than our Samsung. Since this is a convertible, we can understand why Samsung veered towards lower temperatures instead of maximizing Turbo Boost performance.

See our dedicated page on the Core i7-8550U for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

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Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø454 (446.34-529.84)
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø299 (285.69-328.66)
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø597 (581.49-636.79)
Huawei MateBook 13 i7 GeForce MX150, 8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø581 (538.98-696.8)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Huawei MateBook 13 i7
Intel Core i7-8565U
175 Points ∼80% +14%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8550U
165 Points ∼76% +7%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (108 - 172, n=74)
160 Points ∼73% +4%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-8259U
154 Points ∼71% 0%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
Intel Core i7-8550U
154 Points ∼71%
HP Spectre x360 13-ae048ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
144 Points ∼66% -6%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-51-59SZ
Intel Core i5-8250U
143 Points ∼66% -7%
Honor Magicbook
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
138 Points ∼63% -10%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
Intel Core i7-8500Y
132 Points ∼61% -14%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-7Y75
130 Points ∼60% -16%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
123 Points ∼56% -20%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-8259U
687 Points ∼16% +38%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-8259U
608 Points ∼14% +22%
Huawei MateBook 13 i7
Intel Core i7-8565U
650 Points ∼15% +31%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8550U
639 Points ∼15% +29%
Honor Magicbook
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
576 Points ∼13% +16%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-51-59SZ
Intel Core i5-8250U
576 Points ∼13% +16%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (301 - 761, n=76)
570 Points ∼13% +15%
HP Spectre x360 13-ae048ng
Intel Core i7-8550U
501 Points ∼11% +1%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
Intel Core i7-8550U
497 Points ∼11%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
328 Points ∼7% -34%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
Intel Core i7-8500Y
271 Points ∼6% -45%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-7Y75
258 Points ∼6% -48%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
154 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
497 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
50.68 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Help

System Performance

PCMark 10 results are consistently higher than the last generation NP900X3N albeit just slightly. Ultrabooks with dedicated graphics, such as the Huawei MateBook 13, score much higher in Digital Content Creation where the extra GPU power is put to good use.

We did not experience any crashes or performance abnormalities during our time with the test unit.

PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Huawei MateBook 13 i7
GeForce MX150, 8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3645 Points ∼33% +32%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LD0015US
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
2941 Points ∼26% +6%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
2770 Points ∼25%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1506 - 3160, n=26)
2744 Points ∼25% -1%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP
2260 Points ∼20% -18%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
1791 Points ∼16% -35%
Productivity
Huawei MateBook 13 i7
GeForce MX150, 8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
7281 Points ∼75% +4%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
7006 Points ∼72%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP
6429 Points ∼66% -8%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (4962 - 7006, n=26)
6198 Points ∼64% -12%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5745 Points ∼59% -18%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LD0015US
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5099 Points ∼53% -27%
Essentials
Huawei MateBook 13 i7
GeForce MX150, 8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
8382 Points ∼76% +16%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6628 - 9291, n=26)
7742 Points ∼70% +7%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP
7666 Points ∼70% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LD0015US
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
7509 Points ∼68% +4%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
7217 Points ∼66%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
6741 Points ∼61% -7%
Score
Huawei MateBook 13 i7
GeForce MX150, 8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4344 Points ∼56% +17%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3723 Points ∼48%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2629 - 4072, n=28)
3600 Points ∼46% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LD0015US
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3461 Points ∼45% -7%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP
3449 Points ∼44% -7%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
2945 Points ∼38% -21%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LD0015US
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4823 Points ∼74% +12%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP
4786 Points ∼73% +11%
Huawei MateBook 13 i7
GeForce MX150, 8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4709 Points ∼72% +9%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
HD Graphics 615, 7Y75, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
4674 Points ∼72% +9%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3518 - 5154, n=25)
4562 Points ∼70% +6%
HP Spectre x360 13-ae048ng
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN51T02DUK
4463 Points ∼69% +4%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4406 Points ∼68% +2%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4303 Points ∼66%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
HP Spectre x360 13-ae048ng
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN51T02DUK
4998 Points ∼52%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LD0015US
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4879 Points ∼51%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3381 - 5342, n=17)
4707 Points ∼49%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP
4577 Points ∼48%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
HD Graphics 615, 7Y75, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
4277 Points ∼45%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LD0015US
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3946 Points ∼65% +12%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP
3728 Points ∼61% +6%
Huawei MateBook 13 i7
GeForce MX150, 8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3616 Points ∼59% +3%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3024 - 4197, n=31)
3608 Points ∼59% +2%
HP Spectre x360 13-ae048ng
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN51T02DUK
3605 Points ∼59% +2%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3525 Points ∼58%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
HD Graphics 615, 7Y75, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
3134 Points ∼51% -11%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
2737 Points ∼45% -22%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3525 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4303 points
Help

