Samsung has been hyping the Galaxy Book S – an ultra-slim, ultra-portable, always-connected clamshell laptop – for months, but it is now finally on sale. Samsung sent my review unit for testing last night, and I've been playing around with it ever since.
Featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx processor (2.84GHz), 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB Samsung SSD (200GB available) this traditional laptop promises 4G LTE, longer battery life than the Surface Pro X, and the ability to work anywhere at any time.
Samsung is going the carrier-route in the United States partnering directly with Verizon (opens in new tab) and Sprint to sell the Book S. That means you can get a subsidized deal (and those carriers help promote it). It also means that this is, in theory, carrier-locked (and there is no eSIM support).
That said, I just dropped a T-Mobile SIM in, and while I got a warning message – surprise, surprise – T-Mobile LTE is up and running with no problems.
|Category||Samsung Galaxy Book S|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
Full HD TFT (16:9)
Touch (no inking)
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx|
|Memory||8GB RAM (LPDDR4X)|
|Expandable Storage||MicroSD slot (up to 1TB)|
|Front Camera||720p HD|
|Security||Windows Hello with fingerprint sensor|
|Ports||2x USB Type-C|
|Audio||Stereo (sound by AKG)|
Up to 23 hours of video playback)
|Dimensions||305.2 x 203.2 x 6.2-11.8 mm|
|Weight||2.1lbs (0.96 kg)|
Samsung sees the Book S as an ideal choice for those who need to work on-the-go with reliable 4G LTE, instant-on, and exceptionally long battery life (around 20-30% longer than a comparable Intel Core i5 10th Gen processor).
The hardware is impressive, and the battery endurance looks to be outstanding. As I start my evaluation process, feel free to shout out in comments with any questions you want to be answered in the review (and I'll likely answer a few directly here too).
Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.
If only it had been a convertible like the Yoga. I love the ARM platform, but the loss of inking kills it for me.
Especially since its so light and has a touchscreen, below 1 kg would make it a decent large tablet.
Does an Xbox controller sync ok to it, for Xbox streaming controls? I ask because my HP Envy X2 syncs, but won't work when using Xbox game streaming. I'm wondering if other ARM computers have that issue.
Yeah, works fine, in fact I game a lot on the Pro X using many 2D/platformer games from Steam. I'll do specific testing on that for this review, but a standard One S controller (Bluetooth) should be OK.
I got mine last week - a Verizon version. I can confirm that an AT&T sim works. The keyboard backlight didn't work out of the box, but a firmware update has fixed it. I had a few crashes the first few days, but it has seemed to stabilize. Once xCloud is released on Windows 10, it is going to be near perfect for me. @Dan, do you have any idea on timing?
First impressions of battery life? Also is performance of x86 apps vs ARM similar to Pro X (seeing as they use pretty much the same chip)?
Performance should be similar though the pro x is clock higher.
Could you get info on the officially supported LTE bands? I know it supports Verizon but us international users may find that info useful. Microsoft readily lists it for their devices but on this one it's more elusive.
Details on the specs get thinner and thinner, even the official Samsung site doesn't indicate USB ports speeds. Saying USB is like saying CPU, doesn't really say much, type C is just the shape of the connector. I'll assume it's the 5Gbps variety and not 10Gbps. Too bad about the lack of pen but it makes sense with the choice of old style clamshell design. Requisite ding for no Thunderbolt but understandable.
I'll find out about the Type-C speed.
Is it possible for you guys to run a speed test or see how fast of a internet connection it can handle? I trouble shoot internet speed issues so I was thinking about picking this up due to the LTE since I’m always on the road
Obviously depends on carrier and proximity to a tower, so hard to give you a definitive answer. But on Verizon with just 2 bars in my living room I get: 40 ms ping 51.6 Mbps download 5.44 Mbps upload Also, as I have written before you're going to get much better and consistent speeds with dedicated LTE on a PC compared to tethering on a 4G phone. Theoretically, it's Gigabit speeds.
Thanks for the response!
I purchased mines through Sprint last week and its not blue like its shown in the photos.
It's not blue here either, just Mercury Gray that takes on a blue-ish tint in some lighting.
Is there any (Samsung) bloatware on the device? If so, can it be removed? Also, most Windows on ARM reviews are light on details with regards to Windows Pro/Enterprise editions. For instance, can this device be Azure AD joined? Can it be encrypted with Bitlocker? Would be great if you could provide some details on business oriented/enterprise features!
Have you noticed a real life performance difference between the Surface Pro X and the Galaxy Book S? I'm curious if Microsoft's modified Arm chip justifies the hit on battery life to Samsung's stock 8cx. Also, some reviewers are criticizing the battery drain on the Galaxy when it's in standby mode and wonder if the Pro X suffers from the same issue.
I'm trying to figure out if the SIM card I use in my tablet on T-Mobile works for the Samsung Galaxy book s... Because using an arm processor will the packets be larger or will I still be able to use the SIM card with unlimited data that I use on my tablet? Does anybody know?
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