Categories
gadgets tech

Galaxy Book S pc evaluate: Samsung and Intel’s silent avenue warrior

The Samsung Galaxy Book S isn’t any unusual pc because it accommodates one of Intel’s logo new “hybrid” processors designed to present PCs smartphone-like battery lifestyles whilst working common Windows 10.

The Book S follows the Book Flex in Samsung’s go back to the United Kingdom PC marketplace, however is confusingly to be had in two variations each costing £999: the Galaxy Book S Intel (as reviewed right here) and the Galaxy Book S Qualcomm, which is reasonably older and has a fully other form of chip.

The Book S Intel looks as if a reasonably same old Windows 10 pc, excluding it’s tremendous skinny and lightweight at simply 11.8mm thick and 950g in weight. For comparability, the Book Flex is 1.16kg and 12.9mm thick, whilst the Apple MacBook Air is 1.29kg and 16.1mm thick.


Samsung Galaxy Book S Intel review

The pc feels cast and nicely balanced, with a good-sized keyboard and a easy matt end at the deck. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The backlit keyboard is nice, with well-spaced, responsive keys with sufficient shuttle – how a ways down it pushes – for many. The trackpad is vast and actual, however makes relatively a noisy click on when depressed.

There’s a small fingerprint sensor embedded within the continual button within the best proper of the keyboard, which is a a lot more smart place than taking over part the shift key, as was once the case with its sibling.

The 13.3in complete HD touchscreen is nice, however no longer relatively as vibrant and colourful because the Book Flex, protecting most effective 80% of the DCI-P3 color palette. It can get tremendous vivid with a devoted outside mode that reinforces the brightness from 350nit to 600nit, making it more straightforward to look in daylight. The style examined lacked computerized brightness keep watch over, however simply surroundings it to 70% brightness labored nicely in maximum situations.

The display screen is noticeably much less crisp than higher-resolution competitors, and being within the 16:9 ratio (matching your TV) approach there’s much less vertical area to paintings with. I discovered myself scrolling up and down much more than I’d on taller displays with 16:10 or 3:2 ratios.


Samsung Galaxy Book S Intel review

A microSD card slot is at the underside of the pc in a small pull-out tray. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Specifications

  • Screen: 13.3in FHD (1080p) LCD touchscreen (166PPI)

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-L16G7

  • RAM: 8GB

  • Storage: 512GB

  • Graphics: Intel UHD

  • Operating device: Windows 10 Home

  • Camera: 1MP

  • Connectivity: Wifi 6, Bluetooth 5, 2x USB-C, microSD, headphones

  • Dimensions: 203.2 x 305.2 x 11.8mm

  • Weight: 950g

Hybrid Intel chip


Samsung Galaxy Book S Intel review

There is a unmarried USB-C port in the fitting aspect of the pc. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

For a while ARM chips, reminiscent of the ones working in all smartphones, have promised to ship higher battery lifestyles and identical efficiency than the Intel processors utilized in virtually all laptops. They haven’t but delivered on that promise in Windows computer systems, nevertheless it hasn’t stopped Intel designing chips similarly to ARM fashions in an try to head off the contest.

The Intel Core i5-L16G7 working within the Book S is one of the company’s first to check out a so-called large.Little design. What that suggests in English for this actual style is that you’ve got one, high-power processing unit paired with four smaller, lower-power and decrease efficiency gadgets on one chip.

The thought is that the decrease continual cores care for the easy issues, and the high-power core handles the vital issues. The reason why you will have this kind of design is that for easy issues the chip consumes much less continual than the similar same old twin or quad-core chip, nevertheless it nonetheless has the poke to do heavy lifting when required. It additionally approach this system is fanless, depending solely on passive cooling, and making operation utterly silent.

In truth the Book S has very combined efficiency. When you’re doing an excessive amount of the pc actually bathrooms down, feeling gradual and hulking. It was once specifically noticeable when first putting in the system, appearing updates and downloading apps – a identical factor took place with the Core i3 processor within the newest MacBook Air.


Samsung Galaxy Book S Intel review

The backside of the pc lacks vents for fanatics, however nonetheless has small toes to prop it up from a desk for passive cooling. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Once setup was once entire, if I wasn’t working any updates, efficiency was once beautiful nice. On a par with maximum common laptops, dealing with Chrome, Windows Mail, Evernote, Nextgen Reader and a host of chat apps simply effective.

