Samsung came out with their second 2-in-1 Windows 10 laptop with the Galaxy Book. They came out with 2 configurations. One with an m3 processor and 10 inch screen, and one with an i5 processor and 12 inch screen. Samsung sent over the Galaxy Book 12 for me to check out. You can get a refresher on the specs below:
Samsung Galaxy Book 12-inch Specs:
Display: 12 inch AMOLED (2160 x 1440)
Cameras: 13 Megapixel rear-facing camera / 5 megapixel front-facing camera
Processor / RAM: 7th gen i5 | 4GB / 8GB RAM
Memory: 128 GB | or 256GB SSD | microSD card slot up to 256 GB
Battery: Up to 11 hours of battery life
Connectivity / Ports: (2) USB 3.1 (Type- C)/ MicroSD Reader / Bluetooth 4.1
OS: Windows 10
Features: Fast Charging / Samsung Notes / Air Command
Price: $1129.99 and up
Microsoft made the tablet that you can use as a laptop, popular with the success of the Surface Pro 3, Pro 4 and Pro. Manufacturers have been making the thin tablet-PCs to compete with the Microsoft Surface line and many have come up short. The Galaxy Book 12 is very thin. Using it as a tablet alone may hurt after a while, since it’s large and heavy.
On the right side of the Galaxy Book, you have 2 USB-C ports and the 3.5mm headphone jack. On the left side you have the memory card slot. On top, toward the left you have power button and the volume rocker. In the front, above the screen you have the 5 megapixel video-chat camera, and light sensor next to it. On the back, you have rear facing camera. The top part of both sides have the speakers. The bottom center of the Galaxy Book has the keyboard dock.
The Galaxy Book 12 comes with the keyboard and pen. The keyboard doubles as a cover and has a slot to hold the S Pen. The keyboard has hard keys that are pretty spaced out.
The Galaxy Book 12 works well when using multiple programs. I had 6-8 tabs open on Chrome at times and it would run smooth most of the time. I used Samsung Flow most of the time I was checking email or getting work done and the Galaxy Book would handle it. The 8GB RAM and i5 chip help with multitasking performance. You won’t be using the Galaxy Book for gaming or video editing. This is an office-type work horse. There were a couple times when the fan would just kick in and Chrome would glitch or crash. When using it for a long period of time, the Galaxy Book would get warm. It’s not different than the Surface Pro after a long period of use.
The keyboard on the Galaxy Book 12 has a flap that covers the back of the tablet. That flap is also doubles as the kickstand. It attaches to the back of the Galaxy Book magnetically. There are three different ways to fold it to angle the tablet straight up, slightly tilted, tilted way more. Then you can fold it backward nearly all the way, for more tablet like use.
The display is beautiful, as you can expect from Samsung. I’d use the Galaxy Book to watch YouTube. It’s just so colorful and crisp. When working in bed, with the lights off and TV on though, the light sensor went crazy. The brightness would brighten and dim easily.
Keyboard and Kickstand Use | S Pen
When using it on a table, I use the kickstand to angle it almost all the way up. When tilting too far back, the kickstand seems to give in after a while and causes the Galaxy Book to topple. It’s even less steady when you use it on your lap. It’s a bummer because the keyboard is actually great to type with. The trackpad worked well 95% of the time. The Galaxy Book 12 is definitely portable, but using it on your lap with the keyboard cover was not comfortable. The tablet would just bounce too much for my comfort when typing. I was always afraid of the tablet tilting and falling backwards.
The S Pen (included with purchase) allows for you to take advantage of certain features, such as Windows Ink. Of course, you can use it with Samsung Notes, and editing documents are easier with the S Pen. You don’t have to charge it, which is pretty dope. The S Pen works smoothly. Samsung has really mastered the pressure points and palm resistance, as there was minimal lag and interference.
The Galaxy Book didn’t last the 11 hours Samsung claims it should. I could go 5 -6 hours max. If you were going hard with the multi-tasking it would last even less time. The tablet charges rather quickly via USB-C.
Pricing and Availability
There are two versions of the Galaxy Book. The wifi only version, I reviewed, will run you $1,130 at Samsung.com and Amazon.com. The Wifi + LTE version will run you anywhere between $1,200 – $1250. You can get it at Verizon.
If you’re looking for a laptop to help you get regular work things done while you’re out and about, the Galaxy Book 12 will fit your needs. The thin footprint and built-in keyboard cover make it easy to take it out of your bag, setup, and get to work. The fact that you get the keyboard and S Pen with the purchase of the Galaxy Book, is great for the price. No more accessories to buy. If you use your 2-in-1 on your lap often, you won’t enjoy the experience with the Galaxy Book 12.