Samsung’s Galaxy Book is a 2-in-1 inscription with a detachable keyboard that gets flattering many all we caring about right. Its price, performance, and battery life are all among a best we’ve tested.
While it lacks a razzle-dazzle of flagships like a new Surface Pro, it’s still a arrange of all-around performer that will attract a customer looking for good value. Samsung’s usually genuine pitch and skip is a rather gimmicky formation with a Galaxy smartphones, that replaces a Windows Hello facilities that are apropos some-more common.
Price: Galaxy Book’s value proposition
While some competing 2-in-1 products we’ve reviewed cost upwards of $1,400, a chronicle of a Samsung Galaxy Book we tested ships for $1,300. The cost includes 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, and discretionary LTE connectivity around Verizon. A some-more full-featured chronicle starts with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. There’s also a microSD label container that accepts cards adult to 256GB. Inside you’ll find 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 BLE.
The Galaxy Book family also offers a smaller 10.6-inch tablet, with a 7th-generation Core m3 inside, starting during $630. For both sizes, a compared keyboard and coop boat for free, a trend we’d like to see turn some-more common.
Samsung justly earns regard for a bright, colourful displays, and a Galaxy Book is no different. The 12-inch, 2,160×1,440 Super AMOLED touchscreen shines 355 nits’ value of light into your eyeballs, and displays abounding colors—though yet a modernized options Microsoft built into a Surface Pro. Part of that has to do with a Galaxy Book’s integrated high-dynamic operation (HDR) capability, that allows a shade to describe brighter brights and deeper blacks. This is a underline typically found on high-end televisions, so a Galaxy Book is unusual, and maybe unique, among Windows tablets in carrying it.
I approaching a Galaxy Book to gaunt a bit some-more on Samsung’s bequest of peculiarity Android tablets, however. It’s no crime to bar a earthy Windows button, as a Galaxy Book does. we was a bit surprised, though, to learn that a shade bezel was a bit on a corpulent side. The Galaxy Book’s magnitude are fine: 11.47 x 7.87 x 0.29 inches, and usually over 2.5 pounds with a keyboard attached, or about 2.78 pounds if we supplement a small, cellular-style USB-C energy charger. Still, a inscription felt rather ungainly to reason in a hand.
Features: A mobile pedigree, for improved and for worse
Unfortunately, shopping a Galaxy Book brings adult a new care for many: what USB customary your peripherals use. Samsung has committed wholeheartedly to USB-C, with a span of ports than can be used for charging or for peripherals. That’s glorious for phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8, that use USB-C for charging yet frequency bond to a connected USB device. The PC ecosystem encompasses a immeasurable series of bequest devices, however, and we positively possess some pre-USB-C device that you’ll wish to bond to a Galaxy Book. At slightest Samsung was rather merciful: There’s a normal headphone jack.
Because a dual USB-C connectors are the only I/O ports available, you’ll possibly need to deposit in USB-C dongles or consider about shopping new gear. A $20 USB-C hub, with 3 USB-A connectors and an ethernet jack, is one option. Even better, Samsung is now charity a giveaway multi-port USB-C adapter if we order a Galaxy Book directly from a company.
Samsung clearly tapped a mobile group in other aspects of a design. Some people simply adore holding photos with a tablet’s behind camera, and Samsung’s high-quality 13MP partial should offer we well. Photos were pointy and bright, nonetheless a inscription can take seconds to focus. A some-more paltry 5MP camera sits adult front.
The Samsung Galaxy Book also ships with an S-Pen, a Samsung stylus that a Note phones done famous. Though I’ve begged other 2-in-1 vendors to secure a coop internally, as a Samsung Galaxy Note does, a Galaxy Book abandoned my pleas. Instead, Samsung secures a coop around a loop that you’ll have to manually insert to a inscription with an glue strip.
The new S-Pen can clarity 4,000 levels of pressure, a eminence I’ve never felt was quite vicious for a normal user. Interestingly, a S-Pen also allows we to ink a broader cadence by angling a pen’s beak opposite a keyboard, like a pencil. Compared to a Surface Pen, Apple Pencil, and others, however, a S-Pen is skinnier and a bit reduction gentle to hold, with a singular symbol and no eraser function. It doesn’t need charging, however, that is a plus.
