Samsung Galaxy Book Review
Previously, we’ve written our hands-on and first impressions on the Samsung Galaxy Book (10.6-inch display), and if some of you have already read it, you probably now have an idea on what this tablet is all about. But hang in there, fellas. There’s more than what meets the eye. Let’s get to know iPad Pro’s nemesis a little bit more in this review. Without further ado, let’s begin.
Design and Construction
The Galaxy Book dons a simple and compact design with an all-glass front panel wrapped in a metal chassis. Relatively thick bezels surround the tablet, which we didn’t find bothersome at all as it gives enough space in our hands when not using the keyboard docking stand. However, the tablet feels pretty hefty at 640 grams (1.4lbs).
The tablet caters a 10.6-inch LCD Display with a resolution of 1920 x 1280 pixels. Since it comes with an all-glass panel, it’s very much prone to fingerprint marks and light glares. Situated on the front panel are the 5MP webcam and the Samsung logo on the bottom.
On its top, we have the power/lock button, the volume rocker, and the two microphones. Below the tablet sits the magnetic strip with pin connectors wherein you attach the keyboard dock for it to work as an input device (we’ll show you what it looks like later on).
On the left side, we’ll find a lone speaker grille, while the right side contains most of the ports, such as the 3.5mm headset jack, the USB Type-C port, the hybrid SIM tray (which supports one nano-SIM and a microSD card), and another speaker grille.
We were disappointed when we figured out that there was only one USB Type-C port, though. Without a USB Type-C multi-port adapter, charging and transferring files at the same time would be a difficult task. So if you’re a heavy user, you have to buy a spare USB Type-C multi-port adapter to work with multiple USB-C devices or if you plan to use USB Type-A, HDMI, and an SD card reader.
With the tablet detached, the keyboard dock looks like this. As mentioned earlier, it has a magnetic strip with pin connectors. So far, our experience with attaching the tablet has been very snappy and quick.
Going down to its chiclet-type keys, well, we can pretty much say that our experience with it has been not that great. Sure, the keys are nicely spaced but for some reason typing on it has been a bit uncomfortable (we’ve made quite a handful of typo errors) but nonetheless, still pretty decent. It just might take a while before you get used to it. The trackpad’s okay but could be improved especially in its size and responsiveness.
Flip on its back and you’ll see its silver matte coating which makes the tablet less susceptible to smudges and scuff marks. The Samsung logo can be seen as well.
This is what the tablet looks like when attached to the keyboard dock. The keyboard dock has a rubberized coating for good grip. Another thing, Samsung could’ve made a sturdier keyboard dock especially when one plans to place the tablet on his lap à la laptop. You simply have no choice but to switch to tablet mode if that’s the case.
There’s also an NFC embedded just on the right side of the trackpad which opens up Samsung Flow. The Samsung Galaxy Book is one convenient device especially for people who prefer it light and portable. What’s also nice about this tablet is its S Pen which we will further discuss later on.
Display, Multimedia, and Camera
We previously mentioned that the Galaxy Book sports a 10.6-inch LCD Display with a resolution of 1920×1280 pixels. The display offers vibrant and well-saturated color reproduction, however, it is not that bright. A bit dim, to be precise. We also noticed that, sometimes, the adaptive brightness capability of the tablet is inaccurate and it can be quite distracting.
Audio-wise, the tablet produces a fair audio quality and contains a little bass in it. Although for the most part, it sounds jangly so it’s preferable to use an external speaker or earphones for better listening experience.
For its 5MP webcam, we tried testing it using video call and for such a small megapixel, quality is pretty clear. We think maybe it’s because of the good Wi-Fi connection. Moreover, since the tablet comes with a Camera app, we captured a couple of selfies in daylight or low light conditions. Here are sample photos.
For a 5MP front shooter, we can say that it takes decent selfies. It doesn’t come with a rear camera, though, but it’s not a big disadvantage considering that you’ll rarely use a tablet for mobile photography.
