I will be frank, I already thought the latest Samsung Galaxy Book would not be so exceptional immediately after I unpacked it from its box. The 11th Gen Intel processor caught my attention but on further assessment, the Core i5 turned off my eagerness. Additionally, its usual silver design made it appear like a cheaper imitation of the MacBook. My expectations were rapidly and widely falling off the mark.
The Galaxy Book’s battery life can be rated average at best and fails to compete with the major brands in the laptop industry. The touchpad did not offer me much ease of navigation; I honestly thought a mouse would be a more convenient alternative to the user. Also, Samsung should have invested more in the screen if the idea was to have such an imposing 15-inch display for the Samsung Galaxy Book.
The Price And The Available Configurations For The Samsung Galaxy Book
The Galaxy Book comes in several configurations, where the user can go for either Wi-Fi or LTE connectivity. The model provided for this review is the Mystic Silver Wi-Fi business edition with an Intel Core i5-1135G7, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, 8GB of RAM and a storage capacity of 256GB. However, if you do not like the silver type, you can opt for the Mystic Blue colour option that is only available for this configuration.
To enhance its processing power and storage capabilities, the LTE laptop model comes with an Intel Xe Graphics, Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU, a RAM of 16GB and a 512GB SSD. Also, you can get this model with Wi-Fi capabilities but you will have to contend with a smaller RAM of 8GB.
Depending on configuration price ranges from 829 EUR / £699 for Galaxy Book Windows 11 Home (15.6”, i5, 8GB) up to 1799 EUR / £1499 for powerful Galaxy Book Pro 360 Windows 11 Home (15.6”, i7, 16GB)
The Design Of The Samsung Galaxy Book
Samsung has closely replicated the design Apple used for its MacBooks. However, apart from the “Samsung” logo on the lid, there is little setting apart the Galaxy Book from a load of other silver-themed laptops. It is not entirely a negative quality because there is some quality and value in having a sleek laptop with an aluminium design.
For the buyer, it is better if design considerations can set apart the Samsung Galaxy Book from the Samsung Galaxy Book Go.
However, on the positive, the Galaxy Book has less bezel, providing a larger display than the Samsung Galaxy Book Go. Additionally, the Galaxy Book comes with a spacious and innovative island-style keyboard with black keys and white letters.
On the downside, a larger deck makes the laptop less convenient for users who travel frequently and are always on the move. I appreciate the 15-inch screen, however, it makes it that big and weighty to carry the laptop in my backpack and harder to quickly take it out from the backpack when on public transportation. On the other hand, when placed on your work desk, the Galaxy Book looks befitting.
Compared to the many laptops I have reviewed, Galaxy Book’s rubber feet are much bigger, providing exceptional stability for the laptop when placed on a flat surface. Another worthy quality for this laptop is its hinge that opens up to 180 degrees providing the user with greater flexibility. As far as the design is concerned, this is an ordinary silver notebook. For a more unique appearance, consider buying the Mystic Blue colour option.
The Size And Weight Of The Samsung Galaxy Book
With a size of 14 x 9 x 0.61 inches and weighing 3.4 pounds, this laptop is larger and heavier than other laptops in the same price range.
Particularly, it is bigger and heavier than HP Envy 13 measuring 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches and weighing 2.9 pounds. It is also bigger and heavier than the Lenovo Yoga 7i which measures 12.6 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches and weighs 3.1 pounds, Acer Swift 3 that measures 12.7 x 8.6 x 0.67 inches and weighs 2.7 pounds and MacBook Air that measures 11.9 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches and weighs 2.8 pounds. However, all these alternatives come with a smaller screen.
Samsung Galaxy Book’s Keyboard And Touchpad
It is uncommon for a keyboard and touchpad from the same laptop to show such quality difference as is the case with the Galaxy Book.
The machine’s keyboard has a sound touch similar to the best notebooks available in the market like MacBook. Despite the minimal travel distance, there is great satisfaction and minimal clicking noise when the user is pressing the keyboard.
I tested the functionality of the keyboard on the 10FastFingers.com typing check, comfortably reaching 75 words per minute – a faster rate than my average typing speed of 72 words per minute. Note: the Galaxy Book’s keyboard lacks the benefit of backlit keys; using the PC at night can be quite challenging.
However, the quality of the touchpad is different; using the touchpad feels so sticky, slow in response and inaccurate. I could hear squeaky sounds whenever I used the cursor to open a new tab or close an old one.
To say the least, the 4.7 x 3.3-inch plastic touchpad feels cheap and is difficult managing the use of the right-click buttons from the left-click buttons. Sometimes I needed to quickly close an old tab but inadvertently ended up opening the drop-down menu. Many people overlook such a bother unless they need to work hastily to complete a given assignment within time.
Port For The Samsung Galaxy Book
Notably, the Galaxy Book provides the user with a wider variety of ports – it is a feature I would like to find in other notebooks.
On the left side, there are two USB-C ports, one USB-A 3.2 port and an HDMI 2.0 output.
On the right side of the notebook, there is an extra USB-A 3.2 port, a microSD card reader and a 3.5mm audio jack. The wide array of ports allows usage of multiple computer peripherals such as the keyboard and mouse and uploading of photos and videos from a camera without using an adapter.
The Display Of The Samsung Galaxy Book
The 15-inch, 1080p Full HD display is ideal for streaming and watching all the latest after the interruption of 2020. Unfortunately, the Galaxy Book’s display lacks the perfect colour qualities. On the positive front, the panel provides a bright display but often makes certain scenes seem greyer than they are.
The Galaxy Book only covers 43.7% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut which is much lower than swift 3’s panel with 44% coverage, Envy 13 and Yoga 7i with 80%, and MacBook Air with 81% coverage. The average coverage for laptops in this category is higher, at 84% than the more efficient machines.