Keyboard: a Book’s foldable keyboard doesn’t suck
I disturbed that Samsung’s foldable keyboard would follow in a footsteps of something like a floppy Amazon Kindle Fire HDX. Instead, we came divided tolerably impressed.
Samsung’s Galaxy Book connects to a keyboard with usually a singular frame along a edge. The reason is so secure that we was honestly disturbed I’d slice a keyboard while perplexing to undo it. Others, like a one for Microsoft’s Surface Pro, use a identical strip, and a second that together form a keyboard’s hinge. Without that second strip, a Book’s keyboard lies flat.
Most two-in-one tablets also yield a kickstand-like partial that folds out from a behind of a tablet. The Galaxy Book does not, instead requiring we to overlay a cover into one of 4 positions to recline it during a specific angle. If we need it (I did), a lie piece of sorts is printed on a cover. What elevates a Book’s foldable cover over others I’ve used is a captivating edge, that matches adult with magnets along a tablet’s backside. When we overlay a cover to a suitable position, a dual strips squeeze any other securely.
Unfortunately, however, Samsung’s Galaxy Book is essentially a desktop machine. While on your lap, a Galaxy Book’s keyboard secures a inscription as good as any I’ve tried. Still, yet we found one keyboard position that worked for path typing, all felt rootless and uncertain.
The Galaxy Book’s backlit keyboard is surprisingly competent, with a organisation response and a gentle 1.5mm of pivotal travel. The keys themselves are ample and well-proportioned, yet there’s no series pad. we found zero to protest about with a trackpad, either. My typing correctness decreased marginally when regulating a Galaxy Book’s keyboard for a length of time—I’d marker that adult to a originality of a prosaic typing surface. As for light leakage, we could detect really little, yet it’s some-more apparent when noticed during an angle.
Performance: Galaxy Book is among a best
The Galaxy Book achieved impressively good for a 2-in-1. A satisfactory series of hybrid and automobile laptops use Core m chips—solid performers, yet not on a turn with Intel’s mainstream Core processors. Because it’s versed with a dual-core 15-watt processor, Samsung’s Galaxy Book can get divided with including a Core i5 chip instead of a Core i7. The Galaxy Book’s processor also belongs to a stream 7th-generation line of Core CPUs, so you’ll see a slight boost in opening over systems still versed with 6th-generation Skylake parts.
The Galaxy Book shapes adult good opposite some higher-profile hybrids, like a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet, a HP Elite x2, and a many some-more costly Microsoft Surface tablets. It also binds a possess opposite convertibles with weaker hardware, like a Dell XPS 2-in-1. When pitted opposite likewise versed devices, it offers equal or rather improved performance.
We design you’ll be regulating a Galaxy Book for office-related applications and ubiquitous browsing. The Book excels here, as totalled by PCMark’s Work and Home benchmarks of customary tasks. (Think web browsing, spreadsheets, video conferencing, and word estimate for a bureau work tests, and supplement in some light print modifying for home-based tasks.) Note that we ran these tests during a local fortitude of a device—after all, because buy it if we have to dial down a fortitude to grasp decent performance?
When we switch to PCMark8’s Creative workload, that adds in light gaming and calm creation, some tablets start to struggle. Not a Galaxy Book. If it wasn’t for Microsoft’s newly-released Surface Pro (2017), a Book would tip a list.
With Maxon’s CineBench benchmark, that renders a immobile 3D scene, a Galaxy Book’s processor struggles a bit. Though a benchmark provides a single-thread test, we use a multithreaded exam to taxation a processor entirely for a few mins it takes a exam to run. In this pristine CPU test, a Galaxy Book binds a possess among a Core i5-equipped peers.
It’s value observant that a Galaxy Book does embody a fan, that will flog on underneath some workloads. It’s not as shrill as, say, a Surface tablets, and we don’t consider you’ll find it annoying.