OS, Apps, and Storage
The Galaxy Book runs on Windows 10 Home. There are few unique apps you can find on this tablet but of course, you won’t miss out on the usual ones you can find in every Windows 10 platforms such as Mail, Skype, Microsoft Edge, and Windows Store.
Samsung has embedded their own apps into the tablet, such as the Samsung Notes and Samsung Flow. We’ve mentioned earlier that the tablet comes with an S Pen so it’s just about right that Notes will be included in it. Basically, you have two ways of launching this app- the first is the shortcut one. Simply inch the S Pen onto the display and click the S Pen’s button twice and voila, the shortcut to the Notes will pop up. The second way is, obviously, to open the app itself.
Apart from Notes, the Galaxy Book has a Samsung Flow app which allows you allows you to securely log into your Windows 10 PC using your Samsung smartphone or tablet.
If you’re a fan of sketching, Galaxy Book has an app called Autodesk SketchBook. Unfortunately, you have to purchase the app after the 7-day free trial.
Out of the box, the Galaxy Book is left with 31GB out of 57.5GB of usable storage, but you can expand it using a microSD card for up to 256GB.
Powering the tablet is 7th Gen Intel Core M3 Processor 2.6GHz Turbo Boost, Intel HD Graphics 615, 4GB DDR3 RAM, and 64GB internal storage. Upon trying post-processing photos on Adobe Lightroom, we didn’t experience and lags or crashes. For gameplay, we tried playing Asphalt 8: Airborne and so far, it has been smooth and fast. Launching apps and web browsing are responsive, however, the tablet heats up at the back pretty quickly which is uncomfortable especially if you don’t have the cover on.
Using the S Pen for sketching and scribbling has been very fun. It’s got a comfortable grip which makes you feel as if you’re just holding an ordinary pen. Sensitivity and response time of the display to the S Pen is quick and precise, although there are times when we would drop a stroke while scribbling fast but only on rare occasions.
As always, we ran our benchmark app. Find the result for Crystal DiskMark below.
Connectivity and Battery Life
The Galaxy book is equipped with 4G/LTE. This is very helpful if you’re stuck in a place where there’s limited Wi-Fi connectivity. So upon trying it out, we were able to connect quickly to the internet. Of course, net speed solely depends on your location. In our case, we were able to get good reception so browsing the internet has been all right.
Packed with 4000 Li-Ion battery, Samsung claims that the Galaxy Book can last up to 9 hours of video playback. But having done our video loop test which involved a 1080p movie played continuously with settings set to Airplane mode, 50% brightness, and 50% volume with headphones plugged in, it was only able to last for 6 hours and 8 minutes. As for daily usage (web browsing and basic work tasks), we were able to use the laptop for 5 hours and 30 minutes before it needed to recharge. From 0%, its battery was already full at 2 hours and 18 minutes.
For a 2-in-1 Windows tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Book has done a pretty good job on providing its users a seamless experience. It has a 10.6-inch display which allows users to view their favorite contents. It runs on Intel Core M3 which is pretty satisfactory for daily usage. Since it comes with an S Pen, scribbling down notes and sketching are quite an experience. It’s also portable and only comes with a little heft. So if you’re someone who’s always on-the-go, then this tablet is for you to try.
The Samsung Galaxy Book is now available for Php44,990.
Samsung Galaxy Book specs:
10.6-inch LCD Display @ 1920×1280 pixels
Intel Core M3-7Y30 1.0GHz dual-core, 4 threads (Kaby Lake)
Turbo Boost 2.6GHz
Intel HD Graphics 615
4GB DDR3 RAM
64/128GB internal storage
Up to 256GB via microSD
USB 3.0 Type-C
Windows 10 Home
4,000 Li-Ion battery
What we liked about it:
- Responsive UI
- S Pen
- Decent front shooters
What we didn’t like:
- Jangly audio quality
- No rear cam
- Heats up pretty quickly
- Limited USB Type-C ports
- Typing on the keyboard’s a bit uncomfortable