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Samsung serves up a Chromebook Pro with an amazing display, and a superlight 15-incher

samsung 9 odyssey chromebook ces 2017 img 20170103 192508
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Samsung may have taken a few hits to its smartphone image in recent months, but that doesn’t mean it can’t continue innovating elsewhere. To that end, it’s introduced three new laptops at CES 2017, targeting different audiences with each, though they retain Samsung’s flair for style and function throughout.

Samsung Notebook 9

The first of the new additions to Samsung’s notebook line up, is the “9”, a 15-inch general usage laptop, with a light and portable design, and powerful internals. It comes packing an Intel Core i7-7500U, alongside 16GB of on board DDR4 memory and a dedicated Nvidia 940MX graphics chip. All of that outputs to a full HD (1,920 x 1,080), 15-inch display that supports 95 percent sRGB coloring and video HDR.

Key Specs

  • Core i7 Kaby Lake CPU
  • Up to 16GB of DDR4
  • Nvidia 940MX GPU
  • Full HD display

That hardware is all built into a neat and professional looking casing, which has an ultra-slim bezel, can be reclined to 180 degrees flat and is durable thanks to a strong build quality. Battery life is said to be lengthy, lasting up to 15 hours on a single charge and thanks to the inclusion of a USB Type-C, you can charge the laptop up using a standard cell-phone charger.

Aside from the hardware, which is respectable, Samsung is talking up the laptop’s weight. Though it’s a 15-inch system, this Samsung weighs only 2.73 pounds. That makes it much lighter than most competitors, except the LG Gram 15, which is 2.16 pounds. That’ll be a boon if you want a laptop with a large screen that’s also easy to carry long distances.

Samsung Odyssey 15 and 17

Next on Samsung’s reveal list was the Samsung Odyssey, which we had an up close look at ourselves. It’s a more powerful gaming laptop that comes in two size variants: 17.3 inch and 15.6 inch, with a couple of internal hardware changes between the two.

The former supports up to seventh generation core i7 CPUs; as much as 64GB of DDR4; 2,400MHz memory, and comes with a 93Wh battery. Storage wise it can have various configurations of solid state and hard drive storage, though there is plenty of space and/or speed depending on your preferences. The graphics chip for that laptop has yet to be decided we’re told, but it will power a 17.3 inch full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display.

Key Specs

  • Core i7 Kaby Lake CPU
  • Full HD display 15.6/17.3 inches
  • 32GB/64GB of DDR4
  • SSD and HDD storage options

The 15.6 inch version of the Odyssey is not quite as hefty as its bigger brother, but has a display with the same resolution and anti-glare features; up to a seventh generation core i7 CPU; 32GB of RAM; various options for storage, though the SSD is 256GB rather than 512GB, and a 43Wh battery. Its graphics chip has however been decided on and is a GTX 1050, offering solid gaming performance for a compact laptop.

Along with the internal hardware, the Odyssey also comes with a few gaming related features, like a fancy backlighting for the touchpad, a new HexaFlow vent cooling system to keep those powerful internals cool and ergonomically curved keycaps.

Samsung Chromebook Pro and Plus

The final notebook that Samsung debuted in this release was a brand new Chromebook that comes in two variants of its own: the Chromebook Plus and Chromebook Pro. Built in conjunction with Google, these two devices are designed to offer the versatility of convertible laptops at a lower price point.

Each has a 360 degree rotating touchscreen, a lightweight design, comes with a built in pen for additional function. Designed for taking notes or highlighting on screen content, the pen is holstered on the side of the device, so should always be within easy reach.

Key Specs

  • ARM OP1 hexa-core (Plus) / Core M3 dual-core (Pro)
  • 4GB LPDDR3 memory
  • 32GB of e.MMC storage
  • 12.3-inch 2,400 x 1,600 display

Inside the new Chromebooks, consumers will find slightly different hardware depending on the device chosen. The Plus uses the OP1 hexa-core CPU, internal graphics, 4GB of LPDDR3 and offers 32GB of e.MMC storage. All of that powers a 12.3 inch, 2,400 x 1,600 pixel display.

In comparison, the Pro version has an Intel Core M3 CPU from the Skylake generation, on board Intel graphics 515, 4GB of LPDDR3, and also offers 32GB of e.MMC storage. Its display is identical to that of the Plus version. The same goes for the 39Wh battery and its sub 2.4lbs weight.

Pricing for the Chromebooks will start at $450 for the Plus version, but will be more for the slightly more powerful Pro. That final pricing hasn’t been revealed.

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Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
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