Back in April, I reported on Samsung’s sleek Ativ Book 9- an on-the-go, black aluminum laptop, weighing just over 2 pounds, with a resolution measuring 2560 x 1600 pixels. At the time, the Ativ Book 9 somewhat set the bar for what a MacBook competitor should look and act like, and has since mostly targeted upper-range ultrabook buyers. Lightweight and powerful are what these folks are really going for, and those who really want it aren’t upset about spending a little extra. Here we are in November, and Samsung has a new round of Ativ Books to offer. The new series, including the Ativ Book 9 Pro and Ativ Book 9 Spin, has upped the ante in demanding graphics and workstation-class specs. Oh yeah, and the 9 Pro is Samsung’s very first 4K laptop.
It’s no surprise that Samsung made a 4K laptop, but it may surprise you that a company who specializes in making great displays took so long to do so. The new 4.5 pound Ativ Book 9 Pro is similar to its predecessor, but sports a larger 15.6-inch touchscreen display, with an even better 3840 x 2160 pixel count, featuring “real time HDR enhancements” (that’s a fancy term for brightness and contrast optimization). The Verge calls this “the best display Samsung has ever put in a laptop”.
Also included in the Ativ Book 9 Pro is an Intel Core i7 processor 67000HQ, 8GB of RAM, a 256 SSD, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 950M graphics (2GB GDDR5 included), a 4K HDMI slot, SD card reader, 3 USB 3.0 Type As, a USB 3.1 Type C, mic, and 4 speakers (Slash Gear). The only notable downfall of this model may be its limited (6.5 hour) battery life, which most likely suffers because it’s spending so much power on that 4K screen. This laptop starts at $1,599.
The Ativ Book 9 Spin, measuring 13.3 inches and weighing in at 2.87 pounds, comes with a 3200 x 1800 QHD+ touchscreen display, and includes the perk of 360 degree rotation for multiple modes (tablet, traditional laptop, and tent mode). Although the Ativ Book 9 Spin doesn’t feature 4K, a bonus for this display includes an upgraded outdoor mode, where the screen may hit up to 700nit of brightness. Hardware includes an Intel Core i7 processor 6500U and Intel Graphics 520, the same storage and RAM as the Book 9 Pro, but little bit longer battery life at around 7 hours. Connectivity and ports include 3 USB 3.0s, HDMI output, a microSD card reader, and a mic. This option starts at $1,399 (The Verge).
Just because the Ativ Book 9 Spin is more compact than the Book 9 Pro, power and performance are anything but forgotten. Basically, the way to choose between the two is simple: decide how important 4K resolution is to you, or whether you’d rather something a little more compact. In the end, both options provide enough of the same specs that if you tossed flipped a coin to make a decision, you’d win either way it landed.
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