Storage Devices

Naturally, the Samsung laptop is equipped with a Samsung SSD. This same PM961 SSD model can also be found on many other high-end laptops including the MS GS73 and Lenovo ThinkPad T480s. Transfer rates are significantly better than the SATA III-limited Samsung CM871a in our 2017 Notebook 9 NP900X3N but still almost twice as slow as the pricier Samsung PM981.

Users can swap out the M.2 SSD without needing to puncture any stickers or warranty labels.

See our table of SSDs and HDDs for more benchmark comparisons.

M.2 2280 PCIe slot
M.2 2280 PCIe slot
CDM 5.5
CDM 5.5
AS SSD
AS SSD
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LD0015US
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP
AS SSD
-23%
18%
17%
-53%
Copy Game MB/s
418.59
725.64
73%
971.31
132%
607.46
45%
186.76
-55%
Copy Program MB/s
541.16
263.84
-51%
630.57
17%
233.46
-57%
213.04
-61%
Copy ISO MB/s
1103.44
950.1
-14%
1373.65
24%
917.06
-17%
335.88
-70%
Score Total
3051
1495
-51%
3569
17%
3594
18%
1057
-65%
Score Write
941
375
-60%
823
-13%
1359
44%
350
-63%
Score Read
1420
752
-47%
1833
29%
1487
5%
463
-67%
Access Time Write *
0.036
0.037
-3%
0.037
-3%
0.037
-3%
0.053
-47%
Access Time Read *
0.061
0.045
26%
0.051
16%
0.043
30%
0.066
-8%
4K-64 Write
738.67
204.71
-72%
605.28
-18%
1072.18
45%
223.84
-70%
4K-64 Read
1196.1
586.33
-51%
1620.84
36%
1215.71
2%
379.44
-68%
4K Write
104.1
96.88
-7%
95.93
-8%
102.34
-2%
79.23
-24%
4K Read
41.84
37.69
-10%
42.69
2%
49.11
17%
31.24
-25%
Seq Write
986.15
735.07
-25%
1213.77
23%
1839.98
87%
466.02
-53%
Seq Read
1823.78
1283.12
-30%
1692.57
-7%
2217.93
22%
519.84
-71%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3114 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 1211 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 330.1 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 240.1 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 869.9 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1049 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 41.61 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 114.4 MB/s

GPU Performance

The common integrated UHD Graphics 620 holds no surprises here. Performance is within 5 percent of the average UHD Graphics 620 taken from our database of over 100 different laptop samples. Owners of older laptops equipped with the HD Graphics 620 aren't missing much as the gen-to-gen performance gain is extremely small.

While we can understand why Samsung may want to exclude any discrete GeForce options to keep the weight low, it's too bad that there are no AMD Ryzen options. The integrated RX Vega 8 offers over 100 percent faster raw GPU power than the Intel solution.

