Samsung's Notebook 9 Pen, laptop portfolio miss opportunity to connect company's other devices, services

Samsung's Notebook 9 Pen is a nice example of the company taking what works on the smartphone and bringing it to a larger screen. But Samsung also misses opportunities to connect its broader product roadmap to its laptops.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Video: Samsung hides an S Pen inside new Notebook 9 Pen

Samsung latest laptop lineup led by the Notebook 9 Pen is notable, but misses key opportunities on multiple fronts to provide connective tissue between its products and services.

The reviews of the Notebook 9 Pen are in, and most tout Samsung's use of the S Pen stylus as a bridge to the Galaxy Note 8, but they also gripe about the overall design.

CNET recapped the Notebook 9 Pen this way:

  • The Good: The Samsung Notebook 9 Pen is extremely light but powerful, has plenty of ports, multiple biometric security features and includes Samsung's excellent S Pen stylus.
  • The Bad: Especially for a premium-priced laptop, the design is bland. Battery life is merely OK. The stylus feels better suited for a small phone screen than a laptop screen.
  • The Bottom Line: With the Notebook 9 Pen, Samsung works some key features from the Galaxy Note 8 phone into a premium two-in-one laptop.

Overall, Samsung came in with a price too high at $1,399 and missed a halo-effect opportunity.


Also: The best laptops: Does Apple take the crown? 

Clearly, Samsung's primary product focus is on smartphones, TVs ,and appliances. The components such as processors and OLED screens are what really pays Samsung's bills. In some ways, laptops appear to be almost like a side project to Samsung.

But there are good arguments for Samsung to step up the laptop game:

  • Laptops and 2-in-1 devices can bridge Samsung's smartphones and TVs as well as its Internet of Things platform. Remember the laptop can -- and often does -- become a smart home server or hub. Electronics makers try to force other hubs on us -- refrigerators and TVs, for instance -- but laptops are a more natural fit.
  • Samsung has a B2B business that aims to connect the Galaxy line of smartphones, large screens, the smart office, and even virtual reality. The lead device in the workplace remains the laptop.
  • Two-in-1 devices offer an opportunity for Samsung to use its software to connect experiences.
  • Strong laptop designs serve as word-of-mouth marketing fodder for the Samsung brand.

The laptops of CES 2018: Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung

Samsung's laptop lineup, which also includes the Notebook 9 and Notebook 7 Spin, is solid. But these ultra slim notebooks could have done more to position Samsung in other areas. These notebooks look like they operate in some Samsung silo without the connective tissue to other units and innovation hubs.

CNET: Samsung Connect Home / Samsung Connect Home Pro review:Samsung's midtier mesh Wi-Fi redeems itself as a smart hub | Best laptops for 2020


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