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Samsung Galaxy Book 2 review: a Surface Amateur

About dual years ago, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would be concordant with ARM processors, including Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line of chips found in mobile phones. At a time, we wrote that this gave Microsoft a ideal event to furnish a ideal Surface Pro: a mechanism that’s thin, light, always connected around built-in LTE, and has extensive battery life. Microsoft has expelled several new Surface computers given then, including models with built-in LTE, yet it has nonetheless to furnish one powered by an ARM chip instead of Intel’s some-more power-hungry processors.

That’s where Samsung’s new Galaxy Book 2 comes in. The $999 Galaxy Book 2 is radically a same kind of appurtenance as Microsoft’s renouned Surface Pro: a inscription with a detachable keyboard and coop that runs a full Windows 10 experience. But a Book 2 is also one of a new Always Connected PCs that are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor.

On paper, a Book 2 is a Surface Pro I’ve been looking for: an always-connected, ultraportable mechanism that will final some-more than a full day divided from an outlet. But, as is mostly a case, what’s on paper doesn’t always line adult with reality.

To a untrained eye, a Galaxy Book 2 is probably uncelebrated from Microsoft’s Surface Pro. It’s a skinny inscription with a built-in, forever tractable kickstand, a keyboard that magnetically attaches to a bottom, and a pressure-sensitive coop for essay and drawing. The Book 2 is roughly a same measure as a Surface Pro, right down to a 1.75-pound weight (without a keyboard).

One thing that is opposite is a display: a Book 2 has a 12-inch, 3:2 OLED touchscreen (with Samsung’s Super AMOLED branding) that’s pixel-dense and color-rich. It also gets splendid adequate to use a inscription outdoors. The shade is a small smaller than a Surface Pro’s, yet we didn’t notice a distance disproportion as many as we beheld a hulk bezels that approximate it, that are extremely incomparable than a Pro’s already vast bezels.

Other differences can be found on a sides, where a Book 2 has dual USB-C ports, possibly of that can be used to assign a computer, and a fingerprint scanner in a tip right dilemma behind a screen. we cite a face-recognition camera over a fingerprint scanner for logging in to a laptop, yet it is quick and reliable.

Samsung has versed a Book 2 with side-firing AKG-tuned speakers that sound rather skinny and flat. They work good for discussion calls, yet regulating them while examination video or listening to song isn’t really pleasant.




Included in a box is a full-sized keyboard with backlit keys and a vast trackpad. It’s a good keyboard that’s easy to form on, yet a plasticky finish is nowhere nearby as good as a Alcantara keyboards that are accessible for a Surface Pro. However, Microsoft doesn’t embody a keyboard in a box, that costs an additional $159 on tip of a cost of a Surface.

The same can be pronounced for a Book 2’s enclosed S Pen stylus: it’s a ideally functional, pressure-sensitive stylus, finish with an eraser on a back, that’s not utterly as good as Microsoft’s $99 Surface Pen, yet Samsung includes it in a box.

Overall, a Book 2’s hardware is best described as competent: there are no vital flaws or vivid issues, yet a fit and finish of a materials are a step or dual next what Microsoft offers. Given a cost differences between a inclination (an LTE-equipped Surface Pro with a coop and keyboard will run many hundreds of dollars more), many of this can be immune in preference of a Book 2.



Inside, things are a bit different. As we noted, a Galaxy Book 2 eschews a normal Intel processor options for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850, a mutated chronicle of a Snapdragon 845 found in many smartphones, that’s privately designed for Windows computers. It’s interconnected with a meagre 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. (There are no other options or spec levels to select from with a Book 2.)

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Specs

  • 12-inch, 2,160 x 1,440 pixel OLED touchscreen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 128GB of storage
  • 8-megapixel back camera, 5-megapixel front camera
  • 2 USB-C ports, microSD label slot, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 11.32-inches x 7.89-inches x 0.30-inches
  • 1.75lbs (without keyboard)
  • Windows 10 Home (in S Mode)
  • Available from Microsoft, Samsung, ATT, Verizon, and Sprint
  • $999

The Book 2 is one of a initial inclination to strike shelves with a 850, and it’s a initial one I’ve used. My initial knowledge with a prior era Snapdragon 835-powered Always Connected PCs was reduction than positive: we ran into a series of app harmony issues, and a opening was indolent and frustrating.

Unfortunately, while a 850 is softened over a prior-gen chip, it still suffers from many of a same issues. The Galaxy Book 2 ships with Windows 10 in S Mode, that boundary a apps we can implement to what’s in a Microsoft Store by default. But even then, we ran into several utilities we couldn’t use since they aren’t concordant with a ARM platform. Other apps that we could install, such as LastPass, wouldn’t run and usually crashed on launch.

It also doesn’t take prolonged to find a opening boundary of a Book 2. While it can positively work excellent for light, infrequent work, as shortly as we try to juggle mixed tasks and flip between a browser with a dozen or so tabs open, email, Slack, Word, and other capability apps, a Book 2 starts to bend underneath a pressure. Performance in Slack is so laggy and frustrating that we finished adult ditching a desktop app and regulating a browser add-on to entrance it.

The Book 2 will also hang and stumble when switching between practical desktops or even when usually perplexing to open a start menu and perform a hunt in Cortana. I’m guessing a 4GB of RAM is a vast reduction here — even Samsung’s possess Galaxy Note 9 smartphone has some-more RAM on house — yet it’s also expected due to a processor usually removing overloaded.

On a and side, a Book 2 is wordless since it has no fans, and it stays cool, even when I’m sophistry a lot of tasks. And a battery life is great: while it doesn’t strike a 20 hours that Samsung claims, we am means to use it all day during work and on my invert home yet carrying to block it in. I’ve never used an Intel ultraportable PC with this many battery stamina.


All of this creates a Samsung Galaxy Book 2 rather frustrating. It has a great, super unstable form factor, prolonged battery life, and built-in LTE, that should make it a good mechanism for highway warriors. But afterwards it’s hampered by a processor height and miss of RAM, that make it tough to work well on. Those who usually have to do a handful of tasks for their work competence not have an emanate with a Book 2’s performance, yet anyone that juggles a lot of web browsing with other capability apps will expected strike a Book 2’s wall rather quickly.

Samsung might have come a closest to creation my dream computer, yet a Book 2 usually doesn’t have adequate of a pro we need to be my bland computer.

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Article source: https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/26/18024696/samsung-galaxy-book-2-tablet-laptop-review-specs-price-features

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