Home / Tech News / Samsung's big PC innovation is … a stylus?!

Samsung's big PC innovation is … a stylus?!

Samsung unveils  new Notebook 9 Pen laptop at CES 2018.
Samsung unveils  new Notebook 9 Pen laptop at CES 2018.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

Samsung — buddy, pal, friend — what are you doing?

I’m all for AI in everything, the connected, 5G in everything, and even Bixby, but how are you going to tell us adding an S Pen stylus to a laptop is any kind of meaningful PC innovation … in 2018?

It’s not that I don’t appreciate a fine digital pen — Apple Pencil, Surface Pen, and the Pixelbook Pen are all pretty nice — but like, adding an S Pen and basically calling it a day? Kinda lazy.

At its big CES 2018 press conference, Samsung spent much of its hour-long keynote talking about AI. And AI. And then more AI.

But somewhere near the end of the presentation, Alanna Cotton, vice president and general manager of mobile computing and wearables at Samsung Electronics America, introduced the Notebook 9 Pen.

She touted the 2-in-1 laptop’s lightweight 2.2-pound design, and its 360-degree rotatable screen, and its S Pen.

No word on the performance, or the keyboard, or the trackpad, or battery life, or how sharp the screen is.

Just, enjoy your S Pen on your laptop. 

Which has me scratching my head as I write this. Has PC and laptop innovation stalled to such a degree that a stylus is the best thing a company that proudly brags about how it spends $14 billion on research and development in a year can do?

Or is the stylus really The Next Big Thing, and I’m just not getting it?

Here it is ... the Samsung Notebook 9 Pen in all of its glory!

Here it is … the Samsung Notebook 9 Pen in all of its glory!

Image: Brian Wong/mashable

Yes, yes — a stylus is great for creatives and people who like to hand-write their notes. And that’s all fine and stuff to bring the S Pen’s innovations — 4,096 levels of pressure, 0.7mm tip, Air Command features! — over from the popular Galaxy Note phones, but I just can’t help but feel underwhelmed.

A quick online check from Samsung shows some decent features it glossed over during the press conference. The Notebook 9 Pen comes in 13- and 15-inch display models. There’s a bunch of handy ports including a USB-C, USB 3.0, HDMI, microSD card slot, and headphone jack.

Inside of the metal chassis is an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of SSD storage. These are pretty bomb-ass specs — on par with a MacBook Pro!

But nah, let’s just talk about the stylus.

CES is a huge showcase for tech innovations and trends that’ll trickle out to products throughout the year. If a stylus is the best thing Samsung has up its sleeve, I’m very worried about the future of PCs.

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