Samsung Galaxy Book Review: Unfulfilled Promise


After a five-year hiatus, Samsung returned to laptops with a bang in 2020. Along Qualcomm and Intel variations of the Galaxy Book S, we additionally noticed a brand new convertible within the Galaxy Book Flex and common clamshell Galaxy Book Ion.

The variability has been considerably expanded in 2021, with the brand new Galaxy Book Professional and Flex 2. Then again, there’s additionally proof that Samsung is catering extra to inexpensive worth issues than ever earlier than.

The ARM-based Galaxy Book Pass has been joined this yr via an Intel-powered software recognized merely because the Samsung Galaxy Book. It gives a large number of what the general public are in search of on paper, with the most recent Intel chips, a full-size keyboard and a big show.

However how smartly does it stack as much as real-world utilization? I spent a couple of weeks with the software to determine.

Design & Construct

  • Top class, sexy design
  • Horrible trackpad
  • No fingerprint scanner or face unencumber

In terms of design, Samsung has performed it reasonably secure with the Galaxy Book. Its curved edges and graceful aluminium end were noticed on numerous different laptops, together with the corporate’s personal Flex 2. Actually, except for the adaptation in sizing, it’s arduous to inform those two Samsung laptops excluding the out of doors.

It’s very a lot a minimalist aesthetic, particularly as there’s no choice to the ‘Mystic Silver’ colourway – a little bit ordinary taking into account Samsung usually likes a dash of colour on Galaxy merchandise. If you wish to have your pc to face out or be a dialog starter, you’ll wish to glance somewhere else.

Samsung Galaxy Book review

The Galaxy Book surely has a extra unique design while you turn open the lid, one thing that’s conceivable with only one finger. The very first thing you’ll most definitely understand is the huge 15.6in LCD show – extra on the way it plays later.

It’s housed inside of some narrow bezels, even if there’s nonetheless room for a 720p webcam. The standard of this sensor is in keeping with maximum you’ll to find constructed into trendy laptops; it’s superb for video calls, however streamers or YouTubers will desire a separate accent.

Sadly, it’s now not appropriate with Home windows Hi face unencumber. Given the absence of a fingerprint sensor, it method you’ll nonetheless must sort a PIN or password each and every time you unencumber the software. I will be able to’t perceive why Samsung didn’t upload toughen for no less than this type of instead of to economize.

It’s now not like there’s no room at the keyboard, both. That enormous show method the Galaxy Book has area for each a full-size keyboard and a separate quantity pad. The keys themselves be offering little or no commute, however they’re impressively tactile and responsive – I used to be happy with how they carried out.

Samsung Galaxy Book review

Then again, the similar can’t be mentioned for the trackpad. Samsung has incorporated an enormous one the Galaxy Book, but it surely’d were at an advantage that specialize in its efficiency. I discovered it to be very erratic and unreliable, with the cursor incessantly transferring across the display at random or now not registering my command.

This remained the case even after a instrument replace mid-testing, so I feel it’s {hardware} comparable. I’d extremely suggest connecting a Bluetooth mouse, but it surely limits the software’s portability reasonably.

That’s a disgrace as a result of at 1.55kg it’s some of the extra light-weight 15in laptops you’ll purchase. Samsung hasn’t attempted to make the Galaxy Book ultra-thin for the sake of it, despite the fact that – at 15.4mm thick, there’s various room for ports.

The software makes probably the most of it, too, with a ramification that you just received’t to find on many trendy laptops. I’m speaking 2x USB-C (both of which can be utilized for charging), 2x USB-A, full-size HDMI and three.5mm headphone jack.

There’s even a lesser-spotted microSD card slot, so you almost certainly received’t wish to elevate an adapter round with you.

Samsung Galaxy Book review

Display screen & Audio system

  • Respectable LCD show
  • No touchscreen or convertible capability
  • Above-average audio system

Let’s speak about that show, then. It’s a fifteen.6in LCD panel, at a solution of 1920×1080. Regardless of now not being OLED, I used to be happy with its efficiency. Colors are wealthy and colourful, providing an excellent degree of element for the fee. Whilst browsing the internet, phrase processing and observing movies, I will be able to haven’t any lawsuits.

