Samsung: 2018 Brand Report Card

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Samsung continues to finds itself at the bottom of our Best and Worst brand rankings. This year, the company tied for last with MSI, thanks in no small part to its small offering of lackluster laptops. Premium Chromebooks such as the Pro and Plus are bright spots in an otherwise dismal lineup.

 

It's unfortunate, since the company has some of the best tech support around. The company is also lacking in innovation; its only real change in the past year was bringing S Pen support to its laptops.

 

Samsung's Key Strengths

  • Excellent tech support - From social to live chat to actual phone calls, Samsung has some of the best tech support in the business.

Samsung's Main Weaknesses

  • Uninspired design - Samsung's laptops range from the boring (Notebook 9 Pen) to the downright ugly (Notebook Odyssey), leaving consumers with little to get excited about.
  • Lack of value - Outside of its Chromebook 3, the majority of Samsung's notebooks are bland and overpriced.
  • No real innovation - Outside of adding S Pen support to the Notebook 9 Pen and Notebook 9, Samsung did nothing to push the envelope.

Top-Rated Samsung Laptops

Best Value: Samsung Chromebook 3
Best Premium: Samsung Notebook 9 Pro
Best Windows PC: Samsung Notebook 9

 

Reviews (27/40)

Oh, Samsung, if only your laptops were half as good as your phones and TVs. Of the eight Samsung systems we reviewed over the past year (the company doesn’t make many), two scored less than 3 stars, and not one was good enough to earn an Editor's Choice award.

The company has some great ideas on paper, but its execution is lacking. Take the Notebook 9, a 13-inch laptop that weighs a mere 1.8 pounds and has a beautiful screen. However, it suffers from short battery life and a chassis that flexes. The Notebook Odyssey 15, with a weak design, a dim display and prices that are higher than competitors' offerings, just doesn't stack up to other gaming systems.

Design (9 / 15)

With so much focus on its phones, it's easy to forget that Samsung also makes laptops. And sometimes it feels like Samsung forgot as well — especially when you look at the Notebook Odyssey. First off, Samsung's only gaming laptop is made of plastic and has an off-putting, nondescript white symbol at the center of the lid. Samsung doubled down on the weird with the touchpad, surrounding it with an LED-lit parallelogram that has no purpose outside of aesthetics.

It's puzzling, especially since the company is capable of making a perfectly nonoffensive laptop, as seen in the Notebook 9 and Notebook 9 Pro. True, they're rather boring, but we'd rather a boring system than an unsightly one. Strangely enough, Samsung really shines with its Chromebooks. The Chromebook Pro and Plus are absolute visions in silver aluminum. Samsung even managed to make the Chromebook 3's textured plastic frame look like it was made of metal. So it's confusing why the company's cheaper systems get so much design attention rather than its flagships.

Support and Warranty (17/20)

Samsung's tech support agents offered helpful, correct (or at least mostly right) answers to every question we asked when we called them up for our annual Tech Support Showdown. The hands working its social media and live chat accounts also did a fine job of handling our queries.

The neat thing about Samsung's warranty program is that its 12-month service window is a bare minimum, so certain laptops will get even more, with up to 36 months of coverage. If you need to send your product in for service, you may need to pay for shipping. However, Samsung says that, "in certain cases," it will provide free shipping.

Innovation (6/10)

While our views on Samsung’s laptops were (how do we put this nicely?) mixed, the company has brought some innovation to the table in the last year. In the Notebook 9 Pen and Notebook 9 Pro, we finally got the excellent S Pen stylus on laptops, and Samsung added in Air Command for Windows, to boot.

The Notebook 9 Pro had a Radeon GPU, adding a workstation to diversify its mix. And while the Notebook Odyssey felt cheap, it got Samsung back into gaming, added new software in the Odyssey Control Center and a new heating system (though its utility was questionable).

