Samsung’s New (and Potentially Confusing) USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 Notebook Models
USB Type-C in notebook PC's come in several design paradigms and Samsung announced several of them at CES 2017.
For those looking for Windows based notebooks, Samsung announced a few new models with USB Type-C: the Samsung Notebook 9 13-Inch, Samsung Notebook 9 15-Inch (2017, Type-A), Samsung Notebook 9 15-Inch (2017, Type-B), and Samsung Notebook Odyssey (17.3-inch).
The Samsung Notebook 9 13-Inch, Samsung Notebook 9 15-Inch (2017, Type-A) and Samsung Notebook 9 15-Inch (2017, Type-B) have a single USB Type-C port, but only the Samsung Notebook 9 15-Inch (2017, Type-B) supports Thunderbolt 3 over its USB Type-C port. The Thunderbolt 3 port supports Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gb/s), USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gb/s), DisplayPort 1.2, and USB Power Delivery based charging.
The Samsung Notebook 9 13-Inch and Samsung Notebook 9 15-Inch (2017, Type-A) only supports USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gb/s), DisplayPort 1.2, and USB Power Delivery charging over that USB Type-C port. Be careful when you purchase the Samsung Notebook 9 15-inch that you know which version you are buying.
The Samsung Notebook Odyssey (17.3-inch) is Samsung's first gaming notebook PC and has a single Thunderbolt 3 based USB Type-C port. Note that its smaller cousin, the Samsung Notebook Odyssey (15.6-inch), does not have a Thunderbolt 3 based USB Type-C port.
Ever since the Google Chromebook Pixel (2015) was released, there have been a series of premium Chromebooks launched geared for business users like the HP Chromebook 13 G1 and Acer Chromebook for Work. Samsung has joined this trend with the Samsung Chromebook Plus and Samsung Chromebook Pro.
Both these new Samsung Chromebooks have two USB Type-C ports which support USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gb/s), DisplayPort 1.2, and USB Power Delivery based charging. While both the Samsung Chromebook Plus and Samsung Chromebook Pro have a built-in stylus pen and sport similar features, the Samsung Chromebook Plus is based on the Samsung OP1 hexa-core processor while the Samsung Chromebook Pro uses the Intel Core M3 Processor 6Y30. Given the differences in these chipsets, there should be different compatibility behavior between the two models.
With Samsung's growing commitment to USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery in its notebook computers, faster charging is now possible using any charger that supports USB Power Delivery.
Assuming more Samsung Galaxy phones adopt USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery in the future, it will be easier to quickly charge your phone from one of the Windows notebooks while taking advantage of Samsung's SideSync features that allow you to share your screen, notifications, and data between your mobile and Windows notebook PC.
If you are purchasing any of these Samsung Notebook PC's, make sure first you confirm the model you are getting actually supports USB Type-C and/or Thunderbolt 3 technology.