With an average of 319 nits, the Galaxy Book is rated well for its display’s brightness. As much as Galaxy Book’s 319 nits are way below the average for notebooks in this category, i.e. 390 nits, it is considerably higher than Yoga 7i with 266 nits or Swift 3 with 251 nits. However, it is considerably less than Envy 13 at 361 nits and MacBook Air at 386 nits.
Audio Features Of The Samsung Galaxy Book
I wanted to try out a new experience to listening to my music so I played Doja Cat’s “Mooo!” on the Samsung Galaxy Book. While Doja Cat is good music, especially the “moons”, I enjoyed listening to the music, thanks to the machine’s speakers with a pleasant pronunciation of the music beats. There was a clear distinction between the beats and the soft guitar melodies playing in the background.
It may be an old song, but the laptop’s Dolby Atmos audio system brought out the unique guitar riffs and nice drum solos in the jam. Simply put, I found the machine’s audio quality is impressive.
On the other hand, I wish the PC’s speakers were a bit louder; I never found the music loud enough and capable of disturbing my neighbours by any means at all (I do not advocate for playing loud music to such levels).
The Performance Of The Galaxy Book
The performance of the Intel Core i5-1135G7 is another major strong point of the Samsung Galaxy Book. The Samsung Galaxy Book shows why Core i5 should not be underrated. Since it is cheaper, the Core i5 is the better option mainly because it provides more power and efficiency than the Core i7 configuration. Nonetheless, the Galaxy Book fails to meet other key objectives.
To the speed and performance of the Galaxy Book; I opened 50 tabs on Chrome browser, two Google Documents, a YouTube video playing in the background and a page to browse through Instagram. The laptop performed exemplary well without any stumbles or lags when it came to switching from one tab to another. The good performance of the Galaxy Book is a good feature for any user who likes to multi-task to accomplish different tasks.
The 256GB NVMe SSD of the Galaxy Books could not handle long efficiency tests. The laptop converted a multimedia file of 25GB at a rate of 162.1 megabytes per second (MBps) which was poor compared to the average rate of the machines in the same category of 162.1 megabytes per second (MBps). The Galaxy Booked ranked lower than Envy with a conversion rate of 415.6MBps and 256GB SSD, Yoya 7i with a conversion rate of 311 MBps and a 512GB SSD, and Swift 3 with a conversion rate of 462.7 MBps and a 512GB SSD. Galaxy Book’s performance in this category is way below its performance in other categories.
Samsung Galaxy Book’s Graphics
The laptop Intel Iris Xe Graphics is not designed to run the most recent AAA games but can show 4K videos, load the busy pages on the internet and allow users to edit photos for general uses. Additionally, the laptop provides more than what other laptops in the same field may offer.
The Battery Life Of The Samsung Galaxy Book
The battery life is not the strongest feature of the Galaxy Book. However, the battery life can last for the standard ten hours. When conducting the Laptop Mag battery test, I continuously surfed over the internet using Wi-Fi at 150 nits, and the Galaxy Book’s battery supply stayed for about ten hours and twenty-five minutes on average, which is higher than the category’s average of ten hours and fifteen minutes.
The Galaxy Book’s battery life was shorter than other laptops with enduring battery life such as the HP Envy which lasted for eleven hours and fifteen minutes while Swift 3 had eleven hours and nine minutes. Yoga 7i and MacBook Air had a battery life of twelve hours and thirty-six minutes and fourteen hours and forty-one minutes respectively.
The Webcam Of The Samsung Galaxy Book
The Galaxy Book comes with the 720p webcam, which I have found to have grainy pictures for almost all the laptops I have reviewed.
It is not right that a smartphone like iPhone 13 and the affordable Xiaomi Pad 5 offers better and outstanding front-facing cameras with a higher resolution of 1080p compared to the Galaxy Book laptop designed for commercial work.
In most cases, the laptop’s webcam is the only way an employee or other professional can reveal their faces when making work-related calls. After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, functionalities like video conferencing have become an important part of the professional life of many people. For this reason, a grainy webcam with a loss of colour can be a big challenge when the user needs to capture objects in low-light conditions.
Heating And Cooling Capacity Of The Samsung Galaxy Book
The Samsung Galaxy Book can manage heat when used under heavy tasks and for long durations; the laptop remains cool when showing a fifteen-minute long 1080p video. When testing the heating and cooling strength of this laptop, the underside temperature reached 85.5 degrees Fahrenheit. This is significantly below our comfort threshold of 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
The laptop’s touchpad remained the coolest part of the laptop, recording a temperature of 78.5 degrees; the centre of the keyboard recorded a temperature of 86 degrees. Usually, the hottest part of the laptop is on underneath the Galaxy Book where there are vents. This area had a temperature of 89.5 degrees.
Samsung has gotten better at the manufacturing of laptops. This does not imply their earlier model have failed. However, the company has not reached its market potential, compared to its market-leading performance with the Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Nonetheless, the Samsung Galaxy Book 2021 has set the company on a path to achieving success.
For instance, its 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor is quite impressive and greatly boosts the overall performance for a laptop priced at 829 EUR / £699. Other great features include a decent keyboard, a wide variety of ports and its overall sleek design. All these features make the laptop an ideal notebook for professionals.
Samsung is developing the ARM Exynos processor for laptops and it is delightful to see how the company plans to improve the efficiency of the Galaxy Books. Understandably, there are other key areas of concern that must be improved for the laptop to work best. For instance, the laptop’s panel appears quite dull despite the thin screen bezels to increase the size of the display.
The company must also work on the Galaxy Book’s touchpad and webcam. The webcam is particularly important if Samsung wants to market this laptop for its “impressive video presentation” qualities.