Value and Selection (8/15)

Samsung doesn’t offer a very wide variety of notebooks. Its cheap option is its $179 Samsung Chromebook 3, but the notebooks in the majority of the rest of its lineup are either the clamshell or 2-in-1 version of its Notebook 9, which is a bland computer that we found to be overpriced in several iterations. If you prefer a detachable tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Book is for you, but it costs almost $1,300.

MORE: The Best Samsung Laptops

There is a gaming option — the Notebook Odyssey — but at $1,200 for a laptop with a GTX 1050 GPU (you can find those under $1,000), it just wasn’t a good value. It also looked gaudy and felt cheap.

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18 comments
  • M.J.Durrani Says:

    I had bought a $1600 Samsung ATIV Laptop in 2016.From Day 1, the keyboard would transpose alphabets. I sent it back to Samsung Service Center. It was fixed for few days and came back again. I did this for several months.The problem never went away. Now its out of Warranty and I am out $1600 and holding a lemon laptop. Moral For Me:I will NEVER buy a Samsung Product.Buyer Beware of Samsung.

  • Elijah DeCan Says:

    How much is a good Samsung computer that has 8 GB of RAM and it has a CD holder

  • Maria Hawley Says:

    I'm worried, just purchased a Samsung 10.0 off My Airmiles....... I need a computer but could. Not afford!.. I Will Just Be Using The Laptop For Very minimal Day To day use... Hoping it's good enough for this use?

  • Leonardo Says:

    At least they are better than Apple, lets face it anything is better than apple

  • erick Says:

    don't buy Samsung laptops specially in Korea...the product fucking sucks. The company screws their own people and sells shit products. Recently bought a new laptop with SD drive, Intel core chip...and too many problems with the system. For one the laptop doesn't sleep...so it just freezes and you have to reboot....too many things to list....Samsung sucks.

  • surendra behera Says:

    All product is good but if customer demanding any product is give the most facility then customer demanding that.

  • nawaz Says:

    Any_one can suggest me a best lap series in any of the following. I'm happy for dell, hp or msi/ not others. I want pretty much sure about hardware functionality. I had a hp pav_15 earlear which was overheating dude. I have to do just normal internet and some video processing works. Any suggestions???

  • MD ANWAR HOSSIN Says:

    please tell me when all the best laptop? And this laptor about information? And how prise that?

  • tesjay Says:

    could anyone tell me how i could buy keyboard for my samsung laptop S525?

    it's not available in sri lanka, where i am or qatar where i bought it.

  • Bob Bellah Says:

    I also bought the All-In-One Desktop Samsung computer that is a piece of junk....sent it back to Samsung to be fixed and got it back exactly the same as before. My suggestion.....DO NOT buy anything Samsung makes as a computer..you can write David Choi at officeofpresident@sea.Samsung.com to tell him of your displeasure of his product.

  • Selaelo Maifala Says:

    I'm very shocked that Samsung even made it on the list! How accurate are these? Well maybe they have improved something from the 2014 failure. I bought a Samsung notebook in Saudi Arabia, after having a fantastic experience with my Samsung phone I expected the pc to be of the same quality. Unfortunately I was and still am extremely disappointed, the hardware of my laptop was of very cheap material and started breaking apart after 5 months of use, its 11 months old now and the sides have completely cracked and the charging pot has stopped working. Samsung doesn't have an international warranty, I'm no longer in Saudi and cannot take it anywhere or receive any help.

  • Claude Lombana Says:

    I bought this piece of trash from Samsung (the all-in-one desktops that they sell as GALACTICALLY GOOD), and it is the BIGGEST PIECE OF TRASH I ever had. Memory conflicts, frozen screens, USB recognition problems, etc., etc., etc... Don't waste your money!!!

