Samsung Galaxy Book 10.6-in review: Affordable, long-lasting


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Samsung’s supposed to be Surface Pro killer, the TabPro S, came a little short out of expectation. Reasons — the price was a little too high, the keyboard wasn’t all that great, and if you wanted to plug something in, hmmm… which most enthusiasts dubbed it was basically out of luck.
Samsung Galaxy Book review

After over a year or mid-2017, Samsung pushed another attempt for 2-in-1 flagship as a Surface Pro or even Lenovo Miix 720 killer – the Galaxy Book.

The Galaxy Book is a tablet-PC that manages to improve on Samsung’s initial effort with its competition with Microsoft’s Surface. Let’s dig in the full review for 10.6-in version of Galaxy Book.

THE PREMIUM DESIGN

The Galaxy Book comes in two versions: a compact 10.6-in and a fully-packed 12-in tab model. They are both metal-bodied with glass-fronted slates and include keyboard covers that turn them into work-ready laptops. What we have here is 10.6-in model which is 8.9mm thick as compared to the slimmer 12-in with 7.4mm thickness.

Samsung Galaxy Book 10.6-in design

It is perfectly portable weighing only 640g which you will easily be able to sleeve in your bag. You can notice that the metal finish is not quite as luxurious as Samsung’s Android-powered Galaxy Tab S3. But still, you might actually like how Samsung made its finishing touches on this one.

Samsung Galaxy Book

Galaxy Book has 64GB of on-board storage and for those fans of microSD, good news for your guys because it has a microSD slot in case you need a room for additional storage and take note that it has only a solitary USB-C port for data transfer and power supply. With that, you might think that you need to invest in some dongles to hook up all your accessories. But as you would notice from now, a lot of third-party manufacturers are in transition in producing accessories with that universal USB type-C ports. And for the speaker, it might not sound as crisp as you may have expected and little bass effect is just the average. But still it does pretty decent job when you are at playback.

Samsung Galaxy Book acessories

Surrounding the panel is a fairly chunky bezel, rather than the ultra-trim “infinity” displays of laptops today, but the concept makes sense on side of using the Book like a tablet. It is touchscreen after all with a decent response. It all feels well-constructed, but the rounded corners and smooth curves just don’t give the same impression of luxury as Microsoft’s Surface.

The camera, it has front-facing 5MP snapper which really is best used for video calling. As you can see, there is no rear camera, yup, nothing on the back at all.

Samsung Galaxy Book camera

THE DISPLAY

Samsung Galaxy Book display

This 10.6-in model has a Full HD 1920x1080 TFT panel which is the same density as, say, a Full HD TV but with some additional height. In Galaxy Book 12-in version, it has a premium 2160 x 1440 AMOLED display which plays nicely with HDR video. Then again, it costs almost twice the price as the 10.6-in model.

Samsung Galaxy Book display

The display gets bright enough which is great to use outdoors. Colors are impressively vibrant too in almost environment and everything looks sharp enough even you are viewing at angles without having to use the magnifying glass tool just to zoom and read your favorite web page.

Samsung Galaxy Book display

The Full HD display panel is not bad either. Although it can’t match AMOLED displays for contrast, what gives impression is the overly saturated hues of the display which make it satisfyingly good display. It also looks good when playing your favorite Netflix TV series while in a cafe or even at when you are at home too because it last for a long time per charge streaming at full brightness full HD rather as compared with 1440p video.

PERFORMANCE

Samsung Galaxy Book performance

This tablet-PC makes do with Intel’s entry-level silicon with a low-power Core m3 that ticks along at up to 2.6GHz paired with 4GB of RAM. If you're web browsing, watching videos, word processing, spreadsheets, emailing and not causing yourself too much drama then the Galaxy Book swims along just fine. Plus, it does so completely silently. And not a single whirr or whistle from this machine, which is a huge benefit and it doesn’t create much heat, so the whole thing is passively cooled.

Samsung Galaxy Book front

You may think that the Core m3 processor is the practical option. Well, consider a comparison between a beast like the Lenovo Miix 720 howls at the slightest of demand, the lower-spec Galaxy Book earns its dues from here. Based on experience, it doesn’t have much to say when it comes to heavy graphics games nor having super smooth experience while working on professional photo/video editing software. But you’ll be fine playing with 3D games that does not requires high specs, android emulators, 2D puzzlers and mobile games.

