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Sizes are similar, though the Notebook 9 is a hair shorter and wider. Samsung's laptop also comes in at 7-percent thinner.
Weight is a different story, as the Notebook 9 is 40-percent lighter.
The lightness is partially helped by Samsung's almost plasticky-feeling magnesium build. Apple sticks with its trademark aluminum.
We also handled a blue variant of the Notebook 9 at CES, but a Samsung representative tells us that only the titan (white-ish) model will launch in the U.S.
Despite having identical diagonal measurements, the MacBook Pro's screen is 5-percent bigger. That's due to using different aspect ratios (16:9 for the Notebook 9, 16:10 for the MacBook).
While the overall display quality of the Notebook 9 looked very good in our hands-on, its resolution is significantly lower than the MacBook's.
Unlike many Windows laptops, the Notebook 9 doesn't have a touchscreen.
In place of a touchscreen, Apple added a multitouch, contextual strip to the more expensive (US$1,800 and up) tiers of the 2016 MacBook Pro.
Samsung uses a physically-hinged ("diving board") trackpad, where clicking it is much easier on the bottom than top. Apple uses pressure sensitivity and haptic feedback to make its trackpad feel like it's moving when it isn't.
Samsung is using newer Kaby Lake processors in the upcoming laptops, while Apple's latest are 6th-gen Skylake. Another differentiator is Samsung offering a faster Core i7 option for the 13-inch model (though you can also get a Core i7 MacBook if you order a special configuration from Apple's online store).
Samsung adds an "up to" in its RAM specifications for the new notebooks, suggesting there's at least a possibility the entry-level models will have less.
Ditto for storage, where "up to" leaves the door open to a mere 128 GB SSD in the cheapest Notebook 9.
Samsung added a microSD slot to complement its internal storage.
Samsung offers a balance of new and old: two legacy USB 3.0 ports, one USB-C and an HDMI for video out. Apple's ports are all Thunderbolt/USB-C.
Standalone charging port
The Notebook 9 has a standalone charging port, so you don't have to take up its USB-C slot (as you need to do with the MacBook). You do, however, also have the option of charging via USB-C on Samsung's.
Samsung also added a fast-charging feature, which Samsung representatives at CES told us works through both the proprietary charging port and USB-C.
Battery specs come out favorably for the MacBook (likely a big reason for the Notebook 9's weight advantage), but Samsung's laptop also has a lower-res display to drive. We can't draw firm conclusions, though, until we review the Notebook 9.
The Notebook 9 has a built-in fingerprint sensor. Apple only put its Touch ID sensors in the more-expensive models that also have the Touch Bar.
Samsung hasn't narrowed down a ship date for the new machine, apart from H1 of 2017.
We also don't yet have pricing info for the Notebook 9. Given its lower-res screen, we'd hope it would come in significantly lower than the (arguably overpriced) MacBook.
- Buy 2016 MacBook Pro on Amazon