Then again, that’s now not mirrored within the SpyderX show research I carried out. That means it simplest hits 63% of sRGB colour gamut, 47% AdobeRGB and 46% of DCI-P3. This isn’t a large factor for on a regular basis utilization, however graphic designers or photograph editors will need one thing a lot more correct.

I recorded a most brightness of 325 nits the use of the similar instrument, so out of doors utilization might be a battle. In contrast to the Flex 2 and different Samsung laptops, there’s no choice for the ‘Outside+’ brightness booster right here.

Viewing angles are excellent despite the fact that with Samsung’s PLS era, necessarily its personal model of IPS.

Samsung Galaxy Book review

One characteristic I in reality pass over here’s contact toughen. Samsung will most probably say it’s now not wanted on a non-convertible software, however I want it’d presented each options as a substitute. Taking into consideration the navigation issues discussed above, a touchscreen would were an invaluable choice.

Just like the loss of biometrics, it is a cost-cutting option to stay the general worth as little as conceivable.

At the audio aspect, it’s a extra spectacular tale. The Galaxy Book characteristic options twin 2W audio system, along Dolby Atmos toughen. Those specifications aren’t innovative whatsoever, however each song and voices are heat and wealthy, choosing out main points you received’t listen on another laptops.

It’s relatively missing in bass and will distort at upper volumes, however audiophiles can simply attach exterior audio system or headphones.

Specifications & Efficiency

  • Eleventh-gen Intel processors
  • Iris Xe graphics
  • Non-compulsory 4G toughen

The Galaxy Book could be one among Samsung’s extra inexpensive laptops, but it surely hasn’t made large sacrifices beneath the hood. Like such a lot of 2021 computer systems, it’s powered via Intel’s newest Tiger Lake chips – the type I examined makes use of the Core i7-1165G7, but it surely’s additionally to be had with the Core i5-1135G7.

Each use Iris Xe built-in graphics, and have 8GB of RAM.

Samsung Galaxy Book review

Judging from the pattern I examined, efficiency is without doubt one of the Galaxy Book’s key strengths. I spotted virtually no slowdown throughout various on a regular basis duties, together with internet surfing, phrase processing and a few photograph modifying. The massive show additionally makes it nice for multitasking – the use of a internet browser, Slack and a phrase processor on the identical time is well accomplished.

This nice efficiency doesn’t slightly prolong to graphically-demanding AAA gaming – a discrete GPU is beneficial for that. However informal video games are smartly inside of succeed in.

As you’ll see from the benchmarks underneath, the Galaxy Book compares favourably with many similarly-priced laptops. Those figures will inevitably take a success should you’re the use of the i5 type, however on a regular basis efficiency will have to nonetheless be forged.

The Galaxy Book has each Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 on board, however there’s additionally the choice so as to add 4G LTE connectivity. That wasn’t to be had at the type I examined, but it surely’s a perfect resolution for on-the-go productiveness.

Instrument & Options

  • Home windows 10 House out of the field
  • Some Samsung-specific tweaks
  • Eligible without cost Home windows 11 improve

There’s typically little or no to speak about on the subject of the instrument on Home windows laptops – it’s typically the similar without reference to which software you opt for. Whilst that’s nonetheless the case, it’s price bringing up Home windows 11 right here. Microsoft’s new OS is ready to reach in past due 2021, which would possibly make you uneasy about purchasing a brand new Home windows 10 pc at the moment.

Then again, there’s no wish to fear. The Samsung Galaxy Book meets all of the new {hardware} necessities, so it’ll be eligible for a unfastened improve to Home windows 11 House one day. You might have to attend till 2022, despite the fact that.

