They say Christmas season gets earlier every year, and the same seems to apply to CES. The year’s biggest tech show is a little less than a month away, yet Samsung’s already showing off what’s likely to be two of its bigger debuts for the show. Both are updates to the company’s solid Notebook 9 line of Windows PCs. No surprise on that front — CES tends to be a laptop-focused show for the company. In recent years, it’s saved big mobile device launches for its own standalone press conferences.
As with Microsoft’s Surface line, the Notebook 9 offerings can be somewhat tricky to navigate, but thankfully this year’s new additions don’t muddy the waters any further. Rather, they’re just updates to existing offerings. There’s a 13- and 15-inch version of the standard Notebook 9 offering, and an update to the 13-inch Notebook Pen two-in-one.
All of the new notebooks are built out of a magnesium aluminum alloy the company’s deemed “Metal12,” that’s lighter than just aluminum and should bring a more premium feel than past, plasticky laptop builds. They all sport 1920 x 1280 displays and Intel HD graphics (though the 15-inch can be upgraded to NVIDIA GeForce MX150). The systems also feature Windows Hello log-in through a fingerprint sensor and port the secure Privacy Folder feature from the company’s mobile offerings.
The Notebook 9 pen, meanwhile, has a 360-degree hinge and a Samsung S Pen stylus. This time out, it also adds a front-facing IR camera for log-in via facial recognition.
No price yet on the systems, which go on sale in the States in the first quarter of next year. South Korea’s actually getting a jump-start on them this month, which is likely why the company opted to jump the gun on CES by a few weeks — once the announcement’s out, after all, you can’t put that toothpaste back in the tube.
We’ll take a closer look at the systems when they’re on display at CES in early January.