Samsung Galaxy Book front

Fairly enough, Intel’s Core M3 is friendly when it comes to battery life. With mixed use, the Galaxy Book can easily last for a full nine hours a day. Admit that it is very uncommon for us to manage double-digit hours when we've been typing and not doing much more than streaming some of your favorite music in the background. Best case scenario of 9 hours out of a single charge is - your battery will more likely last six hours when you add media-heavy web browsing like social media sites with the mixed of high-res photos and videos.

When it comes to recharging the USB Type-C port can juice up the battery in a few hours, which isn't super-fast, but is as expected. It can be fully charged at around 2 hours and 15 mins.

THE SLIM KEYBOARD COVER

Samsung Galaxy Book cover

Having included in the package with reasonable price point, Samsung spent a lot of time redesigning the TabPro S’s overly shallow keyboard, and the flip-out board that arrives inside the box with the Galaxy Book is a massive improvement. The keys have plenty of spaces while the unessential function buttons have been removed. What’s lacking on this smaller version is that it doesn’t have back-lit keys for night time working. Well, that ‘lit’ feature is reserved for the 12-in model.

Samsung Galaxy Book back cover lit

There are magnetic pins that hold the tablet in place and dock it with the keyboard. Instead of using Bluetooth, magnetic pins resolve delays or disconnecting issues while bashing those keys like in real-time output display. The whole thing is more flexible this time around for the touchpad which is felt a lot more responsive than the TabPro S. You can work with two different angles to tilt the screen for working at a desk, sturdy platform, or leaning over the screen with a stylus in hand and that’s just easy.

Samsung Galaxy Book keyboard

Honestly, like that magnets that hold the stand in place are not strong enough to hold the tablet. That results to make it tricky to use on your lap or using anywhere other than a secure desk or platform. So, watch out for unnecessary position and pushing too hard to avoid the device from slipping.

Samsung Galaxy Book body

THE NEW S-PEN

Samsung Galaxy Book S Pen

The Galaxy Book does come complete with both Island Type keyboard and S-Pen stylus in the box, which sees every base covered without additional expense. So as a complete off-the-shelf device, that makes it rather well priced. The new S-Pen was redesigned with a chunkier barrel or rubber nib for easy or better and natural grip. And having that signature S-Pen, it really makes all the difference not just great for usual taking notes but to artists, graphics pros and designers too.

Slightly disappointing, for avid Galaxy Note fans, because there’s no room inside the tablet to insert the pen. It comes bundled with the hook that holds onto the keyboard cover instead but still looks and feel handy anyway. You don’t need a battery for it which is an edge over the Surface Pro. Another great feature of the pen is it comes with a shortcut button for jumping right straight into Samsung’s Notes app, just like on the Galaxy Note android smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy Book S PEN

VERDICT

Samsung competitively did a decent move for Galaxy Book 10.6-in that has trimmed price compared to its flagship predecessor TabPro S. With this Windows 2-in-1 Tablet-PC device whether you’re a doodler, note taker or digital artist, it’s the S Pen’s inclusion that makes all the difference to this model.

Though it does not have that gorgeous HDR-ready screen of 12-in version, while this 10.6-in Galaxy Book is not as ultra-powerful as you would expect, given its Intel Core M3 processor, it really does run silently and for a long time on a single charge. So, it's easy to get a full day of work from this 2-in-1 Tablet-PC.

More great things about this model are: portability, responsive user interface (UI), that signature S-Pen and of course the matte finish and professional look keyboard cover. The bundled keyboard cover isn’t as sturdy as we’d like, but for the price, this model still really makes sense.

Samsung Galaxy Book specs review

But for the price of P44,990 all-in, the Samsung Galaxy Book 10.6 got plenty of positives for its well-considered price — and given that many P50,000+ competitors can't even last half a day, Samsung's more affordable and long-lasting approach makes more reasonable.

Yes, it is not as slick as well-equipped or as quick as a Microsoft’s Surface or indeed as full-packed Samsung’s 12in Galaxy Book, but not unless you are ready to spend more of at least P15,000+, it is satisfyingly advisable to be at middle ground.

TECHNICAL SPECS

SCREEN 10.6in, 1920x1080 Full HD TFT
CPU Intel m33-7Y30 1.0GHz dual-core, 4 threads (Kaby Lake) Turbo Boost 2.6GHz
MEMORY 4GB RAM
STORAGE 64GB onboard, microSD expansion
CAMERA 5MP front-facing webcam
OPERATING SYSTEM Microsoft Windows 10 Home
BATTERY 4000mAh non-removable
DIMENSIONS 261x179x8.9mm, 640g

— Jhanno SJY, The Summit Express


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