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Samsung Galaxy Book S review – smartphone convenience with the power of a laptop

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The Samsung Galaxy Book S is a game-changing device that offers the connectivity and convenience of a smartphone but with the added power of a laptop and in a small and thin chassis that makes it easy to take anywhere. 

The new Samsung Galaxy Books S gives users the best of both worlds – the speed, smarts and connectivity of a mobile device and also added the power and a full keyboard of a PC.

It’s been years since Samsung played in the laptop space. The last time they did it was with limited success.

They were taking on established brands who simply better products.

But now with the Galaxy Books S, Samsung is not trying to play them at their own game. They have brought to the table a product that has as much in common with a smartphone as it does a PC.

And Samsung happens to be the number one smartphone brand in the world so this time out they are truly playing to their strengths.

Under the hood, the Galaxy Book S is running an all-new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx mobile computing platform which delivers the performance you expect from a laptop but with so much efficiency it doesn’t give off heat or tax the battery as much as a regular processor.

It’s also a win when it come to the design. Because it requires no fans (no heat, remember?) Samsung has been able to deliver a razor thin device that’s just 11.8mm thick and weighing less than 1kg. In fact, it tips the scales at a featherweight 961g.

We had it in our backpack and could hardly feel the weight. We could also fit the Galaxy Book S in the iPad sleeve rather than the larger laptop section.

The closest Apple equivalent in terms of design and screen size is the MacBook Air which is 15.6mm nearly 4mm thicker than the Galaxy Book S and 289g heavier.

The Galaxy Book S also sports an impressive 13.3-inch display that’s also a touchscreen so you’ve got all the benefits of a tablet buy then also an excellent keyboard and a trackpad for the times when you really need to get to work.

But you can’t fold the screen around and use it like a tablet – it’s not a convertible.

Just on the screen, while it’s excellent when you’re indoors, it can be quite reflective outdoors to the point where you can’t see the screen. But this wasn’t a deal breaker – it’s easy to find some shade.

And despite being thinner than a supermodel, it still has it where it counts with speed and performance.

It’s really responsive and has one of the fastest wakes from sleep that we’ve ever seen on a laptop thanks to the fingerprint reader built into the on/off button.

Galaxy Book S has 8GB RAM and up to 512GB of storage thanks to the built microSD card slot.

The device also has two USB-C ports – one on either side – and a headphone jack.

Now the other thing that also sets the Galaxy Book S apart is what’s next to that microSD card slot – a SIM card tray so you can connect through the 4G LTE networks.

The tray that holds both the SIM card and the microSD card slides out of the bottom of the device with ease – no need for a SIM card ejector pin.

Having a SIM card onboard means when you’re out and about there’s no need to seek out wi-fi hotspots, use an external dongle or tether you’re smartphone.

When you pull your phone out of your pocket you already know you can connect straight away to use apps or access the web. You don’t need to think about it.

It’s the same deal with the Samsung Galaxy Book S.

We didn’t even need to think about connecting especially when we were working on the go.

The Galaxy Book S is also smart enough to connect you to wi-fi when you get back to your home or office. It was one less thing to worry about.

For our review we had a Telstra SIM card onboard and we were able to enjoy fantastic download and upload speeds.

And like a phone, the Galaxy Book S also has Airplane Mode to switch off your cellular connection.

Performance-wise, the Samsung Galaxy Book S delivers everything for the average and slightly above average user will require.

For our purposes of using Microsoft Office suite of applications, email, web browsing, uploading stories to the Tech Guide website, simple photo and video editing and also playing games were all a breeze for the device.

But if you’re the type of high-end user that will be doing things like heavy-duty video and picture editing, graphic arts work and other pro-level applications then the Galaxy Book S might not meet all your needs.

But the Galaxy Books S is not a mobile phone in a laptop’s body. It is still quite a capable device that can hold its own against other laptops in this price bracket.

Another strength is the battery life. Samsung says it can last up to 25 hours just playing video but we did a lot more than just watch videos.

I used the Galaxy Book S as my daily laptop so I was writing a lot with it as well as accessing my site, social media and YouTube and connecting via both Bluetooth and 4G several times a day.

At this rate, the battery easily powered us through the entire day and well into the next.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx mobile platform is quite efficient and not only gives off no heat but it is also efficient so it is quite miserly on its power usage.

The Samsung Galaxy Book S is priced at $1,699 which some may say is expensive but when you consider the light and thin design and the overall build quality plus the convenience of having 4G LTE connectivity it adds up to a pretty good deal.

VERDICT 

The Samsung Galaxy Book S is a game-changing device that offers the connectivity and convenience of a smartphone but with the added power of a laptop and in a small and thin chassis that makes it easy to take anywhere.