It began to come back unstuck after I opened a few reasonably massive footage in Affinity Photo. It controlled the photograph manipulation duties OK, however was once reasonably gradual doing it. It additionally struggled slightly right here and there after I hooked up it to an exterior 4K observe and went into general meltdown after I tried to open a spreadsheet whilst preserving a Google Meet.

But that isn’t the purpose of this pc. It’s designed for use as a light-work pc that lasts a very long time between fees. When used this fashion with the entire apps open as above it lasts with ease over 10 hours between fees, which is lengthy via maximum pc requirements, even though crushed via an hour via the Book Flex.

Charging the pc with the incorporated tiny 25W USB-C charger takes 2.5 hours from useless, achieving 50% rate in an hour, which is beautiful gradual so it could be value purchasing a extra robust continual adapter. The Book S has two USB-C ports, one each and every aspect, and a headphone socket at the left. There’s a microSD card slot hiding in a small pull out tray at the left too.


Samsung Galaxy Book S Intel review

The left aspect of the pc has a USB-C port subsequent to a headphones socket. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Sustainability

The Book S can in most cases be repaired via authorized carrier centres. Samsung charges the battery for a minimum of 1,000 complete rate cycles whilst nonetheless keeping up a minimum of 80% capability. Samsung additionally has battery lifespan-extending choices at the pc, reminiscent of those who prohibit the utmost rate to 85% to lengthen its helpful lifestyles.

The battery can also be changed out of guaranty via authorized carrier suppliers. The pc isn’t comprised of any recycled fabrics and whilst Samsung does be offering trade-in and recycling schemes for different gadgets, it does no longer achieve this but for laptops.

Windows 10 Home


Samsung Galaxy Book S Intel review

The continual button doubles as a Windows Hello-compatible fingerprint sensor. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The benefit the Book S Intel has over ARM-based laptops, such because the Surface Pro X, is that it ships and runs common Windows 10 Home and subsequently any same old Windows app.

At the time of writing, the Book S has nonetheless no longer won the May 2020 Windows 10 function replace, as there are some incompatibility problems for Microsoft to resolve.

There was once some unwelcome pre-installed tool, together with McAfee LiveSafe, Clonix RansomDefender and the standard Candy Crush Friends and Farm Heroes Saga, which I uninstalled on first use.

Price

The Samsung Galaxy Book S Intel prices £999 with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of garage in both gray or gold.

The Galaxy Book S could also be to be had in a Qualcomm model with an ARM chip for £999.

For comparability, the Samsung Galaxy Book Flex prices £1,349, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 prices from £999, the Dell XPS 13 prices from £1,399 and the Apple MacBook Air prices from £999.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Book S is a graceful pc with a brand new form of processor this is neither a house run nor an abysmal failure.

It was once disappointing to look a £999 pc combat with updates and video conferencing, however out of doors of the ones higher-demand duties, efficiency was once pleasingly snappy. Battery lifestyles was once additionally superb for a pc this skinny and lightweight with a moderately small capability battery, and with out the compromise in app compatibility that an ARM chip imposes. Therefore it’s no longer a foul get started for the Core i5-L16G7, the primary of Intel’s hybrid chips.

The keyboard is nice, the trackpad too. The fingerprint scanner is in the fitting position. Two USB-C ports are welcome, as is microSD card strengthen. The display screen is nice and the outside brightness mode actually does make a distinction.

The Book S is subsequently higher considered a nice road-warrior’s pc. One that may simply be packed, lasts a very long time and will get the fundamentals carried out with the minimal of fuss, simply don’t be expecting it to be a top class continual pc. Whether any individual in reality needs a road-warrior pc within the present pandemic continues to be noticed.

Pros: tremendous skinny and lightweight, lengthy battery lifestyles, customary Windows 10, two USB-C, headphones socket, tiny charger, microSD card slot, fingerprint scanner, nice keyboard and trackpad, vivid display screen.

Cons: processor struggles when doing somewhat an excessive amount of, reasonably gradual to rate with incorporated 25W continual adapter, 16:9 display screen ratio, decrease decision display screen.


Samsung Galaxy Book S Intel review

The metal lid is easy and graceful. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Other opinions