Handbrake uses a tablet’s processor to transcode video files into opposite formats. Our benchmark involves holding a vast 30GB MKV record and converting it into a smaller MP4 regulating a software’s Android Tablet preset. Here, we wish a fastest estimate time possible. While laptops in this category aren’t approaching to be fast, Samsung’s Galaxy Book still trails a peers by a tiny amount. Note a that a Surface Pro 4, another inscription laptop, is faster by about 10 minutes.
Our final opening benchmark measures a 3D graphics capabilities of a Galaxy Book. In 3DMark’s Sky Diver test, that simulates gaming during 1080p on Medium settings, a Book performs about as good as a peers—that is to say, it does a best it can with integrated graphics. Don’t design to be means to play a latest big-budget movement titles, yet games with lighter loads should be playable when dialed down to lower-quality settings.
Finally, there’s battery life, always a vicious metric for a unstable device. We set a shade to beget a unchanging turn of light (between 250-260 nits), adjust a volume to 50 percent while earbuds are plugged in, afterwards loop a 4K video in Windows 10’s Movies TV app until a battery expires. It’s a good exam to magnitude real-world battery performance. With a runtime of over 10 hours on a 40 watt-hour battery, a Galaxy Book is a winner.
Bundled apps: Samsung’s apps are hit-and-miss
Like a phones, Samsung couldn’t conflict bundling a possess apps, that yield alternatives to a approach Windows works. Duplicating functionality that exists elsewhere works usually if we urge on it, though, and Samsung’s record there is spotty.
For instance, instead of Windows Hello capabilities, Samsung offers this solution: Download a Samsung Flow app (if we possess a Galaxy S6 smartphone or a some-more new model) and bond a Book to a phone around Bluetooth. You can afterwards close your PC while withdrawal your phone unlocked, daub a phone to a NFC sensor on a keyboard, and then indicate your finger on a phone’s fingerprint sensor. If all goes well, your PC will clear in a snap. By that time, though, we could have typed in a Windows password.
Eventually, a Samsung Flow app will concede we to share photos and other papers between devices, as good as arrangement notifications from your phone right on your PC’s screen. Its other trick, raised your phone’s notifications on your inscription screen, worked flawlessly. But we can’t respond to a content summary from your PC regulating Flow, as we can with Microsoft’s possess Cortana app (though not reliably). If Samsung can make these facilities work, some-more energy to them.
When it doesn’t work, it seems superfluous. Case in point: Samsung Notes, a preloaded Galaxy Book app that serves as a hybrid of Google Keep and OneNote. A some-more useful choice is Samsung Recovery, that can be used to behind adult data, revive a prior liberation point, or lapse to a strange bureau image.
Some of Samsung’s utilities are highlights. Like a Galaxy smartphone, clicking a S-Pen stylus triggers what Samsung calls Air Command: a menu of apps that allows we to ink on a shade and save a result, emanate a Samsung Note, plan an area of a shade to another display, or simply “smart select” a segment of a screen. The latter choice is by distant a many interesting.
Smart Select allows we to do 3 things of note. The first, selecting a segment of a shade reproduces a Windows 10 Snipping Tool, that we can share or save to your tough drive. But we can also take that area you’ve highlighted and remove a text, that can be rather accessible when used with a print of a document. Finally, there’s a GIF creator.
If we open a site like PCWorld’s video page or YouTube, we can lasso a rectilinear apportionment of a screen, afterwards “record” a video as it plays. What you’ll finish adult is a lovely, high-quality GIF that’s ideal for pity on amicable media. It’s easy to love.
Conclusion: a Galaxy Book is value a look
Samsung’s Galaxy Book touches all a bases of what creates a plain Windows tablet: a pointy display, really good performance, and glorious battery life, all for a reasonable price. As for Samsung’s choice of USB-C—a pier expander or dongle competence not be a many available option, yet it will lift we through. Eventually, you’ll start changeable your possess personal ecosystem to a newer connectivity format.
The keyboard matters, though. we still cite a some-more firm keyboards of a Microsoft Surface lineup, and we consider we will too.
Samsung does a good pursuit of mitigating a inconveniences, however, and a 2-in-1’s value is unquestionable. Right now, a Galaxy Book is among a best two-in-one inclination on a market.