See our dedicated page on the UHD Graphics 620 for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Huawei MateBook 13 i7
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8565U
4163 Points ∼18% +167%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
2683 Points ∼12% +72%
Honor Magicbook
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
2597 Points ∼11% +66%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1755 Points ∼8% +12%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-51-59SZ
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1653 Points ∼7% +6%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1562 Points ∼7%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (959 - 2404, n=155)
1532 Points ∼7% -2%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1478 Points ∼7% -5%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel HD Graphics 615, 7Y75
1313 Points ∼6% -16%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
Intel UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y
872 Points ∼4% -44%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Huawei MateBook 13 i7
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8565U
4514 Points ∼9% +164%
Honor Magicbook
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
3482 Points ∼7% +104%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
3044 Points ∼6% +78%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1915 Points ∼4% +12%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-51-59SZ
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1818 Points ∼4% +6%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1235 - 3743, n=155)
1719 Points ∼3% +1%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1709 Points ∼3%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1536 Points ∼3% -10%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel HD Graphics 615, 7Y75
1370 Points ∼3% -20%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
Intel UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y
1088 Points ∼2% -36%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
624 Points ∼4%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (299 - 431, n=25)
351 Points ∼2%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-51-59SZ
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
349 Points ∼2%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
Intel UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y
226 Points ∼2%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Huawei MateBook 13 i7
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8565U
3586 Points ∼9%
Honor Magicbook
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
2328 Points ∼6%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
2070 Points ∼5%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1283 Points ∼3%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-51-59SZ
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1225 Points ∼3%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (557 - 1401, n=124)
1119 Points ∼3%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
967 Points ∼2%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel HD Graphics 615, 7Y75
917 Points ∼2%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
Intel UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y
733 Points ∼2%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Huawei MateBook 13 i7
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8565U
21260 Points ∼12% +124%
Honor Magicbook
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
15109 Points ∼8% +59%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
14343 Points ∼8% +51%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-51-59SZ
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
9974 Points ∼5% +5%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
9533 Points ∼5% 0%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
9501 Points ∼5%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6910 - 11436, n=142)
9118 Points ∼5% -4%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
8301 Points ∼4% -13%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel HD Graphics 615, 7Y75
7839 Points ∼4% -17%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
Intel UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y
6692 Points ∼4% -30%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Acer Swift 3 SF313-51-59SZ
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
54599 Points ∼7%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
47091 Points ∼6%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
46817 Points ∼6%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (29002 - 59483, n=34)
44317 Points ∼6%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel HD Graphics 615, 7Y75
42163 Points ∼6%
3DMark 11 Performance
1892 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
7928 points
Help
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 7134.9299.5fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 21.4136.5fps
Rocket League (2017) 5832.420.1fps

Emissions

System Noise

The cooling solution appears to be identical to the 2017 NP900X3N. In order to keep weight low, the heat pipe is much shorter than on most other laptops.

Fan noise and behavior remain unchanged from the NP900X3N. The convertible is silent during low loads like browsing or video streaming and users can expect a fan noise of just under 33 dB(A) during heavier loads not unlike on many competitors. At worst, we are able to record a fan noise of 36.7 dB(A) only when installing software or updates or running benchmarks.

Our unit suffers from no noticeable electronic noise or coil whine.

~40 mm system fan
~40 mm system fan
Soldered RAM modules sit adjacent to the CPU
Soldered RAM modules sit adjacent to the CPU
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
HP Spectre x360 13-ae048ng
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN51T02DUK
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LD0015US
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
Huawei MateBook 13 i7
GeForce MX150, 8565U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Noise
-1%
1%
2%
-1%
-5%
off / environment *
29
30.13
-4%
27.8
4%
28.4
2%
28
3%
28.6
1%
Idle Minimum *
29
30.13
-4%
27.8
4%
28.4
2%
28
3%
28.6
1%
Idle Average *
29
30
-3%
27.8
4%
28.4
2%
28
3%
28.6
1%
Idle Maximum *
29
30.13
-4%
27.8
4%
28.4
2%
28
3%
28.6
1%
Load Average *
32.6
33.4
-2%
33.9
-4%
33.2
-2%
32.5
-0%
34.2
-5%
Load Maximum *
36.7
33
10%
39.9
-9%
35.2
4%
42.2
-15%
47
-28%
Witcher 3 ultra *
43

* ... smaller is better

Noise Level

Idle
29 / 29 / 29 dB(A)
Load
32.6 / 36.7 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29 dB(A)

Temperature

Rear exhaust
Rear exhaust

Surface temperatures are flat when idling with the left half of the laptop being slightly warmer than the right at all times. Hot spots can become as warm as 40 C compared to 45 C to 47 C on the XPS 13 or even 50 C on the Spectre x360 13. The cooler CPU temperature and more reserved clock rates of the Samsung definitely give it the advantage in this regard.

The palm rests remain cool for comfortable typing no matter the processing load.

System idle (top)
System idle (top)
System idle (bottom)
System idle (bottom)
Maximum stress (top)
Maximum stress (top)
Maximum stress (bottom)
Maximum stress (bottom)

Stress Test

We stress the laptop with synthetic loads to identify for any potential throttling or stability issues. When subjected to Prime95 load, core clock rate can be as high as 3 GHz for the first few seconds before reaching a core temperature of 93 C. Afterwards, clock rate steadily drops to 1.9 to 2 GHz for a cooler core temperature of 75 C. This behavior mimics our CineBench R15 loop test above where scores are highest only during the first few loops before clock rates inevitably fall and stabilize over time. Since the base clock rate of the Core i7-8550U is 1.8 GHz, we're a bit disappointed that the convertible is only able to maintain a Turbo Boost of just +100 to 200 MHz.