  • khurshid Says:

    i want your all kind of model and its price list to start business.
    I have chronos 7 np700z5b. The design of laptop is 10/10. I fall in love with design but touch pad started to feel bad first year. I also had bad pixel on the screen since I bought it. I sent it before warranty finishes. I also said I have an issue with touch pad. it was denting. They didn’t change the touchpad/trackpad but they changed keyboard and around metal frame. Keyboard and metal frame still looks nice but touchpad/trackpad messed up. Its been killing me last 7 months and now. It is clicking itself. It doesn’t point right direction. I also have an issue with plastic frame. Its been loose and effects my screen. I hope my screen won’t be broken. The experience I had, wasn’t nice.

  • TW Fung Says:

    I just want to report what a hassle it was to get a replacement battery pack for a Samsung Ultrabook which is only 2 years old. Nobody carries that part in stock except Samsung warehouse. The Samsung parts company who sold me the part had a terrible phone system. After trying twice and waiting online for 10 minutes, I finally talked to someone who really didn't want to work today. The customer rep on the phone was rude. I will never buy another computer from Samsung.

  • hem chandra nepal Says:

    i want your all kind of model and its price list to start business

  • Daniel Wayne Says:

    I have chronos 7 np700z5b. The design of laptop is 10/10. I fall in love with design but touch pad started to feel bad first year. I also had bad pixel on the screen since I bought it. I sent it before warranty finishes. I also said I have an issue with touch pad. it was denting. They didn't change the touchpad/trackpad but they changed keyboard and around metal frame. Keyboard and metal frame still looks nice but touchpad/trackpad messed up. Its been killing me last 7 months and now. It is clicking itself. It doesn't point right direction. I also have an issue with plastic frame. Its been loose and effects my screen. I hope my screen won't be broken. The experience I had, wasn't nice.

  • Daniel Wayne Says:

    I have chronos 7 np700z5b. The design of laptop is 10/10. I fall in love with design but touch pad started to feel bad first year. I also had bad pixel on the screen since I bought it. I sent it before warranty finishes. I also said I have an issue with touch pad. They didn't change the touchpad but key

  • Cerelia Says:

    I'm assuming whoever did this review never actually had an issue with the Series 7 Chronos which required serious technical support.

    Important to note that Samsung has the worst warranty process I've ever experienced, and as a result, I'll never purchase their laptops again. I've had Toshibas, Dells, IBMs, etc. I'm a high-end power user (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc.) and I'm also extremely tech-savvy when it comes to fixing electronics. I purchased this laptop and the drive crashed after 2 months. I had to send the laptop to their Texas facility (it took 3 weeks for the turnaround)... 2 months later, the system crashed a second time. In a 1 year period, this laptop has crashed a total of 4 separate drives. Each time, reloading my system with all my software takes a good 4hrs. Imagine, each time you lose your laptop for 3 weeks. Their "executive customer relations" department is without a doubt, the worst, rudest, and most arrogant department I've ever had the misfortune to deal with. Samsung's entry into the laptop market really leaves a lot to be desired. This has been a nightmare experience from beginning to end. They don't give a damn about the customer.

    When they finally offered a "same as or better" replacement, they considered that offering me a 15.6" laptop screen instead of the 17.3" I currently had was the "same or better". Also, their "refund" was not for my full purchase price - it was for $200 less after a year of continual crashes. I finally gave up with them, filed a claim with Amex platinum and they refunded me the entire price - let them deal with this garbage. My time is worth much more than spending in excess of 10hrs dealing with Samsung...

    Incidentally, after the 1TB drive failed that arrived with the system, I purchased a solid state drive. It then crashed that drive. Luckily that drive (by Crucial) was under its own warranty and they have had to continually replace it for me 3 times. At this point, they won't replace it for me any more as it's obvious the fault is with the laptop. So, I'm out the price of the solid state drive ($350). Samsung, even though they accept responsibility that the laptop caused the failures will give me no reimbursement at all.

    It really is the absolute worst customer service. It is not only the laptop that stops me from buying from them again, it's the support - if something goes wrong, you really are in trouble.

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