The model of Home windows 10 you get at the moment could be very acquainted to somebody who’s used a Home windows PC not too long ago. In contrast to with its smartphones, Samsung has stored the instrument tweaks to a minimal. There are a handful of pre-installed apps, comparable to Samsung Notes and Gallery, however those can also be uninstalled should you like.

Samsung Galaxy Book review

You additionally get a rather elementary Samsung settings menu along with the common one, which gives additional capability you received’t usually to find on Home windows 10. Those come with a spread of various efficiency modes and the method to restrict the utmost rate to 85%, which is claimed to increase the lifespan of the integrated battery.

Battery Lifestyles & Charging

  • Respectable battery capability
  • Deficient efficiency in benchmarks
  • Somewhat speedy charging

Speaking of battery, the Galaxy Book’s mobile is available in at 69.7Wh. That’s a forged capability, so it’s no wonder to peer Samsung declare you’ll stand up to ten.9 hours from a unmarried rate.

Sadly, my revel in with the software wasn’t as spectacular. Regardless of having the brightness set to a rather dim 120 nits and looping a 720p video offline whilst muted, the Galaxy Book simplest lasted 7 hours and 24 mins.

Lots of the laptops we’ve examined recorded greater than double that, so it’s an underwhelming efficiency.

Samsung Galaxy Book review

What’s extra, real-world utilization depletes the battery considerably extra temporarily. Bumping up the brightness and having more than one open home windows and apps method you’ll battle to make it thru a complete workday. Certainly, I discovered myself attaining for the charger via mid-afternoon.

Then again, charging speeds are extra in keeping with what you’ll to find somewhere else. Samsung advertises speedy charging the use of the 65W adapter within the field, and I recorded an inexpensive 39% in half-hour from off.

Worth & Availability

  • A whole lot of selection
  • Doesn’t evaluate favourably to the contest

There are 4 variants to choose between on the subject of the Samsung Galaxy Book. Those get started at £699 for the i5 type with a 256GB SSD, or £799 for a similar configuration with 4G toughen.

Stepping as much as i7 and doubling the garage to 512GB will set you again £899, even if you’ll must pay £1,099 for 4G toughen. We will’t to find anyplace to shop for the software in mainland Europe or North The united states at the moment, so that you’ll most definitely wish to import it.

Whilst you’ll pay 4 figures right here, that doesn’t slightly put the Samsung Galaxy Book in flagship territory, and many of us might be proud of some of the less expensive fashions. Sadly, most of the entries in our very best pc chart are to be had for the same worth, together with our present most sensible pick out – Huawei’s MateBook 14.

While you evaluate those gadgets side-by-side, the Galaxy Book doesn’t constitute nice worth for cash. Some relatively extra inexpensive would were a lot more tempting.

Verdict

Samsung has confirmed it may possibly make nice smartphones that don’t cost a fortune, but it surely nonetheless has paintings to do on the subject of laptops.

The common Galaxy Book will get a large number of issues proper, with a top class construct, very good efficiency and first rate show. Audio could also be very spectacular, and there’s a tight port variety.

Sadly, Samsung has lower too many corners to get there. Battery existence is underwhelming, trackpad navigation could be very deficient and there’s no fingerprint scanner or face unencumber. I additionally pass over the contact toughen and convertible capability you get on such a lot of laptops this present day.

If you’ll to find the Galaxy Book with an important cut price, it’s most definitely price taking the plunge. In a different way, it’s arduous to justify within the ultra-competitive global of recent laptops.

Take a look at how we take a look at laptops for more info on what is going into one among our critiques.

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy Book: Specifications

  • Eleventh-gen Intel Core i5/i7 processor
  • Intel Iris Xe graphics
  • 15.6in FHD LCD Show (1920 x 1080)
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256/512GB SSD
  • 69.7Wh battery with 65W USB-C speedy charging
  • 2x USB-C ports (1x Thunderbolt 4), 2x USB-A, 1x HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • 720p webcam
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • 4G LTE
  • 15.4 x 356.6 x 229.1 mm
  • 1.55kg



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