CPU performance is slightly lower when running on battery power. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 6481 points and 1721 points, respectively, compared to 5897 and 1709 points when on mains.

System idle
System idle
Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C)
System Idle -- -- 39
Prime95 Stress 1.9 - 2.0 -- 77
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 897 650 76
Max. Load
 35.6 °C
96 F
37.4 °C
99 F
29.2 °C
85 F
 
 33.8 °C
93 F
34.2 °C
94 F
25.8 °C
78 F
 
 24.4 °C
76 F
25.2 °C
77 F
23.6 °C
74 F
 
Maximum: 37.4 °C = 99 F
Average: 29.9 °C = 86 F
30 °C
86 F
40.2 °C
104 F
37 °C
99 F
27.4 °C
81 F
34.2 °C
94 F
33.6 °C
92 F
26.6 °C
80 F
29.2 °C
85 F
29.8 °C
86 F
Maximum: 40.2 °C = 104 F
Average: 32 °C = 90 F
Power Supply (max.)  37 °C = 99 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 29.9 °C / 86 F, compared to the average of 30.3 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Convertible.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 37.4 °C / 99 F, compared to the average of 35.3 °C / 96 F, ranging from 21.8 to 55.7 °C for the class Convertible.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 40.2 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 23.2 °C / 74 F, compared to the device average of 30.3 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 25.2 °C / 77.4 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(+) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29 °C / 84.2 F (+3.8 °C / 6.8 F).

Speakers

The stereo 1.5 W speakers are better than we were anticipating from a 13-inch convertible. Audio is balanced with decent bass reproduction and no static considering the small size. Maximum volume is loud enough to fill a small room, but it will vibrate the palm rests slightly.

Stereo speakers near the front corners
Stereo speakers near the front corners
Relatively balanced audio
Relatively balanced audio
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2039.939.62539.2373137.535.54036.5345034.735.76337.435.88033.53410033.333.512532.933.316031.238.820035.444.42503155.231531.160.540030.665.450029.665.663028.862.380028.369.3100028.468.5125027.965.2160027.965.5200027.961.8250027.956.2315027.858400027.867.1500027.962.7630027.771.8800027.671.71000027.669.81250027.561.21600027.462.5SPL40.378.9N3.944.9median 27.9median 62.5Delta1.35.535.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseSamsung Notebook 9 NP930QAAApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (71.84 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 18.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.2% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.9% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (13.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 59% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 35% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 57% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 36% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, 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
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The system demands anywhere between 4 W and 16 W when idling on desktop depending on the brightness setting and Power profile compared to 10 W at most from its closest competitors. The higher demand can be attributed to the bright "Outdoor Mode" backlight as the difference between minimum and maximum brightness is almost 7 W. When gaming or running very high loads, consumption remains higher than than the competing Spectre x360 13 with the same CPU.

We are able to measure a maximum consumption of 39.8 W from the very small (~6 x 6 x 3 cm) 45 W adapter. This is unsustainable, however, as consumption eventually drops and stabilizes at 29.5 W due to performance throttling as shown in our CineBench R15 loop test above.

Power consumption when running 3DMark06
Power consumption when running 3DMark06
Prime95 initiated at 20s mark. Consumption spikes for first few seconds before dropping and stabilizing
Prime95 initiated at 20s mark. Consumption spikes for first few seconds before dropping and stabilizing
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.2 / 0.68 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.4 / 11.8 / 15.5 Watt
Load midlight 38 / 39.8 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
7Y75, HD Graphics 615, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
8500Y, UHD Graphics 615, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
HP Spectre x360 13-ae048ng
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba NVMe THNSN51T02DUK, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LD0015US
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
7200U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Power Consumption
48%
42%
30%
18%
12%
Idle Minimum *
4.4
3.1
30%
1.8
59%
3.2
27%
3
32%
3.8
14%
Idle Average *
11.8
4.3
64%
3.8
68%
6
49%
5.4
54%
11
7%
Idle Maximum *
15.5
4.9
68%
7.7
50%
9.2
41%
7.5
52%
11.3
27%
Load Average *
38
24.3
36%
26.9
29%
29.5
22%
40.1
-6%
35.6
6%
Load Maximum *
39.8
22.8
43%
38.5
3%
35.6
11%
57.1
-43%
37.2
7%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The Notebook 9 NP930QAA continues the series trend of small battery capacities. At just 39 W, the battery in our Samsung 2-in-1 is significantly smaller than the 60 Wh and 54 Wh batteries as found on the Spectre x360 13 and ThinkPad X1 Yoga, respectively. We can at least applaud Samsung for upping the battery capacity when compared to the 30 Wh pack in the Notebook 9 NP900X3N.

