Samsung's last Ativ notebook was one of the first Broadwell Core M machines, a razor-thin and ultra-light laptop that launched before Apple jumped into the same game with its 12-inch MacBook. Samsung just announced its late 2015 notebooks, and they're more concerned with raw power.
The Ativ Book 9 Pro (above, left) is a 15-inch, Core i7 powerhouse with a 4K display, while the Ativ Book 9 Spin (above, right) is Samsung's answer to the Lenovo Yoga 900 and HP Spectre x360, with a 360-degree rotating hinge. Unlike Samsung's early 2015 Ativ Book 9, both of the new machines have touchscreens – though only the Spin's form factor allows for a tablet mode.
We've yet to handle these new machines, but based on specs we aren't seeing many compromises. Both ship with Core i7 processors (6700HQ on the Ativ Book 9 Pro and 6500U on the Ativ Book 9 Spin) along with 256 GB SSDs and 8 GB RAM.
Both screens should look razor-sharp even when you peer at them from up close, with a 282 PPI (3,840 x 2,160) display on the 15.6-inch Pro and a 276 PPI (3,200 x 1,800) screen on the 13.3-inch Spin. The Pro has a discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M GPU, while the Spin has integrated (Intel HD 520) graphics.
There's no skimping on ports, especially with the Ativ Book 9 Pro. It has three USB 3.0 ports, along with one USB Type C, along with an HDMI and SD reader. The Spin skips the Type C port but still has three USB 3.0, HDMI and a microSD slot.
The smaller Spin is the lighter and thinner machine, at 2.87 lbs (1.3 kg) and 0.59 inch (15 mm) thick. The heftier Pro weighs 4.45 lbs (2 kg) and is 0.7 inch (17.8 mm) thick.
Samsung's two new notebooks will be available from both Samsung's website and Best Buy this month. The Pro will retail for US$1,599, with the Yoga-like Spin ringing up for $1,399. Those price points are hardly pocket change, but when you compare both machines' spec sheets and prices to the competition, these two Core i7 beasts don't look too shabby.
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