Laptops

Samsung Notebook 9 vs. Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch)

New Atlas compares the features and specs of the 2017 Samsung Notebook 9 (13-in) and 2016 Apple MacBook Pro (13-in)
New Atlas compares the features and specs of the 2017 Samsung Notebook 9 (13-in) and 2016 Apple MacBook Pro (13-in)
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Battery
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Battery
Build
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Build
Color options
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Color options
Processor
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Processor
Dimensions
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Dimensions
Display resolution
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Display resolution
Display size
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Display size
Fast charging
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Fast charging
Fingerprint sensor
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Fingerprint sensor
New Atlas compares the features and specs of the 2017 Samsung Notebook 9 (13-in) and 2016 Apple MacBook Pro (13-in)
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New Atlas compares the features and specs of the 2017 Samsung Notebook 9 (13-in) and 2016 Apple MacBook Pro (13-in)
MicroSD
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MicroSD
Ports
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Ports
Starting price
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Starting price
RAM
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RAM
Release
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Release
SD reader
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SD reader
Software
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Software
Standalone charging port
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Standalone charging port
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Storage
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Touch Bar
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Touchscreen
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Weight
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Trackpad style

Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro is set to have another Windows-based rival this year, in Samsung's updated Notebook 9. Read on, as we compare the features and specs of the two 13-in variants.

Size

Dimensions
Dimensions

Sizes are similar, though the Notebook 9 is a hair shorter and wider. Samsung's laptop also comes in at 7-percent thinner.

Weight

Weight
Weight

Weight is a different story, as the Notebook 9 is 40-percent lighter.

Build

Build
Build

The lightness is partially helped by Samsung's almost plasticky-feeling magnesium build. Apple sticks with its trademark aluminum.

Colors

Color options
Color options

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.

Display size

Display size
Display size

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).

Display resolution

Display resolution
Display resolution

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.

Touchscreen

Touchscreen
Touchscreen

Unlike many Windows laptops, the Notebook 9 doesn't have a touchscreen.

Touch Bar

Touch Bar
Touch Bar

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.

Trackpad

Trackpad style
Trackpad style

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.

Processor

Processor
Processor

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).

RAM

RAM
RAM

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.

Storage

Storage
Storage

Ditto for storage, where "up to" leaves the door open to a mere 128 GB SSD in the cheapest Notebook 9.

MicroSD

MicroSD
MicroSD

Samsung added a microSD slot to complement its internal storage.

SD

SD reader
SD reader

If you have a DSLR or mirrorless camera and don't use Wi-Fi, then prepare for adapters: Neither machine has a built-in, full-sized SD reader.

Ports

Ports
Ports

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

Standalone charging port
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.

Fast charging

Fast charging
Fast charging

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

Battery
Battery

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.

Fingerprint sensor

Fingerprint sensor
Fingerprint sensor

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.

Software

Software
Software

Samsung's machine runs Windows 10 Home, while the MacBook is on macOS El Capitan.

Release

Release
Release

Samsung hasn't narrowed down a ship date for the new machine, apart from H1 of 2017.

Starting price

Starting price
Starting price

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.

For more, you can visit New Atlas' CES hands-on with the Notebook 9, and our review of the MacBook Pro.

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2 comments
Rann Xeroxx
"The lightness is partially helped by Samsung's almost plasticky-feeling magnesium build. Apple sticks with its trademark aluminum." Does Samsung spray a coating over the metal to make it grippy or something? Other than res and extra HD option, the Samsung comes out ahead on almost all accounts.
noteugene
Like, resolution isn't all that important Xeroxx? There is certainly room for improvement (just look at the red x's) but I do like the appearances of the Samung 9 better. Think I'll wait until a couple of those x's turn green & resolution and battery life is improved. They can do better than this.