Battery life is average at 6.5 hours of real-world WLAN use. In comparison, the aforementioned HP and Lenovo laptops can last for 9 to 11 hours each when subjected to similar testing conditions.

Charging from empty to full capacity with the included AC adapter takes about 2 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
14h 33min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
6h 38min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 9min
Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, 39 Wh
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
7Y75, HD Graphics 615, 46 Wh
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
8500Y, UHD Graphics 615, 54.28 Wh
HP Spectre x360 13-ae048ng
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, 60 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LD0015US
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 54 Wh
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 30 Wh
Battery Runtime
79%
146%
87%
67%
-21%
Reader / Idle
873
971
11%
1882
116%
1218
40%
695
-20%
WiFi v1.3
398
686
72%
852
114%
527
32%
651
64%
279
-30%
Load
69
175
154%
212
207%
166
141%
135
96%
60
-13%

Verdict

Pros

+ matte surfaces hide fingerprints very well
+ bright "Outdoor Mode" display
+ relatively strong base and lid
+ integrated S Pen stylus
+ extremely lightweight
+ generally very quiet
+ firm key feedback
+ MicroSD reader

Cons

- very limited Turbo Boost potential; below average CPU performance
- small battery capacity; average battery life
- small S Pen is uncomfortable to hold
- PWM on almost all brightness levels
- no 1.73 Gbps WLAN or Bluetooth 5
- non-upgradeable WLAN and RAM
- no Thunderbolt 3
- small clickpad
In review: SAMSUNG Notebook 9 Pen NP930QAA-K01US
In review: SAMSUNG Notebook 9 Pen NP930QAA-K01US

The biggest reasons to own a Notebook 9 Pen NP930QAA over alternatives like the HP Spectre x360 13 or Lenovo Yoga C930 are its integrated S Pen, very bright display, and extremely light weight. Users who frequently work while traveling or on-the-go will find the Samsung to be more versatile than the popular XPS 13 or Spectre series.

Samsung had to cut some corners in order to make such a lightweight convertible. Since the cooling solution is so small, CPU Turbo Boost performance is limited and below average. Components and SKUs are also limited as RAM and WLAN are soldered and non-upgradeable. Battery capacity is smaller than usual for shorter battery life than the competition. Lastly, the base and lid are slightly more flexible than the Spectre 13, Zenbook UX333, or Blade Stealth. These are sacrifices that potential owners will have to keep in mind if they want the versatility of the Samsung convertible.

One aspect that we think the Notebook 9 Pen NP930QAA could have been better at is its S Pen. The stylus is just far too small and narrow for comfortable use. Taking notes on this machine for class or otherwise is significantly more cumbersome than on the Surface Pro, EliteBook x360, or even the Yoga C930. If you intend to use the NP930QAA as a note-taking workhorse, then we recommend trying out the S Pen first before committing to the $1300 purchase.

Brighter and lighter than many competitors in the market today, the versatile Samsung Notebook 9 Pen NP930QAA is an almost perfect travel companion for outdoor use and constant travelers. The small and uncomfortable S Pen puts a huge damper on the system compared to the stronger and larger styluses of the Surface Pro, EliteBook x360, or Yoga C930.

Samsung Notebook 9 NP930QAA - 01/30/2019 v6
Allen Ngo

Chassis
82 / 98 → 83%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
77%
Connectivity
45 / 80 → 56%
Weight
75 / 35-78 → 93%
Battery
89%
Display
84%
Games Performance
58 / 68 → 86%
Application Performance
88 / 87 → 100%
Temperature
94%
Noise
95%
Audio
60 / 91 → 66%
Camera
40 / 85 → 46%
Average
75%
85%
Convertible - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Samsung Notebook 9 Pen NP930QAA (i7-8550U) Convertible Review
Allen Ngo, 2019-01-30 (Update: 2019-02- 3)
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.