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Review: Samsung's Galaxy Book Is The 2-In-1 To Beat

The CRN Test Center found the speed and keyboard to be two strong points of Samsung's newest device.

The Samsung Galaxy Book is more of an evolutionary 2-in-1 tablet, rather than a revolutionary one. And that's just fine because what Samsung delivers is still the strongest offering in the category that we've tried.

One caveat: you'll need to be OK with USB-C to appreciate this device. The Galaxy Book has just two ports, and they're both of the USB-C variety.

If you're not cool with that, then you may want to wait for Microsoft's next iteration of the Surface Pro, which rumors suggest could be unveiled today (with USB-A rather than USB-C).

[Related: Review: The HP EliteBook x360 Is Our Favorite Premium Laptop Right Now]

Putting aside the port issue, though, Samsung has pulled together all the right pieces for a 2-in-1 aimed at professionals.

The biggest upgrade for the Galaxy Book over past Samsung 2-in-1s (such as the Tab Pro S) is the keyboard cover.

The keystrokes are deeper, the key pitch is wider and the keyboard is now backlit. In our tryout, we found the experience of typing on the keyboard to be terrific; it is as good or better than many of the highly portable laptops we've tried out.

The touchpad on the keyboard cover is also larger this time around, and it is perfectly responsive right out of the box, even for multi-finger gestures. That's more than we can say for many of the Windows touchpads out there.

There are two distinct models of the Galaxy Book, one of them a lower-end model with a 10.6-inch display and a 12-inch model, which is the one we sampled.

Samsung is known for its excellent displays, and the company stays true to its reputation with the Super AMOLED, FHD+ screen on the Galaxy Book. The size of the display feels just right for being able to get a lot of work done without the device getting too big. And the Galaxy Book comes included with a digital pen, which we found to work smoothly.

The Galaxy Book's performance is zippy with a seventh-gen Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM (a 4GB configuration is also available). Web pages load in rapid-fire fashion and multitasking across multiple apps is no problem on this machine.


A key benefit of going the 2-in-1 route is portability, and the Galaxy Book delivers here too with a weight of 1.66 pounds and a thickness of 0.29 of an inch, both of which are below the Surface Pro 4.

The speakers are impressively loud for a tablet, and the sound is fuller than we expected, too.

We weren't blown away by the battery life, which lasted five hours for us at 75 percent brightness. That's not atrocious – it's long enough for most flights within the U.S. – but it's also not as good as some touchscreen laptops we've tried out recently (such as the HP Elitebook x360). Samsung does include a fast-charging adapter with the Galaxy Book, however.

The price of $1,430, for the Core i5 model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, seems reasonable, especially when comparing it with many of the highly portable premium laptops now on the market.

All-around, for professionals seeking a 2-in-1 (and who can live with USB-C), this is a device worth some strong consideration. The Galaxy Book is a true productivity machine with the bonus of being highly portable and flexible. In our view, this is the 2-in-1 that Microsoft will need to worry about the most.

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