Samsung’s Notebook 7 Spin is not the fastest quad-core convertible to harness Intel’s game-changing 8th-generation CPU, but the midrange laptop proves that speed isn’t everything. Boasting a gorgeous 13-inch touch display, solid quad-core performance and—best of all—impressive battery life, the Spin should please budget-conscious laptop shoppers who value stamina over sheer speed.
Price and specifications
The latest version of the Notebook 7 Spin is—at launch, anyway—a one-size-fits-all affair. For a list price of $900, you get a 13.3-inch, 2-in-1 convertible with an 8th-generation quad-core Intel Core i5-8250U processor, a 256GB solid-state drive, and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. (Samsung says a version of the Spin with 16GB of memory might eventually be in the offing.) If you want to upgrade the Spin yourself, get your pry tools ready, because there are no screws or user-accessible panels in the shell.
Tipping the scales at 3.2 pounds and measuring a reasonable 12.4 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches, the new Notebook 7 Spin is a tad lighter than its earlier incarnation, and it’s also slightly trimmer and lighter than the Dell Inspiron 13 5000, a competing (and cheaper) 2-in-1 convertible with the same 8th-generation CPU and similar specs.
Now that we’ve got the numbers out of the way, how does the Notebook 7 Spin feel in hand? A tad heavy, if you ask me, but that’ll be the case for just about any 13-inch laptop that weighs more than three pounds. If you want something lighter, expect to pay a few hundred dollars more.
The Spin’s metal “stealth silver” shell looks solid and professional, if not exactly head-turning. That said, the Spin may get some admiring looks when you tent it on a tabletop or swivel its display all the way around in tablet mode.
While the Notebook 7 Spin’s shell is a bit dull, the same can’t be said of its vibrant 13.3-inch FHD touch display. Indeed, the Spin’s PLS (Samsung’s in-house version of IPS) display is bright (think 300 nits, or candelas), sharp, and gorgeous. Enable the Notebook 7’s HDR mode (an HDR toggle shares space with the F10 key), and images becomes even more eye-popping, with inky blacks and bright, vivid colors.
The Spin’s display performs well even at wide viewing angles, and the touch-sensitive screen responded perfectly to my swipes and taps. While the Spin does boast Active Pen support (a feature that’s notably lacking in the Dell Inspiron 13 5000), you’ll have to supply your own pen.
Keyboard, speakers, webcam & microphone
The Notebook 7 Spin’s snappy, backlit keyboard boasts slightly concave keys, along with hotkeys that juggle your external monitors and toggle the trackpad, speakers and Wi-Fi on and off. You also get the aforementioned HDR key, along with a hotkey that flips the screen image into a 180-degree “consulting” mode. Disappointingly (if not surprisingly), the Settings hotkey opens the Samsung settings page, rather than the main Windows settings screen you might expect read more.